GTA, much of southern Ontario placed under special air quality statement

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Much of the Greater Toronto Area and other places in southern Ontario have been placed under a special air quality statement by Environment Canada as blistering temperatures continue.

In a statement, the agency said that hot and humid weather conditions are creating “elevated pollution levels.”

The statement was issued at 11:23 a.m. Saturday for Toronto, Vaughan, Uxbridge, Peel Region, Newmarket and Georgina within the GTA.

Environment Canada also issued a heat warning for the City of Toronto just after 3:30 p.m. on Friday, saying a heat event is expected to hit the city this weekend.

Read more: Environment Canada issues heat warning for Toronto

The agency said maximum temperatures are expected to reach the low 30s on Saturday and Sunday.

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“Humidex values are expected to be in the mid to high thirties,” the warning said.

Guelph, Kitchener, Windsor, Sarnia and Burlington were also included in the special air quality statement.

“Hot and sunny conditions are expected to cause increasing ground-level ozone concentrations in the area,” the statement said.

“Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.”

— with files from Global News’ Hannah Jackson

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