Air quality

Overall, Canadians enjoy a good level of air quality. But in some urban and industrial areas, air pollution levels sometimes still exceed the recommended national standards. Even where air quality meets the standards, scientific research shows that there are still health effects, especially among vulnerable populations such as children and seniors.

This section offers information to help you understand what outdoor air quality means to your health and tools to help protect yourself from the negative effects of air pollution. You can also learn how to improve air quality by making easy lifestyle changes.

In this topic

Air quality health index

The new Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) is a tool to help you plan and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

Reduce humidity, moisture and mould

Dampness is one of the most common causes of poor indoor air in homes, classrooms and public spaces, because moisture promotes the growth of mould and dust mites.


Asbestos poses health risks only when fibres are present in the air you breathe. There are no significant health risks if asbestos fibres stay enclosed or tightly bound in a product like tiles or siding.

Chemicals and your health

You are exposed to many chemicals every day - in the air, food and water and in products you use at work, at home and at play. Exposure to most of these chemicals is not harmful, but in some cases exposure can affect your health if you don't know how to use them properly.

Smog and your health

Smog is a mixture of air pollutants, including gases and particles that are too small to see. Smog often begins in big cities, but smog levels can be just as high or higher in rural and suburban areas. Smog can cause damage to your heart and lungs.

Road traffic and air pollution

Most Canadians are exposed to air pollution from road traffic on a daily basis. There are strict regulations that decrease pollution from motor vehicles by improving engine performance and fuel formulation, including renewable fuels.

Testing your home for radon

Radon is a colourless, odourless gas that can seep undetected into your home and cause lung cancer. Protect your family by testing your home for radon.

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