The Canadian Medical Association said in a report that some 20,000 Canadians may die from the effects of air pollution this year.
The research on the human costs of pollution and pollution-related diseases estimated that around 21,000 people in Canada will die from breathing in toxic substances drifting in the air this year.
By 2031, short term exposure to air pollution will claim close to 90,000 lives in Canada, while long-term exposure will kill more than 700,000, the report said.
"Ontario and Quebec residents are the worst hit Canadians, with 70 percent of the premature deaths occurring in Central Canada, even though these two provinces comprise only 62 percent of Canada's population," the report said.
Not all the blame for air pollution falls on Canada, however.
"Canada gets a fair bit of pollution from the American midwest, which drifts north, comes across through Ontario and continues right on through to Quebec," CMA legal advisor Ted Boadway told reporters at the report's presentation.
The national economy, air pollution will top eight billion dollars in 2008, and by 2031 it will go over 250 billion, the report said.