People living in much of the Lower Mainland were warned to avoid strenuous activities and stay indoors due to poor air quality on Thursday.
Metro Vancouver issued an air quality advisory due to high concentrations of ground-level ozone mingled with wildfire smoke.
The advisory is in place for Metro Vancouver’s northeast and southeast regions, along with the central and eastern Fraser Valley.
Ground-level ozone is created when certain pollutants mix with volatile organic compounds in the presence of sunlight, and is typically at its worst in the mid-afternoon and early evening on summer days.
“Avoid strenuous outdoor activities during mid-afternoon to early evening, when ozone levels are highest, especially if breathing feels uncomfortable,” the advisory warns.
“Consider choosing easier outdoor activities, such as walking instead of running, where you do not have to breathe as hard.”
People with underlying health issues such as asthma, COPD, heart or lung diseases or respiratory diseases are at a higher risk.
Seniors, infants and children and pregnant people along with outdoor workers are also considered more vulnerable.
Metro Vancouver is also urging people to take steps to cool off in the hot weather, and if necessary to seek out a cool indoor place such as a community centre, library or mall.
It’s also urging people to check in on vulnerable people in their families or communities.
Anyone experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing should seek out medical care. Anyone who thinks they’re having a medical emergency should call 911.
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