air quality monitor
The repaired air quality monitors overlooking the town.
Photo courtesy BC Environment

A continuous air quality monitor has been installed on the Valemount firehall roof and data is now available to the public online.

This is the first time data will be continually monitored in the area. A non-continuous monitor provided only anecdotal evidence of air quality and took weeks to know the results.

A continuous monitor costs roughly $10,000 to install. Results from the monitors are posted to the B.C. air quality website every hour.

Residents concerned about air quality can visit the site at and click on the map to zoom into the Valemount area. Valemount is the only monitoring station between Prince George and Kamloops.

Current meteorological data is available on the same website. The data comes from a monitor installed on the courthouse roof.

The World Health Organization targets are a maximum of three days a year with up to 150 micrograms of PM10 per cubic metre and 70 micrograms per cubic metre for long-term exposures to PM10.

The WHO reports that by reducing PM10 from 70 to 20 micrograms per cubic metres, air-quality related deaths would drop by about 15 per cent.

On a clear day the number of fine and coarse particles is close to zero.