Chicago Tops World’s Worst Air Quality Once Again Thursday, Expected to Clear by July 4th


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CHICAGO – Air quality alerts continue to plague Illinois as the state battles severe pollution levels. The latest report reveals that Chicago has once again clinched the title of the world’s worst air quality in a major city on Thursday morning. The concentration of PM2.5 in Chicago is currently a staggering 17.3 times higher than the World Health Organization’s (WHO) annual air quality guideline value.

Most of Illinois, along with a significant portion of the Midwest, is still under air quality advisories due to alarming pollution levels. IQAir, an air quality monitoring organization, ranks Chicago with an “unhealthy” score of 167, making it the most polluted city. Washington D.C. follows closely with a score of 144. Minneapolis, Detroit, and New York are the only other American cities in the top ten of this list.

While the air quality in Chicago remains “unhealthy,” it has improved slightly from Wednesday’s “very unhealthy” status. Experts predict that the situation will finally start to clear up by the Fourth of July as the smoke from Canada dissipates and moves out of Illinois.

The real-time air quality index (AQI) rankings show the severity of the situation across the United States. The top ten cities with the highest AQI include Shorewood Hills, Wisconsin, with a score of 252, followed closely by Moline, Illinois, at 248. Steubenville, Ohio, New Albany, Ohio, and Baraboo, Wisconsin, complete the top five.

In Kankakee, PM2.5 concentration reaching 5.6 times the WHO guideline value. Sensitive groups in Kankakee are advised to wear masks when outdoors, use air purifiers, keep windows closed, and reduce outdoor exercise.

Signs of excessive pollution included difficulty breathing, tightness in chest, throat irritation, wheezing, and unusual fatigue.

As Canadian wildfire smoke continues to work its way through the area, it is crucial for individuals to take steps to reduce their exposure to pollutants.


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