Dusty conditions are ongoing.
A dust advisory continues for Vernon due to high concentrations of coarse particulate matter in the air.
Airborne particles, referred to as PM10, reached 69 micrograms per cubic metre averaged over 24 hours Friday, March 11. The Vernon reading is double that of Kelowna, at 34.5.
Friday’s reading increased from 55.5 Thursday, March 10.
The provincial air quality objective for PM10 is 50 micrograms per cubic metre. Kelowna’s was 14.2 March 10.
An advisory was issued also issued Monday, March 7 as airborne particles reached 73.6. Kelowna’s reading was 22.4 Monday.
The PM10 decreased as of Tuesday, March 8 to 51.6. As of Wednesday, March 9 the advisory was lifted with readings of 41.9.
Kelowna’s concentration also dropped considerably, to 14.1 Tuesday and 8.4 Wednesday.
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in collaboration with the Interior Health Authority issued the initial dust advisory Monday, March 7.
“High concentrations of coarse particulate matter that are expected to persist until there is precipitation, dust suppression or a change in traffic patterns,” the advisory reads.
“Levels tend to be highest around busy roads and industrial operations.”
The exposure is particularly a concern for individuals with chronic conditions such as asthma, COPD, heart disease, and diabetes; respiratory infections such as COVID-19, pregnant women, infants, and older adults. Persons with chronic underlying medical conditions or acute infections should postpone or reduce strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted. Where appropriate, maintain physical distancing. Anyone experiencing symptoms such as continuing eye or throat irritation, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, cough or wheezing, should follow the advice of their health care provider.
Staying indoors helps to reduce particulate matter exposure.
“The current dusty conditions are caused by road traffic stirring up winter traction materials that have accumulated on roadways over the past winter,” the advisory reads.