The air we breathe has a direct impact on human health.
Air pollution kills an estimated 5,900 Canadians each year. Poor air quality can make it harder to breathe, irritate your lungs and airways, and worsen chronic diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), asthma and heart disease. Each individual reacts differently to air pollution, so it is important that you know your risk and how to obtain information on air quality in your region.
Alberta's Air Quality Health Index (AQHI)
The Government of Alberta has implemented the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI): a tool designed to help you understand what the air quality around you means to your health.
The AQHI is a tool developed by health and environmental professionals to communicate the health risk posed by air pollution. It is designed to help you make decisions to protect your health and the environment by:
- limiting short-term exposure to air pollution
- adjusting your activity during episodes of increased air pollution and encouraging physical activity on days when the index is lower
- reducing your personal contribution to air pollution
The index provides specific advice for people who are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution as well as the general public.
Current Conditions and Forecasts: airquality.alberta.ca/map/
AQHI for Health Professionals
Click here for downloadable resources to share information on the AQHI with at-risk audiences, their families, and caregivers.
For more resources, please see our Resources for Health Professionals page.
Alberta Airshed Zones
Alberta's Airshed Zones are an excellent source for local air quality news and data. For information on each airshed, please see the following links:
- Alberta Capital Airshed
- Calgary Region Airshed Zone
- Fort Air Partnership
- Palliser Airshed Society
- Parkland Airshed Management Zone
- Peace Airshed Zone Association
- West Central Airshed Society
- Wood Buffalo Environmental Association
For current air quality health index (Yellowknife), click here.
Visit The Lung Association, Alberta and NWT's Air Quality Issues in Alberta & NWT for more information about outdoor air quality.