Peace Region Air Quality Update

GRANDE PRAIRIE,AB, MAY 23, 2011: PAZA is a multi stakeholder organization that monitors outdoor air quality in the south peace region. PAZA currently operates six continuous monitoring stations and 43 passive monitoring stations located throughout the region.

Around midnight last night PAZA observed a shift in wind direction to northeast, east. With this change in wind direction PAZA is observing higher fine particulate matter readings across our network, due to wildfires burning in Alberta.

With the increase in fine particulate matter, the air quality index has shifted to “poor” at the Grande Prairie Henry Pirker station and Beaverlodge stations. Alberta Environment summarizes effects associated with AQI index ratings as outlined below.

While fine particulate matter readings were climbing overnight with the increase precipitation this morning, readings while still higher than usually, have been decreasing since 5 am this morning.

Please contact Alberta Health Services for further information regarding public health concerns with air quality.

PAZA will continue to monitor air quality throughout the region and provide updates on any changes.

PRESS RELEASE:

Contact: Peace Airshed Zone Association (PASZA) Phone: (780) 833-4343

Box 21135 Grande Prairie, AB. T8V 6W7 Phone (780) 833-4343 1-866-764-2681 www.pasza.ca


Health Advisory: Air quality advisory in effect for northern Alberta

The following information is courtesy Alberta Health and Wellness:

May 16, 2011

WESTLOCK – Due to air quality deterioration caused by fires burning in northern Alberta, Alberta Health Services is advising northern residents to take precautions against potential health risks associated with current air conditions. With the rapidly changing wind patterns, the amount of smoke present in a local area can change quickly. Fires are affecting air quality in the Wood Buffalo area, along with locales in the west and central portions of northern Alberta.

Smoke and fine particulate matter in the air can be absorbed deep into an individual’s lungs, causing health problems, particularly for individuals with respiratory conditions, such as COPD and asthma, and for individuals with chronic cardiac illness such as congestive heart failure or angina.

Although the quality of air at present is not generally a health hazard for those in good health, air quality conditions can change rapidly. People with asthma, bronchitis, emphysema or angina should monitor their reactions and take any preventative measures their physicians have previously recommended.

“People with respiratory conditions are advised to remain indoors, keep their windows closed and limit outdoor physical activity,” said Dr. Albert de Villiers, Medical Officer of Health, Alberta Health Services. “People who experience difficulty breathing should consult their physicians.”

Residents can 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).

Please note that this advisory is in effect until further notice.

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.

Information about the air quality in the northern Alberta is updated hourly on the Alberta Environment Air Quality Website at:

http://www.envinfo.gov.ab.ca/airquality/

Peace Region Air Quality Update

GRANDE PRAIRIE,AB, MAY 16, 2011: PAZA is a multi stakeholder organization that monitors outdoor air quality in the south peace region. PAZA currently operates six continuous monitoring stations and 43 passive monitoring stations located throughout the region.

PAZA is monitoring the air quality readings closely with wildfires burning in our region. Over the last 24 hours we have observed a slight increase in the fine particulate matter levels late afternoon and into the evening on May 15 with the wind direction out of the east, more notably at the Smoky Heights station. With the shift in wind direction and calms winds from the west, the fine particulate matter levels have decreased over night and into this morning. We are still seeing a very slight increase in fine particulate matter across the region this hour. PAZA continues to measure “good” air quality index (AQI) readings at the Grande Prairie Henry Pirker station. While the Beaverlodge station is measuring a “fair” air quality index (AQI) ratings as of 9 A.M. this morning, with a few hours or “fair” rating on May 15th.

Alberta Environment summarizes effects associated with AQI index ratings as outlined below.

Please contact Alberta Health Services for further information regarding public health concerns. PASZA continues to monitor air quality throughout the region.

PRESS RELEASE:

Contact: Peace Airshed Zone Association (PASZA) Phone: (780) 833-4343

Box 21135 Grande Prairie, AB. T8V 6W7 Phone (780) 833-4343 1-866-764-2681 www.pasza.ca


Health Advisory: Wildfire Smoke and Your Health

The following information is courtesy Alberta Health and Wellness:

August 20, 2010

Alberta has experienced episodes of very poor air quality since Thursday August 19. The smoke in the air is due to the uncontrolled fires in British Columbia and the prevailing winds. While variable, air quality is expected to be very poor at times over the weekend.

What is in smoke from wildfires?

Smoke from wildfires is made up of very small particles from burning trees and other plant material, gases and water vapor.

Is wildfire smoke bad for me?

Minor smoke conditions do not typically cause health concerns in most healthy individuals; however individuals with respiratory conditions such as COPD and asthma, and existing cardiovascular conditions such as angina, previous heart attack and congestive heart failure, may be more likely to notice a worsening of their symptoms.

