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Smog Watch and Smog Advisory

 

How is air quality measured?

The new Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) was developed by scientists from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, Environment Canada, health experts from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and Public Health Ontario. The scale ranges from 1 to 10+, with four categories of “low, medium, high and very high risk”. The higher the AQHI reading, the greater the health risk and the need to take precautions.

The formula developed to calculate the AQHI is based on research by Health Canada using health and air quality data from major Canadian cities, taking into consideration the human health risk of a mixture of common air pollutants. For more information, consult the Air Quality Ontario website.

Each hour, pollutants are measured at stations across Ontario. There are 11 monitoring stations across the GTA. Two of those stations are located in Peel - one in Brampton and one in Mississauga - and five are located in areas bordering Peel region.

What is a Special Air Quality Statement (SAQS)?

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, together with Environment Canada, will issue a Special Air Quality Statement if a high Air Quality Health Index value (7 or greater) is forecast to last for 1 to 2 hours.

What is a Smog and Air Health Advisory (SAHA)?

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, together with Environment Canada, will issue a Smog and Air Health Advisory if a high Air Quality Health Index value (7 or greater) is forecast to last for 3 hours or more.

How do I know if there is a Special Air Quality Statement or a Smog and Air Health Advisory?

Check the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change website for current air quality readings and forecasts.

Join the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change's Email Air Quality Alert Notification and you will receive an automatic e-mail when a Special Air Quality Statement (SAQS) or Smog and Air Health Advisory (SAHA) is issued.

You can also sign up for the WeatherActive app to help you stay active and healthy by receiving heat and air quality reports, listing places to cool down and getting tips for planning healthy outdoor activities.

 

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Revised: Wednesday July 15 2015

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