Your health can deteriorate quickly when the air quality is poor or a smog warning (yellowish fog comprising gas and particles) is in effect. The effects of air pollution vary according to each person’s level of sensitivity. You can take certain precautions to improve your well-being and lower the harmful effects that air pollution can have on you and your loved ones.
Certain precautions can help you better plan outdoor activities and prevent the effects of air pollution.
Before going out or engaging in outdoor activities, get into the habit of verifying the air quality index in your area. This way, you can determine when you should take precautions to safeguard your health.
To know if the current air quality in your area is good, acceptable or poor, consult the Air Quality Index page. This is an information tool from the ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MDDELCC). It is updated every hour and shows the current air quality in several Québec regions.
You can also check the air quality forecast for the coming days on Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Info-Smog . This website issues smog warnings for regions where poor air quality is forecasted.
The media often broadcast smog warnings.
If you have heart or respiratory problems, bring your medication with you when you go outdoors. Follow your doctor’s instructions properly to keep your symptoms under control.
When you are physically active, you breathe deeper and faster, putting yourself in greater contact with air pollutants. Therefore, you should limit physical activity and reduce its intensity when you are in a polluted area, such as:
Pay special attention to symptoms you may feel when outdoors. If you have difficulty breathing, stay indoors. If you have questions about your health, call Info-Santé 811.
Pay attention to the air quality inside your home because it could also be harmful to your health.
Certain outdoor pollutants, such as fine particles and ozone, can also get into your house. Other pollutants may already be present, including:
To ensure that the air quality in your home is good, reduce or eliminate major sources of pollutants:
Opening your windows regularly is an inexpensive and effective measure. However, you should keep your windows shut when outdoor air quality is poor and during periods of extreme cold.
Be sure to also:
If you have a central ventilation system (also known as an air exchanger), operate it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
You should install these appliances in your home if you do not yet have them. Be sure to maintain them regularly in order to uphold their efficiency.
The information on this website by no means replaces the advice of a health professional. If you have questions regarding your health, contact Info-Santé 811 or see a health professional.