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Dusty roads lead to air quality warning in Vernon

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
February 03, 2020 - 11:00 AM

Vernon residents are dealing with some dusty road conditions today, prompting the Ministry of Environment and Interior Health to issue an advisory.

High concentrations of coarse particulate matter, particularly around roads and industrial operations, today, Feb. 3, are expected to persist until there is precipitation or dust suppression and the road dust advisory will remain in place until then.

"People with chronic underlying medical conditions should postpone strenuous exercise near busy roads until the advisory is lifted," Graham Veale, Air Quality Meteorologist, said in a release.

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

Road dust is emitted into the air when traffic volumes are high and winter traction material is present on dry road surfaces. It is measured as PM10 and the provincial air quality objective for PM10 is 50 micrograms per cubic metre averaged over 24 hours.

To understand how Vernon is stacking up against other areas, the health authority reported that as of Feb. 3 at 8 a.m., Vernon's PM10  number was 74.5 and Kelowna was 18.8.

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