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The reasons behind the poor air quality and smog in Pointe-Claire

The City of Pointe-Claire would like to inform you that due to the reoccurring smog over the last few weeks, it is important that residents are aware of the safety precautions to undertake in days of poor air quality.

 What is smog?

Smog is the yellowish fog that causes poor visibility, usually linked to air pollution, forest fires or general industrial factory emissions. Aside from its fog-like shading effects, and its often strong odor, smog can cause several negative health effects, including difficulty breathing, itchy eyes, sinus irritation, coughing, and in some cases, wheezing. It is recommended that those who are predisposed to health conditions to avoid any exposure to smog.

What is causing the smog?

As listed above, there are several phenomena that cause the formation of smog. However, in June of 2023, the smoke from the ongoing forest fires in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Côte-Nord, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, and Nord-du-Québec, among other affected areas, is the root cause of the smog in Pointe-Claire. The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre declared that this was the worst year ever for Canadian wildfires.

What do I do if there is smog?

Government officials recommend staying indoors, closing all the windows of your home, turning off your air exchange system and avoiding any physical activity or actions that require you to exert yourself during periods of smog. If you are feeling unwell, please call Info-Santé 811.

What are the City’s protocols in periods of smog?

The City of Pointe-Claire may undertake several actions, if the situation requires intervention, which include:

  • Offering external help and resources, including Info-Smog, to inform people of necessary safety precautions during periods of smog.
  • Keeping citizens up to date on the local Air Quality Index and forecast, and when it is safe to go outside again.
  • Closure of certain outdoor spaces, including municipal pools, and postponement of certain outdoor events, if there are significant health risks.