Air Quality Advisory Ended for Central Fraser Valley
August 24, 2018
The Air Quality Advisory for fine particulate matter has ended for the Central Fraser Valley. This advisory has been in effect since August 13, 2018. Changing weather conditions starting yesterday pushed cooler marine air into the region, reducing fine particulate matter to levels below our air quality objective.
The Air Quality Advisory continues for the Eastern Fraser Valley including Agassiz and Hope because of high concentrations of fine particulate matter due to smoke from the Mount Hicks fire near Agassiz and wildfires burning in elsewhere in British Columbia. Elevated levels of fine particulate matter in the Eastern Fraser Valley are expected to persist until there is further change in weather or fire conditions.
We continue to monitor wildfire activity and smoke production from the numerous wildfires burning throughout the BC Interior, Vancouver Island and Washington State. While these fires continue to burn, changing weather conditions have the potential to bring wildfire smoke into the region again.
Fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5, refers to airborne solid or liquid droplets with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres (µm) or less. PM2.5 can easily penetrate indoors because of its small size.
Persons with chronic underlying medical conditions should postpone strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease. 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.
Information about real-time air quality readings can be found at www.airmap.ca and http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/bcairquality/readings/find-stations-map.html. For information about health impacts, go to http://www.vch.ca/public-health/environmental-health-inspections/healthy-built-environment/air-quality/outdoor-air-quality or http://fraserhealth.ca/airquality.