This Version Posted: December 19, 2019

Air Quality and Smog

People can breathe easier when the quality of air is clean. That’s because air quality directly affects people’s health.

Studies show poor air quality (or air pollution) can:

  • make it harder to breathe
  • irritate your lungs and airways
  • worsen chronic diseases such as heart disease, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthma
  • lead to hospitalization and death.

What is Smog?

Smog is a form of air pollution. It can damage your heart and lungs – even if you don’t see or smell it in the air around you. Smog often starts in big cities, but smog levels can be just as high in rural areas.

What To Do to Protect Our Health

  • Check on the air quality each day. Air Quality Ontario has a daily health index that measures air quality levels for communities across Ontario. Check also for smog alerts in your local weather forecast.
  • Be responsible and act according to conditions. If there is poor air quality, it may be better to stay indoors, avoid strenuous exercise, and put off doing demanding tasks outside.
  • If you have a heart or lung condition, speak to a health care provider about additional ways to protect your health when air quality is poor.
Additional Resources