Air quality advisory issued for Fraser Valley

High concentrations of ground-level ozone are expected to occur today (Friday) in Abbotsford and the surrounding area.

  • Aug. 17, 2012 6:00 p.m.

Metro Vancouver has issued an air quality advisory for eastern parts of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley due to high concentrations of ground-level ozone that are expected to occur today (Friday).

The public is advised to avoid strenuous outdoor activities during mid-afternoon through to early evening, when ozone levels are highest. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have underlying medical conditions such as lung or heart disease and asthma.

If you are experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, cough or wheeze, follow the advice of your health care provider and stay indoors in air conditioned spaces.

The highest concentrations are expected to occur today, but levels may remain elevated until Saturday evening. This advisory will continue until there is a change in the current conditions.

Metro Vancouver works in cooperation with Environment Canada, the Fraser Valley Regional District and B.C. Ministry of Environment to look after air quality.

Information about real-time air quality readings for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley communities and potential health impacts can be found at: www.bcairquality.ca.

About ground-level ozone:

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) react in the air in the presence of sunlight.

Tips to reduce your personal health risk:

  • Stay cool and drink plenty of water.
  • Use symptom management medications such as inhalers if needed.
  • Continue to manage medical conditions such as asthma, chronic respiratory disease and heart failure. If symptoms continue to be bothersome, seek medical attention.
  • Maintaining good overall health is a good way to prevent health effects resulting from short-term exposure to air pollution.

And especially for persons with chronic underlying medical conditions:

  • Stay inside, especially during the afternoon when levels are at their highest, and reduce indoor pollution sources such as smoking and vacuuming.