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Air quality statement issued for Toronto warning of ‘high levels’ of pollution Saturday

Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for Toronto.
Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for Toronto. Global News File

Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement for Toronto on Saturday morning, warning that parts of the city are seeing high levels of air pollution.

The weather agency said light winds and overall calm conditions have resulted in high levels of fine particles and nitrogen dioxide in northern and eastern parts of the city.

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The air quality health index is typically in the moderate risk category, but today it stands at high risk.

“Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath,” the statement read.

It warned that children, seniors and people with health conditions like asthma are most at risk.

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“We’ve had high pressure over the past few days in southern Ontario, which brought us all of that sunshine,” Global News weather specialist Mike Arsenault said.

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“The difference this morning is that conditions are much calmer in terms of the wind, which is allowing stagnant air to sit over portions of southern Ontario. This can lead to the fine particulate in the air to congregate near the surface.”

Poor air quality is expected to persist in affected areas throughout the morning before improving later in the day.

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