Hamilton residents have a 11.5 per cent higher chance of dying from air pollution-related causes than the average mortality rate.
In other words, if there were 100 deaths from natural causes, there would be 11 more in Hamilton from causes related to air quality.
Local researcher Denis Corr used a mobile air monitoring system to calculate levels of carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, sulphur dioxide, PM10 (inhalable particulates such as dust) and PM2.5 (respirable, or fine, particulates viewable only with a microscope).
Here are the neighbourhoods at greatest risk of air pollution-related mortality:
On the busy highways that run through Hamilton, the risk of dying from air pollution is 12 per cent higher than the average mortality rate. Vehicle pollution causes cardiovascular and respiratory emergencies, making Hamilton's major highways the deadliest areas of the city when it comes to air quality. Corr says when you're driving on a highway, especially on smog days, you should set your car's ventilation system to recirculate.
2. Jones Road and Arvin Avenue area
This area in Winona is particularly high in PM10, as well as the deadlier PM2.5, which are smaller and more likely to infiltrate our lungs and harm our respiratory systems. In this area, the risk of dying from air pollution is nearly eight per cent higher than the average mortality rate.
3. Wentworth North around the Eva Rothwell Centre
High in PM10, PM2.5 and nitrogen dioxide, the area of Wentworth North at the Eva Rothwell Centre carries a mortality rate that is nearly eight per cent higher than the average mortality rate.
4. Eastport Drive, east side
There are several factors at play when it comes to Eastport Drive.
Air quality is the worst where the wind blows from the east. It carries pollution from traffic on the QEW, bringing increased levels of nitrogen oxides. The impact is offset, Corr says, in areas where there are sound walls, which also act as pollution walls. On the west side of Eastport Drive, industry brings higher levels of PM10.
Eastport Drive with an easterly wind brings a mortality risk seven per cent higher than average. On the west side, the risk is about three per cent higher.
5. McAnulty Boulevard
This residential area near Hamilton's industrial sector carries a mortality rate six per cent higher than average. The highest risk is from PM10.