Special air quality statement issued for Mississauga, Hamilton, Brampton and beyond

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Published April 14, 2023 at 3:01 pm

air quality statement
Photo by Darius Krause

Much of southern Ontario is under a special air quality statement.

The statement issued today (April 14) is in place across southern Ontario including St. Catharines, Hamilton, Halton Region, Mississauga, Brampton, Toronto and Durham Region due to the possibility of deteriorating air quality.

The hot and sunny weather in the last few days is expected to cause increasing ground-level ozone concentrations, according to the statement from Environment Canada.

Increasing ground-level ozone concentrations is when pollutants emitted by cars, power plants, industrial boilers, refineries, chemical plants, and other sources chemically react in the presence of sunlight. Ozone is most likely to reach unhealthy levels on hot sunny days in urban environments, but can still reach high levels during colder months.

Moderate-risk AQHI (Air Quality Health Index) values are possible throughout this afternoon with the potential of short-term high-risk AQHI values for a couple of hours, the statement reads.

“Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath,” the statement says.

“Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.”

People experiencing symptoms, such as coughing or throat irritation, should consider reducing or rescheduling strenuous outdoor activities until the special air quality statement is lifted, Environment Canada advises.

Exposure to air pollution is particularly a health concern for people with heart or breathing problems, those with diabetes, children and the elderly.

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