AIR QUALITY ALERT
Ground-level ozone and forest fires the sources
ENVIRONMENT CANADA, CLIMATE CHANGE CANADA—VOICE FILE PHOTO
nvironment Canada and Climate Change Canada issued the following alert Saturday evening:
Metro Vancouver is now issuing an Air Quality Advisory for eastern parts of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley because of high concentrations of ground-level ozone that are expected to persist for a few days.
This advisory is for ground-level ozone, however there is a noticeable haze in the region which is due to a layer of wildfire smoke over the South Coast from distant wildfires burning in Eurasia and Alaska, as well as a bog fire in Richmond. Wildfire smoke concentrations are not causing particulate matter objectives to be exceeded.
Ground-level ozone is not emitted directly into the air. It is formed when nitrogen oxides (pollutants emitted when fuels are burned) and volatile organic compounds (emitted from solvents) react in the air in the presence of sunlight. The highest levels of ground-level ozone are generally observed between mid-afternoon and early evening on summer days.
Avoid strenuous outdoor activities during mid-afternoon to early evening, when ozone levels are highest. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have underlying medical conditions such as lung or heart disease and asthma. If you are experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing, follow the advice of your healthcare provider. As we are in the summer season with warm temperatures, it is also important to stay cool and hydrated. Indoor spaces with air conditioning may offer relief from both heat and air pollution.
This advisory is expected to continue until there is a change in the current weather.
Information about real-time air quality readings for Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley communities and potential health impacts can be found at airmap.ca and here.
For more information on current air quality, see: bcairquality.ca.
Visit airhealth.ca for information on how to reduce your health risk and your personal contribution to pollution levels, as well as for current and forecast AQHI values.
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