Smog Alert: Toronto, Halton-Peel & York-Durham July 13, 2012

Smog Alert: Toronto, Halton-Peel & York-Durham July 13, 2012

A SMOG ADVISORY* has been issued by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for the following forecast regions for July 13, 2012:

  • City of Toronto
  • Halton-Peel
  • York-Durham
Smog Alert: Toronto, Halton-Peel & York-Durham July 13, 2012

Smog Alert: Toronto, Halton-Peel & York-Durham July 13, 2012

Hot and hazy conditions combined with southerly winds are resulting in elevated smog levels across parts of southern Ontario.

This smog advisory will remain in effect until further notice.

* A Smog Advisory means that there is a strong likelihood that there may be poor air quality within the next 24 hours due to ground-level ozone and/or particulate matter.

The Air Quality Index (AQI):

  • It is an indicator of air quality, based on air pollutants  that have adverse effects on human health and the environment.
    • Smog is harmful to the lungs and heart.
    • Even in healthy people, smog can reduce lung function.

  • A Smog Advisory is related to the Air Quality Index (AQI), which rates how clean the air is.
    • The AQI scale ranges from 0 to 100+.
    • Higher numbers mean higher health risks.
    • A Smog Advisory is issued in your region when the AQI is expected to reach 50 in the next 24 hours.
    • It can be lifted once the AQI is expected to reach or drops below 50.
  • Smog is made up of a complex mixture of air pollutants that are sometimes visible, such as a brownish-yellow haze over cities; sometimes not.

The details of the smog forecast are as follows:

  • During Friday:
    • A smog advisory has been issued for some regions of southern Ontario.
    • A high pressure ridge over Ontario is causing sunny skies over most regions, except for some cloudiness during the afternoon over southern Ontario.
    • Increasingly hot temperatures are forecasted with light winds over most regions.
    • Air quality indices are forecasted to be in the:
      • moderate to poor categories in the smog advisory regions of southern Ontario
      • good to moderate categories elsewhere
  • During Saturday:
    • Similar conditions are expected except for increasing humidity as well as partly cloudy skies caused by a weak weather disturbance which is forecasted to move northeastward across the eastern Great Lakes region.
    • Air quality indices are forecasted to be in the good to moderate categories in all of the forecast regions, due to ozone and fine particles.
  • During Sunday:
    • A weak low pressure trough is forecasedt to move eastward across southern Ontario.
    • Very warm and humid conditions with light winds are forecast to continue with partly cloudy skies and possible precipitation.
    • Partly clearing skies and west to northwesterly winds are expected following passage of the trough.
    • Air quality indices are forecasted to be in the good to moderate categories in all of the forecast regions, due to ozone and fine particles.

During the smog episode, individuals may experience the following symptoms:

  • eye irritation
  • heavy outdoor exercise may cause respiratory symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath
  • people with heart or lung disease including asthma may experience a worsening of their condition

Please click here for details on air quality in Ontario.

Spare the Air Actions

During a smog advisory, there are a number of actions that you can take to help spare the air.

Travel tips – all year round:

  • leave your car at home – walk, cycle, carpool or take public transit
  • tele-conference instead of driving to meetings
  • limit car trips by doing all your errands at once, and do not let your engine idle
  • keep your car well tuned, check your tire pressure and drive at moderate speeds

Health tips:

  • avoid exposure to vehicle exhaust fumes
  • consult your doctor for specific health advice
  • wear light clothing at work while air conditioning is reduced
  • avoid strenuous exercise in the heat of the day

Electricity saving tips:

  • save electricity at home by setting your air conditioner temperature a few degrees higher (health permitting) and
  • turning off lights you are not using

Other pollution reduction tips:

  • leave lawn mowing for another day
  • restrict the use of gasoline-powered equipment
  • delay using oil-based paints, solvents and cleaners

Please click on the following text to:

Please click here for more info about smog.

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