In the current context of increasing forest fires in Western Canada, this National Clean Air Day is of great importance. Celebrated annually in Canada on June 8, the primary goal is to remind people of the impact of air quality on the health of everyone, as well as on the general environment and the economy.
Based on the most recent data, impacts of fire are recognized on lung health, cancer development, heart health, mental health and pregnant women. Regardless of the health status of each individual, it is important to pay attention to the warning systems that provide indications and scales of measurement. Scientists would like to improve the effectiveness of these systems to make the data more accessible and understandable to the population.
In parallel, there is some good news. There has been an overall decrease in air pollutant emissions since 1990 (latest report on Canada’s air pollutant emissions). Moreover, each individual can contribute to this reduction and fight against climate change by adopting simple and accessible measures such as:
- Compost and reduce waste
- Planting trees
- Change your diet to increase plant-based foods
- Use public transportation more or adopt an active mode of transportation such as cycling or walking
- Drive an electric car
- Take the train instead of flying
- Limit the use of combustion sources such as incense, wood stoves, etc.