The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, with the Interior Health Authority, has continued the Dust Advisory that was issued on Monday, March 18 for Vernon.
High concentrations of coarse particulates are expected to persist until there is a change in current weather conditions or reduction in dust emissions.
Persons with chronic underlying medical conditions should postpone strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted. Staying indoors and in air-conditioned spaces helps to reduce particulate exposure. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease.
To reduce personal risk, authorities advise people to avoid roads with heavy vehicle traffic, continue to control medical conditions such as asthma, chronic respiratory disease and heart failure (if symptoms continue to be bothersome, seek medical attention). Maintaining good overall health is a good way to reduce health risks resulting from short-term exposure to air pollution.
Additional tips for persons with chronic underlying medical conditions
- Stay indoors, keep windows and doors closed and reduce indoor sources of pollution such as smoking, vacuuming and use of wood stoves.
- Run an air cleaner. Some room air cleaners – such as HEPA filters – can help reduce indoor particulate levels, provided they are the right size for your home and filters are changed regularly.
- Take shelter in air-conditioned buildings that have large indoor volumes and limited entry of outdoor air.
The current advisory has been triggered by high concentrations of dust, measured as “PM10” – particles with diameter up to 10 millionth of a metre. PM10 concentrations currently remain above advisory levels. Latest measurements at the Vernon Science Centre indicate an hourly average of 172 micrograms per cubic metre. The average for the past 24 hours is 100 micrograms per cubic metre, which exceeds the provincial air quality objective of 50 micrograms per cubic metre.
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