Posts Tagged ‘Government Of Canada’
Everyone reacts differently to air pollution. Children, the elderly and those with heart or lung disease are most sensitive to the adverse health effects of air pollution. People with diabetes are also at greater risk because they are more prone to heart disease. Even Canadians who are relatively fit and healthy can experience symptoms when exercising or working outdoors if pollution levels are higher than usual.
This winter, pay attention to the air pollution readings in your area, even if the sky is blue and the air smells clean and fresh. Depending on the length of time you are exposed, your health status and the concentration of pollutants in your area, air pollution can make it harder to breathe, irritate your eyes, nose and throat and worsen chronic diseases such as heart disease, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthma.
The Government of Canada is making it easier for Canadians and their families to plan their activities around the quality of the air in their communities. The new Air Quality Health Index is currently available in certain Canadian communities, with more to follow. The index measures three contaminants known to contribute to air pollution – ozone, fine particulates and nitrogen oxide – and gives out readings from one to 10 with health risks associated with each number. The higher the number, the greater the health risk.
This winter, take the guesswork out of planning your outdoor activities and see what the air quality is like in your area. The AQHI is available in parts of British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick with more areas to follow as implementation expands across the country. The index measures air quality on a scale from one to 10 and offers suggestions for modifying your activity to reduce your level of exposure to air pollution, depending on your risk factors. For more information on the AQHI, please visit www.airhealth.ca.