WATERTOWN (WWTI) – An air quality alert has been issued for most of New York State. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and National Weather Service out of Buffalo has issued an air quality health advisory.

In the Capital Region, this includes: Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Warren, Washington, Schoharie, Fulton, Montgomery, Greene and Columbia Counties

It also affects both Jefferson and Lewis counties, as well as Monroe, Wayne, Oswego, Ontario, Livingston, Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Wyoming, Erie, Genesee, Orleans and Niagara.

According to the NWS, air quality levels in outdoor air are predicted to be greater than an air quality index value of 100 for fine participles. This index was created to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale: the higher the AQUI value, the greater the health concern.

In these situations, when pollution levels are elevated, the New York State Department of Health recommends that individuals consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of health effects.

Those who may be especially sensitive to the effects of the elevated levels of pollutants include those very young, as well as those with pre-existing respiratory problems such as asthma or heart disease.

This air quality alert will remain in effect through midnight on July 20, 2021.