Southern and Western Fires Worsen Air Quality, Affecting Health in Nearby Communities

Southern and Western Fires Worsen Air Quality, Affecting Health in Nearby Communities

The fires burning in the south and west are impacting both rural communities and those miles away in urban areas. The fires have sent plumes of smoke into the air severely impacting the air quality in communities like Punta Gorda, the Twin Towns, and Benque Viejo. According to the Ministry of Health and Wellness, which had issued health advisories on the situation, the fires have resulted in a considerable increase in air pollution posing health risks, especially to vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly, and individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions. But how bad is the situation? Today, we asked the Deputy Chief Environmental Officer, Edgar Eck, if the Department of the Environment is measuring the extent of the pollution, but it turns out the DOE isn’t equipped to carry out such exercises.

Edgar Eck, Deputy Chief Environmental Officer, Department of Environment: “We lack the equipment to be able to do that air quality monitoring. We are just in process of establishing a network of systems that will be able to give us that information. Our immediate action right now, our strategy, is that we are going back to the diffusion tubes. We’re going to place them in strategic locations so that we could start to have at least build that baseline information that is needed for us to start to understand what’s happening.”

Reporter: You did say that the threshold was above international standards. What are some of the effects that can cause on the population? 

Edgar Eck, Deputy Chief Environmental Officer, Department of Environment: “Well, you know, once you hit that threshold and you go beyond that the more vulnerable population, those with long problems and stuff like that are the ones that are going to suffer first. I can’t really say exactly how that will impact because our role would be for us to provide the data. We share that information with the Ministry of Health and then they will be able to say what is exactly some of the things that we could expect out of those.”

Health authorities encourage residents in affected areas to stay indoors, keep windows and doors closed, use air purifiers, limit outdoor activities, and wear masks to protect themselves from the effects of the smoke.

Related post

PNP Candidate Wil Maheia says he has solution to Monkey River Erosion Crisis

PNP Candidate Wil Maheia says he has solution to…

Residents of Monkey River, Toledo District, have been battling with erosion for years to prevent their homes and beaches from disappearing.…
Minister Hyde Addresses Environmental Concerns Over Placencia Peninsula Resort Development

Minister Hyde Addresses Environmental Concerns Over Placencia Peninsula Resort…

Minister Hyde also spoke on the Will Bauer Flats and the future of development in the area located off the Placencia…
National Met Service Predicts Increased Moisture Tonight Amid Prolonged Dry Season

National Met Service Predicts Increased Moisture Tonight Amid Prolonged…

The National Met Service is calling for an increase in moisture tonight.  It is a forecast that began earlier this week,…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *