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|Smithers, British Columbia
|Smithers St Josephs, British Columbia
|Quebec City, Quebec
|La Tuque, Quebec
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level
|Air quality index
| 71 US AQI
PM2.5 concentration in Kitchener is currently 4.4 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Tuesday, Feb 20
Good 44 AQI US
|Wednesday, Feb 21
Moderate 54 AQI US
|Thursday, Feb 22
Moderate 62 AQI US
Moderate 71 AQI US
|Saturday, Feb 24
Good 6 AQI US
|Sunday, Feb 25
Good 12 AQI US
|Monday, Feb 26
Good 26 AQI US
|Tuesday, Feb 27
Good 47 AQI US
|Wednesday, Feb 28
Moderate 57 AQI US
|Thursday, Feb 29
Good 43 AQI US
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Kitchener is a city located in Ontario, one of thirteen provinces located in Canada. Previously known as Berlin, due to a high number of German immigrants in the early 19th century, it finds itself just 100km away from the major city of Toronto, and is itself home to approximately 233 thousand inhabitants. The city and region are comprised mainly of wet climate soils and deciduous trees, and like many cities throughout Canada is subject to a wide range of different temperatures, ranging from highs of 38 degrees Celsius all the way down to -34 degrees. These meteorological conditions can have some influence on the levels of air pollution present, with some factors increasing it whilst other, such as strong winds, can assist in decreasing it by blowing away accumulations of pollution and other harmful materials.
Looking at its pollution level readings, Kitchener came in with a PM2.5 reading of 6.8 μg/m³, one that was low enough to put it well within the World Health Organizations (WHO's) target goal for great air quality at 10 μg/m³ or below, with the closest to 0 being the most optimal. Kitchener’s reading of 6.8 μg/m³ put it in 3855th place out of all cities ranked worldwide (indicative that it has a very good quality of air, among the top ranked cities of the world), as well as 79th place out of all cities ranked in Canada. Whilst it came in with very appreciable readings, there were some months of the year where the PM2.5 levels rose slightly higher than average, and even though they were still within the WHO's target bracket, show that Kitchener could go further to improve its air quality.
Even for cities with some of the best air cleanliness around the world, there are still many different causes of pollution that taint what could be even cleaner readings. One of the main causes that contributes to elevated air pollution in Kitchener would be that of vehicular emissions, with tens of thousands of personal vehicles inhabiting the roads, putting out a wide variety of different chemical pollutants as well as dangerous particulate matter. The previously mentioned PM2.5 refers to particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter, and is one of the major components used in the calculation of the overall AQI, or air quality index, alongside other chemical compounds.
With vehicles as one of the persistent, year round causes, others include ones such as factory emissions, as well as pollutive output from power plants and other similar industrial sites that use coal burning as their main source of energy. Other sources include the agricultural sector, as well as the occasional forest or grassland fire that can occur in the hotter months, with winds usually blowing the resulting smoke over many cities and heavily tainting their pollution readings, although it is clear that this did not occur in Kitchener over 2019.
For the main purpose of informing both visitors as well as inhabitants of Kitchener, it is important to be cognizant of when pollution levels are at their worst, as well as what one can do to reduce the risks of over exposure. In regards to when the PM2.5 readings are at their very worst in Kitchener, it can be seen that towards the end of the year as the descent into the colder months start to begin, there are some elevated readings present.
October came in with a PM2.5 reading of 5.3 μg/m³, a very respectable reading that was in fact lower than the yearly average. This was followed by a significant leap, with the next month coming in at 8.2 μg/m³ in November, showing that a change had occurred to the cleanliness of the air. December was also in a similar position, with a reading of 8.7 μg/m³ present. This continued on to the following year, with January having a reading of 7.7 μg/m³ (showing steady improvements) and then even further drops of 6.8 μg/m³ in March, and then 6.2 μg/m³ in April. This shows that the most polluted time of the year in Kitchener is at years end, with the last two months being the most polluted and December having the highest reading at 8.7 μg/m³.
Following on from the previous question, the time of the year in which Kitchener would be experiencing the lowest levels of haze, smoke or particulate matter in the air would be following the period where the colder months start to abate. Of note, is that even the more polluted months in the prior question are still well within the WHO's target for great air quality, and are especially low when compared to more polluted readings from other countries worldwide.
The months that came in with the best air quality over the course of 2019 were April through to June, and then August through to October (with July showing a sudden spike in PM2.5 levels). The cleanest month of the year was October with a reading of 5.3 μg/m³.
Some of the more prominent types of pollution found in the air in Kitchener would be ones that are emitted by vehicles, and thus would be materials and chemical compounds such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), black carbon, carbon monoxide (CO) and volatile organic compounds (VOC's). These can also find their release from other areas that see combustion taking place, with factories and power plants also releasing these pollutants, along with many others.
Some examples of VOC's include ones such as benzene, xylene, toluene and formaldehyde. These are all harmful to human health, even more so due to their volatile nature making them able to maintain a gaseous state at far lower temperatures than many other pollutants, hence easier to respire and cause health issues. Nitrogen dioxide is also one of the chief offenders emanating from vehicles, often found in high concentrations over areas that see larger volumes of traffic, and along with sulfur dioxide can contribute heavily to instances of acid rain.
4 Data sources