The Ministry of Environment and Interior Health
The Ministry of Environment has issued a Road Dust Advisory for the Town of Golden because of high concentrations of dust that are expected to persist through Saturday morning (Feb. 11).
Current (as of 2 p.m., Feb. 10) hourly average is 49 micrograms per cubic metre and exceed or are expected to exceed the provincial objective of 50 micrograms per cubic metre, averaged over the next 24 hours.
Avoid strenuous outdoor activities. Staying indoors with windows and doors closed helps to reduce exposure.
Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have underlying medical conditions such as breathing or lung conditions, hay fever, asthma or persons who react strongly to dust. If you are experiencing symptoms such as continuing eye or throat irritation, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, cough or weeze, follow the advise of you health care provider.
This advisory has been triggered by high concentrations of dust, measured as “PM10”, or particles 10 micrometres or smaller in diameter. The current dusty conditions are caused by road traffic stirring up winter traction materials that have accumulated on roadways over the past winter.
This episode is expected to continue until there is a change in weather patterns.
Tips to reduce your personal health risk:
-Avoid roads with heavy vehicle traffic.
-If you stay indoors, keep windows and doors closed and reduce indoor sources of pollution, such as smoking, vacuuming and use of wood stoves.
-Continue to control medical conditions such as asthma, hay fever and chronic respiratory disease. If symptoms continue to be bothersome, seek medical attention.
-Maintaining good overall health is a good way to prevent health effects resulting from short-term exposure to air pollution.
Voluntary Emission Reduction Actions:
-Avoid the use of wood-burning stoves and fireplaces unless used as the sole source of residential heat.
-Where wood-stoves or fireplaces are the sole source of residential heat, use only CSA/EPA emissions approved wood-burning appliances and well-cured wood, and ensure an adequate supply of combustion air.
-Follow local backyard burning bylaws, and avoid backyard burning where a bylaw prohibiting this practice does not already exist.
-Reduce the use and idling of vehicles.
For more information and real-time air quality information for Golden or other B.C. communities, go to BC Air Quality.