TABLE 10
Ontario’s Air Quality Index Pollutants and Their Impact
Pollutant
Index / Category
0-15 /
16-31 /
32-49 /
50-99 /
100-over /
Very Good
Good
Moderate
Poor
Very Poor
Carbon
No known
No known
Blood chemistry
Increased symptoms
Increasing symptoms
Monoxide (CO)
harmful effects
harmful
changes, but no
in smokers with
in non-smokers with
effects
noticeable
heart disease
heart diseases; blurred
impairment
vision; some clumsiness
Nitrogen
No known
Slight odour
Odour
Air smells and looks
Increasing sensitivity for
)
harmful effects
brown.  Some increase
people with asthma and
Dioxide (NO
2
in bronchial reactivity
bronchitis
in people with asthma
)
No known
No known
Respiratory  irritation
Sensitive people may
Serious respiratory effects,
Ozone (O
3
harmful effects
harmful
in sensitive people
experience irritation
even during light physical
effects*
during vigorous
when breathing and
activity; people with heart/
exercise; people with
possible lung damage
lung disorders at high risk;
heart/lung disorders
when physically active;
more vegetation damage
at some risk; damages
people with heart/
very sensitive plants
lung disorders at greater
risk; damages some plants
Sulphur
No known
Damages
Damages some
Odourous; increasing
Increasing sensitivity
Dioxide (SO )
harmful effects
some
vegetation
vegetation damage
for people with
2
vegetation in
asthma and bronchitis
combination
with ozone
Fine Particulate
Sensitive
Sensitive
People with
People with respiratory
Serious respiratory effects
Matter (PM )
populations may
populations
respiratory disease
disease should limit
even during light physical
2.5
want to exercise
may want to
at some risk
prolonged exertion;
activity; people with heart
caution
exercise
general population
disease, the elderly and
caution
at some risk
children at high risk;
increased risk for general
population
Total Reduced
No known
Slight odour
Odour
Strong odour
Severe odour; some people
Sulphur (TRS)
harmful
may experience nausea
Compounds
effects
and headaches
* not consistent with some current studies
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