Your browser does not support JavaScript!
Like everyone else, we use cookies. You can learn more about their use by reading our privacy policy.

Fires in Canada and their impact on air pollution

In June, Montreal, Toronto, and even New York took turns claiming the unfortunate record of being the most polluted city in the world, according to the international IQAir1 index, reaching levels between 129 and 157, when air quality is considered "poor" starting from 51.

The cause of this situation is the wildfires plaguing the country. By the end of June, Canada had nearly 500 active fires, with 7.8 million hectares devastated by the fires and 100,000 people evacuated in 2 months. With a fire starting in Alberta in early March, the situation persists, and as of the time of writing, no quick return to normalcy is expected.

To understand the exceptional nature of this situation, we can compare it to the wildfires in Gironde during the summer of 2022, which marked France with their scale and duration: over a month (from mid-July to mid-August), "only" 30,000 hectares of forest were destroyed in the department.

Fires in Canada and air pollution

Figure 1 - Map created by Radio Canada using data from the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre and the Society for the Protection of Forests Against Fire (SOPFEU)2

The impacts on air quality: some data

These gigantic fires emit toxic smoke loaded with ultra-fine particles, volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx)...

Today, in Canada, the carbon emissions released into the atmosphere due to the fires represent approximately 590 million tonnes of CO2, which is 88% of Canada's annual greenhouse gas emissions in 2021.

In France, in 2022, the threshold for suspended particulate matter (PM10) was exceeded in Gironde.

These pollutant concentrations have direct impacts on health. According to Santé publique France3:

  • An increase of 10 µg/m3 in the levels of PM10 for the current day and the previous five days results in a 0.5% increase in non-accidental mortality.
  • An increase of 10 µg/m3 in PM2.5 results in a 15% increase in non-accidental mortality risk.
  • An increase of 10 µg/m3 in NO2 for the current day and the previous day results in a 0.75% increase in non-accidental mortality.

The elderly, especially those over 75 years old, and individuals with heart or respiratory conditions, such as asthmatics, are particularly vulnerable to this air pollution.

Fires in Canada and air pollution

Figure 2: Map showing total aerosols predicted on June 8, which increase with wildfire activity in Canada4 - PHOTO AFP / JULIA HAN JANICKI, SOPHIE RAMIS

How to preserve your health?

Pungent odor, throat and eye irritation, opacity of the outdoor environment, headaches... the consequences experienced by residents, even when they are in areas outside the flames' danger zones, are numerous.

As we mentioned in our article The Impacts of Forest Fires on Air Pollution and Public Health published last summer, according to a 2012 study by ANSES, PM10 particles from forest fire smoke can be considered at least as harmful to short-term respiratory health as PM10 particles from urban sources.

Even when confined at home, residents are not safe from the chemical substances carried in the smoke: fine PM10 particles can penetrate the lungs, and ultra-fine PM2.5 particles can even enter the bloodstream. They can do so even more inside buildings! Unfortunately, keeping doors and windows closed is not enough, and the use of an air purifier becomes increasingly important.

In 2022, our customer Olivier already shared with us the benefits of his air purifier: "At home, with the TEQOYA E500 in my living room, I realized I was surrounded by smoke only when I went outside. However, it smelled strong outside, and my house is far from airtight, but inside I didn't smell anything."

This experience is now confirmed by a customer from Quebec, whom we thank for her loyalty and sharing her testimony:

"In the city of Quebec, we have had a lot of smog and particles in the air in recent days, forcing some people to stay confined in their homes. Several sports activities had to be postponed, as well as National Day festivities. As for me, I greatly appreciate my TEQOYA air purifier, which is always running in my bedroom and allows me to breathe well, especially in winter when the windows are closed and the heating dries out the air. In situations like the one we are currently experiencing, I feel privileged to have my TEQOYA. I will recommend to my loved ones to get a device, and I myself would like to acquire a second TEQOYA air purifier soon to benefit from clean air at all times in my living space. Thank you, and long live your company!"
Nicole B, June 2023

At TEQOYA, our teams are at your disposal to provide you with all the necessary advice regarding the indoor air quality of your home in these exceptional conditions and guide you towards the most relevant solutions for you.


  • 2Canada Radio: ; Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre and Forest Fire Protection Society:
  • 3Public health France:,(EQIS)%20en%20France%20continentale
  • 4Canada is burning, smoke spreads from the United States to Norway
  • Fires in the summer of 2022: assessment and feedback
  • AMTO Normandie
  • ATMO Nouvelle Aquitaine Source:
  • Air Pays de la Loire

Information on air quality and news from TEQOYA

How does an air ionizer work?

November 27th 2021

Natural environments are rich in negative ions. This is precisely the principle on which the air ionizer is based on. However, do you know how this technology manages to capture the pollution particles contained in the indoor air to purify your home?


Are air purifiers effective against viruses, especially the coronavirus COVID-19

October 20th 2020
#Virus and microorganismes   #L'essentiel  

In December 2019, a respiratory virus of the Coronavirus family appeared in the Wuhan region of China and has now spread to all continents.


What is eco-responsibility?

October 27th 2021

Purifying indoor air while protecting your health and the planet is possible! Say goodbye to filters and make way for negative ions: choose an eco-responsible air purifier that will easily reduce energy and resource consumption.


Read all our articles

Discover our other blog articles #See all our articles