Albertans are being advised to take precautions against potential health risks associated with deteriorating air quality across the province, caused by drifting smoke from forest fires in British Columbia.
“I strongly advise people with asthma, bronchitis or emphysema to remain indoors, keep their windows closed and take any preventative measures their physicians have previously recommended,” said Dr. André Corriveau, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. “Healthy people should also avoid strenuous physical activity outdoors while the local air quality is bad. Anyone who experiences difficulty breathing should consult their physician.”
Smoke and fine particulate matter in the air can be absorbed deep into an individual’s lungs where it can aggravate existing health conditions. People with respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, or cardiovascular conditions such as angina, previous heart attack and congestive heart failure may be most affected.
Smoke is expected to affect air quality in Alberta at least until Sunday, according to Bluesky, a smoke forecasting system used by Alberta and British Columbia. The smoke tracking system can be viewed online at www.bcairquality.com/bluesky.
In co-operation with Alberta Environment, Alberta Health and Wellness and Alberta Health Services will continue to monitor the air quality throughout the province. Current air quality and the Air Quality Index (AQI) can be accessed at Alberta Environment’s website at www.environment.alberta.ca/index.html, by clicking on Current Air Quality (Quick Links) or by calling 1-877-247-7333.
Residents can contact Health Link Alberta to speak to a registered nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week, toll-free at 1-866-408-LINK (5465).