Precautions to take during smog alerts
NEWMARKET – The Ministry of Environment (MOE), in partnership with Environment Canada, has issued another Smog Advisory today for several areas in Ontario, including the Regional Municipality of York.
During a Smog Alert, the public is advised to take precautions to minimize exposure to air pollutants and to refrain from activities that could worsen air quality. The following is suggested to protect those most affected by smog:
- Avoid strenuous exercise and limit outdoor activities
- Reschedule or plan outdoor activities for early in the morning or late in the day when pollutant levels are considerably lower
- Keep away from high traffic areas to reduce exposure to vehicle exhaust
- Stay inside in a cool air-conditioned or well-ventilated environment
- Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration
- Seek medical attention for those complaining of symptoms such as tightness in their chests, coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath, excessive weakness or fatigue
Individuals and businesses can make a big difference in helping to reduce smog levels, including:
- Limit the use of cars: Walk, cycle, carpool or take public transit
- Telecommute (work from home) and teleconference whenever possible
- Reduce unnecessary engine idling of your vehicle at all times
- Restrict the use of oil-based paints, solvents, pesticides, glues, gas-powered engines (such as lawnmowers and leaf blowers) and barbecues
- Conserve energy: Turn down the air conditioner and turn off lights you are not using. Use energy efficient light bulbs. Install low-flow showerheads and aerators in faucets to conserve water
For further information on air quality issues or a copy of the Smog Alerts booklet, contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 (toll free).
To find out what the current Air Quality Index (AQI) readings are for York Region, contact the Ministry of the Environment and Energy (MOEE). The MOEE posts air quality reports and 3-day forecasts at www.airqualityontario.com. Residents can be directly notified of Smog Alerts by registering for the Smog Alert by Email service on the provincial website. Air quality reports are also available by dialing 416-246-0411 or 1-800-387-7768 (in French 1-800-221-8852).
Contact: Kim Clark, York Region Health Services
905-830-4444 Ext. 4101
The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities. York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities: Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville. For more information, visit our Web site at: www.region.york.on.ca
Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region