Special air quality statement lifted in Edmonton and area

A view of downtown Edmonton from across the North Saskatchewan River on Nov. 20, 2018. Vinesh Pratap, Global News

A special air quality statement warning of increased pollution levels in the Edmonton area was lifted early Friday morning.

Elevated pollution levels were expected in the Edmonton area, Environment Canada said Thursday afternoon.

The statement said higher air pollution near the surface would result in poorer air quality through the Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan areas.

“Stagnant conditions in central Alberta aren’t allowing air to rise, so pollutants are being trapped at the surface and are reducing air quality,” Global News meteorologist Jesse Beyer said.

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Residents were warned they may experience symptoms that include coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath, Environment Canada said. Children, seniors and people with cardiovascular or lung disease were especially at risk.

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As of 1 p.m. on Thursday, Edmonton’s Air Quality Heath Index was sitting at 7 or a high risk. Fort Saskatchewan was sitting at 5, but was expected to worsen to a 7 as well through the afternoon and into Thursday evening.

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The weather agency said the conditions were expected to persist through the night and improve at around noon Friday.

“With a change in pressure on the way, that should ‘stir things up,’” Beyer said.

Edmonton, Sherwood Park, St. Albert, Fort Saskatchewan, Vegreville, Redwater and Smoky Lake were all included in the alert.

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