Smog Alerts

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

Air Quality

Air Quality

The quality of our air directly impacts our health and the natural environment, so we want our air to be as clean as possible.
To learn more about your health and the relationship between the air quality, visit one of the topics listed at right or call the Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577.



Put Your Home to the Test

Radon is an invisible, colourless, odourless gas. It occurs naturally when uranium breaks down in soil and rock. When radon is released from the ground into outside air, it’s diluted and not a concern. But in enclosed spaces like homes, radon can reach high levels that pose a health risk to people.

In fact, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers in Canada!

How does Radon Enter a Home?

Radon can come out of the soil and water and seep into cracks, openings and gaps in your home. This is especially true on lower floors, basements or crawl spaces. All homes have some level of radon in them, but it’s essential to know how much.

Time to Test

Testing your home for levels of radon gas is recommended, especially during winter months when you spend more time indoors. In Canada, there are guidelines for the amount of radon in indoor air. If the radon levels in your home are higher than they should be, you need to act. The higher the level of radon, the sooner it needs to be fixed!

How to Test for Radon?

There are two ways to test a home for radon:

  • Purchase a do-it-yourself radon test kit (available at most hardware stores). Be sure to follow instructions for setting up the test.
  • Hire a certified, radon-measurement professional.

Based on results, you can decide the best, most cost-effective way to reduce radon levels in your home.

Additional Resources

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