Canadian Lung Association Blog

Season’s Sneezings : April showers bring May flowers

For most people, spring time is a time of the year when we shed winter coats and breathe in the long-forgotten smells of budding flowers and trees. But almost a quarter of Canadians suffers from allergies in the spring that make this time of the year difficult to enjoy. Jaimie Peters is a Registered Nurse and Certified Respiratory Educator with the Canadian Lung Association’s Helpline. She shares her tips on dealing with seasonal allergies. What causes springtime allergies? Most spring allergies are caused by pollens that are released from grass, trees, and flowers. Spring allergies cause hay fever, otherwise known as allergic

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Posted in Air Quality, Asthma, Lung Health

Got milk; need answers: New research looks at breast milk in asthma prevention

Imagine a nutritional food source that gives your baby exactly what she needs, when she needs it. Breast milk is just that. It provides your baby with nutrients, helps fight off infections and changes as the baby’s needs change. And yet, it might have even more benefits than that. Dr. Meghan Azad is a Winnipeg-based researcher and a recipient of Canadian Respiratory Research Network ERLI award, who is committed to learning just what other super powers this nourishment holds. “We’re looking at how breast milk potentially protects babies from developing asthma,” she explains, adding “So far, we’re seeing early signs

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Posted in Asthma, Research

My Experience With Lung Cancer – Epilogue


[See previous posts – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6] On March 17, 2016, 26 months after receiving her diagnosis of lung cancer, Dr. Terry-Nan Tannenbaum passed away. The courage with which she struggled against lung cancer is evident from the six instalments of her blog. The Lung Association was truly blessed to have a friend such as Dr. Terry-Nan Tannenbaum. From 1999 to 2006, Terry-Nan was the Medical Director of a project to develop a TB control program in Ecuador. The project was funded by CIDA through the Canadian Lung Association. During this time, Ecuador went from having the

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Posted in Lung Cancer, Research, Stories, TB

Radon data: Why we need it and how it can protect public health

Radon and Data Report 5

Over the last 3 years the BC Lung Association’s (BCLA) RadonAware Program has been encouraging indoor radon testing in homes, schools and workplaces across the province. Through voluntary testing programs and radon test kits sales, the program has nearly doubled the number of radon test results in residential housing. Our technical specialist, Hugh Roberts, manages radon test data analysis. He recently sat down with RadonAware to talk about the importance of data collection. Britt: Why is collecting this data so important? Hugh: Though the medical link between radon and lung cancer is clear, that itself doesn’t save lives. The information we

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The Importance of Healthy Housing for all Indigenous People

Aboriginal Housing Society of Prince George

BC Lung Association’s RadonAware recently partnered with the Aboriginal Housing Society of Prince George (AHSPG). “This partnership allowed us to better understand how to develop and implement a radon testing project in affordable housing,” explained Scott McDonald, President and CEO, BC Lung Association. “More importantly, it demonstrates how to build a connection to Aboriginal Housing, creating a community-wide radon testing program that was inclusive of all people and housing situations.” In the winter of 2013, all 136 AHSPG homes in Prince George were tested for indoor radon levels with long-term test kits provided by the BC Lung Association. Of the

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Lung Association of Saskatchewan Lifetime Achievement Award – 2016

Ms. Pat Smith (right), Chair of the Lung Association of Saskatchewan volunteer board, presents the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Darcy Marciniuk at the Respirology State of the Art Conference, Saskatoon,
May 28, 2016.

We are very pleased to announce that the Lung Association of Saskatchewan has conferred its highest award on Dr. Darcy Marciniuk of Saskatoon. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognises 25 years of outstanding service by Dr. Marciniuk to improving respiratory health in Saskatchewan. Darcy Marciniuk was born, raised and educated in Saskatchewan. After receiving an MD from the University of Saskatchewan, he attended the University of Western Ontario for specialty training in Internal Medicine and he completed his sub-specialty Respirology training at the University of Manitoba. He returned to Saskatchewan in 1990 and joined the Respiratory Division where his career in

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Posted in COPD, Events

Love at first breath   

Every May, we take a moment to appreciate the mothers in our lives. One of the first miracles of motherhood begins even before the baby is born. Let’s think of everything that is programmed to happen as the baby takes her first breath. The lungs of a fetus are at the ready, but benched for action during pregnancy. So, the puzzle is: how does a fetus get oxygen while bypassing its lungs? First, let’s recap how adult circulation works and the role that lungs play. It all starts as you breathe in and oxygen enters your lungs.  This oxygen fuels

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Posted in Lung Health, Uncategorized

BC Hydro sits down with BC Lung Association

BC Hydro Blog graphic

Last summer RadonAware met with BC Hydro to provide information on what radon is, the health risks, how to test, mitigation options, and how building upgrades are a great time to consider protection from soil gases, such as radon, the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. To lend its support, BC Hydro’s Home Renovation Rebate Program now asks homeowners to consider testing for radon when doing home improvements. Margo Longland, Senior Program Manager, Residential Marketing, believes testing for radon is an important first step to help protect occupant health and safety. “If you’re going to be planning a renovation, consider radon testing.

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Posted in Air Quality, Lung Health, radon

Important Tax Changes for Planned Gifts


Up until January 1, 2016 trusts created in your will, called testamentary trusts, had a distinct advantage as earnings in the trust were taxed at graduated rates. A graduated tax rate is how an individual’s income is taxed – lower rates at lower income levels with tax rates increasing as the level of income reaches higher thresholds. This advantage was so attractive, wills often contained instructions to create multiple testamentary trusts to reduce the tax load on their beneficiaries. For example: A Saskatchewan taxpayer paid a combined federal and provincial tax rate of 8.9% on taxable income of 20,000 in

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CARST sits down with BC Lung Association

CARST blog graphic.2jpg

From April 24th to 26th RadonAware will join with dozens of radon professionals in Montreal, Quebec to “Connect and Educate” at the Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (CARST) 5th Annual Radon Conference. The BC Lung Association’s RadonAware Manager Britt Swoveland recently sat down with Pam Warkentin, Executive Director of C-NRPP and Executive Assistant to CARST to discuss this year’s conference and the CARST’s long-term vision. Britt: This year’s theme for the CARST Conference is “Connect and Educate.” How does the conference support this theme? Pam: People will be coming to the conference from all across Canada, so we have

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Posted in Air Quality, Lung Health, radon

Canadian Home Builders’ Association of BC (CHBA BC) sits down with BC Lung Association

Partnership with CHBA radon graphic.2

The danger of radon gas is serious. For people who have never smoked, it is the leading cause of lung cancer. The BC Lung Association’s RadonAware Manager Britt Swoveland recently sat down with Neil Moody, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association of BC to discuss the importance of supporting the construction industry with resources and education to help protect homeowners from radon. Britt: Why get involved in radon? Neil: The CHBA BC represents more than 1,600 members from regions throughout the province of British Columbia and from every area of the housing industry in the province. Radon is

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Posted in Air Quality, Lung Health, radon