EDMONTON (population 1,328,000) capital of Alberta, has discovered it isn’t quite as pristine as we all once thought. On bad days the city has higher levels of harmful air pollutants than TORONTO (population 6,000,000) according to a new analysis from the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment.
On some winter days, the level of fine particulate matter – known to cause serious heart and lung problems – was 25% in EDMONTON, higher than the highest levels recorded in TORONTO on its most polluted days. Our city’s particulate matter level in 2013 was under 20 micrograms per cubic metre, well below EDMONTON’s level – where coal-fired electricity plants are still in operation.
<PHOTO ABOVE – a smoggy winter day in Edmonton, 2009; John Lucas/Edmonton Journal>