Alberta Health Services is monitoring Red Deer’s air quality, but has not needed to issue an air quality advisory as was done for Edmonton on Wednesday.
A haze appeared over Red Deer in the afternoon.
The Air Quality Health Index was showing that Red Deer was at 5 and then at 6, which is listed at moderate risk. Edmonton’s was a higher risk at 7.
The AQHI is a guide to the relative health risk presented by a mixture of common air pollutants known to harm human health. These pollutants are Ground-level Ozone (O3), Particulate Matter (PM2.5), and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
Dr. Digby Horne, one of three medical officers of health for Central Zone, said he saw “a little bit of a blurriness in the horizon” in the area, referring to some reports of haze.
“If somebody is at risk, then they should reduce activity,” he said. “But it’s hard to know when to do a advisory because we’re not sure how long it’s going to last.”
Moderate risk (4-6) suggests people within the at-risk population (diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, seniors, children) reduce or reschedul strenous activities outdoors if you are experiencing symptoms. The general population don’t need to modify their usual outdoor activities unless they are experiencing symptoms such as coughing or throat irritation.
“If it does get in the 7 range and it’s persistent, then we might do an advisory,” said Horne.
The numbers in the air quality health index can change hour to hour.