Alarming new report shows smog is responsible for 9,500 deaths in the
province each year
TORONTO, June 6 /CNW/ - New data released today by the Ontario Medical
Association (OMA) shows that air pollution is a contributing factor in almost
9,500 premature deaths per year in Ontario. The report comes as Ontario enters
into the summer season and smog days are expected. Doctors are urging people
to take the proper precautions when air quality is poor.
"The health impacts from smog range anywhere from itchy eyes and sore
throats to respiratory and cardiac illnesses and even premature death," said
Dr. Ken Arnold, President of the OMA. "Ontarians need to be mindful of the
impact that smog has and take necessary precautions to protect their health
during poor air quality periods."
The OMA's recently updated Illness Costs of Air Pollution (ICAP) model
found that of the 9,500 premature deaths, more than 1,000 occurred during or
immediately after periods of increased pollution. The remaining number can be
attributed to long-term, lifetime exposure to air pollutants. The ICAP model
uses air pollution, illness and demographic information to estimate
smog-related health effects.
"The numbers reinforce the fact that the problem of smog is not confined
to cities and industrial centres," said Dr. Arnold. "A staggering number of
premature deaths attributed to pollution were found across Ontario, showing
that less-urban areas can be equally, and sometimes even more affected by smog
than larger cities."
In 2007, Ontario recorded 59 poor air quality days; Ontario's doctors
want patients to be prepared this summer so they can take the proper steps to
protect their own health. On days when air pollution is high, it is
- reduce strenuous outdoor activities, or change the time you are active
outdoors to early morning or later in the evening.
- drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated.
- stay in a cool, clean, air-conditioned environment if you are
especially vulnerable to the effects of smog.
- speak to your physician about how best to manage your condition if you
suffer from respiratory or cardiac illness.
- know your limits and pay attention to how you are feeling.
"It's important for those who may be more at risk from smog related
illness to consult their doctor on how they can stay protected," said Dr.
Arnold. "The air we breathe is one of our most important resources and we all
have a role to play in reducing the amount of smog that we are exposed to."
For a break down of premature mortality estimates locally, please visit
Local Premature Smog Deaths in Ontario
This data is derived from the Ontario Medical Association's (OMA) Illness
Cost of Air Pollution (ICAP) Model. The data illustrates premature smog deaths
by census district for the year 2008.
Algoma 130 Niagara 425
Brant 108 Nipissing 67
Bruce 68 Northumberland 81
Cochrane 70 Ottawa-Carleton 503
Dufferin 37 Oxford 93
Durham 381 Parry Sound 41
Elgin 71 Peel 700
Essex 317 Perth 66
Frontenac 107 Peterborough 119
Grey 83 Prescott and Russell 49
Haldimand-Norfolk 99 Prince Edward 25
Haliburton 18 Rainy River 14
Halton 336 Renfrew 76
Hamilton-Wentworth 445 Simcoe 299
Hastings 103 Stormount, Dundas, Glengarry 86
Huron 60 Sudbury District 118
Kenora 34 Sudbury Regional Municipality 20
Kent 100 Thunder Bay 122
Lambton 125 Timiskaming 32
Lanark 48 Toronto 2130
Leeds Grenville 80 Victoria 69
Lennox and Addington 31 Waterloo 348
Manitoulin 14 Wellington 158
Middlesex 348 York 590
Provincial Total(*) 9,500
(*)The provincial total is based on the addition of the unrounded
premature death numbers from each census district.
For further information:
For further information: OMA Media Relations at (416) 340-2862 or
toll-free at 1-800-268-7215 ext. 2862.