B.C. fires bring smoke into Alberta’s air

When an air quality advisory is in effect, all individuals living in or travelling within the affected area are advised to be aware of potential health concerns that can be associated with poor air quality conditions, and take the following precautions to reduce exposure and risk:

If air quality is because of smoke reduce presence of smoke in indoor environments:

Close and lock all outside windows and doors, including attached garage doors.

Turn down furnace thermostats and furnace fans to the minimum setting. Do not attempt to extinguish pilot light.

If you have an air-conditioner, keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.

Avoid running fans, such as “whole-house fans” or “fresh air ventilation systems”, that bring more smoky outdoor air inside.

Switch all floor registers to closed position.

Close fire place dampers on wood burning fireplaces.

Do not use wood burning fireplace, wood stoves or other smoke-producing appliances or features, including candles.

If you must drive to another location, keep windows and vents closed. Run car fans on re-circulate mode to avoid drawing in outdoor air.

Reduce levels of physical activity, as necessary, to decrease the inhalation of airborne pollutants.

Do not smoke tobacco – smoking puts added stress on your lungs and those around you.

Residents are reminded not to use backyard fire pits or fire boxes in parks when the air quality risk is high or very high, as it is now.

Individuals with respiratory conditions (such as COPD and asthma), and individuals with existing cardiovascular conditions (such as angina, previous heart attack and congestive heart failure), may notice a worsening of symptoms, due to the poor air quality conditions. These individuals should monitor for worsening of symptoms and take the precautions routinely recommended by their physicians if a worsening of symptoms occurs.

Children and elderly are also at higher risk of smoke-related illness.

Individuals experiencing symptoms can also call Health Link at 811 to speak to a registered nurse.

Air quality can vary with weather conditions and prevailing winds. Because air quality is expected to be variable, advisories will remain in effect until further notice.

Information about the air quality in many areas of Alberta is updated regularly on the Alberta Environment and Parks Website at www.airquality.alberta.ca.People may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease — such as asthma —are especially at risk. The province said children and the elderly should avoid outdoor physical exertion when the AQHI is very high.

Environment Canada said generally, wearing a mask is not the best way to protect your health during a smoke event and may lead to a false sense of security.

Those with breathing difficulties are advised to find an indoor place that is cool and ventilated. If your home isn’t air conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air conditioned.


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