Air Quality
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We provide assistance to ensure the air you breathe is safe

Environmental health officers can help you find information about indoor and outdoor air quality.

Indoor air quality

Poor indoor air quality is usually a symptom of another problem such as mould caused by water intrusion or poor ventilation within a home.  Our office does not test for specific airborne contaminants. 

Air quality issues related to places of employment are addressed by Worksafe BC.

Radon gas   

Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Radon is a naturally occurring gas found in the ground throughout the world. Most homes that are in contact with the ground will contain some amount of radon gas.

Outdoor air quality

Outdoor air quality issues are regulated by the BC Ministry of Environment and the BC Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health makes recommendations on standards, objectives and regulations on outdoor air quality affecting human health. The Ministry of Environment monitors air pollution through approval processes, permits, regulation, guidelines and codes of practice.

Pay attention to the air quality in your area and monitor your symptoms regularly:

  • Air Quality Health Index (AQHI): current and predicted, and health messages for the at risk and general population, current and predicted, and health messages for the at risk and general population
  • BC Air Quality: current Air Quality Advisories, levels of measured parameters, and smoke predictions 
  • Forest Fire Air Quality: For more information about forest fires and your health, visit our Emergency Preparedness page.

What can I do?

There are a number of things you can do to help improve air quality:

  • Keep your vehicle tuned and running efficiently; don’t idle for more than 10 seconds
  • Take the bus or carpool
  • If you heat using a woodstove, use dry, seasoned wood
  • Upgrade your woodstove to an efficient, low emissions model
  • Avoid burning prunings and garden waste – compost them instead
  • If you must burn, wait for a good Venting Index (close to 100)
  • If you think you may be affected by poor air quality, contact your physician for advice

Contact your local environmental health office for assistance and information on how to respond to air quality issues.

Additional resources


As a step towards reconciliation, Interior Health acknowledges the land that we live, work, and play on as the traditional territories of the Dakelh Dene, Ktunaxa, Nlaka’pamux, Secwepemc, St’at’imc, Syilx and Tsilhqot’in peoples. It is with humility that we continue to strengthen our relationships with the First Nation, Métis, and Inuit peoples of the interior.
MoH     PCQO