Wednesday, July 6, 2022

2021 Caring for the Air Report – Metro Vancouver Air Quality Improving

Grant Narrows

The Metro Vancouver Regional District is responsible for managing air quality in the Lower Mainland. The regional district has prepared an annual “Caring for the Air” report for the past decade. This report is easy to read and contains helpful information for people. For example, this year’s report has tips on creating a homemade box fan filter for the annual wildfire smoke season.

The report also has information on some of the projects the regional district is sponsoring to help reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emission. One project focuses on the film industry, where they will be looking at ways to replace portable diesel generators with clean energy sources.

It also contains information on the new residential indoor wood burning (fireplace) requirements coming into effect later this year.

Some good news is that gas pollutants continue to trend down except for ground-level ozone, which has slightly increased. This increase is due to ozone formed outside Canada that is coming into our region.

Gas Phase Pollutants. Select chart to enlarge.

Fine Particulate Matter impacts human health, which can decrease lung function, aggravate asthma, make breathing hard, and even lead to premature death in people with heart or lung disease.

The following graph highlights the significant impact of wildfires on Fine Particulate Matter and human health during the summer month.

Fine Particulate Matter. Select chart to enlarge.

For more information, check out the report starting on page 63 of the Climate Action Committee Agenda.

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