Sunday, June 16, 2024

GBPH Advising Residents of Special Air Quality Statement for Grey-Bruce

Smoke plumes from forest fires in northeastern Ontario and Quebec are expected to cause the air quality in Grey-Bruce to deteriorate for a second time this month, prompting Environment & Climate Change Canada to issue a Special Air Quality Statement for the area.

The province’s Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) for Grey-Bruce is also forecasted to reach “High Risk” by Tuesday night due to the wildfire smoke and remain at that level into Wednesday, June 28, 2023.

When the AQHI for Grey-Bruce reaches the High-Risk level, Grey Bruce Public Health recommends the following:

  • For the At-Risk population, which includes people with heart or breathing problems: reduce or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities. Children and the elderly should also take it easy.
  • For the general population: consider reducing or rescheduling strenuous activities outdoors if experiencing symptoms such as coughing and/or throat irritation.

Grey Bruce Public Health is encouraging Grey-Bruce residents to monitor alerts and forecasts related to the current air quality situation and take recommended steps to protect their health and the health of their children and other loved ones,” says Grey-Bruce Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ian Arra.

Environment & Climate Change Canada anticipates that air quality conditions will improve for some parts of Ontario on June 28, 2023.

The AQHI for Grey-Bruce, which is measured at the Tiverton station, is expected to transition to moderate Wednesday night.

Wildfire smoke, which can create high levels of pollution in the air, can adversely affect everyone’s health, even at low concentrations.

In addition to the recommended precautions, Grey-Bruce residents can limit their exposure to wildfire smoke by taking the following measures:

  • Keep windows and doors closed if the indoor temperature is comfortable;
  • Utilize recirculation settings on HVAC systems;
  • Install clean, high-quality air filters in ventilation systems;
  • Consider using air purifiers with HEPA filters; and
  • Seek refuge in community centres, libraries, and shopping malls, where cleaner filtered air is often available.

Mild irritation and discomfort caused by wildfire smoke are common and typically subside as the smoke dissipates. Drinking plenty of water can help the body cope with these temporary changes.


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