At one point Tuesday evening, Detroit had the worst air quality of any major city in the world on the IQAir rankings.
Another air quality alert is in effect for metro Detroit due to smoke from Canadian wildfires.
The alert is in place through Wednesday, and everyone is advised to limit time outdoors. At one point Tuesday evening, Detroit had the worst air quality of any major city in the world on the IQAir rankings.
A stroll along the Detroit River was a bit cloudier Tuesday. The proximity to Canada is making the country harder to see and also making the air harder to breathe.
Yes, I can notice it. I can feel like a burning in my throat, said Dalya Khuder, who was visiting from Indianapolis. The air quality is just really bad and I don’t want that stuff in my lungs.”
Khuder was wearing a mask outside, hoping it would help out the harmful particles in the air.
Very, very tiny dust particles that are smaller than human hair, so that can get into your lungs easily breathing it in, said Alec Kownacki, a meteorologist with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.
Kownacki and his team at EGLE issued the air quality alert. Kownacki says a low-pressure system over Ontario helped bring the smoke toward Michigan. The proximity of the fires is keeping that smoke closer to the surface than smoke that comes from out West.
The smoke does not have the amount of time or distance to really disperse and get aloft in the upper atmosphere, so staying closer to the surface,” Kownacki said.
Kownacki says he extended the alert through Wednesday and the team will reassess Wednesday morning, as it’s still unclear how long the smoke will linger. Its an unusual issue for Michigan and doctors have noticed.
Dr. Devang Doshi, a pulmonologist with Corewell Health, formerly Beaumont Health, says he has seen patients coming in due to smoke from the wildfires.
When we breath in this particulate matter with the air quality being poor, were actually inhaling particles of pollution from the smoke,” Doshi said. “All of those pollutants are actually entering our airway and they sit in our airway, and so those things can cause things like localized irritation where you get watery itchy eyes… it causes shortness of breath, chest tightness, cough.
Doshi says the air quality is some of the worst hes ever seen from wildfire smoke. He advises everyone, even those without respiratory issues, to limit time outside.
We’re strongly advising people to avoid doing things they don’t have to necessarily do outside, and if they do have to go outside, using a N-95 to protect that airway from all that particulate matter, Doshi said.
Despite the haze of smoke, many who are otherwise healthy say they havent noticed any issues. But those who do, hope the wind shifts soon, so they can breathe a bit easier.
It’s weird. I don’t really experience this much,” Khuder said. “It’s the first time in forever I’ve had this.