|1||Inuvik, Northwest Territories|
|2||Spruce Grove, Alberta|
|5||Castlegar, British Columbia|
|6||Duncan, British Columbia|
|8||Forest Hills, New Brunswick|
|10||Kirkland Lake, Ontario|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 1 US AQI||no2|
|no2|| 5.8 µg/m³|
|Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors|
|Enjoy outdoor activities|
|Friday, May 14|
Good 41 US AQI
|Saturday, May 15|
Good 31 US AQI
|Sunday, May 16|
Moderate 52 US AQI
|Monday, May 17|
Good 33 US AQI
Moderate 74 US AQI
|Wednesday, May 19|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 110 US AQI
|Thursday, May 20|
Moderate 66 US AQI
|Friday, May 21|
Moderate 61 US AQI
|Saturday, May 22|
Good 49 US AQI
|Sunday, May 23|
Moderate 55 US AQI
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Oshawa is a city located in Ontario, one of the thirteen different provinces found in Canada. Situated on the Lake Ontario shoreline, it is also in close proximity to the downtown region of Toronto, a factor that will bring with it a large amount of human movement which can have an effect on the air quality. The city is home to some prominent centers for higher education, which attracts more people from abroad, adding to the current population count of more than 166 thousand people. As well as having a significant presence with universities, Oshawa is also home to major corporations such as General Motors Canada, as well as the southern portion of the city being home to many industrial sites.
In 2019, Oshawa came in with a PM2.5 reading of 6.2 μg/m³, a very respectable level of air quality that placed it well within the World Health Organizations (WHO's) target goal for the best quality of air at 10 μg/m³ or less, with the closest to 0 being the most optimal and ultimate end goal. Despite having some months of the year where the PM2.5 rose slightly higher, Oshawa still has a very good level of air cleanliness, with its PM2.5 reading of 6.2 μg/m³ placing it in 4099th place out of all cities ranked worldwide, as well as in 100th place out of all cities ranked in Canada.
Whilst Oshawa maintains a very good year round quality of air, with all of its months falling within the WHO's target bracket of 10 μg/m³ or under, it still stands to reason that with any level of industrial and human activity, the PM2.5 count will be higher than it would be if no such activity were taking plus, thus making the air more polluted.
One of the main causes would be from the automobile industry, which remains just as prevalent in Oshawa as it does in nearly every city round the world. Due to the steadily rising population, as well as a growing number of vehicle ownership, there would be a large amount of pollution related to exhaust fumes. With many cars and other personal vehicles such as motorbikes on the road, there would be related pollutants from the fuel combustion process, as well as microscopic particles of rubber that come from tires being worn down over time. When large amounts of these particles accumulate, it can cause significant damage to both wildlife and human health, due to the damaging nature of PM10 and other similar small particles.
Along with cars, there are also heavy duty vehicles, which include among them buses, trucks, lorries and even snow ploughs, which see their use during colder months. Due to their larger size and weight, as well as running on diesel fuels much of the time, subsequently they put out large amounts of pollution and hazardous particulate matter, based on the combustion of diesel fuels. Other sources of pollution in Oshawa include power plant areas, often forced into overdrive during colder months to provide energy to homes and businesses for heating, which leads to more coal being burnt and thus more pollutive release. Along with smaller causes such as the burning of firewood, the occasional natural fire as well as construction areas or repair sites, the first two factors would play the largest part in raising pollution levels in Oshawa.
Observing the data taken over the course of 2019, it becomes apparent that Oshawa saw a period of time in which the air pollution levels dropped even further. Whilst the entire year came in with very respectable readings (with Canada being a country that has some of the best air quality levels in the world, despite a few issues here and there), there was a further noticeable drop in the PM2.5 count.
The months of August through to October are when Oshawa has the cleanest quality of air, even more free from polluting smoke, haze or smog. These months came in with PM2.5 readings of 4.9 μg/m³, 4.4 μg/m³ and 5 μg/m³ respectively, displaying some very good qualities of air and making September the cleanest month of the year with its reading of 4.4 μg/m³.
Whilst there are no people that are immune to the adverse effects brought on by over exposure to pollution, there are specifically some key demographics that are affected more significantly than others may be. These groups include ones such as the elderly, young children, pregnant mothers, as well as those with preexisting health conditions or compromised immune systems, and those with a heightened sensitivity to certain chemical pollutants.
Considering that a majority of Oshawa’s pollution stems from sources such as car exhaust fumes, as well as other sites of combustion such as factories or power plants, there would thus be a large amount of related pollutants and fine particulate matter in the air.
The main ones stemming from vehicular use include chemical compounds such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), along with carbon monoxide (CO). The first two can add to instances of acid rain, as well as acting as irritants to the lining of the lungs, causing inflammation and possibly triggering off adverse health effects such as asthma or other respiratory conditions.
Other pollutants include ones such as volatile organic compounds (VOC's) and black carbon. Both of these find their origin from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and organic material such as firewood or charcoal. Due to this wide array of different sources, they can be emitted from cars, construction sites, power plants and even the act of burning firewood at homes. Black carbon is a major component of soot and a potent carcinogen when inhaled, as well as having climate changing properties.
VOC's are also particularly dangerous due to their volatile nature allowing them to maintain a gaseous state even at much lower temperatures, thus easier to respire by the general population and cause ill health effects. Some examples of VOC's include ones such as benzene, toluene, xylene, methylene chloride and formaldehyde.
Data sources 1