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Air Quality Advisory ContinuedAir Quality Advisory Continued<div class="ExternalClassFE918D2DB7F041979AC005DD06C7CFF6"><p>Metro Vancouver Regional District is continuing an Air Quality Advisory due to high concentrations of fine particulate matter that are expected to last until there is a change in the weather. The fine particulate matter is primarily due to smoke from wildfires burning throughout BC and Washington. The advisory began on August 25 and will remain in effect until further notice. Smoke concentrations may vary widely across the region as winds, temperatures, and wildfire behavior change.<br></p><p><strong>AIR QUALITY ADVISORY (FINE PARTICULATE MATTER) IN EFFECT FOR:</strong><br></p><ul><li>Metro Vancouver – Northwest</li><li>Metro Vancouver – Southwest</li><li>Metro Vancouver – Northeast<br></li><li>Metro Vancouver – Southeast</li><li>Central Fraser Valley</li><li>Eastern Fraser Valley</li></ul><div>Metro Vancouver Regional District has added ground-level ozone to the Air Quality Advisory. High concentrations of ground-level ozone are expected today due to hot and sunny conditions combined with wildfire smoke. This advisory will remain in effect until further notice.<br></div><div><br></div><div><strong>AIR QUALITY ADVISORY (GROUND-LEVEL OZONE) IN EFFECT FOR:</strong></div><div><ul><li>Metro Vancouver – Northeast</li><li>Metro Vancouver – Southeast</li><li>Central Fraser Valley</li><li>Eastern Fraser Valley</li></ul></div><p>Postpone or reduce outdoor physical activity while fine particulate matter and ozone concentrations are high, especially if breathing feels uncomfortable. Exposure to fine particulate matter is particularly a concern for people with underlying conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including bronchitis and emphysema, and other lung diseases, heart diseases, and/or diabetes; individuals with respiratory infections; pregnant people; infants and children; older adults; and outdoor workers (e.g., construction and agricultural workers). Individuals who are socially marginalized may also be at higher risk (e.g., people who are experiencing homelessness or are underhoused).<br></p><p>As we are in the summer season with warm temperatures, it is also important to stay cool and hydrated. Indoor spaces with air filtration and air conditioning can offer relief from both air pollution and heat. Consider running a portable HEPA air cleaner in one or more rooms or spending time in public buildings with large indoor spaces and air conditioning (e.g., community centre, library, mall). Consider using a portable air conditioner to keep your indoor space comfortable (if you do not have central air conditioning). Overheating is more dangerous for most people at risk, and both cool and clean air are important.<br></p><p>If you are experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing, seek prompt medical attention. Check in on family, friends and neighbours often. Call 9-1-1 in the case of an emergency.<br></p><p>​Information about real-time air quality readings for Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley communities and potential health impacts can be found at <a href="https://gis.metrovancouver.org/maps/Air">airmap.ca</a> and <a href="https://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/bcairquality/readings/find-stations-map.html">env.gov.bc.ca/epd/bcairquality/readings/find-stations-map.html</a>.<br></p><p>To sign up for air quality alerts in your area, go to: <a href="/services/air-quality-climate-action/mailing-list">https://metrovancouver.org/services/air-quality-climate-action/mailing-list</a><br></p><p><strong>BACKGROUND</strong><br></p><p>Ground-level ozone is not emitted directly into the air. It is formed when nitrogen oxides (pollutants emitted when fuels are burned) and volatile organic compounds (emitted from solvents and other sources) react in the air in the presence of sunlight. The highest levels of ground-level ozone are generally observed between mid-afternoon and early evening on summer days. A brief video explaining how ground-level ozone is formed can be found at <a href="https://player.vimeo.com/video/218925373">player.vimeo.com/video/218925373</a>.​</p><p>Fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5, refers to airborne solid or liquid droplets with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres or less. PM2.5 can easily penetrate indoors because of its small size. PM2.5 concentrations tend to be highest around busy roads, industrial operations and major ports, as well as areas with residential wood burning.