Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s (WVDEP) Division of Air Quality and the state Department of Health and Human Resources’ (DHHR) Bureau for Public Health’s (BPH) statewide Air Quality Advisory for fine particulate matter issued Wednesday remains in effect as smoke from Canadian wildfires continues to impact air quality.
According to AirNow.gov, Air Quality Index (AQI) scores for most of West Virginia are in the 151-200 range (Red), which indicate that some members of the general public may experience health effects and members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects. Sensitive groups include children, people suffering from asthma, heart disease or other lung diseases, and the elderly.
Per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, citizens in areas with poor air quality are encouraged to limit their time outdoors and avoid strenuous activities. N-95 masks can help reduce smoke inhalation and potential health risks.
Citizens are encouraged to check the AirNow website to see real time air quality data in their area and surrounding states. Please make sure you are viewing the interactive map for your area using the “contours” setting for Ozone and Particulate Matter (PM).
More information about the AQI, including activity guides for when air quality reaches unhealthy levels, is available here.
Click here for information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on protecting yourself from wildfire smoke.