Air quality around the Okanagan, like much of the province, continues to be at a high health risk.
The north, central and south Okanagan are all listed at a nine on the Air Quality Health Index, a scale that shows the health risk associated with the air pollution we breathe.
Anything between seven and 10 warns to reduce or reschedule strenuous activities outdoors. Children and the elderly should also take it easy. For the general population, they should also consider rescheduling strenuous activities outdoors if they experience symptoms such as coughing and throat irritation.
The index forecast that all areas in the Okanagan will move to an eight on the scale tonight and it is expected to be at a seven on Thursday.
People with pre-existing health conditions, the elderly, infants, children and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects from smoke exposure.
Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place that’s cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isn’t air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.
For general information about wildfire smoke and your health, contact HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 (toll-free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
Be air aware. Check your local weather forecasts and alerts so you know when to take extra care.
For more information on current air quality, see www.bcairquality.ca.
Visit www.airhealth.ca for information on how to reduce your health risk and your personal contribution to pollution levels, as well as for current and forecast AQHI values.
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