Canadian medical report reveals need for more air quality improvements: PG Air Roundtable

The PG Air Improvement Roundtable said air quality levels in the city are improving, but reminds residents that now is not the time for complacency.

The organization said it succeeded in reducing fine particles in Prince George by 29% between 2005 and 2016.

However, new data published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that people living in areas with higher levels of air pollution were developing severe symptoms of COVID-19.

In many cases, those exposed to the pollution were more likely to end up in hospital or die from the virus.

PG Air manager Kim Menounos said even if we don’t deal with Ontario’s smog, the results were not surprising.

“Because we know that many health problems are made worse by exposure to air pollutants, especially long-term exposure. Thus, diseases such as heart disease or COPD, diabetes and asthma are aggravated due to long-term exposure to air pollutants.

Menounos added that while good progress has been made, some indoor devices can also expose us to bad air.

“So cooking exhaust and wood panel smoke from a wood-burning appliance that may not have a good seal also contribute to our long-term exposure to air pollution. ‘air.”

All of this considered the capital of the North is in a much better place than it was 17 years ago.

“We have fewer days with air quality advisories, which is huge, but there are some things we can’t control, like wildfire smoke. Some summers this element is much worse while others are not.

“Every improvement in air quality is very positive for the health of our community and no level of pollution is completely safe. So it’s not one of those set provincial targets and that doesn’t mean that if we’re below that we’re all good. But, compared to the late 90s, we have seen a significant improvement in pm2.5 levels or the number of days we exceed them. »

In March, PGAir released its 2022-26 Strategic Plan which can be viewed here.

with files from the Vista Radio Newswire