A person's physical surroundings can have a profound impact on their health. Pollution and other carcinogens in air, water and food can increase risks of cancer and cause premature death.

Air Quality Risk

Air Quality Health Index

Air pollution can have significant effects on people's acute and chronic health. Individuals with heart and lung problems, as well as children and the elderly, may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of air pollution.

The air quality in Waterloo Wellington - as measured in Guelph and Kitchener - was relatively good in 2015. The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) was at the optimal "Low Risk" level the majority of the time in Guelph and Kitchener, with only 39 and 43 "Moderate Risk" days, respectively. In contrast, there were almost twice as many "Moderate Risk" days in Downtown Hamilton. [5]

Residents exposed to second-hand smoke in public places

Second-Hand Smoke

The percent of Waterloo Wellington residents who report being exposed to second-hand smoke in public places is increasing. In 2013-2014, 13.7% reported being exposed during the past month. Both the Ontario and Canada rates are also increasing at a similar rate. This is surprising, given that smoking rates have been decreasing since 2007/2008, but could potentially be due to increased public awareness. [1]

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