02/22/2015 08:27 EST | Updated 04/24/2015 05:59 EDT

Terrace road dust prompts health advisory

A heath advisory has been issued for Terrace due to high levels of airborne particles of road dust.

The provincial air quality objective for coarse particles is 50 micrograms per cubic metre.

According to the Northern Health Authority, readings in Terrace are significantly higher at 82.5 micrograms per cubic metre.

It says the dusty conditions are caused by road traffic stirring up sand or other materials added in winter to improve road traction and are expected to persist until there is enough rain or wind to disperse them.

People with chronic medical conditions are being advised to avoid strenuous exercise and remain indoors until the advisory is lifted.  

The advisory says symptoms that could require further medical advice or attention include: eye or throat irritation, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, or coughing or wheezing, particularly for those with asthma, hay fever, lung conditions or a strong reaction to dust.

Tips to reduce personal health risk

- Avoid roads with heavy vehicle traffic.

- Keep windows and doors closed and reduce indoor sources of pollution, such as smoking, vacuuming and use of wood stoves.

- If symptoms continue to be bothersome, seek medical attention.

Tips to reduce air particles

- Avoid the use of wood-burning stoves and fireplaces unless used as the sole source of residential heat.

- Where wood-stoves or fireplaces are the sole source of residential heat, use only CSA/EPA emissions approved wood-burning appliances and well-cured wood, and ensure an adequate supply of combustion air.

- Avoid backyard burning

- Reduce the use and idling of vehicles

To monitor current air quality conditions in Terrace, visit the BC Air Quality page.