Advance View: Ozone friendly, but at a distance

Ozone protects us… but it’s deadly, nonetheless.

Ozone is crucial to life on Earth. At concentrations as modest as only eight parts per million, the ozone in the stratosphere blocks much of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation.

Closer to the ground, however, it can be detected by some people in concentrations as low as 10 parts per billion – and it can be a serious problem, especially for the elderly, small children, and anyone with inherent breathing difficulties caused by lung or heart problems or asthma.

All of that would only be an interesting bit of trivia, if it weren’t for the fact that hot weather – such as we are currently experiencing – coupled with normal to high levels of air pollution can cause a build-up of ground-level ozone.

And that, according to Metro Vancouver air quality monitors, is what has been happening, particularly in the eastern parts of the regional district, during the current hot spell.

The high concentrations of ground-level ozone are expected to persist for several days, probably until the current weather system moves along.

The Air Quality Advisory suggests avoiding strenuous outdoor activities during mid-afternoon, when ozone levels are highest.

Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly, and those who have underlying medical conditions, as noted.

If you are experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing, follow the advice of your health care provider, and stay indoors in air-conditioned spaces.

While you’re at it, pay attention to the other dangers of unusually hot weather, like dehydration and the heat itself.

Drink plenty of liquids, especially water.

Try to keep cool – if you don’t have an air conditioner at home, find a mall or public building to get away from the heat.

And be mindful of the dangers of kids and pets left in hot cars.

– B.G.

Just Posted

Snow Day: Langley crews prepare for salting and plowing

With heavy snow expected, crews are working 24-hours until the weather system passes.

WATCH: Walnut Grove Gators take lead in AAAA basketball tournament

The Gators are heading into the finals on Sunday.

Langley program helps youth find their employment niche

The first session of Skills to Success youth employment program wrapped up and a second has started.

UPDATE: 10-20 cm of snow expected Friday in Lower Mainland

Snowfall warning in effect from North Shore mountains out to Hope

WATCH: Langley fire trucks collide on icy roads

The fire trucks crashed while responding to a crash on the same snow-covered stretch.

B.C. Games open with Olympic touch

The 2018 B.C. Winter Games kicked off in Kamloops

BCHL Today: Merritt Centennials keep moving while Salmon Arm Silverbacks slide

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Former Canuck Roberto Luongo addresses Florida shooting victims

Parkland, Fla., resident, delivers speech before Florida Panthers’ first home game since tragedy

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Kelowna skier Kesley Serwa adds to Canada’s gold medals

Despite losses in men’s hockey and curling, Canadian women won medals in ski cross and figure skating

5 to start your day

Up to 20 cm of snow expected in parts of Lower Mainland, possible bridge lane closures, and more

Suspected serial killer targeting Toronto gay community now faces six murder charges

Bruce McArthur now charged with murders of six men: Toronto police

Trump suggests more guns in schools to combat shootings

Trump floats two-step plan for gun control: More guns, more control

Second Russian athlete tests positive for doping at Olympics

Russian Bobsled Federation states a drug-test sample that pilot Nadezhda Sergeeva gave on Sunday was positive.

Indigenous leaders call for change after ‘system fails’ Tina Fontaine

‘All of us should be ashamed’: Calls for change after jury finds Raymond Cormier not guilty

Most Read