Checking air quality – As Canadian as checking the weather

Checking the weather is practically a national pastime in Canada. Our sometimes extreme and regularly changing weather means we're often checking and rechecking the forecast before stepping outside. It's a simple routine that's repeated all across this vast country.

But unlike storm clouds or extreme weather patterns, we often can’t see high levels of air pollution. That’s why it’s so important to check daily changes in outdoor air quality – so we can protect our health and the health of those we care about.

The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI for short) is  a great tool for checking the air quality forecast. The AQHI is a simple scale that helps you understand what outdoor air quality means to your health. The higher the number, the higher the risk. 

Adjusting activity to air quality

If the AQHI is high, you have options. For instance, you can limit your short-term exposure to air pollution or adjust your activity levels. Just as we might reschedule an activity until after a rainy day, checking the AQHI can help us reschedule an activity to when air pollution levels are lower.

Learn more about air quality and activity

Scout Environmental is a not-for-profit that pioneers creative approaches to air quality, energy conservation, and waste. The Running Room promotes active lifestyles and sells athletic apparel and accessories. Together these two companies, with support from the Government of Canada, are on a mission to encourage Canadians to make the Air Quality Health Index a part of their daily lives.

Their ambassadors have been engaging and educating Canadians across the country. They will soon be attending Active Living Fairs run by the Older Adult Centres’ Association of Ontario. Look for them across Toronto and in Sudbury this September. Stop by and visit with an Air Health Check Ambassador to learn more about the AQHI and take a photo to show your support.

For more information visit

About the Author
Rob Lines is with Scout Environmental. You can contact Rob at 416-922-2448 x234 or