UDPATE Saturday, March 18:
The Ministry of Environment in collaboration with Northern Health has ended the Air Quality Advisory issued Friday for Quesnel due to high dust levels.
“Changing meteorological conditions have improved conditions across the region,” states air quality meteorologist, Ralph Adams.
Original Article Friday, March 17:
High concentrations of dust are expected to persist for the next 24 hours in Quesnel.
Ralph Adams is a air quality meteorologist with the BC Ministry of Environment. He says that an air quality advisory is in effect.
“These particles usually come at this time of year from road traction material. So lots of road traction material is being put down over the winter. We have lost snow cover and ice and what’s happening now is traffic and wind is picking that dust up.”
Adams says air quality in Williams Lake is much better with 24 hr concentrations registering 9.5 micrograms per cubic meter.
He says the objective they use to determine when to issue an air quality advisory is 50 and that Quesnel has currently measured in at 103 micrograms per cubic meter.
Dust exposure is a concern for infants, the elderly, and those who have underlying medical conditions. Staying indoors with windows and doors closed helps to reduce exposure.
Real-time air quality observations and information regarding the health effects of air pollution can be found at www.bcairquality.ca.