Halton’s Air Quality Health Index keeps you safe!

Halton Region Air Quality Health Index
Halton’s Air Quality Health Index keeps you safe!

About the Author

Gary Carr

Gary Carr

In 2006, Gary was elected to the position of Regional Chair at the Regional Municipality of Halton, and was re-elected to the position in 2010. Gary sits on the Standing Committees of Health and Social Services, Administration and Finance, and Planning and Public Works, in addition to a number of Advisory Committees. Gary is also a member of the board for the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance, and served on the Halton Regional Police Services Board and Metrolinx.

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On Tuesday, June 21, 2016 Halton Region launched its updated Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) tool to support residents in learning how to make healthier choices for themselves and their family. The AQHI is a tool that measures air quality and can help residents make informed decisions to protect their health and well-being, especially during the hot months of summer when poor air quality is at its peak. The tool helps enhance residents’ understanding of the AQHI through a simple colour scheme that communicates the level of air quality risk.

Halton Region is committed to enhancing the health and well-being of all residents through our programs and services. The Air Quality Health Index is another tool that makes it easier for residents to understand air quality levels and the impact poor air quality can have on a person’s health. By providing this information in an easy to understand format, we are helping people make informed choices to protect their health from air pollution at every age and stage of life.

By paying attention to whether it’s a blue, orange or red air day in Halton Region, people can learn whether they need to adjust their daily outdoor activity:

  1. On a blue air day (Low risk: 1-3 on the AQHI scale), air quality is ideal for enjoying outdoor activities.
  2. On an orange air day (Moderate risk: 4-6 on the AQHI scale), people with heart or breathing issues may want to consider reducing or rescheduling strenuous activities outdoors if they are experiencing symptoms. Otherwise, enjoy being physically active outside.
  3. On a red air day (High risk: 7-10 on the AQHI scale), people with heart or breathing issues, as well as children and older adults, should reduce or reschedule strenuous activities outdoors. Others should consider reducing or rescheduling strenuous outdoor activities, especially if experiencing coughing or throat irritation.

“People with heart or breathing problems are more sensitive to air pollution and should reduce or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities on red air days when the AQHI is seven or above,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health. “Children, the elderly or anyone experiencing symptoms such as coughing and throat irritation should also limit outdoor physical activity until the air quality improves.”

To learn more about the AQHI and to sign up to receive environmental alerts delivered right to your inbox, visit halton.ca/airquality.

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