Outdoor Air Quality in Much of the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Region Will Cause Health Risks

Tuesday, 06 June 2023 08:58

Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
June 5, 2023

 Environment Canada has issued a Special Air Quality Statement for much of Eastern Ontario including the Counties of Leeds, Grenville and Lanark.  Elevated levels of air pollution are expected due to smoke from forest fires burning in Ontario and Quebec.  Poor air quality will continue in some areas until at least Tuesday. Check the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) for the closest air quality monitoring station (Kingston, Ottawa, and Cornwall) to see what the current outdoor air quality is. The AQHI can change quickly so check it regularly. Use the table below to guide your actions and see what the health messages are for the general population and people who are considered at greater risk for negative health consequences.

Use the following link for information about the current forest fire danger, forest fire activity including an interactive map, and fire restrictions across the province.

Take Action to Avoid Forest Fire Smoke

Forest fire smoke can be harmful to everyone’s health, even at low concentrations. People with lung disease (such as asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) or heart disease, older adults, pregnant people, infants and young children, and people who work or exercise outdoors are at higher risk of experiencing negative health effects caused by forest fire smoke. Avoid forest fire smoke by doing the following:

  • Limit outdoor activities. If you have difficulty breathing, reduce your activities or stop altogether. Consider wearing a respiratory mask (N95, KN95) when outdoors.
  • Stay cool and drink lots of water to help your body cope with the smoke.
  • Check in on others who may be more vulnerable to air pollution.
  • Prevent outdoor air from getting into your home by:
  • Keeping windows and doors sealed.
  • Installing a high quality air filter in your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system to remove air pollution from incoming air. Set the HVAC system to recirculation mode.
  • Limit the use of exhaust fans when not cooking.
  • Avoid sources of indoor air pollution:
    • Smoking
    • Burning incense and candles
    • Vacuuming
    • Using wood stoves
    • Using cleaning products that emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
    • For those with lung or heart disease, ensure that you have the medication you need to manage symptoms and prevent exacerbations.

For more information, see these websites:

For specific air quality-related questions call 1-800-660-5853 or 613-345-5685. You can also connect with us on FacebookTwitter @LGLHealthUnit or Instagram @lglhealthunit.z for important public health updates.


For media interviews, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Katie Lamb

Multimedia Specialist – Social Media
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
613-345-5685 x 2285 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Find us on social @LGLHealthunit