Take a deep breath Canada – the air we breathe was just ranked third best on the World Health Organization‘s air quality index. Also tied for third place was Australia, with Estonia in first and Mauritius in second.
According to the WHO press release, the largest contributors to urban outdoor air pollution include motor transport, small-scale manufacturers and other industries, the burning of biomass and coal, as well as coal-fired power plants.
As a result of the presence of these factors, urban cities often exceed the recommended maximum of PM10 particles, which are particles so small they can penetrate the lungs causing respiratory problems, heart disease, lung cancer and asthma, reports CBC.ca.
Of Canada’s cities, Whitehorse scored best with 3 micrograms of PM10 per cubic metre, while Sarnia ranked the worst with an average of 21 micrograms of PM10 per cubic metre.
Outdoor air pollution is estimated to cause 1.34 million premature deaths each year.
As a self-proclaimed country girl who grew up in a rural part of Ontario, I definitely notice a difference in the air when I’m home visiting friends and family and when I return to Toronto, where I live now.
How does your hometown fare in terms of air quality?