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Baking heat prompts air quality advisory for Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley

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Regional officials have issued an air quality advisory for eastern Metro Vancouver and the central Fraser Valley due to high concentrations of ground-level ozone.

People are being advised to avoid strenuous outdoor activities in the mid-afternoon and early evening.

Read more: Daily heat records tumble in B.C., with worst of ‘dangerous’ heat wave yet to come

The poor air quality is of particular concern to people with underlying conditions like heart or lung disease, asthma, diabetes or respiratory illnesses including COVID-19.

Pregnant women, children and people who work outdoors are also at risk, Metro Vancouver said.

Ground-level ozone is formed when pollutants produced by fuel combustion and volatile organic compounds, like those generated from solvents, react in sunlight.

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Read more: Heat wave: As B.C. bakes, what role does climate change play?

It persists in highest concentrations during mid-afternoon and early evening on hot summer days.

Metro Vancouver estimated the ozone would persist with the hot, sunny weather — which is forecast to last into next week.

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