Dust advisory issued for Fort St. John by Ministry of Environment and Northern Health

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – First it was snow and cold warnings, now it is something entirely different.

The Ministry of Environment and Northern Health have issued a dust advisory for Fort St. John.

The release says that the dust advisory was issued because of high concentrations of coarse particulate matter that are expected to persist until there is precipitation or other changes in meteorological conditions. The Ministry of Environment says levels tend to be highest around busy roads and industrial operations.

“Persons with chronic underlying medical conditions should postpone strenuous exercise near busy streets until the advisory is lifted. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease.”

Air quality observations and information regarding the health effects of air pollution can be found at http://www.bcairquality.ca.

Tips to reduce your personal health risk:

  • Avoid roads with heavy vehicle traffic
  • Continue to manage medical conditions such as asthma, chronic respiratory disease and heart failure. If symptoms continue to be bothersome, seek medical attention
  • Use common sense regarding outdoor physical activity; if your breathing becomes difficult or uncomfortable, stop or reduce the activity
  • Maintaining good overall health is a good way to reduce health risks resulting from short term exposure to air pollution

For persons with chronic underlying medical conditions:

  • Residents with asthma or other chronic illness should activate their asthma or personal care plan
  • Stay indoors, keep windows and doors closed and reduce indoor sources of pollution such as smoking, vacuuming and use of wood stoves
  • Run an air cleaner. Some room air cleaners, such as HEPA filters, can help reduce indoor particulate levels provided they are the right size for your home and filters are changed regularly
  • Take shelter in air-conditioned buildings which have large indoor volumes and limited entry of outdoor air

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