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Unhealthy Air Quality: Health Officials Recommendations

Jun 07, 2023
Air Quality Unhealthy Air Color Guide

The State of New Jersey, including the Town of Harrison, is currently facing a concerning situation regarding air quality. The ongoing wildfires in Canada have resulted in smoke conditions that are negatively impacting the region. This article aims to provide information on the unhealthy air quality in New Jersey and the precautions advised by Health officials.

Air Quality Alert and Health Risks

The National Weather Service has issued an air quality alert for the State of New Jersey, emphasizing the severity of the situation. The smoke drifts from the Canadian wildfires are causing significant air pollution in the Northern New Jersey and NYC Metro regions. This poses a considerable health risk, particularly for vulnerable populations such as individuals with respiratory conditions, children, and the elderly.

Effects on Health

Exposure to the smoke-filled air can have adverse effects on respiratory health and overall well-being. The fine particles present in the smoke can penetrate deep into the lungs, leading to respiratory issues like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma or bronchitis, may experience exacerbations of their symptoms. Moreover, the elderly and children are more susceptible to the health effects of poor air quality.

EPA Map of Air Quality Red is Unhealthy. Purple is Very Unhealthy

Precautions and Recommendations

In light of the unhealthy air quality conditions, Health Officials strongly advise residents to prioritize their safety by taking the following precautions:

  1. Stay Indoors: Limit outdoor activities and remain indoors as much as possible. Create a safe environment by keeping doors and windows closed to minimize the entry of polluted air.
  2. Reschedule Outdoor Activities: The Health Department strongly urges the cancellation or rescheduling of all outdoor activities to a later date. This proactive measure helps reduce exposure to polluted air and ensures the well-being of individuals.
  3. Utilize Air Purifiers: If available, utilize air purifiers within your home to help improve indoor air quality. These devices can effectively filter out harmful particles and promote cleaner air.
  4. Seek Medical Attention: If you experience breathing difficulties or related symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention promptly. Healthcare professionals can provide appropriate guidance and treatment to manage any respiratory issues resulting from unhealthy air quality.

Cooperation and Awareness

Health Officials urge individuals to cooperate and adhere to the recommended precautions during this critical time. Monitoring local news updates, weather reports, and health advisories can provide valuable information regarding air quality conditions and any necessary updates or changes to the recommendations.

The current unhealthy air quality in New Jersey, caused by the forest fire smoke from Canada, demands immediate attention. Following the guidance of the Bergen County Health Department is crucial for protecting the respiratory health and overall well-being of individuals, particularly those with pre-existing conditions, children, and the elderly. By remaining indoors, rescheduling outdoor activities, and implementing preventive measures such as closed doors/windows and air purifiers, residents can reduce their exposure to the polluted air. Together, by staying informed and taking appropriate precautions, we can navigate through this challenging period and prioritize our health and safety.

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