People in Kitimat have a new tool to track the concentration of sulphur dioxide in the local airshed.
The Air Quality Health Index Plus (AQHI-Plus) provides hourly air quality values, on a scale of one to 10+, and provides health tips based on those readings. Sulphur dioxide has been added to the air quality monitoring system to assist those who may be challenged with chronic respiratory disease, such as asthma.
“People have the right to know what’s in the air they breathe,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “We heard the public concerns about sulphur dioxide emissions in Kitimat and have implemented this public information tool. This advisory system will help people be aware of changes to air conditions and quality so they can better protect their health.”
The AQHI-Plus supplements the existing sulphur dioxide alert pilot in Kitimat, which started in January 2018. Alerts are posted when concentrations reach or exceed a specific level (36 parts per billion) at any of the three monitoring sites in the community. People can receive alerts directly by email through the provincial air quality subscription service. Kitimat’s expanded system will serve as a pilot project, helping to determine the best ways to notify people about elevated sulphur dioxide levels.
The AQHI-Plus was developed with air quality and health agencies, including the BC Centre for Disease Control, Health Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada.
To learn about Kitimat’s sulphur dioxide pilot project, including AQHI-Plus, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/air/air-quality/measuring/kitimat-so2-alert-pilot-project
B.C.’s air quality website: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/air
To subscribe to air quality advisories, visit: https://aqss.nrs.gov.bc.ca/subscription.html
For information on air quality subscription services, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/air/air-quality/air-advisories/air-quality-subscription-service
For information about the provincial ambient air quality objectives, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/air/air-quality-management/regulatory-framework/objectives-standards
For information on sulphur dioxide and related health recommendations, visit: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/hlbc/files/documents/healthfiles/hfile65f.pdf