Environment Canada is warning that air quality will remain very poor in most of Alberta for the next several days.
An air quality alert was updated at 4:39 a.m. on Monday that said wildfire smoke is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility at times.
Very high Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) values are being reported through much of Alberta and are expected to remain high through mid week in central and northern regions.
In Red Deer, the AQHI was expected to hit 8, which is considered a high risk level. It was predicted to go down to seven by evening and six on Tuesday.
The AQHI is a tool that relates the air quality outside to your health, using a scale from 1 to 10. The lower the number, the lower the risk.
In Southern Alberta AQHI values are forecast to moderate with southeasterly winds today.
Air quality can fluctuate over short distances and can vary considerably hour by hour, says Environnent Canada in its alert.
“Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.”
“People with lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD, can be particularly sensitive to air pollution. They will generally experience more serious health effects at lower levels.
“Pollution can aggravate their diseases, leading to increased medication use, doctor and emergency room visits, and hospital visits.”
For more information go to www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/air-quality-health-index or Alberta Health Services at www.albertahealthservices.ca or www.airhealth.ca.