Air Pollution in Urban vs. Rural Areas: An Air Health Check-Up with Dr. Alan Abelsohn (Part 2 of 4)

I’m Alan Abelsohn. I’m a family physician
in Toronto and a physician epidemiologist with Health Canada. The air pollution in
cities is different from rural areas so rural areas you can get areas that are
downwind from cities or downwind from industry where the pollution gets blown
into that area, but you can also get forest fires or crop burning and so you
can get local air pollution. But certainly in cities you’ve got more
air pollution from more industry and certainly more motorcars.
So the areas in Ontario, rural areas in Ontario, say the areas along the shores
of Lake Huron where air pollution blows over from Michigan where there’s
electrical generation plants and so although there’s nothing produced in
that area that would create air pollution you have significant levels of air
pollution at various times. Similarly in Vancouver in BC you
can get winds coming off the ocean blowing over Vancouver and carrying the
pollution down into the Fraser Valley, so not much air pollution is produced in
the Fraser Valley but it’s blown into the Fraser Valley and concentrates there
against the mountains. So you can get rurally high levels of air pollution.

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