Some things to consider as you prepare your digital postcards:

around 86 per cent of Canadians live in areas where airborne fine particulate matter levels exceed the WHO guidelines.

[…] the chemical composition of air varies across spaces and class boundaries.

Air pollution is the world’s leading environmental contributor to disease, causing an estimated seven million premature deaths per year. Many of these effects are gendered and racialized: toxins increase breast cancer risk and disproportionately affect women’s reproductive health, and activism around asthma and other threats to children’s health in the United States tends to be led by Black and brown mothers.

Water, air and soil pollution, along with other environmental factors, contribute to 40 percent of deaths worldwide each year.

Our sense of smell is responsible for about 80% of what we taste. Without our sense of smell, our sense of taste is limited to only five distinct sensations: sweet, salty, sour, bitter and the newly discovered “umami” or savory sensation. All other flavours that we experience come from smell.

While not all airborne toxins can be perceived through smell, odors are a common medium through which risk becomes perceptible.

“…odour memory seems to be the most resistant to forgetting,”

Wind direction, temperature and more all contribute to the peaks and valleys of pollutants. 

One study found that a polluted air mass took about eight days to travel from East Asia to central Oregon.

Distance plays a role in exposures, so too do the cumulative effects of pollution. […]  the way volatile organic compounds — gases emitted from solids and liquids in places like refineries — are released, changes how they ultimately settle. Emissions from sources closer to the ground can “easily” be found within a kilometre of a refinery, while emissions from stacks that are sent higher into the atmosphere take longer to fall, and have a wider dispersion. Those emissions would also be less concentrated.

Distributed unevenly across space, smells also condition subtle gradations of capacity and debility: in addition to killing, they can temporarily or chronically affect one’s embodiment, cognition, and mood.

The concentration of air pollution depends on the following wind parameters:
Wind Speed (inversely proportional to the concentration of airborne pollutants dispersed.)
Wind Direction
Wind Air Pressure (because of high pressure, when the winds become calm or low, all the pollutants released from your vehicles or any other activities will remain concentrated in the location itself.)

smell is also something to which we become habituated: the more we’re entangled with it—the more a smell enters our bodies and sticks to our clothing—the less we notice it.

notes on this page:

Canada’s 100 dirtiest emitters. The National Observer

The Smell of Risk: Environmental Disparities and Olfactory Aesthetics – Hsu, Hsuan L., 2020.

The Smell of Risk: Environmental Disparities and Olfactory Aesthetics – Hsu, Hsuan L., 2020.

Pollution May Cause 40 Percent of Global Deaths. Andrea Thompson, Live Science.

Taste – Smell Connection. Science World

Link proved between senses and memory – Nature

On Edmonton’s fringe, refineries are just one part of a larger air pollution puzzle.. Drew Anderson, April 30, 2022 – The Narwhal

Pollution Travels the Globe, Study Confirms. Live Science.

How does wind affect air pollution? The science of air.