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Wildfire Smoke and Your Health

Wildfires are a threat to public health and safety, and are expected to continue to grow in intensity each year. Fine particles in wildfire smoke can penetrate deep into the lungs and lead to serious health effects including lung irritation, immune system depression and lung infection.

PRAMP’s newest air station monitors many parameters including ozone, particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide. Together these three parameters provide us with the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) which is an easy-to-understand indicator of current air quality.

AQHI relates the air quality outside to your health using a scale from 1 to 10. The lower the number, the lower the risk. By knowing the current AQHI number, people are equipped to assess their health risk on smoky days and make safe choices.

The current AQHI level is available on PRAMP’s website and is broadcast daily on River Country Radio.

Find more information on wildfire smoke risks and precautions by reading the Alberta Airsheds Council Simplified Wildfire Smoke Guide.

Clean Air Day Photo Contest
Photo by Anna Bremmer

National Clean Air Day 2021 will be celebrated with the live announcement of our photo contest winners on River Country Radio on the morning of Wed, June 2.

Entries of photos depicting the natural beauty of our region can be made until midnight on Mon, May 31. To be eligible, photographers must like and share PRAMP's Facebook page. To post a photo or learn more go to our Facepage page.

Send us a photo, from any year and of any season to be eligible for a cash prize and have your photo featured on the upcoming PRAMP 2021-22 calendar.

Over the period of the contest, there have been three random draws for a gift certificate from a local business of the winner’s choice. Winners include Anna Bremmer, Marc Boycuk and Lyn Yaniuk.

New Research on Indoor Air Quality

Dr. Ran Zhao, Assistant Professor, University of Alberta

Dr. Ran Zhao and his University of Alberta research group recently published a paper on indoor air quality and the impact of using tap water in household humidifiers.

“Our study showed that operating an ultrasonic humidifier with tap water resulted in particulate matter concentrations equivalent to a polluted city,” said Dr. Zhao.

The research was highlighted by Global News and CTV News.

Dr. Zhao is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Alberta and an enthusiastic Atmospheric Chemist performing active research to understand the role of chemistry in the air we breathe.

He leads the Zhao Research Group which is interested in the chemistry leading to the formation and evolution of suspended particulate matter called atmospheric aerosols.

Air pollution has become an imminent environmental problem, affecting the health of people across the globe and Atmospheric Chemistry is playing a pivotal role in the formation and evolution of harmful air pollutants.

The primary goal of the research group is to understand how chemistry affects the air we breathe. “We are happy that our research can be directly translated into knowledge of the general public,” said Dr. Zhao.

Article credit: Alberta Capital Airshed

Air Quality Survey Results

Thanks to all who completed our survey about local air quality. We had 28 responses with 57% indicating that the air quality in Peace River and the surrounding area is excellent.

The survey information will help to identify the next location for PRAMP’s portable monitoring station and is being used as input for discussions about PRAMP’s future goals. Our Board of Directors is developing a new strategic plan and information will be shared in a future newsletter.

Clean Air Day Virtual Event

Every year, the BC Lung Association commemorates Clean Air Day to raise awareness of how important good air quality is to our health, environment, and economy.

This year they have invited BC's top environmental health experts to outline the steps you need to take to protect your health during wildfire season.

The virtual talk will be taking place June 2, 2021 from 10-11:30am PST. Click link to register.

Summer Workshops

PRAMP's Vermicomposting Workshops for summer 2021 are in the planning stages and we will be announcing dates and venues soon. In order to provide safe delivery of our workshops, we will be monitoring and following AHS COVID-19 prevention guidance. If you're interested in attending a workshop, please email

Alberta's Peatland & Climate Action

Did you know that peatland ecosystems play an important role in controlling atmospheric carbon? In Alberta, peatland cover ranges from around 15% in settled areas (such as Grande Prairie and Peace River) to over 50% in northwest regions (such as Red Earth and Utikuma).

Reclamation of peatland landscapes is helping in the fight against climate change by restoring their role as carbon sinks that capture and store carbon within the peat layer.  

Read more in the article “How scientists are restoring boreal peatlands to help keep carbon in the ground” by Dr. Bin Xu, NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Peatland Restoration at the NAIT Centre for Boreal Research in Peace River, Alberta.

Questions About Air Monitoring?
View PRAMP Air Quality Dashboard Reports
PRAMP monitors emissions and air quality to ensure a healthy environment in the Peace River area.
Copyright © 2017 Peace River Area Monitoring Program. All rights reserved.

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Calgary, AB T3A 0Z9

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Peace River Area Monitoring Program Committee · Suite 91, 305 - 4625 Varsity Dr NW · Calgary, Alberta T3A 0Z9 · Canada

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