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Take Five! A Clean Air Day To-Do List

Jun 04, 2014

Toronto, ON – Wednesday, June 4, is Clean Air Day, a timely reminder that the quality of the air we breathe affects our lungs, especially during the heat and humidity of summer when air pollution can reach unsafe levels.

For the 2.4 million Ontarians living with a serious lung disease such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or lung cancer, breathing contaminated air can be dangerous – even life-threatening.

Most areas of Ontario have to deal with air pollution. In cities, emissions from heavy traffic can cause smog. And rural areas downwind from cities experience higher ozone levels because ozone drifts over large distances.

Data from the provincial Ministry of Environment shows that overall air quality in Ontario has been improving over the past decade with fewer smog days each year. This has been due to the closure of coal-fired power plants, implementation of vehicle emissions testing programs and stricter industry emissions standards across the province.

Every Ontarian who breathes has a stake in maintaining and accelerating the trend towards  cleaner, safer air. Here are five things you can do to help keep our air clean:

  1. Walk, cycle, carpool or take public transit.
  2. Turn off your vehicle while you wait. Idling is a significant contributor to air pollution.
  3. Start a compost heap in your backyard for organic debris. Don’t burn wood or trash.
  4. Use hand-powered garden equipment instead of gas or diesel-powered mowers, trimmers, etc. It’s non-polluting and good exercise, too.
  5. Garden without pesticides and herbicides. There are many safe alternatives to these toxic chemicals.

For information on air quality (outdoor or indoor) or any other lung health issue, phone the Lung Health Information Line at 1-888-344-LUNG (5864) or email info@on.lung.ca