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Steele and Drex: Lingering smoke shouldn’t cause any long-term health effects

Thick smoke from wildfires fills the air as a man stands on a boat while fishing on Kamloops Lake west of Kamloops, B.C., on Tuesday August 1, 2017. Poor air quality persists throughout the southern half of British Columbia as tinder-dry conditions continue to fuel wildfires. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Thick smoke and haze continues to hang in the air across Metro Vancouver and could last for the rest of the week.

Despite that, Professor Michael Brauer with UBC’s School of Population and Public Health says there shouldn’t be any lingering impact on our health.

“Even in the situation in Kamloops with the exception of women who are pregnant, I don’t expect any long-term risk,” he said.

As for those surgical masks some people are wearing, Brauer says they may provide a “false sense of security” and “may make it harder to breathe.”

“If those masks don’t have an absolutely perfect seal around the face, then essentially the air’s just going in through those leaks.”

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However, he says they can make a difference for people working outside.

“For outdoor workers, so people who can get these masks professionally fit, and there is testing you can do to make sure it actually seals alongside your face and if you have to be working outdoors, then they certainly are effective. ”

He was speaking on Steele and Drex on CKNW.

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