Many of us take those breaths for granted.  

But two million Ontario people suffering from asthma or other respiratory problems often find the simple act of breathing to be a challenge. Air pollution from sources like cars and trucks irritates lungs and increases the likelihood of developing asthma. In addition, did you know that one in five of our children have to use an inhaler every day to breathe – and sleep – easily? 

Ontario’s air is getting better – but on bad air days, it’s a problem for many of us. Here are some tips to help asthma sufferers and others affected by poor air quality:

  • Follow the Air Quality Index in your area 
  • If there is a smog alert in your area, or pollutions levels are high, reduce outdoor activity and keep car and home windows closed. 
  • Stay inside in a cool and clean environment during periods of high air pollution.

"Our air quality has improved over the past ten years, thanks in part to shutting down all five coal-fired electricity plants in the province, and to Ontario’s Drive Clean program."

If breathing becomes difficult, contact your doctor, health care provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.

Ontario has taken action on a provincial level to help everyone breathe easier. Our air quality has improved over the past ten years, thanks in part to shutting down all five coal-fired electricity plants in the province, and to Ontario’s Drive Clean program.

Vehicle emissions are a major homegrown source of smog-causing pollutants. Despite advances in cleaner fuels and better automobile technology, even the most modern car can still pollute. Any year, any make, any model can become a smog-belcher if it is not properly maintained. Repairs of cars that failed the Drive Clean test keep more than a third of the lung-irritating pollution regularly emitted from Ontario’s four million cars, trucks and vans out of the air we breathe. 

Strong action by the Province, and smart actions by individuals, are protecting air quality, public health -- and your health.