Special air quality statement issued for Calgary due to wildfire smoke

Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement for Calgary on Friday due to wildfire smoke.

The national weather agency warned that smoke is causing air quality in Calgary to deteriorate, saying it may fluctuate over short distances and vary considerably from hour to hour, but is of special concern to children and seniors.

Read more: Satellite images show wildfire smoke spreading across Canada

The smoke could cause people to begin coughing, have throat irritation or shortness of breath, as well as headaches, Environment Canada said.

People with cardiovascular or lung disease can be particularly sensitive to air pollution.

“They will generally experience more serious health effects at lower levels,” the statement cautioned. “Pollution can aggravate their diseases, leading to increased medication use, doctor and emergency room visits, and hospital visits.”

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Calgary’s current Air Quality Health Index

As of 10 a.m. Friday, Alberta Environment and Parks listed Calgary’s Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) at 7 (high risk), with it forecast to sit at 8 (high risk) throughout the day and 4 (moderate risk) on Saturday.

To see a radar map of the smoke forecast, visit Alberta Wildfire’s website.

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