Reducing pollutants can improve the quality of the air we breathe.

Air quality is a reference to how much pollution is in the air we breathe. Good air quality indicates cleaner, clearer and less polluted air, which is good for our health and the health of our environment. Poor air quality indicates pollution levels that may be harmful to the health of the population or the environment around us.

Understanding and reducing the sources of air pollutants can help us to improve the quality of the air we breathe.

Indoor air quality

The best way to improve indoor air quality is to reduce or eliminate sources of pollutants and provide adequate ventilation. See HealthLink BC's indoor air quality resource for more information. 

Indoor air quality at work

WorkSafeBC is responsible for the safety of all employees within the Province of B.C.

Outdoor air quality

Outdoor air quality is affected by the types and amount of pollutants released into the air as well as weather conditions such as wind, precipitation, temperature and topography.

Staying healthy during an air quality advisory

  • Use common sense if you are exercising outdoors. If your breathing becomes difficult or uncomfortable, stop or reduce activity.
  • Pay attention to local air quality reports. Air quality may be poor even though smoke may not be visible.
  • Stay cool and drink plenty of fluids.
  • Be aware of your symptoms if you stay indoors. Smoke levels may be lower indoors, however levels of smoke particles will be increased.
  • Visit a location like a shopping mall or library with cooler filtered air. Keep in mind that many air conditioning systems do not filter the air or improve indoor air quality.
  • Use commercially available high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters which can improve indoor air quality near the device.
  • Activate your asthma or personal care plan if you have asthma or other chronic illnesses.
  • Maintain good overall health to prevent health effects from short-term exposure to air pollution.
  • Reduce indoor pollution sources such as smoking or burning other materials.
  • Reduce outdoor pollution sources by taking transit, carpooling and minimizing the use of diesel powered equipment.

Local air quality information

  • Current air quality readings
    Find the current and forecast air quality health index values in the Province of B.C. to help you understand what the air quality around you means to your health.
  • Air quality health index
    Local conditions, forecasts, wildfire smoke, health risks, pollutants, weather, educational toolkits and publications from the Government of Canada.
  • Air quality advisories
    See the air quality advisories currently in effect in B.C.