The city of Toronto is like many cities. It has businesses, industry, gas-powered vehicles, and it has air pollution. Like many areas around the world they are trying to minimize this damaging reality but they are taking further action to keep their residents informed. They have developed an air quality rating system.
Indexing Air Quality?
We think if we go outside and we do not see any obvious signs of air pollution, like smoke, then the air is fine. However, it is the toxins that you cannot see that cause problems and certain days those toxins may be worse. Environment Canada developed this system and is a part of the daily weather forecast so the general public knows what they may be up against that day and plans their day accordingly.
The rating is expressed on a scale from one to ten plus and the lower the rating the better the air quality is for that day. In addition to the rating, there is a message given as to whether certain individuals, healthy or otherwise, should alter their activity level.
Who Should Pay Attention?
There are some individuals out there who are textbook healthy who believe that the air quality would not affect them. However, these are the same individuals who go outside and engage in some form of physical exercise to maintain their health and are being exposed to high levels of toxins, which counteract what they are trying to achieve. Everyone should pay attention to the air quality index and take action accordingly.
Prevention Is An Ounce Of Medicine
The air quality index provides information that is vital to preventing potential health risks. There are many health issues that can be prevented or assisted by limiting the exposure to air pollution.
- Lung disorders Air pollution constricts your airways making it harder to breath, so disorders like asthma, general allergies, and throat irritations may be effected.
- Chronic diseases Diabetes, bronchitis, and emphysema are irritated by air pollutants.
- Heart Decreased air flow increases blood vessel constriction which paves the way to increased heart attacks, blood pressure, and other forms of heart failure.
What Does It Measure?
Toronto has this rating system and it measures the air quality, but the question arises – what does it exactly measure in the air? Toronto’s system measures three things that affect the air quality and causes air pollution:
- Ground-level Ozone : This is formed by chemical reactions in the atmosphere and is both colorless and odorless. It is a major element in smog during hot weather.
- Nitrogen Dioxide: It is caused by power plants that rely on fossil fuels and the emissions of motor vehicle usage. It is a reddish gas that has a pungent smell.
- Particulate Matter: These are tiny airborne particles that are expelled directly by vehicles, forest fires, and industrial facilities. These can be formed indirectly as a result of reactions among other pollutants.
There are groups statistically that are more affected by air pollution than others. Children, elderly, and those with pre-existing health concerns need to heed the warnings with great attention. However, everyone who is exposed will have a reaction whether immediate or not. Toronto has taken a very important step in this rising concern of air pollution. Toronto is getting the word out to their residents so that they may help take the matter into their own hands.