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Reduce Your Risk

Thankfully, air pollution is not usually a big problem in BC, but it’s important to know how to protect yourself.


What can I do?

Outdoors

  • Check the weather channels for daily air quality levels from your local Air Quality Health Index. It will tell you about air pollution levels in your area. 
  • Follow the advice given when you check air pollution information. You can find an explanation of air quality and how the index works here. 
  • For outdoor activities that use a lot of energy, and therefore need a lot of heavy breathing, try to do them at times when the air quality is good.
    • Don't exercise near areas where traffic is heavy.
  • Do your best to lower how much you add to air pollution:
    • Use public transit, cycle or walk instead of driving.
    • Don't leave the engine running when you're parked.

Indoors

  • Use lower-temperature cooking methods. Frying food needs a higher temperature.
    • Instead of frying, cook by steaming, boiling, poaching, stewing, casseroling or braising.
  • Lower the amount of heating and cooling in your home by making sure your home is properly insulated.
  • Appliances that burn wood, coal, kerosene or gas need to work properly, be ventilated and regularly maintained/inspected.
  • Replace a coal- or wood-burning heat sources with an electric, natural gas or oil heat source if possible.
Air pollution in BC

In British Columbia, we love to be outside and the air quality is generally very good.

Still, next time you want to head out to Grouse Mountain for a hike, English Bay for some volleyball, or head to any other nature-packed areas in BC, it is worth checking the air quality index for the day to make sure you limit your exposure to air pollution.

Other health benefits
Lowered exposure to air pollution can also decrease your risk for:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Acute lower respiratory infection (children)
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SOURCE: Reduce Your Risk ( )
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