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Wednesday, February 21, 2024
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HomeNewsAir Quality Statement Issued For Bancroft, Haliburton And Minden

Air Quality Statement Issued For Bancroft, Haliburton And Minden

KAWARTHA LAKES-Possible high levels of air pollution due to smoke from Forest fires in northern Quebec are expected to affect the area this afternoon and evening. Air quality may deteriorate if the smoke descends to ground level according to Environment Canada. Smoke is expected in Kawartha Lakes. An Air Quality Statement has been issued for Bancroft, Haliburton and Minden.

Wildfire smoke can be harmful to health even at low concentrations according to officials. People with lung disease (such as asthma) or Heart disease, older adults, children, pregnant people, and people who work outdoors are at higher risk of experiencing health effects caused by wildfire smoke. Speak with your healthcare provider about developing a management plan for wildfire smoke events and maintaining a supply of necessary medications at Home and always carrying these medications with you during wildfire season.

Experts offer these tips for staying safe:

Stop or reduce your activity level if breathing becomes uncomfortable or you or someone in your care feel unwell. Contact your health care provider or local health authority if you develop severe symptoms or need advice.

Check the air quality health index (AQHI) and monitor your symptoms. People respond differently to smoke. Mild irritation and discomfort are common, and usually disappear when the smoke clears. Drinking lots of water can help your body cope with the smoke.

If you have an hvac system in your Home, use the highest rated merv filter for your system (ideally rated 13 or higher) and set the fan to recirculate air constantly. You can also use a portable high efficiency particulate air (hepa) air cleaner. Keep your doors and windows closed if the temperature in your Home is comfortable.

Take a break from the smoke at a location in your community where you can find clean, cool air.

If you must spend time outdoors, a well-fitted respirator type mask (such as a niosh certified n95 or equivalent respirator) that does not allow air to pass through small openings between the mask and face, can help reduce your exposure to the fine particles in smoke. These fine particles generally pose the greatest risk to health. However, respirators do not reduce exposure to the gases in wildfire smoke. It is important to listen to your body and reduce or stop activities if you are experiencing symptoms.

Be sure to check on people in your care and those around you who may be more susceptible to smoke.


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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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