Even fit and healthy adults would be wise to stay inside and take it easy as plumes of wildfire smoke choke the air with an eerie orange haze in the New York City area, according to experts.

Thick clouds wafting down from Quebec are expected to remain over the city for days, releasing “countless” dangerous particles in the air, doctors say.

While children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with respiratory issues should especially heed Mayor Adams’ advice and remain indoors Wednesday, others would be wise to follow suit, Dr. Kenneth Spaeth told The Post.

“While the risk is low for an otherwise healthy person, it’s not nothing. There’s real risk,” said Spaeth, who is the chief of occupational and environmental medicine at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park.

“It doesn’t take that much to have mild symptoms – eye irritation, throat irritation… that’s sort of the minimal event of symptoms that can arise in these settings,” he said.

Even healthy adults were urged to stay inside if possible as the city was besieged by wildfire smoke Wednesday.
Billy Becerra / NY Post

“It certainly warrants being cautious and not spending, you know, extended periods outdoors if it could be helped – and certainly avoiding things that are exertional in nature while outdoors.”

New York’s air was more polluted than any other major world city Tuesday night, and remained at levels deemed “unhealthy” Wednesday afternoon as more than 100 wildfires deemed “out of control” by officials burned in the Canadian province north of the state.

“This is not COVID where you had a virus where you had a relatively large particle in the air compared to some of the gasses we’re talking about,” Spaeth said, explaining how healthy people could become ill, even if wearing an N95 mask, which he recommends.

“There are a lot of what we call products of combustions… from the burning process… and when you have the sheer volume of what’s burning – the sheer size of these wildfires – this is a massive amount of pollution and these productions of combustions… are countless,” Spaeth said.

The particulate matter includes dioxins and nanoparticles that are so small they can penetrate a mask and go right into the mouth, lungs and bloodstream, he said.

“That’s why really staying indoors as much as possible really does make the most sense.”

Dr. Ramon Tallaj, who is chair of the board of directors of SOMOS Community Care in the Bronx knows about the danger from firsthand experience — pollutants from the smoke caused his eyes to itch and left him short of breath Tuesday.

“I’m 67, I exercise three times a week, I have good health … I was exposed [to the smoke] last night. I don’t have a respiratory problem,” he told The Post.

“If you can avoid being in the street, stay indoors. Do your work from home, if this is possible. At the same time, if you have to go to work, use the mask,” he advised other healthy adults.

Tallaj’s guidance echoed Mayor Adams remarks Wednesday morning as he urged people to hunker down and “limit … outdoor activities to the absolute necessities.” 

“This is not the day to train for a marathon or do an outside event with your children,” Hizzoner said.

New York City public schools suspended outdoor activities Wednesday and an outdoor concert at Prospect Park’s bandshell Wednesday night was canceled due to the city’s “unprecedented air quality.”

A “Movie Under the Stars” event being held at several city parks was also shelved, along with a jazz concert planned at Pier 84 on the Hudson River.

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