How to limit health risks from the smoke in Saskatoon
Fires in the Northwest Territories are pushing smoke into the province
If you woke up feeling a little under the weather this morning, it's probably because of all the smoke in the air.
It's shaping up to be a smoky day for much of Saskatchewan. Fires in the Northwest Territories are pushing into the province and is expected to be widespread later this afternoon and evening.
Jan Neumann, vice-president of education with Saskatchewan Lung Association, said people with respiratory problems need to be proactive because their health is compromised when there is haze or smoke around.
“Depending upon the sensitivity of the individual's airways, we certainly can see an increase in symptoms.” Neumann said.
Neumann said the hot weather intensifies the problems caused by the smoke
Who is most at risk?
There is a moderate health risk from forest fire smoke.
Earlier this month, Environment Canada temporarily issued smoke advisories for the province, warning people with respiratory conditions to stay indoors.
Neumann said there are a number of people who should take precautions.
“Those who suffer from chronic lung disease, for example, those with asthma," she said. "People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. And then of course the very young and the very elderly.”
How can you prevent risk?
The best ways to protect yourself is avoiding or eliminating exposure to the smoke.
“Physical activity is important for everyone and people like to be outside during the summer and perhaps increase their exercise," Neumann said. "If someone is participating in physical activity they (should) reduce their activity outside. Perhaps find some other options for exercising inside, like out at leisure centres or even walking in the mall.”
If you are staying indoors, Neumann said keep your windows and doors closed. People are also advised to use air conditioning to recirculate the air in their home rather than bringing outdoor air inside.