Air quality advisory continues in Metro Vancouver for sixth straight day

Sep 13 2020, 9:20 am

An air quality advisory issued for Metro Vancouver is now going on its sixth straight day.

According to Environment Canada, the “special air quality statement” is in effect for:

  • Metro Vancouver – NE
  • Metro Vancouver – NW
  • Metro Vancouver – SE
  • Metro Vancouver – SW

The weather agency says that “wildfire smoke from fires in Washington and Oregon has moved northward into the region and is forecast to impact air quality through the weekend as a large mass of smoke moves through.”

The advisory has been in effect since September 8 for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Regional District.

The dense smoke is forecast to begin clearing late Sunday evening and into Monday.

On Saturday, Vancouver temporarily had the worst air quality in the world, when compared to major cities.

Fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5, refers to airborne solid or liquid droplets with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres (µm) or less. PM2.5 can easily penetrate indoors because of its small size.

Ground-level ozone is not emitted directly into the air, but rather it is formed when nitrogen oxides (pollutants emitted when fuels are burned) and volatile organic compounds (emitted from solvents) react in the air in the presence of sunlight.

“Smoke is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility. Smoke is expected or occurring,” noted Environment Canada.

In the meantime, anyone with chronic underlying medical conditions or acute infections such as COVID-19 is advised to postpone or reduce outdoor physical activity until the advisory is lifted, “especially if breathing feels uncomfortable.”

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