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Air Pollution and Your Health Krystal Watson
Air Pollution and Your Health

Depending on the length of time exposed, your health status, your genetic background and the concentration of pollutants, air pollution can:

  • Irritate your lungs and airways
  • Make it harder to breathe
  • Worsen chronic diseases such as heart disease, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthma

Negative health effects increase as air pollution worsens. Small increases in air pollution over a short period of timecan increase symptoms of pre-existing illness among those at risk.

What can I do to protect my health and the health of my family?

Refer to the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) regularly to check the air quality in your community before heading outside.

When the AQHI reading rises or you experience symptoms like difficulty breathing, coughing or irritated eyes, you can decide whether you need to:

  • Reduce or reschedule outdoor physical activities
  • Monitor possible symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, coughing or irritated eyes
  • Activate a personal health plan or consult a physician or health care provider

The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) is for everyone, it provides a number from 1 to 10 to indicate the level of relative health risk associated with local air quality. The higher the AQHI number, the greater the health risk and need to take precautions.

The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) can be viewed online at the following government website and includes a link to AQHI smart phone applications.

https://weather.gc.ca/airquality/pages/provincial_summary/ab_e.html


Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) for Edmonton Alberta (August 15th, 2018)



Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) Health Message

Each level of health risk is associated with a pair of health messages for at risk and general populations. It suggests steps we can take to reduce our pollution exposure.


Reference: Government of Alberta Website (http://aep.alberta.ca/air/air-quality-health-index/default.aspx)









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