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LETTER: Why is our air so bad during inversions?

On Nov. 13, 2022 Port Alberni’s air pollution index was rated as “unhealthy.”

To the Editor,

On Nov. 13, 2022 Port Alberni’s air pollution index was rated as “unhealthy.” To be concise, it was 14 times worse than World Health Organization (WHO) health guidelines.

We can’t blame that on smoke from forest fires, so what can we blame it on? Where is this pollution coming from? It’s long past time we answered that question. It’s long past time we looked at what is a serious problem in this community, where inversions are very common.

These fine particulates can, and are causing serious health problems to the residents of Port Alberni.

It’s long past time to take a hard look at woodstoves in our region as well.

But more than anything, this town needs a comprehensive, unbiased study of where this pollution is coming from, and what must be done to make Port Alberni a healthy community to work, retire to, and live in.

I just checked the air quality readings again on Nov. 20, 2022. It was 123, almost nine times the WHO’s safe level. Do you want to walk outside with readings like that? Do you appreciate what walking outside with levels like that will do to your lungs or health? All those fine particles will end up in your lungs, and once there they aren’t coming out.

It’s long past time we stop ignoring what is, and should be a serious issue to everyone in Port Alberni.

Tom Gowan,

Port Alberni