Air Quality Advisory - Updated
September 10, 2020
The fine particulate matter advisory that has been in effect since September 8 for the Fraser Valley Regional District and Metro Vancouver due to wildfire smoke from outside the region is continuing, but the ground-level ozone advisory has now been cancelled. While air quality is good this morning, wildfire smoke from fires in Washington and Oregon are expected to intermittently impact the region throughout today and tomorrow.
Smoke concentrations may vary widely across the region as winds and temperatures change, and as wildfire behaviour changes.
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 or acute infections such as COVID-19 should postpone or reduce outdoor physical activity until the advisory is lifted, especially if breathing feels uncomfortable. Exposure to PM2.5 is particularly a concern for people with underlying conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and/or diabetes, individuals with respiratory infections such as COVID-19, pregnant women and infants, children, and older adults. Individuals who are socially marginalized may also be at elevated risk.
As we are in the summer season with warm temperatures, it is also important to stay cool and hydrated. Indoor spaces with HEPA air cleaner filtration and air conditioning may offer relief from both heat and air pollution, but physical distancing guidelines for COVID-19 should still be observed. If you are experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing, seek prompt medical attention. Call 9-1-1 in the case of an emergency.
Information about real-time air quality readings for Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver communities and potential health impacts can be found at www.airmap.ca and http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/bcairquality/readings/find-stations-map.html.