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May 3, 2001
Toronto's first smog advisory of 2001 in effect today
Toronto Public Health --- Toronto's first smog advisory of the year was issued
yesterday by the Ministry of Environment. Smog levels are expected to exceed 50
on the air quality index today.

During a smog alert, the Medical Officer of Health recommends staying indoors,
reducing outdoor physical activity and drinking plenty of liquids. Restrict
activity to early morning or evening hours. This is especially important for
children, seniors, pregnant women, and those with heart and lung conditions
such as asthma. Anyone who experiences breathing difficulties should contact a
physician or go to the nearest hospital.

On smog advisory days the City of Toronto implements a Smog Alert Response
Plan. Actions taken by City departments include reducing the use of
non-essential gasoline or diesel powered vehicles and equipment, reducing the
use of oil-based paints, cleaners and solvents and postponing refueling of City
vehicles until dark.

Residents can help reduce smog by taking the following steps:
· if you use an air conditioner, conserve energy by not setting the temperature
below 25° C (78° F)
· turn off lights and other electrical appliances when not in use
· work at home and teleconference rather than travel to meetings
· avoid use of lawn mowers and oil-based paints
· walk, bike, or take public transit

The Toronto Public Health study Air Pollution Burden of Illness in Toronto
(released last year), reported that air pollution contributes to about 1,000
premature deaths and 5,500 hospital admissions annually. A study by the Ontario
Medical Association estimated air pollution costs Ontario more than $1 billion
a year in hospital admissions, emergency room visits, lost productivity and
workplace absenteeism.

The Toronto Public Health Smog Alert Phone Line (416-392-0808) provides updated
information on smog in the City of Toronto. For more information, visit the
City Web site at ]. For information on smog advisories issued by the Ministry of the Environment, visit the MOE Web site at: [

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