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Environmental Issues

A healthy natural environment is a key priority for Canadians and the Government of Canada. Everything that we do, our health, our identity and our survival depends on the long-term health of the environment - all of which are vulnerable to the effects of air pollution.

Air pollution affects many parts of the global ecosystem including:

Air Pollution Issues of Concern

A wide variety of air pollutants and air issues affect the natural functioning of the ecosystem.

  • The quality of the soil and water are significantly affected by acid rain and its contributing pollutants.
  • The health of wildlife is compromised by pollutants such as mercury that affect habitat and food quality.
  • Vegetation health and productivity is harmed by a variety of pollutants, including ground-level ozone.
  • Our ability to experience the environment is affected by air pollution and, in particular, smog. For instance, poor visibility and haze as a result of smog can greatly reduce our ability to see the surrounding landscape clearly. This is an important concern for parks and protected areas.
  • Climate change, as a result of the release of greenhouse gases, has the potential to dramatically impact global ecosystems, weather conditions, water levels, and life on earth.

Damage from air pollution is not always localized. The long range transport of pollutants can mean that soils, water, plants and animals can be affected far away from sources of pollutants.