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|1||Dollard-Des Ormeaux, Quebec|
|2||Lytton, British Columbia|
|5||Port Stanley, Ontario|
|6||Maple Ridge, Alberta|
|8||Burns Lake, British Columbia|
|10||Milk River, Alberta|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
|1||Mulhern Alpine Drive|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
11:05, Mar 27
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 12 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Niagara Falls air currently meets the WHO annual air quality guideline value
| Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors|
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| Enjoy outdoor activities|
|Friday, Mar 24|
Good 30 US AQI
|Saturday, Mar 25|
Good 14 US AQI
|Sunday, Mar 26|
Good 37 US AQI
Good 12 US AQI
|Tuesday, Mar 28|
Good 37 US AQI
|Wednesday, Mar 29|
Good 15 US AQI
|Thursday, Mar 30|
Good 25 US AQI
|Friday, Mar 31|
Moderate 53 US AQI
|Saturday, Apr 1|
Good 13 US AQI
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Niagara Falls is a city in Ontario, Canada. It is on the western bank of the Niagara River in the Golden Horseshoe region of Southern Ontario, with a population of 88,071 at the 2016 census. The city lies across the Niagara River from Niagara Falls, New York.
In early 2021, Niagara Falls was enjoying a period of “Good” quality air with a US AQI reading of just 7. This is in accordance with the classifications as stipulated by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The concentration of pollutant PM2.5 was 4.1 µg/m³.
With pollution levels as low as these, door and windows can be opened to let in the fresh air and any type of outdoor exercise can partake without fear.
The pollutants are ozone (O3), fine particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and total reduced sulphur compounds.
Twenty-six large industrial units in Niagara County, most of the larger ones located in the Niagara Falls region, reported the release of 170 tons of pollutants, including some carcinogens, in 2011, the last year for which comparable data is available. This potentially noxious mixture puts Niagara County residents at greater risk of developing pollution-related health problems than most Americans.
The volume and estimated toxicity of these pollutants are higher than in 9 out of 10 US cities where levels of pollution have to be reported to the federal government.
Most companies in and around the local area do not individually produce huge amounts of pollution. It only becomes a problem when the total emissions are collectively considered. However, there are at least three exceptions where individual companies produce and emit a considerably high percentage of pollutants. One such company is situated on Buffalo Avenue and is responsible for large amounts of chlorine emissions which account for 27 per cent of the risk score for Niagara County. Another one is located on Oliver Street and is responsible for 17 per cent of the county’s risk score because of its high emissions of copper and nickel. The largest offender releases large quantities of ortho-toluidine and aniline which accounts for a massive 47 per cent of the county’s risk assessment.
Whilst well-known as a tourist attraction, Niagara Falls has relied on industry for decades as the foundation of its economy. A range of industries, including those in the chemical sector, were attracted to Niagara Falls years ago because of the abundance of low-cost hydropower. Unfortunately, pollution comes hand-in-hand with industry and, as such, the air in the surrounding environs has been found to contain five possible carcinogenic chemicals and more than 30 other pollutants known to trigger health problems.
Emissions from one company, the Goodyear Tyre and Rubber Company account for almost half the risk the pollution could pose to public health in Niagara County. Goodyear’s risk score is driven by its release of two probable carcinogens such as ortho-toluidine and aniline that are linked to bladder cancer.
After recent studies, it was revealed that workers at this particular plant showed elevated signs of bladder cancer. Tests were then conducted on residents who live “downwind” of the factory and they too showed elevated rates as high as 7 in 10.
The available data did not firmly establish these emissions as a direct cause so the public is demanding an independent health assessment conducted by the local government.
The contaminants that create smog are released during the combustion of fossil fuels in our vehicles, power plants, factory boilers and homes. They are also produced by industrial processes, the evaporation of liquid fuels and through the use of paint and solvents.
Naturally occurring contaminants are produced through forest fires and the burning of organic matter. It is thought that more than 50 per cent of the pollutants in and around the Niagara Falls region are carried in by the winds from the United States.
The local authority uses a network of 40 monitoring stations throughout Ontario to harvest data and use it in their predictions as to when smog is likely to pose a health threat. Most of these monitoring stations display their data online for any interested party to see.
Overall, air quality has improved significantly over the past decade, especially for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) which are pollutants emitted by vehicles and industry, as well as fine particulate matter (PM2.5), which may be emitted directly or through abrasion of tyres, brake pads and road surfaces.
Air pollution is recognised worldwide as a major risk factor for health. Exposure to air pollution, for example, increases the risk of premature death from heart disease, stroke, or lung cancer.
A recent analysis has been commissioned to provide an estimate of mortality in Canada, linked to ambient concentrations of fine particles (PM2.5 or particles with an aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 micrometres), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone (O3). These three air pollutants were selected because of the strong epidemiological evidence for their negative impacts on health and the availability of data regarding their spatial distribution for the whole of Canada.
Air pollution concentrations attributable to emissions from human (anthropogenic) sources are estimated by subtracting average natural concentrations from ambient concentrations. Mortality associated with air pollutants is considered to result only from anthropogenic emissions. This is the approach taken since anthropogenic emissions are generally targeted for air quality management.
Of course, different people react in different ways to air pollution. Young, healthy people are able to tolerate short periods of time when the air is polluted. This is not the case for pregnant women, children under the age of 14 years and senior citizens who do not have such a strong immune system. People with pre-existing medical conditions, especially cardiovascular and respiratory problems need to take extra care as they are very susceptible to the slightest change in air quality.
The actual risk of adverse effects depends on the current health status, the pollutant type and concentration, and the length of exposure to the polluted air.
Data sources 1