If smoke conditions become more severe, even healthy individuals may experience irritation of eyes, throat and possibly shortness of breath.

All Albertans – and particularly those with existing respiratory conditions – are encouraged to monitor their own symptoms, and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen.

How do I know if wildfire smoke is affecting me?

You may develop or notice some of the following symptoms:

  • increased coughing
  • irritated sinuses and runny nose
  • a scratchy throat
  • headaches
  • stinging feeling in your eyes
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling of unusual tiredness

How can I protect myself?

Individuals with existing respiratory conditions are advised to take the precautions and steps they normally do when experiencing worsened respiratory symptoms.

All Albertans are encouraged to monitor their own health, and adapt their activities as necessary.

A few helpful tips:

  • If symptoms develop, minimize or stop your outdoor activities, particularly those involving strenuous exercise. 
  • If you choose to stay indoors, or are advised to “shelter in place”, keep indoor air as clean as possible:
  • Shelter in place instructions:
    • Close and lock all outside windows and doors, including attached garage doors
    • Turn down furnace thermostats and furnace fans to the minimum setting.  Do not attempt to extinguish pilot light.
    • If you have an air-conditioner, keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.
    • Avoid running fans, such as “whole-house fans” or “fresh air ventilation systems”, that bring more smoky outdoor air inside.
    • Switch all floor registers to closed position
    • Close fire place dampers on wood burning fireplaces
  • Don’t add to indoor air pollution by using or doing anything that burns and adds more smoke, like smoking inside the house, using candles, gas stoves, frying food, or fireplaces.  Don’t vacuum while there is a smoke advisory because vacuuming will stir up any dust particles already inside your home.
  • Don’t rely on dust masks for protection. The paper dust masks that you might use to keep out large particles like sawdust will not protect your lungs from smoke.

For more information or advice, call HealthLink Alberta to speak to a registered nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 780-408-LINK (5465) or at the toll-free 1-866-408-LINK (5465).  In case of severe symptoms, seek emergency medical attention.

Peace Region Air Quality Update

PRESS RELEASE:

Contact: Peace Airshed Zone Association (PASZA) Phone: (780) 833-4343

Box 21135 Grande Prairie, AB. T8V 6W7 Phone (780) 833-4343 1-866-764-2681 www.pasza.ca

AIR QUALITY UPDATE

GRANDE PRAIRIE,AB, AUGUST 19,2010: PASZA is a multi stakeholder organization that monitors ambient air quality in the south peace region. PASZA currently operates six continuous monitoring stations and 43 passive monitoring stations located throughout the region.

PASZA is currently measuring increased levels of fine particulate matter. Overnight, PASZA measured increase levels across our network resulting in “poor” and “very poor” air quality index (AQI) returned to “good”. Alberta Environment ratings as outlined ratings. As of 8 A.M. AQI ratings have summarizes effects associated with AQI index below.

Please contact Alberta Health Services for further information regarding public health concerns. PASZA continues to monitor air quality throughout the region.


Peace Region Air Quality Update

GRANDE PRAIRIE,AB, AUGUST 6,2010: PASZA is a multi stakeholder organization that monitors ambient air quality in the south peace region. PASZA currently operates six continuous monitoring stations and 43 passive monitoring stations located throughout the region.

PASZA is currently measuring increased levels of fine particulate matter and ground level ozone concentrations resulting in an air quality index (AQI) rating of “fair”. PASZA continues to monitor air quality throughout the region.

PRESS RELEASE:

Contact: Peace Airshed Zone Association (PASZA) Phone: (780) 833-4343

Box 21135 Grande Prairie, AB. T8V 6W7 Phone (780) 833-4343 1-866-764-2681 www.pasza.ca

2010 Adult Photo Contest Winners!

It was another successful year for PAZA’s photo contest.  PAZA received so many fantastic entries and we thank all of the shutter bugs out there for taking the time to enter our contest!  Congratulations to the winners of the adult category!

"Kleskun Hills Sunrise" by Lloyd Dykstra of Grande Prairie

"Jump for Joy" by Nyssa Badger of Sexsmith

"Little house on the prairie" by Albert de Villiers of Grande Prairie

2009 Photo Contest Winners!

PAZA is thrilled to announce the winners from our 2009 Photo Contest!

Thank you to all of the photographers that entered and made the event a success.  There were so many wonderful photographs!

And the winners are!

"Big Skies" by Gordon Sinclair of High Prairie

"Lazy summer afternoon on the prairie" by Katalin Ormay of Grande Prairie

"Kohen and the dandilion" by Nyssa Badger of Sexsmith

"May long weekend" by Garry and Karri Fraser of Grande Prairie