Continued Air Quality Advisory

August 15, 2018

The Air Quality Advisory continues for the Fraser Valley due to high concentrations of fine particulate matter from wildfires burning in British Columbia and the western United States. Smoke concentrations can vary widely across the region as winds and temperatures change, and as fire behaviour changes.

Persons with chronic underlying medical conditions should postpone strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, pregnant women, the elderly and those who have asthma, 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.

Fine particulate matters, also known as PM2.5, refers to airborne solid or liquid droplets with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres or less. PM2.5 can easily penetrate indoors because of its small size.

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.

Information about real-time air quality readings can be found at the BC Government Current Air Quality Data Map.

 For information about health impacts, go to Vancouver Coastal Health or Fraser Health Authority.