Vancouver PM2.5 air quality averaged 8.9 micrograms in 2022. This means Vancouver PM2.5 concentrations exceeded the WHO annual limit of 5.0 micrograms by a little under 2 times. On the most polluted day, Vancouver air quality exceeded the recommended limit by over 17 times.
Current Air Quality in Vancouver
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58% of Days in Vancouver More Polluted Than WHO Target
During 2022, 58% of days exceeded the WHO annual limit. 42% of days fell within the safe limit of 5 micrograms. That means outdoor air in Vancouver was considered safe for just 2 in 5 days during 2022.
The most polluted day in 2022 was Oct. 20, 2022, where PM2.5 concentrations were as high as 86.0 micrograms. On this day, PM2.5 pollution exceeded the recommended limit by over 17 times.
Vancouver PM2.5 Concentrations: 2023 – Year to Date
So far in 2023, Vancouver’s PM2.5 concentrations have averaged 9.6 micrograms. That’s 8% higher than the previous year.
Is Vancouver Air Quality Improving?
Historical air quality (AQI) data for Vancouver over the past 4 years (2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022) shows that air quality has worsened by 25% over the past 4 years. Looking at just the past year, from 2021 to 2022, PM2.5 concentrations worsened by 44%.
Monday is the Most Polluted Day of the Week in Vancouver
Mondays are the most polluted day of the week in Vancouver. PM2.5 levels on an average Monday reach 9.9 micrograms. That’s 19% higher than the least polluted day – Saturday. On Saturday, PM2.5 air pollution averages 8.3 micrograms.
On average, Mondays see PM2.5 pollution that’s a little under 2 times the WHO limit. For Saturdays – the least polluted day – PM2.5 air pollution is a little under 2 times.
Why Is Vancouver Air Quality Bad Today?
Weather plays a big role in how Vancouver air quality is each day. Heat and sunlight help create ozone. That’s why ozone pollution is higher during the day and during hotter months. Studies show rain can reduce PM2.5 air pollution a little, but strong winds usually reduce PM2.5 much more.
Research has found that PM2.5 around the world follows a daily pattern. Of course, any particular day can be an exception. However, across continents, PM2.5 pollution tends to be worse from 8pm to 2am, with another bad spike around morning rush hour. PM2.5 is the lowest around 4pm, when air tends to mix higher in the atmosphere.
Vancouver Air Pollution: The Negative Health Effects
This analysis of Vancouver’s air quality is based on PM2.5 pollution. These are particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter that can penetrate deep into the lungs and even enter the bloodstream.
Many people know that air pollution causes lung cancer and asthma. But fewer people know that air pollution kills far more people through our hearts and blood vessels.
Studies have shown that PM2.5 raises blood pressure, inflammation, and rates of heart attacks and strokes.
WATCH: Why Is PM2.5 So Harmful to Us?
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Protect Your Health in Vancouver From Air Pollution
Despite the harms of PM2.5 air pollution, studies of air purifiers have found that removing particulate in the home lowers blood pressure, reduces inflammation, and improves immune response.
Smart Air provides the world’s most cost-effective, data-backed air purifiers to help air-breathers protect themselves and their family. Smart Air is a certified B Corp founded to share the simple science behind air purifiers and masks, thereby lowering the cost of breathing clean air.
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