EGLE declares Air Quality Action Day for today, Wednesday

Published 1:13 pm Tuesday, June 27, 2023

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SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — A statewide Air Quality Action Day Advisory has been issued for Tuesday and Wednesday due to elevated levels of fine particulate matter caused by wildfire smoke from Canada. 

Meteorologists at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy have issued air quality alerts for high levels of fine particulate in the air. These levels are caused by smoke from fires in Michigan and Canada. These conditions are expected to continue throughout the rest of the week. Meteorologists are continuing to assess conditions and will issue additional alerts if necessary. 

The Air Quality Index is a color-coded way for residents to see what the levels of some types of air pollution are in their area. The higher the AQI, the worse the air quality is and the more cause for concern. As of 12:35 p.m. Tuesday, Southwest Michigan has an Air Quality Index of 226, which falls under the ‘Very Unhealthy’ category according to the U.S. Air Quality Index.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has advised the following:

For people with heart or lung disease, older adults, children, and teens it is suggested to take the following steps to reduce exposure:

  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activities.
  • Keep outdoor activities short.
  • Consider moving physical activities indoors or rescheduling them.

For everyone else:

  • Choose less strenuous activities (like walking instead of running) so you don’t breathe as hard.
  • Shorten the amount of time you are active outdoors.
  • Be active outdoors when air quality is better.

When particle levels are high outdoors, they can be high indoors – unless the building has a good filtration system. Keep particles lower indoors: 

  • Eliminate tobacco smoke 
  • Reduce your use of wood stoves and fireplaces 
  • Use HEPA air filters and air cleaners designed to reduce particles
  • Don’t burn candles