<br></p><p><strong>Tips to Reduce Your Personal Health Risk:</strong><br></p><div><ul><li>Stay cool and drink plenty of water.</li><li>Take it easy and limit outdoor exercise.</li><li>Use symptom management medications, such as inhalers, if needed.<br></li><li>Continue to manage acute infections such as COVID-19, or pre-existing chronic medical conditions such as as asthma,</li><li>COPD or other lung disease, heart disease, and/or diabetes. If symptoms continue to be bothersome, seek medical</li><li>attention.</li><li>Maintaining good overall health is a good way to prevent health effects resulting from short-term exposure to air</li><li>pollution.</li><li>Most masks worn to reduce transmission of COVID-19 provide limited protection from fine particulate matter and</li><li>ground-level ozone, though a tightly-fitted, multi-layer mask can help to reduce exposure to fine particulate matter.​</li></ul></div><p><em>​And especially for persons with chronic underlying medical conditions:</em></p><ul><li>Stay in a cool, air-conditioned environment, especially during the afternoon and early evening when ozone levels are highest.<br></li><li>Reduce indoor sources of pollution such as smoking and vacuuming, and run an air cleaner. Some <a href="http://www.bccdc.ca/resource-gallery/Documents/Guidelines%20and%20Forms/Guidelines%20and%20Manuals/Health-Environment/BCCDC_WildFire_FactSheet_PortableAirCleaners.pdf">portable air cleaners</a>, such as those with HEPA filters, can help reduce fine particulate levels indoors provided they are the right size for the room(s) in which they are being used and the filters are replaced regularly.</li><li>Consider spending time in air-conditioned buildings which have large indoor volumes and limited entry of outdoor air (e.g., community centre, library, mall).</li></ul><p><strong>​Voluntary Emission Reduction Actions:</strong></p><p>Reducing sources of fine particulate matter throughout Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley will help prevent air quality from degrading further. Actions people can take include:</p><ul><li>Minimize the use of diesel-powered equipment.</li><li>Follow local regulations for recreational fires, and avoid lighting a fire where possible.</li></ul><p><strong>Additional Information:</strong><br></p><ul><li>Fine particulate matter is emitted from transportation sources, non-road engines, heating, and burning.</li><li>Fine particulate matter levels are compared to medium-term (24-hour) objectives.</li><li>Fact sheets on the health effects of wildfire smoke and information on how to reduce exposures, such as using air filtration, can be found at <a href="http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/prevention-public-health/wildfire-smoke">bccdc.ca/health-info/prevention-public-health/wildfire-smoke</a><br></li><li><div>Nitrogen oxides are emitted from fuel combustion including transportation, boilers and building heating.​<br></div></li><li><div>Volatile organic compounds commonly arise from burning fossil fuels, solvent evaporation (including paint, varnishes</div><div>and thinners), fuel refining and storage, fuel refilling and agricultural activities, as well as natural sources such as</div><div>vegetation.</div></li><li>Ozone levels are compared to short-term (one-hour) and medium-term (eight-hour) objectives. The short-term<div>objective measures the peak/highest concentration and the medium-term objective represents the average over the</div><div>period of the day when levels are generally elevated.​​</div></li><li>To help reduce air emissions throughout the Lower Mainland, Metro Vancouver works cooperatively with Fraser Valley Regional District, BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and other agencies to develop and implement emission-reduction programs for businesses and local residents, and to monitor and report out on air quality. Further information about air quality programs in the region can be found on Metro Vancouver's website at <a href="/">metrovancouver.org</a>.</li></ul></div>8/27/2023 7:00:00 AMhttps://metrovancouver.org/media-room/MediaReleases/230827%20–%20Advisory%20–%20Continued.pdf, https://metrovancouver.org/media-room/MediaReleases/230827%20%E2%80%93%20Advisory%20%E2%80%93%20Continued.pdfNiki Reitmayermedia@metrovancouver.org6043185073

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