Air quality results delayed

  • Dec. 12, 2008 5:00 p.m.

An air quality monitoring station has been set up in Queen Charlotte, but there is a two-month delay in getting the results. Air quality meteorologist Jennifer Anne Hayak from the Ministry of the Environment in Smithers, says the monitor was installed August 28, but it collects non-continuous data every six days, meaning it records samples for one day and then takes five days off. The samples are sent to Victoria and the data is compiled there. The latest recorded data she has is from September 27, and it shows good air quality in the area surrounding the monitor. The station monitors particulate matter small enough to be inhaled into people’s lungs, otherwise known as PM2.5. This typically comes from smoke, she says. She said the data from monitors like this one usually show worse air in the winter due to smoke from wood stoves. As of two months ago, the data showed good air measured at 2 mg/m2. High levels of PM2.5 are linked with health problems related to the lungs and heart. “If the information showed there was a bigger problem, we could put it on for everyday,” she says. Continuous monitors take samples every day and the data is updated via website more quickly.

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