Vernon air quality nearly twice as bad as Kelowna

Air quality advisory remains in effect despite clear air in neighbouring jurisdiction

Nearly double the amount of road dust in the air in Vernon compared to Kelowna has extended an air quality advisory for the area.

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in collaboration with Interior Health has continued the dust advisory issued for Vernon on March 19.

Testing from Monday, March 23 at 1 p.m. show Vernon has 53 micrograms per cubic metre averaged over 24 hours. Kelowna has 27.4. The provincial air quality objective for particulate matter is 50.

“High concentrations of coarse particulate matter are expected to persist until there is precipitation or dust suppression,” said Graham Veale, air quality meteorologist Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

Levels tend to be highest around busy roads and industrial operations. This advisory is in effect until further notice.

Persons with chronic underlying medical conditions should postpone strenuous exercise near busy roads until the advisory is lifted. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease.

Real-time air quality observations and information regarding the health effects of air pollution can be found at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/air.

Coarse particulate matter refers to airborne solid or liquid droplets with diameters between 2.5 and 10 micrometers (μm). Together with fine particulate matter (airborne solid or liquid droplets with diameters of 2.5 μm or less), these particles are referred to as PM10. Sources of PM10 contributing to this air quality episode include road dust from the emission of winter traction material along busy and dry road surfaces. PM10 can easily penetrate indoors because of their small size.

Tips to reduce your personal health risk:

• Avoid roads with heavy vehicle traffic.

• Continue to manage medical conditions such as asthma, chronic respiratory disease and heart failure. If symptoms continue to be bothersome, seek medical attention.

• Use common sense regarding outdoor physical activity; if your breathing becomes difficult or uncomfortable, stop or reduce the activity.

• People with heart or lung conditions may be more sensitive to the effects of poor air quality and should watch for any change in symptoms that may be due to poor air quality exposure. Continue to control medical conditions such as asthma, hay fever, and chronic respiratory disease. If symptoms continue to be bothersome, seek medical attention.

• Keep windows and doors closed, and reduce indoor sources of pollution such as smoking and vacuuming.

• Run an air cleaner. Some room air cleaners, such as HEPA filters, can help reduce indoor concentrations of particulate matter provided the filters are the right size for your home and are kept clean.

• Buildings which have large indoor volumes of filtered outside air may provide temporary relief for those with respiratory and cardiac issues.

• Maintaining good overall health is a good way to reduce health risks resulting from short- term exposure to air pollution.

This air quality episode is caused by high levels of road dust, measured as PM10. Road dust is emitted into the air when traffic volumes are high and winter traction material is present on dry road surfaces.

READ MORE: Dust advisory in effect for Vernon

READ MORE: Vernon dust factor nearly five times that of Kelowna


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

WATCH: North Okanagan seniors stay fit in self-isolation

Residents have taken to their balconies to follow along in exercise class

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Colouring book will feature images of Summerland

Project is a joint initiative of Summerland Museum and Summerland Community Arts Council

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

Large item collection events cancelled in Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

Concerns about spread of COVID-19 led to decision to cancel collection events

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Visitor to Kamloops army club tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The individual visited Anavets 290 Army and Navy Club between March 13 and March 17

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

COVID-19: Staying home in Shuswap is difficult when you don’t have one

As the snow flies, people without homes in Salmon Arm talk about how tough life is

Okanagan family shares story of son’s cancer recovery to encourage blood donation

Finlay Ritson’s parents can’t donate blood, but hope his story will encourage others to do so

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Vernon politician questions if response to COVID-19 worse than virus

Precautions make sense but destroying economy in process doesn’t, says Coun. Scott Anderson

‘Always look on the sunny side,’ Okanagan senior says

Heaton Place resident shares story of growing up in Roaring Twenties

92-year-old Vernon woman crochets 1,000 toques for donation

Daisy Ferguson has been working on the toque project for the past six years

Most Read