Air quality dangerous for some

Wildfire smoke forces Maple Ridge woman to wear respirator

Air quality dangerous for some

For most, the poor air quality from Interior forest fires means we can’t see the mountains, and the normally high summertime temperatures are brought down to a fall level.

But for some, like Maple Ridge resident Kim Eriksson, the air quality can be life threatening. With severe, chronic asthma, the AQI warning means she can’t take any chances with her health, and she has been wearing a respirator all too frequently this summer, as she explains in her video.

Metro Vancouver is continuing an air quality advisory for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley because of high concentrations of fine particulate matter that are expected to persist until there is a change in the weather. Air quality continues to be affected by the current weather pattern over the Pacific Northwest, which has caused smoke to be transported into our region from wildfires burning in Washington State and the Interior of B.C.

Smoke concentrations may vary widely across the region as winds and temperatures change, and as wildfire behaviour changes.

Persons with chronic underlying medical conditions should postpone strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted, according to the advisory.

Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease. If you are experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing, follow the advice of your healthcare provider. As we are in the summer season with warm temperatures, it is also important to stay cool and hydrated. Indoor spaces with air conditioning may offer relief from both heat and air pollution.

This advisory is expected to continue until there is a change in the current weather.

Metro Vancouver works in cooperation with Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Fraser Valley Regional District and B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy to look after air quality.

Information about real-time air quality readings for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley communities and potential health impacts can be found at www.airmap.ca and www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/air.