Smoky conditions in Lethbridge can have a negative effect on health

With the smoky conditions Lethbridge and most of southern Alberta has been experiencing, health experts are reminding people to only go outside when necessary to help limit their exposure. 


With the smoky condition, Lethbridge remains under an air quality statement and experts are advising people to stay inside and only go outdoors if you need to. Chief Operations Officer with the Alberta Lung Association, Nina Snyder, says whether or not you have a health condition, the smoke can cause respiratory issues.


“Wood smoke can cause eye, lungs, throat and sinus irritation. You might notice you get a headache, or you have allergy-like feelings and sinus issues.”


If you do suffer from a health condition, there are some measures you can take to stay safe inside your own home. 


“Keep your doors, windows, fireplace and damper shut. Using the air conditioner, setting it on the recirculating settings,” says Snyder.


However, with it being summer time right now, working outside for some is unavoidable, although Snyder encourages those who are outside to monitor their condition and take the necessary precautions.


“Taking frequent breaks, sitting in your car with the recirculation setting during a lunch or coffee break. Ensuring your medication is to hand and taking it when necessary.”


After dealing with COVID-19 for over 17 months, wearing a mask to help protect yourself has become second nature to some, although, Snyder says wearing one to help with the smoke won’t necessarily keep out the small particles. 


“People might not notice the smell as much when they’re wearing a mask, but it really doesn’t filter out the particulate matter that can be inhaled through a mask. So, it’s really something that we suggest or recommend.”


According to Environment Canada, Lethbridge’s air quality is forecasted to be at a nine on Tuesday, meaning those with a health condition will be at a high risk.

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