June 7, 2023


← Back to News overview

Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Department of Health and Community Wellness Director Ketlen Baptiste Alsbrook are urging city residents to take precautions during the air quality alert issued by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), which is expected to remain in effect until further notice.

“Due to heavy smoke from a convergence of wildfires as far away as Canada, the NJDEP has issued an air quality alert for the northern region of the state, including Newark,” said Mayor Baraka. “I ask everyone to protect their health by staying informed and carefully following NJDEP’s guidelines throughout the duration of the alert.”

The Air Quality Index (AQI) in Newark was as high as 166 this morning, but as of 11 a.m., dropped to 157. An AQI value of 157 is considered unhealthy air for people to breathe. The poor air quality is attributed to wildfires in Canada that are polluting the air with particulate matter from burning trees and other materials. An air quality index of 100 or below is considered moderate to good, and generally satisfactory for most people. Anything above 301 is considered hazardous. The AQI in Newark is projected to drop to 125 tomorrow, which remains a concern, particularly for older or pregnant people, children, and those with health conditions that put them at risk.

To protect yourself from the current poor air quality, the NJDEP advises:

  • Staying indoors as much as possible.
  • Keeping your windows closed.
  • Using an air purifier if possible.
  • If you must go outside, limit your physical activity and wear a mask for any extended period of exposure.

“These guidelines are for all of us and even our pets, because air pollution concentrations are unhealthy for everyone,” said Director Alsbrook. “But they should be most carefully followed by sensitive groups such as children, older adults, and people with heart disease, asthma, or other lung diseases.”

The Newark Department of Health and Community Wellness will continue to monitor the air quality and will issue updates as needed throughout the alert.

For more information, please visit the NJDEP website at


For more information on the City of Newark, please visit our website

Follow us on Twitter: