Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Environment

Air Quality

Poor air quality can contribute to health issues including: cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, respiratory illnesses, mental illness (e.g. depression), and premature death. Increasing temperatures as a result of climate change are expected to increase the volume, timing, and distribution of pollens and molds. While there are many health issues related to poor air quality, the current burden of illness related to air quality is examined using data on asthma related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and overall prevalence and incidence. There is a strong link between rates of asthma-related emergency room visits and Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) readings. Individuals with chronic respiratory diseases, children, the elderly, and socially and economically disadvantaged populations may be more sensitive to changes in air quality.