Clean Air Hamilton, which has been providing reports on the city’s air quality for more than 20 years offered a mixed bag with this year’s report to Board of Health. Chairman Bruce Newbold reported, “we continue to see improvements in Hamilton’s air quality, but challenges remain, with several pollutants, including particulate matter and benzo Pyrene trending in the wrong direction.”
For most of the monitored pollutants Hamilton registered a slight increase in 2021 over 2020 when the pandemic brought many activities to a halt. Overall, however, the report said the air quality data “shows a significant reduction city-wide monitored air pollutants since 1996.”
The report also praised plans by ArcelorMittal Dofasco to phase out coal in the coming years.
- Total Suspended Particles showed an increase in2021 over 2020, but remain within Ontario’s ambient air quality criteria.
- Respirable Particulate Matter. Hamilton continues to have the highest levels compared to other Ontario cities.
- Ozone. Hamilton showing the lowest concentrations compared to other municipalities.
- Sulphur Dioxide. Within Ontario guidelines, but higher compared to other Ontario cities
- Nitrogen Oxide. Significantly decreased since 1999 but higher than other cities.
- Benzine. And Benzo Pyrene both exceeded the annual objective
The report stated that not all pollutants are locally produced, noting that in the case of Benzo Pyrene, 29 percent of the pollutant came from somewhere else and 90 precent of particulates are of “transboundary origin.”
The organization sponsored a number of community and school events to promote clean air practices.
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