Monday, August 31, 2015

Updated air quality statement

Environment Canada
4:07 AM MDT Monday 31 August 2015

  • Special air quality statement in effect for Crowsnest Pass, Pincher Creek, Waterton Lakes National Park
  • Poor air quality over parts of Southern Alberta may return over the next few days.

Air quality conditions over Alberta are currently in the low to moderate risk category. However, the forest fires in the Northwestern United States continue to produce large amounts of smoke and the atmospheric flow pattern remains similar to last week so it is possible that elevated air quality health index values could return over the next few days to parts of the province, particularly over areas from Calgary and south.

Individuals living in or travelling in this area are advised to be aware of potential health concerns that can be associated with poor air conditions. In the these conditions, even healthy individuals may experience temporary irritation of eyes and throat, and possibly shortness of breath.

To reduce exposure to poor air conditions, all individuals can: reduce presence of smoke in indoor environments: close and lock all outside windows and doors, including attached garage doors.

Turn down furnace thermostats and furnace fans to the minimum setting. Do not attempt to extinguish pilot light.

If you have an air-conditioner, keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.

Avoid running fans, such as "whole-house fans" or "fresh air ventilation systems", that bring more smoky outdoor air inside.

Switch all floor registers to closed position.

Close fire place dampers on wood burning fireplaces.

Do not use wood burning fireplace, wood stoves or other smoke-producing appliances or features, including candles.

If you must drive to another location, keep windows and vents closed.

Run car fans on re-circulate mode to avoid drawing in outdoor air.

Reduce levels of physical activity, as necessary, to decrease the inhalation of airborne pollutants.

Do not smoke tobacco - smoking puts added stress on your lungs and those around you.

Residents are reminded not to use backyard fire pits or fire boxes in parks when the air quality risk is high or very high.

Individuals with respiratory conditions (such as copd and asthma), and individuals with existing cardiovascular conditions (such as angina, previous heart attack and congestive heart failure), may notice a worsening of symptoms, due to poor air conditions.

These individuals should monitor for worsening of symptoms and take the precautions routinely recommended by their physicians if a worsening of symptoms occurs.

Children and elderly are also at higher risk of smoke-related illness.

Individuals experiencing symptoms can also call health link at 811 to speak to a registered nurse.

Air quality can vary with weather conditions and prevailing winds. Because air quality is expected to be variable, this advisory will remain in effect until further notice.

Issued by Environment Canada, Alberta environment and sustainable resource development and Alberta health

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