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Air Quality Health Index
Purpose

The purpose of this webpage is to assess your awareness of the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI), your preference in receiving the AQHI information, and your willingness to use the AQHI forecast. We would also like to understand whether the AQHI information will encourage you to make environmentally conscience lifestyle choices.

Your Feedback

The feedback and input provided will help the Asthma Society of Canada (ASC) promote the AQHI to people with chronic respiratory diseases by incorporating the AQHI forecast in the existing ASC programs and services. This will ultimately promote better health outcomes by encouraging positive lifestyle choices based on current AQHI readings.

Please provide your feedback about the AQHI.

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Useful AQHI Links
Background Information

On average, we breathe in 21,000 times a day. That's about 14,400 litres of inhaled air each day for a moderately active adult. Air pollution affects thousands of Canadians annually and can cause lost productivity, pain, suffering, and exacerbations of respiratory diseases leading to increased respiratory infections and hospitalization.

Clean air and a healthy environment are therefore of vital importance when it comes to our health. It is estimated that over 5,000 deaths in Canada arise every year due to air pollution. Individuals who are at greatest risk are young children, the elderly and those who have existing respiratory and cardiovascular conditions.

Air pollution is a key trigger of asthma and associated allergies. The Asthma Society of Canada (ASC) is committed to helping adults and children with asthma and associated allergies to breathe easier and recognizes the vital importance of clean air and a healthy environment. Although it is not conclusive that air pollution causes asthma, evidence suggests that air pollution is a key trigger for its exacerbation. Extensive studies have shown that increases in air pollution result in a rapid increase in the number of hospitalization due to asthma.

Due to this growing concern, the Government of Canada and its partners have launched a new national Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) to help you protect your health against the harmful effects of air pollution.
About the AQHI


The AQHI is a web-based scale which describes a local reading of air quality as it relates to your health. The AQHI is calculated daily based on the levels of a combination of air pollutants in the air which are known to be harmful to your health. The AQHI reading describes a number between 1 and 10+. The greater the number, the higher the level of air pollution, and the greater the associated health risk. Alongside the AQHI are Health Messages which help explain the index, and provide recommendations on how to adjust your outdoor activity level based on the current reading specific to your individual health risk to air pollution.

The AQHI presents a new, national, health-based approach to communicating air pollution. The AQHI is available across Canada in select cities. The AQHI will serve to promote better health outcomes for individuals by encouraging positive lifestyle choices based on current AQHI readings.
AQHI Health Messages

The Health Messages help explain the AQHI reading by providing recommendations on how to adjust your outdoor activity levels in accordance with each health risk and AQHI reading. The Health Messages are separated into two individual health risk categories, the "At Risk Population" and the "General Population". Separate Health Messages are described for each health risk category. The Health Messages will thus serve to help explain the AQHI by providing recommendations on how to adjust your outdoor activity level based on the current reading specific to your individual health risk to air pollution.

Please click on the following links to access the Health Messages:

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DISCLAIMER: Content on this website is for information purposes only andnot a substitute for a qualified medical professional.
For specific information treatment and management your asthma and/or potential side effects of medications and
treatment, please consult your physician.