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Heat Creates Air Quality Issue – Special Statement

Fraser Valley (Environment Canada) – As of Saturday afternoon, Environment Canada issued what was expected after this eat dome settled in, an air quality statement.

4:51 PM PDT Saturday 26 June 2021
Special air quality statement in effect for:

  • Fraser Valley – central including Chilliwack
  • Fraser Valley – west including Abbotsford

June 26, 2021

Air Quality Advisory

Metro Vancouver is now issuing an Air Quality Advisory for eastern Metro Vancouver and the central Fraser Valley Regional District because of high concentrations of ground-level ozone that are expected to persist for a few days during the hot and sunny weather. The current weather forecast indicates extremely hot temperatures through at least Monday.

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 and other sources) react in the air in the presence of sunlight. The highest levels of ground-level ozone are generally observed between mid-afternoon and early evening on summer days.

Avoid strenuous outdoor activities during mid-afternoon to early evening, when ozone levels are highest, especially if breathing feels uncomfortable. Consider choosing easier outdoor activities, such as walking instead of running, where you don’t have to breathe as hard. Exposure is particularly a concern for people with underlying conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including bronchitis and emphysema, as well as asthma, and/or diabetes; individuals with respiratory infections such as COVID-19; pregnant women and infants; children; outdoor workers (e.g. construction and agricultural workers); and older adults. Individuals who are socially marginalized may also be at elevated risk (e.g. people who are experiencing homelessness or are underhoused).

As we are in the summer season with warm temperatures, it is also important to stay cool and hydrated. Indoor spaces with air conditioning may offer relief from both heat and air pollution. Indoors and outdoors, please continue to observe any COVID-19 protocols. Consider creating a comfortable space at work and home. If you are experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing, seek prompt medical attention. Call 9-1-1 in the case of an emergency.

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