Canadian Lung Association Blog

Blog Archives

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

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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Posted in Air Quality, Research

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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Posted in Air Quality, Lung Health, Research

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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Posted in Air Quality, Lung Health

Working together for healthy communities

LOOK_FOR_US_UBCM

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

Canadian Home Builders’ Association partners with BC Lung Association to fuel action on indoor radon

warning labels

Indoor radon is the leading cause of lung cancer after smoking Anyone preparing to buy a new house in BC should be aware of new BC Building Code measures regarding indoor radon – an invisible, odourless soil gas that occurs in areas across Canada and is the leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. A serious health risk, radon poses the greatest danger when it builds up to high levels inside buildings and people are exposed to it over a long period of time. To reduce radon-related health risks, the BC government recently added new radon-related measures to the Building

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Posted in Air Quality, Lung Cancer

Castlegar homeowner wastes no time taking action on radon

BC Lung Association RadonAware - Area 1 Zones

When Castlegar native, Joan Blain, first heard about the BC Lung Association’s Home Radon Testing Study, she jumped at the opportunity to take part. Unlike most British Columbians, Blain had heard about radon. She knew it was a leading cause of lung cancer and that Castlegar was known to have elevated levels. So she suspected there was a good chance her home may test above the Health Canada safety guidelines of 200 Bq/m3. “I was right,” explained Blain. “The level of radon in my home was 600 Bq/m3 – three times the health guideline. When I found out I wasted

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Posted in Air Quality, Lung Health

Forest fire smoke is hard on health – particularly those living with asthma

Forest fire smoke and lung health

The 2014 forest fire season was severe in western Canada. There was more than 360,000 hectares burned in BC and more than three million hectares burned in the Northwest Territories. These fires produce smoke that negatively affects air quality throughout the region. The BC Centre for Disease Control has developed the BC Asthma Monitoring System (BCAMS) to help provincial medical health officers to better understand the impacts of smoke in real time. This system uses information from the air quality monitoring network, satellites, and BlueSky smoke forecasting system to assess smoke exposure throughout the province. It displays these data along with information about the number of asthma-related physician visits and

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Posted in Air Quality, Asthma, Lung Health