Current News

Special Air Quality statement - Aug 1/17

Posted: 262 days ago

9:55 AM PDT Tuesday 01 August 2017
Special air quality statement in effect for:

  • Sunshine Coast - Gibsons to Earls Cove
  • Sunshine Coast - Saltery Bay to Powell River

Smoke is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility.

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, in collaboration with Vancouver Coastal Health, has issued a Smoky Skies Bulletin for communities in the Whistler, Sunshine Coast, and Howe Sound regions due to wildfire smoke in the area. The current weather pattern over the BC coast is causing outflow winds to carry smoke from wildfires burning in the BC Interior towards the coast. Smoke concentrations will vary widely as winds, fire behaviour and temperatures change.

Consider avoiding strenuous outdoor activities. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact your health care provider: difficulty in breathing, chest pain or discomfort, and sudden onset of cough or irritation of airways. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, and lung or heart disease.

This Bulletin will remain in effect until further notice.
Real-time air quality observations and information regarding the health effects of air pollution can be found at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/air

Individuals 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.

People with lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD, can be particularly sensitive to air pollution. They will generally experience more serious health effects at lower levels. Pollution can aggravate their diseases, leading to increased medication use, doctor and emergency room visits, and hospital visits.

Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place that's cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isn't air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.

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.