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Precautionary Air Quality Advisory issued for South Zone of Alberta Health Services

July 16, 2017

LETHBRIDGE – Due to wildfires burning in British Columbia, air quality is expected to be variable across much of the South Zone of Alberta Health Services (AHS) over the coming days and potentially, weeks.

As such, AHS is issuing a precautionary air quality advisory for the entire South Zone of AHS.

Residents of the South Zone of AHS, and visitors to the South Zone of AHS, are advised to be aware of air conditions and take precautions against potential health concerns that can be associated with smoky air conditions.

Although minor smoke conditions do not typically cause health concerns in healthy individuals, if smoke conditions become more severe, even healthy individuals may experience temporary irritation of eyes and throat, and possibly shortness of breath.

If you can taste and/or smell smoke in the air:

  • Monitor your symptoms.
  • Minimize physical activity outdoors.
  • Remain indoors with windows, doors and air circulation fans/vents closed.
  • If you drive to another location, keep windows and vents closed. Run your car fan on re-circulate mode to avoid drawing in outdoor air.

Individuals with respiratory conditions (such as COPD and asthma), and individuals with existing cardiovascular conditions (such as angina, previous heart attack and congestive heart failure), may notice a worsening of symptoms in smoky air conditions. These individuals should monitor for worsening of symptoms and take the precautions routinely recommended by their physicians if a worsening of symptoms occurs.

Individuals experiencing symptoms can also call Health Link 24 hours a day, seven days a week, toll-free at 811, to speak to a registered nurse.

Air quality can and will vary with weather conditions and prevailing winds. Because air quality is expected to be variable, this advisory will remain in effect until further notice.

Information about the air quality in many areas of Alberta is updated hourly on the Alberta Environment Air Quality Website: http://airquality.alberta.ca.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than 4 million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

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For media inquiries, contact:

James Frey
AHS Communications
403-388-6313