Air Quality Advisory Issued

July 26, 2022

An Air Quality Advisory has been issued for the Fraser Valley because of high concentrations of ground-level ozone that are expected to persist through the week. Hot and sunny weather is forecasted to continue through to the weekend.

A plume of wildfire smoke from the Nohomin Creek fire (near Lytton, BC) is currently contributing to hazy conditions over the region but there has been no significant impact on measured fine particulate matter concentrations at ground level.

How Can Poor Air Quality Affect You

Anyone experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing should seek prompt medical attention. In the case of an emergency, call 911.

Exposure is particularly a concern for:

  • people with underlying conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including bronchitis and emphysema, as well as asthma, and/or diabetes
  • people with respiratory infections
  • pregnant women and infants
  • children
  • older adults
  • outdoor workers (e.g. construction and agricultural workers)
  • people who are socially marginalized may also be at elevated risk (e.g. people who are experiencing homelessness or are under housed).

Avoid strenuous outdoor activities during mid-afternoon to early evening, when ozone levels are highest, especially if breathing feels uncomfortable. Choose easier outdoor activities, such as walking instead of running, where you don’t have to breathe as hard.

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. Consider using a portable air conditioner to keep your indoor space comfortable if you do not have central air conditioning.

What is Ground-level Ozone?

Ground-level ozone is formed when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds 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. Ground-level ozone is bad for human health and is the main ingredient in smog.

Read the Metro Vancouver Air Quality Advisory.

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