Lavington air quality update: Environment Canada gives all clear

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO

UPDATE: 11:17 a.m. Jan. 7, 2017

Environment Canada has ended a special air quality statement for the North Okanagan. A release says elevated pollution levels are no longer expected or have moved out of the area. No other information from other agencies have been received.

UPDATE: 8:48 a.m. Jan. 6, 2017

LAVINGTON - An air quality advisory has been issued in Lavington due to high concentrations of particulate matter.

In a media release, officials say sources of the poor air quality include wood smoke, emissions from industry and transportation.

The advisory was issued by the Ministry of Environment and Interior Health Thursday afternoon after the average particulate matter measured at the Lavington Baptist Church hit 27 micrograms per cubic meter. That exceeds the provincial air quality objective of 25 micrograms per cubic meter.

The high concentrations are expected to last until there is a change in weather conditions.

People with chronic underlying medical conditions should postpone strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease, according to the media release. Staying indoors and in air-conditioned spaces helps reduce exposure.

If symptoms continue to be bothersome, seek medical attention. Read more about health risks here. 

According to environment officials, there are several ways people can help reduce emissions. They include avoiding use of wood stoves and fireplaces, and using well-cured wood and approved wood-burning appliances when that is the only source of heat. Other reduction actions include following backyard burning bylaws and reducing the use and idling of vehicles.

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