If an Air Quality Advisory has been issued because of high concentrations of fine particulate matter due to smoke from wildfires around the region, the following information should be considered;

The Ministry of Environment recommends that strenuous outdoor activities be avoided. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms while working outdoors, contact your First Aid or Craft Services person: difficulty in breathing, chest pain or discomfort, and sudden onset of cough or irritation of airways. Exposure is particularly a concern for workers who have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, and lung or heart disease. People with heart or lung conditions may be more sensitive to the effects of smoke and should watch for any change in symptoms that may be due to smoke exposure. If any symptoms are noted, affected individuals should take steps to reduce their exposure to smoke and should go to their health care provider, walk in clinic or emergency department depending on severity of symptoms.

How to reduce your personal risk when working outdoors.

•Use common sense regarding outdoor physical activity – if your breathing becomes difficult or uncomfortable, stop or reduce the activity.

•You may be able to reduce your exposure to smoke by moving to cleaner air. Conditions can vary dramatically by area and elevation.

•Stay cool and drink plenty of water.

•Take shelter in air-conditioned buildings which have large indoor volumes and limited entry of outdoor air. Smoke levels may be lower indoors. However, elevated levels of smoke particles will still be present. If you stay indoors, be aware of your symptoms.

•Continue to manage medical conditions such as asthma, chronic respiratory disease and heart failure. If symptoms continue to be bothersome, seek medical attention.

Maintaining good overall health is a good way to reduce health risks resulting from short-term exposure to air pollution.

Pay attention to local air quality reports, air quality may be poor even though smoke may not be visible.

For more information on current Air Quality, please visit http://www.bcairquality.ca or Metro Vancouver’s AirMap at www.airmap.ca.