Dramatic reductions in air pollution are needed to keep us healthy

Dr. Michael Brauer from UBC wrote the following piece in the Globe and Mail about air pollution and COVID-19.

Certainly, there has been reduced vehicular traffic and economic activity due to physical distancing. But that doesn’t mean all drivers of pollution have been eliminated. In British Columbia, other major sources include open burning of agricultural and forestry waste, as well as residential wood heating and road dust. The wildfire season is also quickly approaching, bringing with it the potential for severe smoke. And in the past week alone, elevated levels of health-damaging particle air pollution have been measured on Vancouver Island and in Metro Vancouver with authorities poised to issue air-quality advisories. In our interior communities, spring has already brought about multiple air-quality advisories, prompted by the dust that’s unleashed when the snow melts and winter traction materials dry up.
Dr. Brauer goes onto note that roughly 800,000 people in B.C. live with chronic lung disease. This is almost 1-in-6 people, and there are likely hundreds of thousands more of us who have less severe lung impairment (for now).

To read the article, click here.

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