Poor air quality ups health risks

The health risk due to poor air quality in Red Deer rose significantly overnight from low to high on Tuesday morning.

The health risk due to poor air quality in Red Deer rose significantly overnight from low to high on Tuesday morning.

Forest fire smoke has moved into the area, bringing along a widespread haze and the smell of forest fire.

At 8 a.m. the Air Quality Index reading was nine but by 9 a.m., it had dropped to seven, improving somewhat but remaining in the “high health risk” range.

The index ranges from one to 10 (low to high health risk) and anything above 10 is considered “very high risk.” Readings are reported hourly.

Air quality varies with weather conditions and prevailing winds.

With the current reading of high, Alberta Environment states at risk population should reduce or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities. Those at risk may include children, people participating in sports or strenuous work outdoors, people with lung disease, heart disease or diabetes and seniors.

The general population should consider rescheduling strenuous activities outdoors if you experience symptoms such as coughing and throat irritation.

Air quality can vary with weather conditions and prevailing winds.

To view the latest Air Quality Index readings, go online to http://maps.srd.alberta.ca/AQHI/ or call toll free 1-877-247-7333.