Air pollution is the world’s fourth leading cause of early deaths, according to a Greenpeace report, and will take the lives of roughly seven million people in the next year. (Black Press Media file photo)

Prince George among cities with worst air quality worldwide in 2018: report

Greenpeace released report about air pollution recorded in B.C. Interior last year

The thick, black smoke last August that had people in Prince George waking up in the dark put the area among the 10 worst cities in the world that month for air pollution.

That’s according to a new report, released Tuesday, from Greenpeace, sounding the alarm about the high level of air pollution recorded in B.C.’s Interior in 2018.

READ MORE: App converts B.C. air quality to cigarettes smoked

The “unhealthy” range on the Air Quality Index is 55.5-150.4. Prince George, Quesnel and Williams Lake had readings of 74.2, 72.2 and 67, respectively – the worst in Canada for that month.

The smoke was so thick in Prince George that it blocked the sun, so it appeared as if it were nighttime despite it being 8 a.m. The haze turned the sky strange tones of orange and grey in other communities. Environment Canada had air quality advisories in place for weeks. Seniors and children were advised to stay indoors.

READ MORE: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

Comparatively speaking, the level of pollution in these regions was roughly five times the 2018 average, prompting the World Health Organization to flag them as well.

READ MORE: Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

“Our province’s vulnerability to forest wildfires has a major impact on the air we all breathe and has serious public health implications,” said Eduardo Sousa, senior campaigner at Greenpeace Canada, in a release. “The report really underscores that we need to act on climate change more robustly for the sake of our well-being and our environment.”

Air pollution is the world’s fourth leading cause of early deaths, the report said, and will take the lives of roughly seven million people in the next year.



joti.grewal@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Clearwater Secondary School girl’s soccer team off to good start

CSS made second place in a tournament of 15 teams

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

Clearwater Fire Department to reach 50-year milestone

A look at the organization through the decades

Emergency exercise to test community’s disaster response

Mock carbon monoxide leak emergency exercise will be taking place on May 28

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Most Read