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Air quality in this Canadian city ranks as one of the worst in the world

Sunday, September 13th 2020, 12:31 pm - At one point Saturday, Vancouver, B.C. registered as having the poorest air quality in the world.

As the deadly and history-making wildfires continue to rage on across the western United States, they have created the world's poorest levels of air quality in the Pacific Northwest.

That's according to, which ranked Portland, Ore., Vancouver, B.C., Seattle, Wash., respectively, as the top three cities in the world with the worst air quality as of Sunday afternoon. At one point Saturday, Vancouver was ranked No. 1.

Vancouver currently has a rating of 193 on the U.S. air quality index (AQI), not far behind Portland, which has an index level of 239. Seattle has a index rating of 183 currently.


Environment Canada's air quality health index lists air quality at moderate to very high risk for many parts of southern B.C., meaning those with health issues should reduce outdoor activities. Air quality in Metro Vancouver remains at a rating of 10+ Sunday, indicating a "very high" health risk. Air quality advisories are in place across B.C.

Those with chronic underlying medical conditions or acute infections such as COVID-19 should postpone or reduce outdoor physical activity until the air quality advisories in place are dropped, especially if breathing feels uncomfortable.

"Exposure to PM2.5 is particularly a concern for people with underlying conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and/or diabetes, individuals with respiratory infections such as COVID-19, pregnant women and infants, children, and older adults. Individuals who are socially marginalized may also be at elevated risk," Environment Canada warns.

The record-breaking fires burning along the West Coast of the United States have sent smoke as far as away as Europe.

Sources: CTV News | ABC News |

Thumbnail courtesy of Dennis Parkinson/submitted.

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