Wildfires cause high risk air quality from Oshawa to Pickering
Published June 28, 2023 at 11:26 am
Wildfire smoke is once again hanging over Durham Region prompting a high-risk air quality warning.
The air quality on June 28 was rated a nine on a 10-point risk scale. The Durham Region Health Department has advised residents to reduce strenuous outdoor activity. They’ve also warned that those with breathing problems like asthma, and heart disease, as well as older people, children and pregnant people, are at an increased risk.
However, while vulnerable people should take more precautions, wildfire smoke is dangerous to everyone even in low concentrations. As such residents should keep their doors and windows closed and stay inside as much as possible.
Smoke exposure can cause headaches, coughing, phlegm production, sore throat, and watery eyes. In more serious cases coughing could become severe. There could be dizziness, chest pains, shortness of breath wheezing or asthma attacks and heart palpitations.
If they can’t avoid going outside, vulnerable people should wear a tight-fitting N-95 or equivalent mask to filter out smoke particles. They also recommend HEPA air filters and air conditioners.
This has been Canada’s worst fire season ever recorded with more than 250 wildfires burning out of control from coast to coast. This in turn has caused the worst air quality Ontario has ever seen. The fires prompted a similar warning at the beginning of the month. As a result, all Durham municipalities put a burn ban in effect, though some had since lifted them.
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