South Etobicoke Local Air Quality Study

On Wednesday January 15th 2014, the City of Toronto released their second Local Air Quality Study report in a series of 18 that will cover every neighbourhood in the city. 

The South Etobicoke Local Air Quality Study has identified an increased risk of cancer in the community due to air pollution. The major source is transportation emissions from cars & trucks.

While it may not be surprising to learn that Highway 427 and the Gardiner Expressway are impacting the health of South Etobicoke residents, we now know exactly which toxic substances to target for pollution prevention.


Eight cancer-causing chemicals were found at levels of concern in the air and five substances exceed the Provincial government's air quality limits. The South Etobicoke Local Air Quality Study suggests that there is an increased cumulative risk of cancer in the area as a result of the air pollution. The estimated risk is at minimum 44 people in 1 million because one cancer-causing substances (benzo[a]pyrene) and some ChemTRAC reported business emissions have not yet been included in the analysis.

8 Carcinogens of Concern
in South Etobicoke
5 Chemicals Exceed
Air Quality Limits
  1. 1,3-Butadiene
  2. 1,4-Dichlorobenzene
  3. Acetaldehyde
  4. Benzene
  5. Benzo[a]pyrene
  6. Chromium (VI)
  7. Formaldehyde
  8. Tetrachloroethylene
  1. Benzene
  2. Benzo[a]pyrene
  3. Nitrogen Oxides
  4. Particulate Matter 10
  5. Particulate Matter 2.5

More information

Next Steps

The results of the South Etobicoke Air Quality Study will be presented and voted on at Parks & Environment Committee on March 3rd. TEA will be there to speak to the item and encourage City Councillors to make recommendations that will improve air quality and reduce pollution in South Etobicoke.

Rather than experience 'toxic shock', TEA wants residents and City Council to spring into action. There are solutions out there! We need more and better public transit service so residents can leave their cars at home, stricter emission standards for fuel, real-time air quality monitoring where people live, and economic supports to green local businesses. We can help prevent cancer by preventing pollution.

Don't live in South Etobicoke? Every community in Toronto will benefit from an air quality study, but this will take years for the City to complete. Get a head start by visiting ChemTRAC to look up local sources of toxic emissions in your neighbourhood.