Tuesday December 7, 2010


Something In The Air Tonight

Smog count down but breathing problems are up

Submitted by Myrtle Macdonald, RN


have been studying airhealthbc.ca and find this web site seems to assume that upper Fraser Valley has good air quality. That troubles me. I live in Chilliwack.


Your focus on air quality in Western Fraser Valley is very wrong. Sea breezes blow the fumes and smoke from Metro Vancouver and Bellingham up the valley, due to the funneling of the mountains. In one of your articles I noticed that some fine particulates travel over 100 miles.

A what about Hope? A couple of years ago air inversion in the winter was very serious.

A professor of environmental studies from Trinity Western University, who owns a farm nearby, in Washington State said that there is much natural asbestos polluting the air. It comes off the gravel that collects after spring floods every year. It dries and is blown in the wind.

Why do the AQI and even the newer AQHI not break down their reports to tabulate and report all the air pollutants individually? A generalized figure seems a cover up. It gives false security to officials who are trying to improve air quality. There does not even seem to be a centre to evaluate air quality scientifically in Chilliwack. Please read the attached article to get a better understanding at the individual pollutants. Chilliwack is high in some and low in others. Even the Fraser Valley Regional District and the Chilliwack City Hall seem to have lost momentum in their motivation. Metro Vancouver has pristine air and never was motivated to care about the Upper Fraser Valley.

I'll admit the smog has been less brown the past two summers, but the amount of respiratory disease is definitely rising. Nearly everyone has chronic coryza, rhinitis, post nasal drip and irritated eyes. Many people have blocked Eustachian tubes (from throat to middle ear) and even an increased incidence of deafness and dizziness. Bronchitis, Laryngitis, Asthma, COPD and pneumonia are very common. Heart Failure and stokes are often aggravated or precipitated by poor air quality.

It is well known that fine particulates and gases are very injurious to lung tissue, and that they enter into the tiniest alveoli.

I am a retired nurse with an MSc Applied in Nursing Education and Research, from McGill University. I am however not in touch with local Epidemiologists, if there are any. Nor am I in touch with EENT specialists, of there are any. I hope you are in touch with those who are familiar with relevant data. I have no access to actual statistics, but I move about freely with a wide circle of professional people and observe well.

I am a member of a Ecologic-BC, an umbrella environmental advocacy group.

I await information and opportunities for cooperation.


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