Air Quality Advisory: UPDATE

The following is an Alberta Health Services Health Advisory:

June 2, 2011

Air Quality Advisory: UPDATE

FORT McMURRAY – Alberta Health Services has lifted the air quality advisory previously in place for northern Alberta, with the exception of the Wood Buffalo Municipality. Fires burning in the Wood Buffalo region continue to cause poor air conditions in this area, and thus, Alberta Health Services is still advising Wood Buffalo-area residents to take precautions against potential health risks associated with fire smoke air conditions.

Smoke – still present in the Wood Buffalo-area – contains fine particulate matter that can be absorbed deep into an individual’s lungs, where it can cause health problems. Those with chronic respiratory conditions, such as COPD and asthma, or chronic cardiac illness, like congestive heart failure or angina, can be more sensitive to the effects of smoke.

“Wood Buffalo-area residents who have conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema or angina should continue to monitor their symptoms and take any preventative measures their physicians have previously recommended,” advises Dr. Sikora, Medical Officer of Health, Alberta Health Services. “If you experience difficulty breathing or chest discomfort, consult your physician.”

Dr. Sikora also recommends that Wood Buffalo residents suffering from respiratory conditions remain indoors, keep windows closed, and limit strenuous physical activity.

Residents can also contact Health Link Alberta to speak to a registered nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week, toll-free at 1-866-408-LINK (5465).

Air quality monitoring data is updated hourly on the Alberta Environment Air Quality Website at: http://www.envinfo.gov.ab.ca/AirQuality/

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than 3.7 million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

For media inquiries, please call:
Mark Evans
AHS Communications
780-538-6181