People in the Portage are are experiencing another day of smoke and haze in the area. With wildfires in several parts of the country, it hasn't been an unusual thing this summer. However, there have only been a few days where things have been bad enough for Environment Canada to issue a special air quality statement. Today happens to be one of those days.

What is a special air quality statement? Environment Canada will issue one whenever there is the possibility of poor air quality or it is actively happening in an area. During this time, individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches and shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are more at risk.

Wildfire smoke concentrations are the reason for the statement today and the density of the smoke can fluctuate over short distances and vary considerably from hour to hour. Wildfire smoke can be harmful to everyone’s health even at low concentrations and people can take action to reduce their exposure. Most folks may only experience mild irritation and slight discomfort if anything and these symptoms usually disappear when the smoke clears. Drinking lots of water can help your body cope with the situation.

For those who must spend longer periods of time outdoors, a well-fitted respirator type mask (such as a NIOSH certified N95 or equivalent respirator) that does not allow air to pass through small openings between the mask and face, can help reduce your exposure to the fine particles in smoke. These fine particles generally pose the greatest risk to health. However, respirators do not reduce exposure to the gases in wildfire smoke. It is important to listen to your body and reduce or stop activities if you are experiencing symptoms.

You can get full weather details here and the easiest way to get weather updates is by having the portageonline app on your smart phone.


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