With smoke from wildfires impacting air quality, local medic Dr. Raff Sayeed is counselling residents about the measures they can take to safeguard their wellbeing.
Environment Canada points out that the Air Quality Health Index, AQHI can change over even short distances and wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gasses which includes many chemicals that can harm human health.
Dr. Sayeed says if possible, it’s best to use an air conditioner.
“If you have a pre-existing lung condition, try your best to stay in an air conditioned environment. Many are not able to do that. They may, they should wear a mask; a good mask to go outside, so they don’t get smoke inhalation.”
Sayeed recommends that people with pre-existing conditions use an N95 mask.
According to the Fire smoke map, Western Canada’s air quality has been reduced by the over 300 wildfires in B.C., as well as area wildfires in Meadow Lake and over 100 more in northern Saskatchewan and Alberta.
People with lung disease, asthma and other respiratory ailments are at greater risk with the prevailing smoke conditions. Sayeed encourages persons with a greater risk to take the necessary steps to protect their health.
“You can be proactive. If you are getting a cough or a wheeze, perhaps you can go early enough to see a physician and get some treatment for it. Unfortunately, smoke is everywhere.”
Sayeed adds stay hydrated and if you don’t have to go out, then don’t go out.