Red Deer has some of the cleanest air in the world

Red Deer has some of the best air in the world, according to a new World Health Organization report. The organization compared air quality from nearly 1,100 cities across 91 countries by determining the annual average of particulate matter found in a cubic metre of air.

Red Deer has some of the best air in the world, according to a new World Health Organization report.

The organization compared air quality from nearly 1,100 cities across 91 countries by determining the annual average of particulate matter found in a cubic metre of air.

Canada and Australia were tied at third place for having the purest air worldwide, following only Mauritius and Estonia, in the report released on Monday.

Medicine Hat has the cleanest air of the nine Alberta communities included in the database. Red Deer tied for second place with Lethbridge, Edson and Grande Prairie.

Calgary and Fort McMurray tied for third and Edmonton came in fourth. Drayton Valley was found to be the most polluted city in Alberta.

Whitehorse, Yukon, was found to be the least polluted city in the world.

Kevin Warren wasn’t surprised to learn Red Deer has some of the cleanest air in the world, but the regional air quality expert said precautions must be taken to ensure Central Albertans continue to breathe easy into the future.

“The value that they’re reporting confirms what you and I see most days,” said Warren, executive director of the Parkland Airshed Management Zone.

“Most of the time the air quality in Red Deer is very good. The air here generally doesn’t have a smell and it doesn’t have a taste.”

The WHO database examines two sizes of particles — those smaller than 2.5 micrograms in diameter, or PM2.5, and those smaller than 10 micrograms in diameter, or PM10.

Both of these small particles cause health issues and can enter the lungs and bloodstream.

WHO estimates that more than two million people die from breathing in air pollutants every year.

The international health agency recommends a maximum average of 20 micrograms of PM10 per cubic metre. Red Deer has a pollution level of seven while the most polluted city in the world — Ahwaz, Iran — has level of 372.

But anticipated growth in Red Deer could result in increasing levels of pollution if we don’t tread carefully, Warren warned.

“The big thing for us, with the growth that is projected for the Edmonton-Calgary corridor, what we want to do is really focus on maintaining the good air quality that we have.

“Good air quality is worth preserving. One of the things we enjoy here is a good quality of life. If we want that with all of the growth that’s projected, we have to accept responsibility for our own contributions to these emissions and do whatever we can do to reduce our footprint.”

Relying less on motor vehicles — the biggest sources of air pollution in cities — is imperative if air quality is to remain at a good level, Warren said. Car pooling, public transportation and avoiding excessive idling are ways to cut back on vehicle emissions.

He also suggested everyone reduce, reuse and recycle more to decrease the demand on energy needed to produce goods.

And urban planning must focus on creating a walkable community to encourage residents to use vehicles less, Warren said.

ptrotter@bprda.wpengine.com

— copyright Red Deer Advocate

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two people are facing charges following a Sept. 20, 2020 anti-racism rally in Red Deer.
Advocate file photo
Woman charged in Red Deer anti-racism rally going to trial

Calgary woman facing a charge of assault with a weapon in connection with Sept. 20, 2020 rally

Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley was in Red Deer Wednesday and addressed a number of different political topics affecting central Alberta. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Notley talks RDC, UCP draft K-6 curriculum in visit to Red Deer

Rachel Notley had only proposed a solution hours before she arrived in… Continue reading

The Bowden Institution medium security facility near Bowden. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Two COVID-19 cases reported at Bowden Institution

Bowden Institution is dealing with two active COVID-19 cases. The positive cases… Continue reading

Photo by RANDY FIEDLER/Advocate staff BUDGET RURAL MEDICINE 2 - Dr. Fred Janke in his Sylvan Lake practice Wednesday. for story
Sylvan Lake doctor formerly accused of child sex crimes can practise again

Crown prosecutors dropped all charges against Dr. Fred Janke last November

Baseball on the Chalk Line of the Infield. Stock image
Innisfail to upgrade ball diamond to feature hardball facility

The Town of Innisfail will soon have a significantly upgraded baseball facility.… Continue reading

Westerner Park’s Exhibition Hall was used as a vaccination clinic on Wednesday. A steady stream of people came to get their COVID-19 shots either by appointment or as walk-ins. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
No long lineups at walk-in vaccination site in Red Deer

A steady stream of people walked into Westerner Park on Wednesday to… Continue reading

Letisha Reimer is shown in a photo, part of a memorial to her outside Abbotsford Senior Secondary School in Abbotsford, B.C., Monday, Nov.7, 2016. A B.C. Supreme Court judge is expected to deliver her decision today over whether a man who stabbed two high school students is not criminally responsible because he had a mental disorder. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geordon Omand
Judge to rule on criminal responsibility of man who stabbed two B.C. students

NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. — A British Columbia Supreme Court judge is expected… Continue reading

File photo
Expert says Saskatchewan should consider more targeted vaccine plan as variants surge

SASKATOON — Nazeem Muhajarine says he feels a sense of relief after… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is promising Canada will slash its… Continue reading

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland holds a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
More supply needed to ease housing price crunch, but always more to do, Freeland says

OTTAWA — Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says the country needs a boost… Continue reading

Smoke pours from the stacks at the Portlands Energy Centre in Toronto on Thursday January 15, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Risk experts say climate change to take big chunk of Canadian economy by 2050

One of the world’s largest insurers says Canadians will be more than… Continue reading

A Blanding’s turtle (Gabrielle Fortin/Contributed)
Earth Day: Finding hope in an old sweater

During the pandemic, many of us have spent several months at home.… Continue reading

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange says 1.7 million reusable masks have been ordered at a cost of $4.2 million.” (Advocate file photo).
Alberta teachers and education minister swap accusations of politicizing curriculum

EDMONTON — Education Minister Adriana LaGrange says the group representing Alberta teachers… Continue reading

FILE - In this March 19, 2021, file photo, people take pictures of the Olympic rings installed by the Japan Olympic Museum in Tokyo. The vaccine rollout in Japan has been very slow with less than 1% vaccinated. This of course is spilling over to concerns about the postponed Tokyo Olympics that open in just over three months.(AP Photo/Hiro Komae, File)
Olympic bodies launch competitive series in virtual sports

Olympic body hopes to reach more young people

Most Read