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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Interlakes builds drive-in movie theatre

‘It looks like it could be a golf course now, really, it’s beautiful’

BC SPCA team helps discover new feline virus after outbreak at Quesnel shelter

Fechavirus is a kind of parvovirus, which makes cats and kittens very sick

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Hairdressers and barbers happy to reopen for the general public

‘We’ve had a couple of people say I ain’t wearing no mask and well you don’t get a haircut’

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

COVID-19: B.C. too dependent on foreign food production workers

New B.C. job site links unemployed with farm, seafood work

Another Asian giant ‘murder hornet’ found in Lower Mainland

This is the farthest east the invasive species has been found so far

Most Read