A new study shows that wood smoke increases the risk of heart attacks in BC seniors.

Breathe Clean Air Comox Valley spokesperson Jennell Ellis says the air quality in the region is a problem, especially during the winter months.

Ellis suggests moving to cleaner heating sources like heat pumps as a possible solution to the issue.

In addition to the fixed-site air quality monitor at Courtenay Elementary, researchers set up 8 temporary monitors across the region for the study.

The study found that during the cold season, wood stove pollution is at its highest, and the risk of heart attacks in people 65 and older is increased by 19%.