An air quality statement has been issued for much of Alberta as smoke from wildfires burning on the west coast has made its way across the province.
Environment Canada issued the warning Thursday morning.
“Wildfire smoke is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility,” the statement read.
The air quality health index showed numbers as high as eight for the areas under the warning Thursday morning. The forecast maximum shows the air quality is expected to improve by Friday night.
“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,” Alberta Health Services says on its air quality page.
AHS has a number of suggestions to deal with poor air quality due to smoke, including:
- Close all outside windows and doors
- Turn furnace thermostats and furnace fans to the minimum setting, but do not extinguish pilot light
- Keep the fresh-air intake on air conditioning units closed and the filter clean
- Avoid running “whole-house fans” or “fresh air ventilation systems” that bring smoky air inside
- Close all floor registers
- Close fire place dampers on wood-burning fireplaces
- Do not use wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves or other smoke-producing appliances or features, including candles
- Keep car windows and vents closed when driving and run fans on re-circulate mode
- Do not smoke tobacco
How poor air quality impacts your health
People with respiratory conditions and those with existing cardiovascular conditions may notice a worsening of symptoms, AHS warned.
“These individuals should monitor for worsening of symptoms and take the precautions routinely recommended by their physicians if a worsening of symptoms occurs.”
While air quality is high, its recommended to reduce physical activity to decrease the inhalation of airborne pollutants.
Anyone experiencing symptoms due to the smoke can call Health Link at 811 to speak with a registered nurse.
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