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Air Quality Light Display

Air Quality Health Index rating index

We are committed to maintaining and improving  Edmonton's air quality and working with regional partners to develop programs designed to manage emissions in the region. One of the goals in ConnectEdmonton, Edmonton’s Strategic Plan 2019-2028, is: Edmonton is a city transitioning to a low-carbon future, has clean air and water and is adapting to a changing climate. Participation of residents, industrial approval holders, various multi-stakeholder groups and Alberta Environment and Parks, are key to meeting this goal. The City is also a member of the Alberta Capital Airshed, one of ten airsheds in Alberta that works with member organizations and municipalities to share information about local air quality. Monitoring and managing air quality is a rapidly evolving field that is based on continuous improvement and risk-based management.

Air Quality Monitoring

Ambient air is the term used to describe the air as it exists in the atmosphere, what we might commonly call the outdoor air. Ambient air is monitored to understand if there are air quality concerns and to understand what actions can be taken to help support clean air.

Currently, the ambient air quality monitoring network in Edmonton is operated jointly by the provincial government and various industry groups. There are three ambient air quality monitoring stations that are configured to measure air contaminants and calculate the provincial air quality health index (AQHI). These three stations are directly managed by Alberta Environment. Alberta Environment also operates a fourth station that measures only particulate matter (Edmonton McIntyre).

In addition to the Province’s stations, there are six industry-operated stations that are situated around industrial areas in the east and west areas of the City. These six stations monitor air quality contaminant concentrations that are specific to the provincial approvals that relate to each of the industrial operators.

View the current air quality data for Edmonton and area.

Air Quality Health Index

In 2011, the Province of Alberta, in partnership with Environment Canada, launched the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI).

The AQHI is a tool that assesses the impact of air pollution on your health, listing a number from 1 to 10+ to indicate the level of immediate health risk associated with local air quality. The higher the number, the greater the risk and your need to take precautions.

The AQHI reports this information in near-real time as well as provides a forecast for the next day.

Videos

Apps

Alberta AQHI App, available for iOS, Android and BlackBerry

Visually track Edmonton’s AQHI using a wi-fi enabled bulb, instructions from Smart Cities Edmonton.

Are you a municipality or other stakeholder?

Watch a video on what you need to know about the AQHI or read about how to promote and share AQHI information with the public.

Managing And Improving Air Quality In The Edmonton Region

The majority of air quality concerns in the Edmonton region are a result of the refinement and/or combustion of carbon-based energy sources either at a point source (for example, industrial emissions) or through diffuse sources (for example, on-road transportation). The issue of maintaining good air quality is complex and it requires on-going monitoring and in-depth understanding of meteorology and the sources of emissions.

The City of Edmonton actively participates in the Alberta Capital Airshed, which is a multi-stakeholder group that provides a forum for local stakeholders to design solutions to local air quality issues. Through this partnership, it has initiated work on Idle-Free Education Programs, assisted with the development and implementation of the Ozone Management Plan and initiated a comprehensive Air Quality Monitoring Network Assessment to ensure that air quality in Edmonton is measured and reported in a manner that is scientifically sound.

Also, in 2012, the City passed an idle control bylaw which prohibits vehicles from idling in designated areas outside of schools and hospitals.

Indoor Air Quality - Radon Gas

November has been declared Radon Awareness Month in the City of Edmonton.

What is radon gas?

Radon is a radioactive, unstable gas that arises from the breakdown of uranium, thorium and radium in soil and rock. It is an invisible, odourless and tasteless gas that, in buildings such as homes, schools and workplaces, can accumulate to unnaturally high and potentially unhealthy  levels. 

Why should I care about radon gas? 

Radon is the second leading cause of all lung cancers, but it is entirely preventable.Every day, another Albertan is diagnosed with radon-induced lung cancer despite never having used tobacco. Knowing your home’s radon level is the first step in determining if you are at risk. 

How does it enter our buildings?

Radon enters a building primarily through  floors in contact with soils, typically basements or cellars. Our buildings often operate under negative pressure in relation to the ground, acting as a syphon that sucks radon gas from the soils into the structure through cracks, gaps or other airways in the foundation. Our buildings typically then contain this gas within the indoor air, where it can concentrate to hazardous levels.

How do I find out if I have a radon problem?

For more information about radon and how to test your home, visit the Health Canada website or Evict Radon.

How do I fix a radon problem?

A Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program (C-NRPP)-certified radon mitigation professional can diagnose how radon is entering your home, and specify and install a system that will mitigate the level of radon, making your home a healthier place to live. 

City of Edmonton’s Development Services can provide information on the building code requirements for rough-in of an under-floor depressurization system for new homes  and building code-related guidance on installing or completing a radon mitigation systems in existing homes.

Take Action

  • Traffic can be a big headache. Lessen the traffic by using alternative modes of transportation.
  • Be Idle Free. Idling your vehicle not only wastes gasoline (and therefore, money), it causes needless pollution and can be damaging to your vehicle. Protect your wallet and your health - be aware of idling habits.

  • Trees help to clean our air. So plant a tree and register it with Root for Trees.

  • Learn how you can contribute to improving indoor and outdoor air quality at home, school and work.

  • Learn more about air quality by viewing resources and videos produced by the Alberta Capital Airshed

  • Participate in Clean Air Day, celebrated annually on Wednesday during Environment Week.

  • Track the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) and adjust your outdoor activities accordingly.

  • Visually track Edmonton’s AQHI by installing a wi-fi enabled bulb and downloading a free app using instructions from Smart Cities Edmonton.

  • Sign out an airbeam kit to learn more about local air quality.

  • Join the movement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through Change for Climate.

Information on a portable kit that monitors concentrations of particulate matter, an air contaminant.

Learn the many ways to get around in an environmentally friendly way.

Root for Trees is a tree planting initiative which increases tree planting within the city.

Unnecessary idling costs Canadians millions of dollars every year and it's a major contributor to climate change.

Connect With Us!

Learn More And Take Action

Learn more about climate change, energy and our strategies for adaptation and resilience. Get tips on how to take action against climate change and reduce our impact on the environment.

For More Information

City Environmental Strategies

9th Floor Edmonton Tower
10111-104 Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB
T5J 0J4

Telephone

In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

Fax 780-401-7050
Email changeforclimate@edmonton.ca
Website http://www.edmonton.ca/ChangeForClimate
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/YEGclimate
Twitter http://www.twitter.com/YEGclimate

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