We Are Not on Mars

NYC Air Quality Is Comparable to the Worst Pollution in Asia

Dear Shiu Clinic Community,

In the wake of the Ontario wildfires, New York City’s air quality index (AQI) has skyrocketed from 20-40 (below 50 is categorized as “good”) to 413 as of 5:00 today. According to IQAir, particulate matter in New York's air was measured at 14.5 times the World Health Organization's annual air quality guideline value.

This kind of pollution bonds with the oxygen in the air and produces particles that can cause difficulty breathing. In response, the heart beats faster in order to get sufficient oxygen intake. I, unfortunately, experienced this firsthand during my years living in China.

We recommend that you stay inside unless you have urgent matters to attend to or medical appointments that cannot be missed, especially if you have allergies, lung issues, or hypertension.

If you do go outside, wear a surgical mask (3M works best against this type of pollution) to help protect your lungs (we hope that you will do this regardless of your opinion on masking for Covid). Cloth masks will not be effective.

By most accounts, the worst of this will be over in a couple of days. We hope that you and your families stay well. If you suffer adverse effects from the poor air quality, our clinic has herbs to clear the lungs and open the sinuses.

If you have an appointment at the Shiu Clinic and feel it’s too risky for you to venture outside, please do not hesitate to call our office to reschedule.


Dr. Clayton Shiu


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June 7, 2023

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