Residents urged to take precautions due to poor air quality from Quebec wildfires

OSWEGO, NY – The New York State departments of Health (NYSDOH) and
Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) have issued an air quality advisory for most of the state today and tomorrow, June 6 and 7, due to the wildfires currently burning in Quebec.

The Oswego County Health Department joins the state in urging residents to limit their exposure to potential pollutants.

“Exposure to elevated levels of fine particulate matter can cause short-term health effects such as irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath,” stated Dr. Christina Liepke, medical director for the Oswego County Health Department. “It can also worsen medical conditions such as asthma, COPD and heart disease. Children, the elderly, and people with heart or breathing problems may be particularly sensitive to this pollution. We ask residents to monitor those with underlying medical conditions for worsening signs and symptoms and seek medical care if needed.”

People can monitor Oswego County’s air quality status at and take into account the following safety precautions.

Those with heart and lung disease, older adults, children and teens should:
– Avoid strenuous outdoor activities.
– Keep outdoor activities short.
– Consider moving physical activities indoors or re-scheduling them.

Otherwise, most people can:
– Choose less strenuous activities, like walking instead of running, so they’re not breathing as hard.
– Wait until the air quality improves to become active outdoors.

People may also want to consider keeping windows and doors closed to protect indoor air quality and using air purifiers or air conditioners with high efficiency filtration if available.