WHITEHORSE—Timely information about air quality in the Whitehorse region is now available online through the national Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) service.
“The Government of Yukon is pleased to partner with the Government of Canada and the Yukon Lung Association to implement the Air Quality Health Index in Whitehorse,” Minister of Health and Social Services Mike Nixon said. “Whitehorse now joins many communities across Canada offering the Air Quality Health Index service.”
The AQHI relates air quality to human health using a simple 10 point scale – the higher the number, the higher the health risk. The AQHI uses data gathered from an air quality monitoring station located in downtown Whitehorse.
“The elderly, children or people with health conditions such as asthma or heart disease may need to take extra precautions when air quality is poor,” Yukon Deputy Medical Officer of Health Dr. Catherine Elliott said. “Air pollution makes it harder for some people to breathe and can adversely affect the heart and lungs. Air pollution can also irritate your eyes, nose and throat. In Yukon poor air quality occurs occasionally, during forest fire season for example, or when wood smoke settles during an inversion.”
When AQHI levels increase precautions may need to be taken, such as reducing or limiting strenuous outdoor activities or staying indoors with windows and doors closed.
“The Air Quality Health Index service allows us to provide more responsive air quality reporting when pollution levels are higher than normal,” Minister of Environment Wade Istchenko said.
The AQHI can be found online through the Government of Canada website and the Weather Network website. A free AQHI Canada smartphone app is also available to provide timely index ratings for Whitehorse.
Communications, Health and Social Services