Wednesday August 27, 2014

Air quality advisory issued due to high concentrations of fine particulates

People with breathing problems should consider staying indoors today as an air quality advisory is in effect.

The Ministry of Environment issued an air quality advisory Tuesday at about 5:30 p.m. due to high concentrations of fine particulates. The condition was expected to last for 24 hours.

Ralph Adams, an air quality meteorologist with the Ministry of Environment, said the most likely culprits are wood-burning stoves, vehicles including trains, and small industry.

He noted that the wind was blowing any emissions from the pulp mill toward Savona.

New instrumentation being used in Kamloops means greater accuracy, but also measurements 15 to 20 per cent higher than before, Adams said.

So the air quality advisory is not that unusual, he said, adding that this is the first time he’s issued one during the winter in five years.

Cold winter air is slower to move, he pointed out.

People with chronic underlying medical conditions are being told to postpone strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted. Staying indoors helps to reduce fine particulate exposure.

Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those  who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease.

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