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Aspen Health Services - Whitecourt
Health & Safety Advisory - Fires cause poor air quality in Edmonton area
Date : - 06/05/2009
Fires burning north of Edmonton are resulting in air quality deterioration due to smoke (fine particulate matter) in Lamont and Fort Saskatchewan. The levels of smoke vary as winds continue to shift. Dry conditions and low humidity have also contributed to the grass fires in the Edmonton area.

The air quality has deteriorated to "poor" north of Edmonton.

Fine particulate matter can be absorbed deep into an individual's lungs where it can cause health problems, particularly for individuals with respiratory conditions.

"The quality of air at present is not a health hazard for those in good health. However, people with asthma, bronchitis or emphysema should monitor their reactions and take any preventative measures their physicians have previously recommended," advises Dr. Gerry Predy, Senior Medical Officer of Health, Alberta Health Services. "People who experience difficulty breathing should consult their physicians."

Dr. Predy also recommends individuals with respiratory conditions remain indoors, keep their windows closed and limit outdoor physical activity.

In co-operation with Alberta Environment, Alberta Health Services will continue to monitor the air quality in the Edmonton area. The air quality index (AQI) rating can fluctuate over time.

Current air quality and the AQI can be accessed at Alberta Environment's website at www.environment.alberta.ca/index.html, click on Current Air Quality or by calling 1-877-247-7333.

Residents can contact Health Link Alberta to speak to a registered nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 780-408-LINK (5465) or, outside the local calling area, toll-free 1-866-408-LINK.

Please note that this advisory is in effect for 24 hours.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Noreen Remtulla
Communications
Phone: 780-735-3475
Pager: 780-969-4543
Reference : - www.albertahealthservices.ca/
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