Update at 9:42 am on Nov. 1
The air quality advisory for Vanderhoof has ended due to change in weather conditions.
The advisory was in effect on Oct. 31.
As per an Oct. 31 news release, the advisory was in effect due to high concentrations of particulate matter. The advisory was released by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy along with Northern Health.
Persons with chronic underlying medical conditions should postpone strenuous exercise when there is an air quality advisory
“Staying indoors and in air conditioned spaces helps to reduce fine particulate exposure. Exposure is particularly of concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes or lung disease,” stated the release.
Fine particulate matter, PM2.5, refers to airborne solid or liquid droplets with diameters of 2.5 micrometers (µm) or less.
PM2.5 tends to be highest around busy roads, industrial operations and neighbourhoods with residential wood burning, stated the release.
This particulate matter can penetrate indoors because of their small size.
Sources of PM2.5 contributing to this air quality episode include emissions from residential wood smoke as well as emissions from industry and transportation sources such as automobiles, trucks and rail traffic
As per the province’s air quality objective for particulate matter, it is set at 25 micrograms per cubic metre averaged over 24 hours.
As of 1 pm on Oct. 31, Vanderhoof’s air quality was already at 25.7 micrograms per cubic metre.
Other communities along Highway 16 had the following PM2.5 concentrations as of 1 pm —Prince George: 13.3; Burns Lake: 17.7; Houston: 26.6; Smithers: 16.8.
Real-time air quality observations and information regarding the health effects of air pollution can be found at www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/ air.