Air Quality Health Advisory issued for Wednesday throughout region

The state has issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for Western New York, Central New York and the Eastern Lake Ontario region for Wednesday, June 28. The advisory comes as wildfires continue in Canada, and joins similar advisories in other northern states such as Wisconsin and Michigan.

The advisory will be in effect all throughout Wednesday, from midnight to 11:59 p.m.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Health issued the advisory Tuesday. They say air quality is forecasted to reach “Unhealthy” Air Quality Index (AQI) levels Wednesday in the Western New York region (which includes Genesee and Orleans counties), and “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” (such as the elderly, children or people with respiratory or heart problems) for Central New York (which includes Ontario, Livingston, Steuben and Yates counties) and Eastern Lake Ontario (which includes Monroe and Wayne counties).

The pollutant of concern is Fine Particulate Matter. Fine particulate matter consists of tiny solid particles or liquid droplets in the air made of many different types of particles. Exposure can cause short-term health effects such as irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and shortness of breath. Exposure to elevated levels of fine particulate matter can also worsen medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease.