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Calgary air quality poses 'moderate' health risk Wednesday

File photo of smoke over Calgary on Oct. 5, 2022. Environment Canada issued an air quality statement for the city Sunday morning File photo of smoke over Calgary on Oct. 5, 2022. Environment Canada issued an air quality statement for the city Sunday morning

Air quality in Calgary deteriorated on Wednesday, peaking at 7 at around 10 a.m., which is considered high risk.

An Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) is used to educate people on the potential risk level when exposed to poor air conditions. The index uses a number from 1 to 10 to denote the risk level; the higher the number, the higher the risk to your health.

As of 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Environment and Climate Change Canada listed Calgary’s AQHI as 5 (moderate risk) with it forecast to reach 3 (low risk) by Wednesday night.

The national weather agency anticipates Calgary's AQHI will sit steady at 3 on Thursday.

Though poor air quality impacts everyone, Alberta Health Services warns those most at risk are people with respiratory conditions such as COPD and asthma, and those with existing cardiovascular conditions.

On its website, AHS suggests people avoid exposure to air with an elevated AQHI by closing windows and doors, turning down furnace thermostats and fans, keeping the fresh-air intake closed on air conditioners and avoid running fans.

Calgary's air quality ranged from moderate risk to high risk on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. Additionally, AHS says you can switch floor registers to a closed position, close dampers on wood-burning fireplaces and/or stop using them altogether.

If you’re driving, you can run air in your vehicle on re-circulate.

Two other tips are to avoid smoking — which AHS says puts additional strain on your lungs — and to reduce physical activity to lessen your chances of inhaling airborne pollutants.

As of 1 p.m., Environment Canada had no public weather advisories in place in relation to air quality in Calgary or throughout southern Alberta.

For up-to-date information on the air quality across the province, visit Alberta Health’s website. Top Stories

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