Outdoor activities canceled in Edmonton due to high risk air quality, Environment Canada statement remains in effect

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Persistent poor air quality in the Edmonton area due to smoke from forest fires has resulted in the cancellation of several outdoor activities as a special air quality statement remains in effect.

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Air quality in Edmonton was considered high risk Monday afternoon, and is expected to reach nine out of ten according to Environment Canada’s health index. With smoke expected to slowly dissipate by midweek, the Daytime Health Index is expected to drop Tuesday and peak at six a.m. during the day. The air quality statement was released Thursday for most of the province as a thick blanket of wildfire smoke billowed through British Columbia.

Due to the high health risk from the current air quality, the city of Edmonton has closed its outdoor swimming pools for a third consecutive day. Future opening decisions will be made on a daily basis. The Town Hall fountain and the Green Shack outdoor program were also canceled due to poor air quality, city spokesman Christopher Webster said in an email to Postmedia.

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“Day camps have been moved indoors and outdoor fitness programs have been moved indoors as well. We continue to monitor air quality in Edmonton and will look to reopen once conditions improve, ”said Webster.

Individuals are encouraged to reduce or postpone strenuous outdoor activities, Environment Canada said. Air pollution can affect health in a number of ways, from minor symptoms like a sore throat to more serious problems such as difficulty breathing or heart problems. Children, the elderly, and people with cardiovascular or pulmonary diseases, such as asthma, are particularly at risk and may be particularly susceptible to air pollution.

“People with lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD, can be particularly susceptible to air pollution. They will usually experience more serious health effects at lower levels. Pollution can worsen their illnesses, leading to increased drug use, doctor and emergency room visits, and hospital visits, ”Environment Canada said in its special air quality statement.

Also in Edmonton, the YWCA’s outdoor camp programs were canceled Monday due to smoke from the wildfires and Snow Valley cut hours at the Aerial Park and the Whitemud Creek Mining Company, closing at 1 p.m.

Most of the City of Edmonton’s facilities are open to the public for a respite from poor air quality as the response to extreme weather conditions remains in effect. It was initially activated for extreme heat, but remains in place during Environment Canada’s air quality warning.

A man plays football in a downtown field near the Royal Alexandra Hospital as the Air Quality Health Index is expected to reach nine, which is listed as high risk, in Edmonton, Monday July 19, 2021. Photo by Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

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