Princeton has dangerously high levels of airborne material: Air Quality Coalition

The air around Princeton has the highest levels of dangerous airborne material in the Okanagan, according to the Air Quality Coalition.

The air around Princeton had dangerously high levels of airborne material this winter that was dangerous to human health, according to the Princeton Air Quality Coalition.

The Town of Princeton monitored the level of small particulate matter in the Princeton-area in August and found “dangerously high” levels of PM2.5, an airborne material measuring 2.5 microns or smaller and considered to be the most dangerous to human health, said Ed Staples from the Air Quality Coalition.

The Ministry of Environment found the air in Princeton has the highest amounts of PM2.5 in the Thompson and Okanagan regions, especially in the winer, Staples said.

Fine particles like the ones the Air Quality Coalition is talking about come from wood combustion, industry and diesel buses and trucks.

“It is clear that Princeton has a problem. During the cold season – usually taken as October to March – the quality of the air in our valley is very poor,” Staples said.

“Many diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses, can be attributed to degraded air quality.”

The particles are so small they can easily reach the deepest recesses of the lungs and stay there, he added.

Coun. Kim Maynard said he was surprised at these results because many people think of Princeton as a pristine area.

But Ralph Adams, air quality meteorologist with the Ministry of Environment, said the poorest air quality almost always occurs in valley communities, not necessarily large cities.

The problem is the worst in the winter when there is poor dispersion in vallies and more people use their wood stoves, he added.

The elderly, people with preexisting heart and lung disease or those with asthma and children are most at risk from exposure.

Staples would like people to take advantage of the wood stove exchange program in Princeton that runs until the end of April.

A public forum on air quality will be held at the Riverside Centre at 7 p.m. May 8.


Just Posted

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host the Valley Wide Business Expo May 4 at Predator Ridge Resort. (photo submitted)
Golf raffle helps Okanagan families score homes

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan swinging into action this summer with a new raffle

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Most Read