Good morning, folks, and welcome to the Information Round-up on your own local radio station. This is Larry Knowles talking to you this morning or Tuesday 25th May .. And the first term coming up is a reminder to you all out there about Canadian Clean Air Day - which is on June 6th.
In case you weren't around for the last one, this is a chance for Canadians everywhere to focus on the problems of air pollution and to actually try to do something to help reduce the problem.
How many Canadians do you think die annually because of air pollution? 2000? 3000? Well, the rate is a staggering 5000 and, it's likely to grow - unless we do something. And, it's this concern with your health that's the driving force behind the government campaign that is sponsoring Clean Air Day.
So what causes air pollution in the first place? Well, the transportation sector accounts for 27 percent of all greenhouse gases produced in Canada. It’s also the biggest source of that thick, polluted air tram traffic fumes that we call smog. And it's the tiny particles and ground-level ozone in smog that are the main causes of health problems, and even deaths, across the country. Of course, it's worse in the big cities ... but researchers have only recently realised that all you need are low levels of air pollution to seriously damage your health, so we're all at risk.
So. what can we do to fight air pollution? Well, it should be pretty obvious by now that the way we get to and from work every day can have a big impact on the air we breathe. So the easiest action you can take on Clean Air Day is to accept what we call the ‘CommuterChallenge' and get to work on foot or by cycling for a change. If you have to use your car, try 'car pooling' and share the drive, or better still, use public transit. If everyone tries this for just one day, you'll be amazed by the difference it can make to the air in our towns and cities.
But, there's more you can do to improve air quality. For example, you can plant trees. And if you don't have a garden, then you can do your bit in other ways. For instance, did you know that modern, improved wood stoves can reduce wood smoke by as much as 80-90 percent? So you can make a big difference if you upgrade the appliances you use in your home.
The government is also working hard on your behalf to clean up our air. Its priority is to reduce the emissions that cause smog and they have dear plans to get there. Last year, Canada and the United States agreed to reduce emissions on both sides of the border between the two countries and they plan to reach their targets in the next few years.
The government's also taking action to get cleaner fuels, it's already reduced the sulphur contained in gasoline, and it hopes to reach the reduction target for sulphur in diesel by next year. But the measures don't just focus on the motorist - the federal government's also working to reduce emissions from power plants and factories right across the provinces.
You can find out all about government action and all the plans for Clean Air Day events.