Earlier this morning, Environment Canada issued several air quality warnings for parts of BC. The advisory is warning locals to be careful when going outside due to the current air conditions. If you’re having troubles breathing, or if your allergies are acting up, you’re not alone and this is why. 

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On the morning of March 28th, 2019, Environment Canada issued two air quality warnings for parts of BC. These air quality advisories have to do with a large amount of dust in the air. Air quality advisories during this time of year aren’t uncommon due to the melting of snow and change of season, however, you should still take the proper precautions to ensure you stay healthy. 

The air quality advisories were issued by Environment Canada for the Okanagan Valley, North Peace River, and Bulkley Valley and The Lakes. According to the Bulkley Valley statement, this advisory will affect The Lakes and the Smithers region. According to the statement, this advisory stems from a large amount of road dust. These high levels of road dust are expected to persist until there is rain or until the dust finally settles. 

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The advisory in the Okanagan Valley region will impact North Okanagan including Vernon and the advisory in North Peace River will impact Fort St. John. Much like the other advisory, there are due to a large amount of dust in the air. 

According to the Air Quality Index posted by the BC government, the air in the North Okanagan and the Smithers region is sitting at a moderate risk to overall health. Both these locations are expected to have a moderate risk for the rest of today and into tomorrow, whereas Fort St. Joh is sitting at a low risk. 

Via Screen Grab BC Government

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Levels of dust in both the advisory regions are expected to be highest around busy roads and industrial operations. According to Environment Canada, this air quality statement will remain in effect until further notice. 

Anyone who may have a chronic underlying medical contain is being asked to postpone any strenuous exercise until the advisory is finished. Environment Canada has stated that people should stay indoors and in an air-conditioned space in order to help to reduce any dust exposure. Advisories such as this are most concerning for infants, the elderly, as well as those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease. 

If you find yourself experiencing symptoms including eye or throat irritation, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, or coughing, you should contact a health care provider.

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To stay updated on the air quality in your region, visit the Air Quality Index on the BC government website.

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