Smog building up in eastern Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley

High concentrations of ground-level ozone — smog — are expected to persist for several more days, a Metro spokeswoman said.

On last Sunday, the ground-level ozone readings spiked in three Lower Mainland communities — Maple Ridge, Agassiz and Hope. Metro Vancouver has issued an air-quality advisory for those eastern municipalities and the Fraser Valley.

Dr. Larry Frank said ozone-related air pollution is a far lesser threat than air pollution caused by fine particulate matter.

“Relative to other North American regions, our air is fantastic in terms of ozone,” Frank said. “But if we continue to drive more, then it could be a big threat for us.”

Whether air quality will get worse in the next decade depends on the number of vehicles on the road, the kilometres driven by the vehicles, and the rate at which vehicles become cleaner. Another factor is how effective the region’s transit system will be in the future, and whether it can lure people out of their cars.

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Image credit: The Province