New York is collapsing under the weight of pollution. The city of lights is drowning in smoke!

Air pollution in New York City has been ranked the worst of any city in the world, as wildfire smoke from Canada continues to drift over the region, creating an orange haze over the city and prompting some residents to wear face masks when outdoors.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the AQI index, which measures air quality, had 342 levels of what is considered “hazardous” for all residents.

Schools in the city are still operating but have suspended outdoor activities as air quality is expected to deteriorate throughout the day.

On Wednesday, the Federal Aviation Administration grounded some flights bound for New York’s LaGuardia Airport because of the smoke, as the visibility also caused delays at Newark Liberty International Airport.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said the poor air quality was an “emergency crisis” and warned that it could continue for the next few days.

“If you can stay inside, stay inside. The current situation is hurting people’s health.”

And the Major League Baseball League said in a statement that it will postpone yesterday’s games, Wednesday, between the “Detroit Tigers” and “Philadelphia Phillies” at Citizens Bank Park and “Chicago White Sox” and “New York Yankees” at Yankee Stadium.

“The postponement was made after conversations throughout the day with medical and meteorological experts and all affected clubs regarding clearly hazardous air quality conditions in both cities,” the league said.

City officials have advised residents to limit outdoor activities and warned that children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems are at particular risk.

Wildfire smoke releases PM2.5 particles that enter the lungs and cause health problems such as asthma and bronchitis. The concentration of PM2.5 in New York City is currently 15 times the annual guideline value for air quality issued by the World Health Organization.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued a healthy air quality advisory for all five boroughs. City officials said they expect the warning to remain in effect for the next few days, but added that smoky conditions are very difficult to predict.

New York also extended its air quality health advisory to Thursday.

Canada is preparing to experience its worst wildfire season ever, with more than 400 forests burning across almost all of Canada’s provinces and territories. Federal officials said last week that the fires have burned more than 6.7 million acres and about 26,000 people are currently required to evacuate.

Smoke from wildfires in Canada has drifted south and sparked air pollution warnings across the country.

Millions of people in the Midwest have severe air quality conditions, with air quality warnings in effect for southeastern Minnesota, parts of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and areas of Wisconsin. Air quality alerts have also been posted across much of New England.

The National Weather Service expects the smoke to continue and head towards the western regions.

Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of global wildfires, and air pollution from wildfire smoke is getting worse. Last year, Stanford University researchers found that millions of Americans are routinely exposed to wildfire smoke pollution at levels seldom seen just a decade ago.

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