Air Quality Advisory Issued

May 15, 2023

An Air Quality Advisory has been issued for Central Fraser Valley and Eastern Fraser Valley because of high concentrations of ground-level ozone that are expected to persist until cooler temperatures are experienced. This advisory will remain in effect until further notice. A plume of wildfire smoke from the Davis Lake fire (near Mission, BC) has also contributed to hazy conditions in the northeast part of the region, however fine particulate matter concentrations remain well below air quality advisory levels.

Advisory Area

Central Fraser Valley: Abbotsford, Mission, Hatzic Island, and Nicomen Island.

Eastern Fraser Valley: Chilliwack, Cultus, Hope, Deroche, Lake Errock, Harrison Mills, Chilliwack Lake, Popkum, Kent, Harrison, Laidlaw, and Seabird Island.

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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