FREDERICTON (GNB) – Smoke from an industrial fire in Minto could affect air quality in the surrounding areas.

“Residents should take precautions when heavy smoke affects air quality,” said Dr. Kimberley Barker, regional medical officer of health. “Infants, children, pregnant women, older adults, smokers and people with chronic heart or lung diseases should stay indoors to reduce their exposure to the outdoor air.”

Minor smoke conditions do not typically cause health concerns in most healthy individuals. However, if smoke conditions become more severe, people may experience irritation of eyes, throat and possibly shortness of breath. Individuals should adapt their activities as necessary.

People experiencing difficulty breathing or chest discomfort should consult their physician or contact Tele-Care 811.

Public health officials also recommend that residents follow these guidelines if they can taste or smell smoke in the air:

  • Be aware of your symptoms.
  • Reduce levels of physical activity as necessary.
  • Continue sheltering indoors with windows closed.
  • Turn air exchangers off so as to avoid bringing outside air into the home.
  • Remember that dust masks, bandanas or other cloths (even if wet) will not protect you from smoke.

Individuals with respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma, and those with existing cardiovascular conditions such as angina, previous heart attack and congestive heart failure, may be more likely to notice worsening of their symptoms. Public health advises them to take the precautions and steps they normally do when experiencing a worsening of symptoms.