250 News - Your News, Your Views, Now

October 27, 2017 4:39 pm

Where There’s Smoke…. There’s a Health Risk

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

Prince George, B.C. –  Smoke from the fires  south of Prince George  is being tracked by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECC).

If  you click here,  or on the  image above,  the Blue Sky  app,  will  show you where the  smoke is expected to  go.

“Smoke has become an issue across much of the Interior of B.C.  and much of the lower mainland as well” says Dr. Bonnie Henry, Deputy Provincial Health Officer for B.C.

Dr. Henry says  the situation is “very  challenging” as those who are in the thickest smoke,  are also  those who are closest  to the fires. “We  do  have a response for  forest fire smoke that we have been working on in a coordinated way with the Ministry of the Environment and others”  She says they  have been meeting regularly over the past few days to get a better understanding of what’s going on.

“Forest fire smoke is complex and it’s a dynamic  mixture of gases and very small particles depending on what is burning and the nature of the  landscape. It can  irritate, particularly the respiratory system,  which is no surprise when you breathe  in this smoke and  particles.   It can also  cause acute effects around  exacerbation of asthma,  or Chronic Obstructive Lung  Disease,  it can cause eye irritation,  skin irritation as well.”

She says  air quality in the affected areas can be variable for days  or weeks,  “We have  experience from  previous fire seasons in  that the peak of the health affects may not be  felt for several weeks after the peak  events.”,

She says  in addition to  physical health  impacts,  the  smoke can  have an impact on mental health.  She says it is  important for those who  have a chronic condition  have their medications on hand at all times and that people have a plan for what to do  if their condition gets worse .”Really  importantly, we recommend people stay indoors.  Reduce the amount of time  you spend outdoors  to protect your health, and reduce outdoor physical activity in particular because that increases the  amount of particles you inhale deep into  your lungs.”



I know that these are special circumstances, but does Dr. Bonnie Henry, Deputy Provincial Health Officer for B.C. have anything to say in support of air (smoke and fine particulates) pollution from annual slash burning and use of wood stoves?

Comments for this article are closed.