12 Aug

Air quality advisory issued for Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley

Source: http://www.cbc.ca/ By: Viviana Zanocco CBC News

Seniors, children and people with diabetes, and lung or heart disease especially at risk

A webcam set up to monitor visual air quality showed a haze in the air over Vancouver Harbour on Tuesday. (clearairbc.ca)

Metro Vancouver authorities has issued an air quality advisory for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Regional District due to wildfire smoke from Washington state.

The smoke has drifted into the region, bringing high concentrations of fine particulate matter — tiny airborne solid or liquid droplets — which can cause health problems.

It is recommended anyone with a chronic underlying medical condition should not do strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted, and take the following precautions:

  • Stay indoors in a cool, air-conditioned environment and reduce indoor sources of pollution such as smoking, vacuuming and use of wood stoves.
  • Run an air cleaner. Some room air cleaners, such as HEPA filters, can help reduce indoor particulate levels provided they are the right size for your home and filters are changed regularly.
  • Take shelter in air-conditioned buildings which have large indoor volumes and limited entry of outdoor air.

Exposure is also a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease. Residents are advised to stay cool, drink plenty of water and avoid busy roads and areas with wood smoke.

This advisory is expected to continue until Wednesday when rain showers are forecast throughout the region. It follows a now lifted warning issued in July due to high concentrations of ground-level ozone.

More information about real-time air quality readings for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley communities and potential health impacts can be found at http://www.airmap.ca and www.bcairquality.ca.

09 Aug

Mount Polley mine spill: Drinking-water ban lifted for most of Likely, B.C.

Source: http://www.cbc.ca/ By: CBC News
Latest tests in area show water is drinkable, but some concerns over aquatic life

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., on Tuesday. The pond, which stores toxic waste from the Mount Polley mine, had its dam break on Monday. Water-drinking bans for various areas are slowly lifting. (The Canadian Press)

The partial lifting yesterday of the do-not-use water advisory imposed after the Mount Polley Mine breach in B.C.’s Cariboo region now includes most of the village of Likely, B.C. according to the latest release from the provincial Ministry of the Environment.

The miine tailings pond breached on Monday, releasing 10 billion litres of water and 4.5 million cubic metres of metals-laden fine sand, contaminating lakes, creeks and rivers in the region.

Interior Health has lifted the do-not-use water advisory from the Quesnel River north of where it narrows and is shallow, and it now includes most of the village of Likely, B.C.

The lifting of the ban incorporates an area north of 6236 Cedar Creek Rd. on the Quesnel River and the balance of the Quesnel River system to the Fraser River.

Interior Health said the water may now be consumed as it had been before the ban.

The health authority also said the water is safe for recreational purposes, but advised staying away from the area, given the amount of debris on the waters.