Air Quality Improving In Central Alberta, But Still An Issue In The North

  • Jul. 31, 2014 11:00 a.m.

Pipestone Flyer

ALBERTA HEALTH SERVICES

Air quality conditions in the Central and Edmonton Zones of Alberta Health Services (AHS) have improved to such an extent as to no longer pose a sustained increased risk of health concerns amongst residents and visitors. As such, the precautionary Air Quality Advisory issued for these two Zones on July 10, is lifted, effective immediately.

Because smoke from forest fires continues to impact air quality across northern Alberta, this precautionary Air Quality Advisory has not been lifted for the North Zone of AHS. The advisory remains in effect for the entire North Zone.

Residents of, and visitors to, the North Zone are advised to remain aware of and take precautions against potential health concerns that can be associated with smoky air conditions.

Although minor smoke conditions do not typically cause health concerns in healthy individuals, if smoke conditions become more severe, even healthy individuals may experience temporary irritation of eyes and throat, and possibly shortness of breath.

If you can taste and/or smell smoke in the air:

• monitor your symptoms;

• minimize physical activity outdoors;

• consider remaining indoors with windows, doors and outdoor air circulation fans/vents closed.

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 the smoky air conditions. These individuals should monitor for worsening of symptoms and take the precautions routinely recommended by their physicians if a worsening of symptoms does occur.

Individuals experiencing symptoms can also call Health Link Alberta 24 hours a day, seven days a week, toll-free at 1.866.408.LINK (5465), to speak to a registered nurse.

Air quality varies with weather conditions and prevailing winds. Because air quality is expected to remain variable across the North Zone, this advisory will remain in effect for the North Zone, until further notice.

Information about the air quality in Alberta is updated frequently through Alberta’s Air Quality Health Index at http://airquality.alberta.ca. Air quality information is also available by phone, toll-free, at 1-877-247-7333.