Press Release

As New York Experiences Worst Air Quality In Recorded History, Gillibrand Shares Guidance To Help New Yorkers Protect Themselves From Wildfire Smoke

Jun 8, 2023

Smoke From Canadian Wildfires Is Creating Dangerous Air Quality Conditions Across New York State;  

On Wednesday, New York City Had The Worst Air Quality Of Any City In The World

With New York experiencing its worst air quality in recorded history, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand held a video press conference to share guidance to help New Yorkers protect themselves from dangerous levels of air pollution caused by wildfire smoke.

Gillibrand has taken action to help stop wildfires at their source. Yesterday, she called on the U.S. Forest Service to stand ready to support any request from Canada for American support in suppressing the spread of wildfires in Quebec. And earlier this year, Gillibrand also pressed Congress to deliver $5 million to modernize the Clean Air Status and Trends Network air quality monitoring stations in 5 northeastern states, including New York.

New Yorkers should take the threat posed by severe air pollution seriously,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I encourage everyone in affected areas to stay indoors as much as possible and follow the most recent health guidance to protect themselves, their families, and their pets. Furthermore, we must take action to stop these wildfires at their source, which is why I called on the U.S. Forest Service to support any request from Canada for help in suppressing these wildfires.”

New Yorkers should: 

  1. Wear an N-95 or respirator mask outdoors. Avoid paper “comfort” or “dust” masks commonly found at hardware stores. These masks are designed to trap large particles and will generally not protect your lungs from the fine particles in smoke.
  2. Avoid strenuous activities and exercise outdoors and activities that create more fine particles indoors, including smoking cigarettes, spraying aerosol products, and burning candles or incense. 
  3. Keep windows and doors closed and use fans and air conditioners to stay cool.
  4. Protect pets by keeping them indoors as much as possible, limiting strenuous activities, providing plenty of fresh water, and calling a veterinarian if your pet is coughing, gagging, or having trouble breathing. 
  5. Track air quality in your area using the U.S. Air Quality Index. Those in areas with “Hazardous” air quality should avoid all outdoor activity. Those in areas with “Very Unhealthy” air quality should avoid long or intense activities outside.