When air quality is poor or when a smog warning (yellowish fog comprising gas and particles) is in effect, it means that there is a high amount of pollutants in the air.
The main outdoor air pollutants are:
Among other sources, these pollutants come from:
Air pollutants can affect the entire population’s health. Some people, however, are more sensitive than others to pollutants and more likely to experience adverse effects.
People who breathe polluted air can have a variety of symptoms. These vary according to each person’s sensitivity to air pollution. The main short-term symptoms are:
The severity of these symptoms depends on a person’s health and the level of pollution to which he or she is exposed. The improper use of certain medications can make symptoms of pollution worse.
It is important to note that symptoms can be the result of factors other than air pollution. These other factors include:
You should consult a doctor as soon as possible if you have any of the following symptoms:
If you have questions regarding your health, call Info-Santé 811.
People who breathe polluted air regularly over several years can develop certain health problems:
Breathing polluted air can also worsen symptoms for people already suffering from chronic illnesses, especially respiratory or cardiac diseases. In rare cases, this can lead to hospitalization or premature death.
The risks of experiencing discomfort due to air pollution increase:
Some people are more at risk of showing symptoms if exposed to poor quality air or smog:
Get into the habit of verifying the air quality in your region. When the air quality is poor or a smog warning is in effect, you can take certain precautions. To prevent the effects of air pollution, you can, for instance:
You can also read Preventing the Health Effects of Air Pollution, which offers information on how to ensure your well-being and that of your loved ones when air quality is poor or when there is a smog warning.
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.