Montreal’s Trudeau airport emits high amounts of air quality pollutants: McGill researchers

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WATCH: New studies show that Montreal's Trudeau airport is polluting the air quality of its surrounding area. McGill researchers have found that carbon emissions near the international airport are up to 400 per cent or four times higher than emissions in downtown Montreal. Global's Felicia Parrillo has more – May 29, 2022

For those who live in Dorval, many are used to the constant sight of planes lifting off and landing — and other things that come with living near an airport.

But recently, studies conducted by McGill University researchers show that the air quality in Dorval may be affected by the airport.

“The noise is no problem, but when I start hearing about breathing in things that might kill you, then it becomes a problem,” said Murray Levine, Dorval resident.

Read more: Residents file lawsuit against noise pollution at Trudeau airport

A recent study shows that the carbon emissions in the air near Trudeau airport are 400 per cent higher than the emissions in downtown Montreal.

Dr. Parisa Ariya, the study’s author, says airports are known to be major pollutants in cities, but since Trudeau airport is right near residential neighbourhoods, that can directly affect the air people breathe.

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“Many of the black carbons are also little particles,” said Ariya, a McGill University professor. “Those are emitted, the majority of it, during the lifting [off of planes] and during the landing.”

In a statement to Global News, a spokesperson for Montreal public health says air pollution can have significant impacts on people’s health.

Read more: Green groups worry about impact on ecosystem if mask plant built near Trudeau airport

“Several measures would help to reduce exposure to air pollution in this context, including buffer zones between air pollution sources and residential neighbourhoods, reducing or eliminating use of wood-burning stoves and reducing vehicle traffic.”

But Dr. Ariya says she has other solutions.

Instead of going ahead with the airport’s expansion, she says officials should consider making it smaller, and even move many of its operations to the Mirabel airport.

“It should not be there,” she said. “And if they want to make sure that this continues to go on — they think if they put their head in the sand, it goes away. It will not go away.”

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In a statement to Global News, a spokesperson for the airport says it is doing their part in maintaining safe air quality.

“Data compiled by the City of Montreal, using an environmental station located onsite, show that the air quality within the City of Dorval is good and poses no threat to its safety.”

Dorval mayor, Marc Doret says while the studies are concerning, he would like to learn and understand more about the impacts on individuals.

“It has to become a global discussion that has to be held between public health, the airport and the provincial government,” he said.

Meanwhile, some residents like Levine say, at the advice of experts, he recently installed an air filter in his home.

He says he asked the airport to pay for it, but they refused.

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