UPDATED – July 7, 2:50 pm: The air quality advisory has been cancelled. A statement from Metro Vancouver read:
“Air quality has improved due to cooler temperatures and stronger winds throughout the region, which are expected to persist today and through the weekend.”
A combination of hot weather and vehicle emissions has led to the issuing of an air quality advisory for eastern parts of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.
The advisory was issued by Environment Canada on Thursday, due to high concentrations of ground-level ozone found in the area.
“Ground-level ozone is not emitted directly into the air. 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,” the advisory explained.
“The highest levels of ground-level ozone are generally observed between mid-afternoon and early evening on summer days.”
Alongside the advisory, Environment Canada offered Vancouver residents tips on how best to handle the air quality issues. These include:
- Drinking plenty of water
- Staying inside with the air conditioning on
- Avoiding “strenuous” outdoor activity during mid-afternoon to early evening
Exposure is a particular concern for children, the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions, the advisory adds.
“If you are experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing, follow the advice of your healthcare provider.”
The advisory is expected to continue until temperatures cool.