Air quality advisory issued for Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley

Jun 27 2021, 8:58 am

Environment Canada has issued an air quality advisory for parts of Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley due to high concentrations of ground-level ozone.

The statement was issued early Sunday morning, and is in effect for eastern Metro Vancouver and the central Fraser Valley Regional District.

High concentrations of ground-level ozone are expected to persist for the next few days due to the hot and sunny weather, Environment Canada said.

Ground-level ozone is formed when pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds, react in the air in the presence of sunlight.

Eastern Metro Vancouver and central Fraser Valley are both forecasted to remain in the “moderate risk” category of the Air Quality Health Index through Monday night.

Both regions’ air quality is currently listed as a six out of ten on the index, with one being considered low risk, while 10 is high risk.

Environment Canada advises avoiding strenuous outdoor activities, such as running, from the mid-afternoon to the early evening, when ozone levels are highest.

People with underlying health conditions, such as heart disease, asthma, and diabetes, as well as pregnant women, older adults, and outdoor workers, are particularly at risk.

Anyone experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing, should seek prompt medical attention, the weather authority notes.

Indoor, air conditioned spaces may offer relief from the air pollution, as well as the heat.

Metro Vancouver, and much of BC, has been suffering through a “dangerous, long duration” heat wave for several days.

According to Environment Canada’s forecast, the heat is expected to last through Monday.

A high of 33°C is expected on Sunday, although it will feel like 41°C with the humidity. Inland areas will see the humidex push temperatures to 47°C.

Monday’s forecast is calling for a high of 34°C in Vancouver, with temperatures rising to 42°C inland. With the humidity, though, it will feel like 42°C and 49°C, respectively.

By Tuesday, the city is expected to cool down to 31°C.

Zoe DemarcoZoe Demarco

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