File photo. Jennifer Smith/Morning Star

Update: Air quality advisory lifted

Weather conditions improve air quality for Vernon and area

UPDATE: JAN. 5

Vernon residents can breath a little easier.

The air quality advisory issued Thursday has been lifted, effective noon Friday.

“Changing weather conditions are expected to further improve air quality over the next few days,” said Tarek Ayache, air quality meteorologist with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

The advisory was initiated in collaboration with the Interior Health Authority.

…………………………….

UPDATE: Jan. 5

Stagnant winter weather conditions continue Friday, creating elevated pollution levels.

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, in collaboration with the Interior Health Authority, has issued an Air Quality Advisory for the Grand Forks and Vernon areas due to high concentrations of fine particulates, which are expected to persist until there is a change in current weather conditions.

Persons with chronic underlying medical conditions should postpone strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted. Staying indoors and in air-conditioned spaces helps to reduce fine-particulate exposure. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease.

More information on current air quality can be found here.

For more information on current air quality, see: www.bcairquality.ca.

Visit www.airhealth.ca for information on how to reduce your health risk and your personal contribution to pollution levels, as well as for current and forecast AQHI values.

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ORIGINAL: Jan. 4

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, in collaboration with the Interior Health Authority, has issued an air quality advisory for Vernon due to high concentrations of fine particulates, which are expected to persist until there is a change in current weather conditions.

Persons with chronic underlying medical conditions should postpone strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted. Staying indoors and in air-conditioned spaces helps to reduce fine-particulate exposure. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease.

More information on current air quality can be found at:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/air.

Tips to reduce your personal health risk

• Avoid roads with heavy vehicle traffic and areas with wood smoke.

• Continue to control medical conditions such as asthma, chronic respiratory disease and heart failure. If symptoms continue to be bothersome, seek medical attention.

• Maintaining good overall health is a good way to reduce health risks resulting from short-term exposure to air pollution.

Additional tips for persons with chronic underlying medical conditions

• 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 particulate levels, provided they are the right size for your home and filters are changed regularly.

• Take shelter in air-conditioned buildings that have large indoor volumes and limited entry of outdoor air.

Voluntary emission reduction actions

• Avoid the use of wood stoves and fireplaces unless the sole source of residential heat.

• Where wood stoves or fireplaces are the sole source of residential heat, use only CSA/EPA emissions approved wood-burning appliances and well-cured wood, and ensure an adequate supply of combustion air.

• Follow local backyard burning bylaws.

• Avoid backyard burning where a bylaw does not exist.

• Reduce the use and idling of vehicles.

Additional information

• Fine particulate (PM2.5) concentrations are currently above advisory levels. Latest PM2.5 measurements at the Vernon Science Centre station indicate an hourly average of 37.2 micrograms per cubic metre. The average for the past 24 hours is 26.5 micrograms per cubic metre, which exceeds the provincial air quality objective of 25 micrograms per cubic metre.

• Sources of fine particulates contributing to this air quality episode include wood smoke (wood stoves and/or open burning), emissions from industry as well as transportation (such as automobiles, trucks and rail traffic).

• Real-time air quality information from Vernon and other B.C. communities can be found at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/air.

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