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Air quality alert for Edmonton area

The poor air quality is due to a stagnant weather pattern which is causing “pollutants to build up near the surface,” according to an Environment Canada alert.

An air quality alert has been issued for the Edmonton area and conditions are expected to be poor throughout the week.

On March 21, Environment Canada issued an alert for poor air quality for the City of Edmonton, St. Albert, Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Vegreville, Redwater, and Smoky Lake.

Data from the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) from Alberta Environment and Parks and Airshed monitoring stations, which are updated every hour, showed the AQHI scale as a seven out of 10 — a high alert for these areas.

The poor air quality is caused by a stagnant weather pattern which is causing “pollutants to build up near the surface,” said Environment Canada.

Conditions are expected to be worse during the afternoon and evening hours.

Environment Canada cautions people with asthma, COPD, lung disease, heart problems, or diabetes they may be more sensitive to the air pollution and could experience “more serious health effects at lower levels” as pollution can aggravate their diseases.

“Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk,” the alert states.

Anyone experiencing symptoms including coughing, throat irritation, headaches, or shortness of breath should, reduce or reschedule "strenuous outdoor activities until the special air quality statement is lifted,” according to Environment Canada

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