A special air quality statement has been issued for Brantford-Brant. Poor air quality, with moderate to high-risk Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) values, is expected in the area on Wednesday and into Thursday morning.
AQHI levels have reached the high-risk level due to smoke plumes from forest fires in northeastern Ontario and Quebec.
Populations considered at higher risk of experiencing health effects caused by wildfire smoke include:
- People with lung disease (such as asthma) or heart disease
- older adults
- pregnant people
- people who work outdoors
Wildfire smoke can be harmful to everyone’s health even at low concentrations. Exposure to air pollution may cause healthy people to experience irritated eyes, increased mucus in the nose or throat, coughing or difficulty breathing, especially during exercise.
The Brant County Health Unit advises all residents to monitor the local AQHI index over the coming days.
When local AQHI values exceed 7 (considered “high-risk”):
- Higher-risk populations are advised to reduce or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities.
- All others not in a high-risk population should consider reducing or rescheduling outdoor activities if they experience coughing or throat irritation.
Residents are encouraged to adjust their activities based on their personal risk level and the evolving conditions. Residents who have questions about their personal risk level should consult their primary health care provider. To learn more about the health risks of air pollution, visit the Government of Canada’s website.