Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Canadian Air Pollution Improving (Simon Fraser Institute)

Air quality improving across Canada since 1970s, risk of pollution-related illness overstated

Media Contacts:
Release Date:January 31, 2012
VANCOUVER—Canada’s air quality has improved considerably over the past four decades and continues to improve, concludes a new report released today by the Fraser Institute, Canada’s leading public policy think-tank.

“The state of air quality in Canada has improved significantly since the 1970s, in most regions, with respect to all major pollutant types,” said Joel Wood, Fraser Institute senior research economist and author ofCanadian Environmental Indicators - Air Quality.

“Yet environmental and health care organizations continue to scare people into thinking that air pollution is increasing and that this presents a serious health risk in Canada. These claims are exaggerated or outright wrong.”

As an example, the study highlights a pair of recent reports from the Canadian Medical Association and Suzuki Foundation which argued for stricter air-pollution regulations in Canada, based on assumptions that air pollution was increasing or remaining constant. Both studies received extensive media coverage despite the fact they provided no historical context and arrived at their conclusions based on false assumptions.

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