Wildfires in Canada continue to produce dense smoke and haze affecting many areas, including Ontario. The resulting air pollution caused by the smoke can be carried thousands of kilometres from the fire zones. Air pollution, such as smoke, can increase health risks especially for small children, pregnant people, seniors, people with lung or heart conditions, and people involved in outdoor work or strenuous exercise.
Air Quality Health Index (AQHI)
Check the AQHI for your area at airqualityontario.com. Refer to the health messages provided in the chart below based on the AQHI value.
|Health Risk||Air Quality Health Index||Health Messages|
|At Risk Population*||General Population|
|Low||1 – 3||Enjoy your usual outdoor activities.||Ideal air quality for outdoor activities.|
|Moderate||4 – 6||Consider reducing or rescheduling strenuous activities outdoors if you are experiencing symptoms.||No need to modify your usual outdoor activities unless you experience symptoms such as coughing and throat irritation.|
|High||7 – 10||Reduce or reschedule strenuous activities outdoors. Children and the elderly should also take it easy.||Consider reducing or rescheduling strenuous activities outdoors if you experience symptoms such as coughing and throat irritation.|
|Very High||Above 10||Avoid strenuous activities outdoors. Children and the elderly should also avoid outdoor physical exertion.||Reduce or reschedule strenuous activities outdoors, especially if you experience symptoms such as coughing and throat irritation.|
N-95 Masks Available at the LCHC
NFN Health Services has a limited supply of N-95 masks for those who must go outdoors when the health risk of smoke exposure is high. A well-fitting N-95 or NIOSH mask can help reduce exposure to the fine smoke particles. Keep in mind, they are not designed to reduce exposure to gases in wildfire smoke.
Contact NFN Health Services to request a N-95 mask: 705-753-3312.
Distribution will be prioritized for high risk.
Reimbursements and Tips for Purchasing an Air Purifier
Air purifiers are designed to improve indoor air quality. During this 2023 wildfire season, NFN members are eligible for reimbursements on the purchase of an air purifier.
Tips on how to Protect Your Indoor Air from Outdoor Pollutants.
Tips on how to Choose a Portable Air Purifier and Wildfire Smoke 101.
If you are an NFN member and want to apply for reimbursement on the purchase of an air purifier, complete an application to the NFN Medical Health Fund (MHF). The purchase would be considered part of the annual allocation per member, per the Medical Health Fund Policy.
To submit your application, request an application, or to find out if you have MHFs available contact us:
Non-Insured Health Benefits Coordinator
705-753-3312 ext. 2233
Medical Health Fund
Nipissing First Nation Health Services
58 Semo Road
Garden Village, ON P2B 3K2
For more information
Lawrence Commanda Health Centre
NFN Health Services