Canadian Lung Association Blog

Blog Archives

How safe is that ‘new smell’?

Britt Swoveland, RadonAware Manager at The Lung Association – British Columbia, shares her knowledge about indoor air quality. Like most soon-to-be parents, my husband and I couldn’t wait to set up our baby’s room. We spent weeks looking for the perfect crib and matching dresser, material for sewing curtains, and of course, a new colour for all the walls. The bedding was new, the furniture was new and the walls received a fresh coat of paint. A few weeks before my due date, I started to organize baby clothes, when I noticed a strong ‘chemical’ smell upon opening our new dresser’s drawers. I

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Posted in Air Quality, Uncategorized

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

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

CARST sits down with BC Lung Association

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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

5 minutes with Drs. Michael Brauer and Sarah Henderson

Brauer and Henderson

Why do research on the AirCare program? Vehicle emissions monitoring programs, such as AirCare, have been introduced in many parts of the world, but there have not been any studies describing how they impact public health. However, many studies have shown that life expectancy is shorter in cities with more air pollution, and there are more deaths on days when air pollution levels are high. It follows that programs like AirCare have the potential to prolong lives by reducing both the long-term and short-term air pollution exposures of people who live within the affected areas. What impact did AirCare have

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Posted in Air Quality, Lung Health, Research

5 minutes with Dr. Jeremy Hirota

Hirota

What’s the focus of your research? I study the relationship between the air we breathe and how this may impact airway diseases including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cystic fibrosis. Every day, we breathe more than 10,000 litres of air into our lungs just to survive. A variety of substances in the air can irritate the airways leading to coughing, wheezing, mucus production, and if bad enough, hospitalization. Unfortunately, for both healthy individuals and those suffering from airway diseases, it is difficult to control the air we breathe and we do not completely understand how poor air quality influences our

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5 minutes with Dr. Chris Carlsten

Carlsten

What’s the focus of your research? Our research focuses on the relationship between air pollution and public health. We look at how pollution particles affect the way genes are expressed in the body. One of our most recent studies demonstrated how two hours of exposure to diesel exhaust fumes can lead to fundamental health-related changes in biology by switching some genes on, while switching others off. How did your study work? We put volunteers in a polycarbonate-enclosed booth — about the size of a standard bathroom — while breathing in diluted and aged exhaust fumes that are about equal to

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BC Lung Association Enlists BC Communities Support on Lung Cancer Prevention

All Communities

Towns across BC have joined the BC Lung Association in proclaiming November Radon Aware month – Prince George, Kamloops, Penticton, Princeton, Trail, Creston, Nakusp, the Village of Salmo, Fort. St. James and Keremeos. Radon gas exposure accounts for an average of 55 percent of a person’s lifetime radiation exposure – and for as many as 16 percent of all lung cancer deaths each year in Canada. “Radon is one of the most hazardous sources of indoor air pollution in Canada,” said Dr. Peter Paré, Chair of the BC Lung Association and Professor Emeritus of Respiratory Medicine at the University of

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Working together for healthy communities

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The BC Lung Association’s RadonAware team will be attending the Union of BC Municipalities 2015 Annual Convention on September 23rd and 24th in Vancouver. With a focus on promoting healthy communities throughout BC, the RadonAware team will share information and resources about radon, a known lung cancer risk, aiming to inspire cities throughout BC to get involved and encourage radon testing and mitigation. Collaboration is fundamental to all successful partnerships, and in January 2014, the City of Castlegar partnered with the BC Lung Association’s RadonAware team to educate residents about the health risks of radon and encourage radon testing and

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Posted in Air Quality, Events