Jun 8, 2023 - Climate

Detroit's air quality among the worst globally this week

Haze above Detroit captured via drone yesterday. Photo: Samuel Robinson/Axios

It's not looking great outside ā€” Detroit had the second-worst air quality of any city in the world Thursday morning, per IQAir.com.

Driving the news: Air quality across the northeastern U.S. and Canada has plummeted to unhealthy levels due to smoke from wildfires burning from Yukon to Nova Scotia. The smoke has caused hazy conditions here, in New York and many other cities on top of other forms of air pollution, Axios' Jacob Knutson reports.

Why it matters: Even if they're hundreds of miles away from wildfires, people can still be negatively affected by the hazardous microscopic particles they produce, which can trigger inflammation in the lungs when inhaled and can worsen medical conditions like asthma and heart disease.

By the numbers: IQAir's world air quality index shows Detroit in the red "unhealthy" category with a rating of 170 as of early Thursday. That was below only NYC (177) and tied with Dhaka, Bangladesh (160).

  • "Good" air quality is 0-50 and "moderate" is 51-100.

Be smart: Try to stay inside with the windows closed if you can, run air conditioning if you have it, avoid outdoor exercise and don't smoke, per the New York Times.

Details: The state put out an air quality alert for Wednesday and Thursday across Southeast Michigan due to elevated pollutant levels.

Air quality index in Michigan
As of June 7, 2023, at 1pm EST. Data: AirNow; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios
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