Toronto sees poor air quality amid heat warning, high pollution

Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for Toronto and the rest of the GTA, as hot and humid weather conditions create elevated levels of pollution.

In a statement issued late Tuesday, the agency said “high levels of air pollution have developed.”

“Warm and sunny conditions have resulted in increased ground-level ozone concentrations,” the statement read.

The agency said “high risk” air quality health index values ​​are expected to persist for one to two hours and higher levels of pollution may persist locally tonight.

The declaration, which culminates on the official first day of summer, is in effect for Toronto, York, Durham, Peel, Halton, Hamilton, Niagara and other areas.

“People may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath,” Environment Canada said. “Children, the elderly, and people with cardiovascular or lung diseases, such as asthma, are at particular risk.”

The region is already under a heat advisory due to two days of intense heat.

Toronto broke a 10-year temperature record on Tuesday, reaching 35.3 C at Toronto Pearson, surpassing the previous June 21 record of 34.4 C set in 2012.

Wednesday is expected to be another sweltering day, with an expected high of 31 C, although it will feel closer to 39 with the humidex. A UV index of 11, or ‘extreme’, is also expected.

People are reminded to never leave pets or people inside parked vehicles, to stay hydrated, and to avoid strenuous outdoor work during the hottest part of the day, if possible.

The temperature is expected to drop a bit on Thursday, although it will still be hot with an expected high of 28.

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