Sarah Henderson is a senior scientist with Environmental Health Services at the BCCDC. BCCDC photo

BCCDC releases new fact sheets on wildfire smoke preparedness

There’s currently little research on the longer-lasting health effects of wildfire smoke

As the 2019 wildfire season kicks off with gusto, the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has released a new series of online fact sheets to help people protect themselves from inhaling wildfire smoke.

The summers of 2015, 2017 and 2018 each broke records for the worst B.C. wildfire seasons, with four B.C. communities ranking in the top 10 for worst air quality rates in Canada in 2018. The three communities with the worst air quality in the country in 2018 were all in the B.C. Interior: Quesnel, Prince George and Williams Lake.

READ MORE: Quesnel, Prince George and Williams Lake had worst air quality in Canada in 2018: report

“It’s really got people’s attention,” Sarah Henderson, a senior scientist with Environmental Health Services at the BCCDC, said in a press release.

“Based on what’s happened over the past few years, wildfire smoke will begin to dominate our lifetime exposure to air pollution. We need to prepare — and prepare early — for every wildfire season with the thought that it may be the worst season ever.”

There is currently little research on the longer-lasting health effects of wildfire smoke. In the absence of scientific evidence, the BCCDC recommends people take a more cautious approach to wildfire smoke.

The BCCDC also recommends members of the following groups reduce their exposure to wildfire smoke:

  • People with chronic conditions, especially lung and heart diseases
  • The elderly
  • Pregnant women
  • Infants and young children

Because people spend up to 90 per cent of their time indoors, the BCCDC recommends people purchase a portable air cleaner that uses HEPA filtration to remove smoke from the indoor air. Portable air cleaners can be moved between rooms, and they have been proven to reduce small particle concentrations in the air by 40 to 80 per cent.

The BCCDC also recommends that anyone with a chronic disease work with their doctor to create a management plan for smoky periods.

If a person requires rescue medications, they should ensure they have a supply at home and always carry the medicine with them. They should have a clear plan in the case that their rescue medicine does not bring their condition under control.

If someone is pregnant or caring for an infant during the summer months, the BCCDC recommends they make a plan to minimize smoke exposure.

The BCCDC also has more information available online to help people with wildfire smoke response planning. They also have a growing list of new fact sheets about the health effects of wildfire smoke, preparing for a wildfire smoke season and portable air cleaners for wildfire smoke.



community@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook

Just Posted

Prince Rupert’s ferry issue is a North Coast issue, MLA Rice

Prince Rupert not alone in fight to save ferry to Ketchikan: Alaskan Rep. Ortiz

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

Power restored to 120,000 customers after northern B.C. transmission failure

Lightning is suspected to be the cause of the outage, says BC Hydro

Nuxalk Nation installs traditional stop signs

The signs are intended to encourage daily use of the language

Malakai Andy sets sail to Junior B Nanaimo Buccaneers hockey team

Andy is from the Nuxalk Nation and Williams Lake Indian Band

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

Most Read