An air quality advisory is in effect for Elkford, warning of elevated pollution levels that could pose a risk to health.
A special air quality statement was issued by Environment Canada on Tuesday (Nov. 8) morning for the Elk Valley, saying that “stagnant winter weather conditions are creating elevated pollution levels.”
The statement includes a report issued from Cranbrook that says the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, in collaboration with the Interior Health Authority, has issued an air quality advisory for Elkford due to high concentrations of fine particulate matter, which are expected to persist until weather conditions change.
“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,” the statement reads.
“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 statement explains fine particulate matter, PM2.5, saying that it refers to airborne solid or liquid droplets with diameters of 2.5 micrometres or less.
“PM2.5 levels tend to be highest around busy roads, industrial operations and neighbourhoods with residential wood burning. PM2.5 can easily penetrate indoors because of their small size. Sources of PM2.5 contributing to this air quality episode include emissions from wood smoke (woodstoves) as well as emissions from industry and transportation sources such as automobiles, trucks and rail traffic.”
For live air quality observations and information about health effects of air pollution, visit here.
The full statement, including other links for information, can be found at the Environment Canada website.
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