Ensemble Montreal city councillors Karine Boivin-Roy and Dominic Perri want the city to look at the air quality in Montreal's Metro system.

They say that the air quality situation in the Metro is currently unknown and they're introducing a motion calling for it to be monitored.

"We don’t know what kind of air people breathe in the metro," said Perri. "Let's test the air in the Metro. We hope it's perfect, great. If it's not, then we'll think about the solutions which basically revolve around better ventilation."

The councillors want five air quality monitoring stations installed in the five most-used Metro stops. Berri-UQAM stop is one of the stops where the councillors want to install one.

"The main objective of our motion is to improve the quality of the Metro for its users and workers," said Boivin-Roy. "We spend five per cent of our day in the Metro - more or less an hour. It doesn't seem like much, but when we are, in that period of time, this is when we are highly exposed to fine particles."

They pointed to air quality in other large city subway systems such as London and are worried that Montrealers could be breathing in aluminium, zinc and iron particles.

The councillors added that there is a chance Montrealers are breathing in particles of burnt rubber because Montreal is one of the only cities in the world that uses rubber tires on its trains.

In an email, the STM said they have been conducting tests at the Longueuil, Jean-Talon and Berri-UQAM stations and that the air quality in those stations is within the norms set by the American Conference on Industrial Hygenists.

The cost to set up the monitoring stations is estimated to be a bit over $1 million.