Detroit Health Department provides guidance to help residents stay safe from effects of Canadian wildfires
The Detroit Health Department is providing guidance for residents concerned about the poor air quality in the city, which is being caused by ongoing wildfires in Canada.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has issued an air quality alert for Southeast Michigan, which includes the City of Detroit, for Thursday, June 8, 2023. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s Air Quality Index indicates that the Detroit area’s air quality rating is currently at “red.” Ratings of red or orange represent unhealthy levels, especially for sensitive populations.
The health effects of particle pollution exposure can range from relatively minor (e.g., eye and respiratory tract irritation) to more serious health effects (e.g., exacerbation of asthma and heart failure, and premature death). Older adults, pregnant women, children, and people with preexisting respiratory and heart conditions may be more likely to get sick if they breathe in wildfire smoke.
Acting Chief Public Health Officer Christina Floyd stated the Health Department is recommending that people concerned about the effects of the current air quality limit their time outdoors and refrain from any outdoor strenuous activity.
For people with heart or lung disease, older adults, children, and teens, Floyd recommended the follow steps to reduce exposure:
- Stay indoors as much as possible.
- Keep windows and doors closed, if possible
- Consider moving physical activities indoors or rescheduling them.
Floyd added that wildfire smoke can make anyone sick. If you are experiencing signs of sickness, please contact your medical provider.
“We are continually monitoring the situation and are in close contact with our partners at EGLE, the City’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, as well as the City’s Environmental division,” said acting Chief Public Health Officer, Christina Floyd. “As conditions warrant, we will provide additional updates and guidance to help make sure our residents stay safe.”
For more information, please see the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy Air Quality Index page at Air Monitoring (michigan.gov).