Update Wednesday, March 6: The Ministry of Environment, in collaboration with Northern Health, has now ended an Air Quality Advisory for Quesnel.
The Ministry says fine particulate levels have now returned to normal and are expected to remain low due to changing weather conditions over the next few days.
The average over a 24 hour period yesterday reached 26.8 micrograms per cubic metre, and the Provincial Ambient Air Quality Objective for PM 2.5 is 25.
That level is now at 21.7 in Quesnel and just 9.8 in Williams Lake.
Prince George, meanwhile, remains at 30.2 micrograms per cubic metre.
Original Story Tuesday, March 5: An air quality advisory is in effect for Quesnel as high concentrations of fine particulate are expected to persist until weather conditions change later Tuesday or Wednesday.
“This advisory remains in effect until further notice,” said Air Quality Meteorologist, Ralph Adams.
“Exposure to fine particulate matter is of particular concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease.”
Tips to reduce your personal health risk:
- People with heart or lung conditions may be more sensitive to the effects of poor air quality and should watch for any change in symptoms that may be due to poor air quality exposure. If any symptoms are noted, affected individuals should take steps to reduce their exposure to poor air quality. Depending on the severity of symptoms, people should go to their health care provider, walk-in clinic or emergency department.
- Residents with asthma or other chronic illness should activate their asthma or personal care plan.
- Maintaining good overall health is a good way to prevent health effects resulting from short-term exposure to air pollution.
- Use common sense regarding outdoor physical activity; if your breathing becomes difficult or uncomfortable, stop or reduce the activity.
- Avoid roads with heavy vehicle traffic and areas with wood smoke.
- Stay indoors, keep windows and doors closed and reduce indoor sources of pollution such as smoking, vacuuming and use of wood stoves.
- Run an air cleaner. Some room air cleaners, such as HEPA filters, can help reduce indoor concentrations of fine particulate matter provided the filters are the right size for your home and are kept clean.
- Buildings which have large indoor volumes of filtered outside air may provide temporary relief for those with respiratory and cardiac issues.
Real-time air quality observations and information regarding the health effects of air pollution can be found at www.bcairquality.ca.
The Provincial Ambient Air Quality Objective for fine particulate matter is 25 micrograms per cubic metre, averaged over 24 hours. Concentrations were 30 as of Tuesday at 1 pm in Quesnel.