Special air quality statement in effect for Kingston region

Photo by Thiago Gomes.

With a forecast of 30-degree temperatures later today and tomorrow, Environment Canada and Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) Public Health have issued a Special Air Quality Statement for the Kingston area, warning of the possibility of deteriorating air quality.

“Hot and sunny conditions are expected to cause increasing high levels of air pollution in the [Kingston] region. Moderate risk AQHI (Air Quality Health Index) values are expected throughout the day with the potential of short-term high-risk AQHI values this afternoon into early this evening,” the statement reads.

Environment Canada issued the statement around 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jun. 1, 2023, and warns that individuals may experience increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. The weather agency cautioned that children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.

“Exposure to air pollution is particularly a concern for children, the elderly, and those who have underlying medical conditions such as lung or heart disease,” the weather agency stated.

Visit the Air Quality Health Index page for information on how to reduce your health risk and your personal contribution to pollution levels, as well as for current and forecast AQHI values.

Later in the day, around 3:15 p.m., KFL&A Public Health issued their own Special Air Quality Statement, noting that “there is a possibility of deteriorating air quality due to hot and sunny conditions which can cause increasing high levels of air” in Kingston, Odessa, Frontenac Islands, and Napane.

“KFL&A Public Health recommends that if you are experiencing symptoms such as coughing, throat irritation or shortness of breath to reduce or reschedule strenuous outdoor activity until Environment Canada lifts the special air quality statement,” the local Public Health Unit said.

According to Public Health, during special air quality statements, everyone is at risk, however, the health risks are highest for:

  • People with heart or breathing problems.
  • Children and seniors.
  • People with diabetes.

The Health Unit urged area residents to follow their health care provider’s usual advice about exercising and managing their conditions.

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