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GTA politicians breathe new life into air pollution awareness

Friday, June 2nd 2006 10:24:26am

(Toronto, May 31) – Six councillors from across the Greater Toronto Area are sampling the air in their municipality to raise awareness of the air quality threat to public health throughout the entire GTA and needs immediate action, announced Eva Ligeti of the Clean Air Partnership.

Councillor John Filion, with the help of two technical assistants from the new U of T’s Southern Ontario Centre for Atmospheric Aerosols Research (SOCAAR), are sampling the air near heavy vehicular traffic, the biggest contributor to local air pollution.

The P trak and dust track samplers will measure two key ingredients of smog, ultra fine particulate matter (PM0.1) and particulate matter (PM2.5), which are produced mainly from vehicle emissions.

Particulate matter impacts us at all times of the year. The particles are so small they find their way deep into our lungs causing serious negative effects on our health resulting in thousands of emergency room visits and millions of dollars in health costs in the GTA.

“It’s important that people know what is in the air and what they can do to reduce air pollution and its negative impact on their health,” said Ligeti. Since most air pollution cannot be seen there is a misconception that some areas are worse than others in the GTA.”

Following the air sampling, a media conference will be held at Queen’s Park on June 6th, to disclose the results of a recent poll that asked respondents for their perception of air pollution. The results offer compelling reasons to promote a better understanding of air pollution, its impacts, and what individuals, businesses and government can do to clean the air.

On June 7th & 8th, 2006 federal, provincial and municipal government leaders will gather for the annual Smog Summit to announce new initiatives that commit to reducing smog, air pollution and greenhouse gases.

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Contact:
Eva Ligeti
Clean Air Partnership
(416) 392-1220
(416) 567-0924 (cell)

The Clean Air Partnership is a charitable organization that works in partnership to promote and coordinate improvements to local air quality for healthier communities. Our sponsors and partners for this event include Government of Canada, Government of Ontario, Enbridge Gas Distribution, Toronto Hydro, Toronto Atmospheric Fund, and the GTA-Clean Air Council.

For more information visit www.cleanairpartnership.org