"Hazardous Air Quality From Wildfire Smoke Takes A Toll On Outdoor Workers"

"“If we’re not outside, then we don’t make money,” said a pedicab driver in Central Park, echoing the view of many workers who pressed on despite warnings about harmful air quality".

"NEW YORK — Joel Polanzo, a security guard for an office building in Manhattan’s Columbus Circle, is used to standing outside and breathing air laden with exhaust fumes, dust and other city pollution. But nothing compares to the past couple of days.

“It’s been terrible,” Polanzo, 23, said Thursday, at his outdoor post once again, but this time wearing a mask. “It’s like being next to a barbecue and smoking all the carbon that’s coming out.”

From dog walkers to delivery drivers, from landscapers to farm laborers, many workers whose jobs require time in the outdoors have plowed on this week, even as smoke from wildfires raging in Canada has created abysmal air quality up and down the East Coast. Their predicament reveals how outdoor laborers, more than any other segment of the workforce, remain vulnerable when it comes to climate change."

Pranshu Verma, Hamza Shaban, Brady Dennis, Jaclyn Peiser, and Aaron Gregg report for the Washington Post June 8, 2023.

Source: Washington Post, 06/12/2023