Code Red: Wildfire smoke creates air quality concerns for entire state of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has declared a Code Red Air Quality Action Day for the entire state of Pennsylvania Wednesday due to smoke from Canadian wildfires.

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On a Code Red day, the DEP says young children, the elderly, and those with respiratory problems, such as asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis, are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution and should avoid outdoor activities, and everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.

Smoke due to wildfires in eastern Canada will likely contribute to daily average concentrations of fine particulate matter in both the Code Red and Code Orange ranges on Wednesday.

Residents and businesses within the Air Quality Action Day areas are strongly encouraged to voluntarily help reduce fine particulate matter air pollution by:

  • Avoiding the open burning of leaves, trash, and other materials; and
  • Avoiding the use of gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health also has recommendations on how to protect yourself from air pollution.

Residents are encouraged to check www.airnow.gov for current conditions in their area.

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