View at the Naramata Community Market in Wharf Park recently.                                Photo courtesy of studiohinteriordecor/Instagram

View at the Naramata Community Market in Wharf Park recently. Photo courtesy of studiohinteriordecor/Instagram

Air quality rating at high risk for Okanagan-Shuswap

Air quality measurement for the region in classified as unhealthy

Air quality will be at the highest risk level on the index today throughout the Okanagan and Shuswap.

According to the B.C. Air Quality Health Index, the forecast is to be 10-plus today and into Friday. The air quality assessment involves a number of components from across the province that provide up-to-date monitoring data that may affect health or the environment.

Related: Shift in weather pattern may not ease Okanagan haze

In terms of air quality measurements, air quality is measured by particulate matter 2.5, called PM2.5, which is the amount of tiny particles or droplets in the air. For the Okanagan, this morning it was documented at 170 to 179 which is deemed unhealthy.

In comparison, New Delhi, listed in the World Health Organization’s Top 10 most polluted cities in the world, is at a moderate 65 as of Thursday, with highs of 168 in neighbouring areas.

The scale ranges from 1 to 500+. Anything above 100 PM 2.5 is considered to carry a health risk.

However, the Okanagan is not the hardest hit in the province. The Williams Lake reading is at a hazardous rating of 307 on Thursday morning, which is the highest in Canada and the U.S.

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Kristi Patton | Editor

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