Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Low to Very High Risk: A Look at Canada's Air Quality Monitoring System

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Low to Very High Risk: A Look at Canada's Air Quality Monitoring System

Article excerpt

A look at Canada's air quality monitoring system

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The air in fire-damaged Fort McMurray has scored 38 on the Air Quality Health Index, a scale used in Canada that ranges from 1 to 10. "In extreme conditions, it can generate results well over 10," says Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Karen Grimsrud, adding the score was calculated from measurements of three pollutants -- smoke, ozone and nitrogen dioxide.

Here's a look at the scale's categories:

1 to 3:

Low risk. Ideal air quality for outdoor activities.

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4 to 6:

Moderate risk. People can enjoy outdoor activities unless they experience coughing or throat irritation. Those who are most at-risk -- children, the elderly and people with respiratory or cardiovascular conditions -- should consider reducing or rescheduling strenuous outdoor activities if experiencing symptoms. …

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