The 2011 Air Quality Health
Assessment Study prepared for Clean Air Hamilton by SENES Consulting Inc.
estimated that the six key air pollutants - nitrogen dioxide (NO2),
ground-level ozone (O3), inhalable particulate matter (PM10), respirable particulate matter (PM2.5), sulphur
dioxide (SO2), and carbon monoxide (CO) - contribute to about 186
premature deaths, 395 respiratory hospital admissions and 322
cardiovascular hospital admissions each year in Hamilton (see Figure 1).
These estimates, which are based on
the most recent health studies and Hamilton's
air quality and health statistics, identified NO2, ozone and particulate
matter as the air pollutants responsible for greatest number of these
health impacts (see Figure 2).
In 2005, the Ontario Medical
Association (OMA) updated their estimated cost of illness associated with
air pollution. This update of their 2000 report reflects the improved
understanding of the health effects, including new studies on the chronic
effects of exposure to air pollution.
The report shows the estimated cost
of illness as both a dollar figure, as well as the projected health
outcomes including premature death, hospital admissions, emergency room
visits, and minor illnesses. In 2005, air pollution caused an estimated
5,800 premature deaths, almost 17,000 hospital admissions and almost
60,000 Ontarians to visit hospital emergency rooms. The adverse health
impacts in Ontario each year from trans-boundary air pollution include more than
2,700 premature deaths, almost 12,000 hospital admissions, and almost
14,000 emergency room visits.
The OMA report estimates the cost of
air pollution to the economy of Ontario at
$16 Billion per year! While the OMA did not provide a breakdown of these
costs for Hamilton, the local figure would be around $1 Billion, based on the
proportion of the local population (~600,000) to the population of the Province of Ontario
(~12,500,000). The estimated health impacts on the health of Hamiltonians
as a result of smog can be found in the table below.
1: 2005 Illness Cost of Air Pollution - Regional Data for Hamilton-WentworthRegionalMunicipality
of Individuals in 2005
of Individuals in 2026 (Projected)
See the following Fact Sheets for
more information about the air pollutants: