What is SMOG?

Commonly understood to be a pairing of the words smoke and fog, smog describes a form of air pollution that resembles these two vapours. Smog is a combination of airborne particulate matter like dust, soot and invisible toxic gases, including ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO), and sulfur dioxide (SO2). These elements are considered carcinogenic, or in other words, they cause cancer.

Smog is commonly found in industrial areas and larger cities and can have a significant impact on respiratory health. Smog is unhealthy for humans, animals, and vegetation alike. It can be highly toxic and cause severe sickness, shortened life, or even death. Smog can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat. In more severe cases, it can worsen existing heart and lung problems, and is often linked to lung cancer with regular long-term exposure.

To find out more read this article.

Protect Yourself Against Crop Residue Burning Smoke

Planning to burn off your remaining crop residue this year, or know someone who is? Great Plains Air Zone (GPAZ) reminds youthat the smoke from burning crop residue can trigger breathing problems and pose a safety risk.

As a result, farmers should consider the following safety precautions:

Do not burn anything in your fields if:

We also recommend that you avoid crop burning after sundown. The arrival of sunset often results in an atmospheric condition called inversion, wherewinds decrease and warm air cools and is held close to the ground. This condition traps any smoke at ground level and prevents it from dispersing into the atmosphere.

This smoke can pose a risk to anyone, but is potentially life-threatening for individuals with underlying health conditions. More than 10 per cent of Saskatchewan residents have chronic lung conditions like asthma.

For more information on safe and effective crop management, or to find ventilation conditions, we encourage you to visit the Government of Saskatchewan website at The site has a direct link to Environment Canada’s air quality maps that provide daily smoke ventilation conditions for Saskatchewan and other parts of Canada.

GPAZ has also partnered with Lung Saskatchewan to create the attached Fact Sheet, which contains tips on how to protect yourself from crop burning residue.

Purple Air Monitoring

Have you heard of Purple Air monitoring?

This provincial ambient air quality monitoring system provides an air quality map that allows you to check for current updates on air contaminants or other changing conditions as they happen.
Purple air sensors throughout the country provide real-time air quality monitoring by allowing citizen scientists to collect hyper-local air quality data and share it with the public. This information not only helps to make people aware of approaching hazards, but also affords time to properly mitigate the risks associated.

The Purple Air monitoring system is linked into a national program for air monitoring across Canada called the National Air Pollution Surveillance (NAPS) network. Users can search a specific location or destination and retrieve a current air quality map, and make decisions on outdoor work/activities accordingly.

For more information on air quality standards, risks and safety precautions visit the Air Quality Health Index on the Government of Canada website:

To access the Purple Air monitoring map, and check the air quality in your area, visit their website:

What is Air Quality?

Air quality is a standard for how pure or dirty the air is. Monitoring air is crucial because unclean air is not good for our health as well as the health of the atmosphere. Each nation measures the air quality in many ways. However, sometimes we use our cellphone to know the weather. Our weather app shows the UV index from 0 to 10, for example. The first stage is low and the second stage is moderately followed by high risk, very high risk. Similarly, the air quality health index is specifically utilized for Canada to know the impact of air characteristics on health.

To find out more read this article by GPAZ Air Quality.