Ontario’s Ambient Air Quality Criteria

Ontario’s Ambient Air Quality Criteria

This document provides a list of the Ambient Air Quality Criteria (AAQCs) developed by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE). An AAQC is a desirable concentration of a contaminant in air, based on protection against adverse effects on health or the environment. The term “ambient” is used to reflect general air quality independent of location or source of a contaminant. AAQCs are most commonly used in environmental assessments, special studies using ambient air monitoring data, assessment of general air quality in a community and annual reporting on air quality across the province. AAQCs are set with different averaging times (e.g., 24 hour, 1 hour and 10 minutes) appropriate for the effect that they are intended to protect against. The effects considered may be health, odour, vegetation, soiling, visibility, corrosion or other effects. AAQCs may be changed from time to time based on new science. If a contaminant has multiple AAQCs, each representing a different effect, all of them should be used for assessment purposes.

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