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Seven ways to improve the air we breathe every day

Forest-firefighting crews in Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, and in the Northwest Territories have already tackled hundreds of wildfires that have burned across northcentral and northern areas of the province since early sping. With more heat and dry conditions in the forecast in the next few weeks, more wildfires can be expected. The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT urges all Albertans — and residents in the Northwest Territories — to keep a close watch on local air quality reports, as well as following these seven small steps to keep your lungs healthy during the season. 1.     Check your local Air Quality Health Index

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Posted in Air Quality, Lung Health

Setting the Record Straight About Radon: Part 2

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Last month, we dispelled 5 myths related to radon. This month we tackle 5 more misconceptions. To read Part 1 of this blog, click here. Myths: 1)       Help! I’m worried my granite countertop is releasing large amounts of radon. Fact: Radon is in fact produced by granite, which contains varying levels of uranium. Certain granites may contain more natural uranium that others, and therefore, may produce more radiation. In 2010, Health Canada conducted a study on granite purchased in Canada, and found that the granite produced no significant levels of radon. Radon generally occurring in the air of the home

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Posted in Air Quality, Lung Cancer, Lung Health

Setting the Record Straight About Radon: Part 1

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Since many of you will be taking the time to test your homes for radon, The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT would like to take the time to clarify common misconceptions about radon. Below you’ll find 5 common myths, and the reasons why they are myths. If you don’t know what radon is, visit www.ab.lung.ca/site/radon  and www.takeactiononradon.ca first! Myths: 1)       There’s no radon in Alberta. Fact: No region of the country is considered “radon-free”, but the levels of radon differ from region to region depending on the uranium concentration in the soil. The large majority of homes will have some

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Posted in Air Quality, Lung Cancer, Lung Health

Apps to use during forest fire season

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As forest fires continue to burn throughout Western and Northern Canada this summer, residents of and visitors to Alberta may experience health effects due to smoke in the air.  On average, Alberta sees 1,600 forest fires burn between the months of April and October of a given year. It is also possible for forest fires burning in British Columbia and the Northwest Territories to prompt air quality advisories in Alberta. Not only do forest fires pose danger to natural habitat, but also to human health. To learn about: the health effects caused by forest fire smoke; ways to reduce exposure

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Posted in Air Quality, Asthma, COPD, Lung Health

Forest Fires and Lung Health

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Forest fires are often a concern in Canada, especially during dry, hot summers. People all over Canada may be affected by the smoke from forest fires. The Canadian Lung Association urges those with lung disease such as asthma and COPD to monitor their breathing and avoid exposure to smoke. If breathing problems develop, refer to your action plan or call your health-care provider. What type of health effects can be caused by forest fire smoke? For someone without lung problems, wood smoke can: irritate eyes, lungs, throat and sinuses increase the risk of heart attacks trigger headaches and allergies reduce

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Posted in Air Quality, Asthma, COPD, Lung Health

Reducing Radon Levels in Your Home Can Save Your Life

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As a health conscious and physically active non-smoker I never thought I was at risk for developing the most deadly of cancers – lung cancer. However, in 2011 I learned about the dangers of radon gas from The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT and am so thankful that I did. After learning that radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers I immediately decided to test my home.  When the test results came back I was shocked to learn that the radon levels in my home were more than double the guidelines set by Health Canada. This

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Remembering Marion Carson

Alberta’s tuberculosis movement began with a woman of vision. Calgary’s Marion Carson devoted her life to help tuberculosis patients in Alberta – working actively up until her death at age 89 in 1950. Marion begins our story as The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT (“TLA”) looks back and celebrates our 75 years of service to the community. She was tremendously active in her newly adopted home, creating the Women’s Literacy Club in 1906, and as an active member of the Calgary School Board during the 1920s. She also helped underprivileged children by collecting milk money for Calgary’s less fortunate and

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Putting radon on your radar

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Are you interested in testing your home and sharing your results for a good cause? Residents across Alberta are choosing to test their homes for radon and have their results shared anonymously with researchers at the University of Calgary. This initiative is being completed in an effort to bring awareness to radon gas, which is found in homes across Canada, including in the Prairie Provinces. Dr. Aaron Goodarzi, a researcher at the University of Calgary is interested in gathering as much data as possible on radon levels in the province. Radon is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas that can

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Want to know about air quality in Alberta? There’s an app for that

AQHI App

Did you know there’s a new and easy way to access local air quality conditions? This can be accomplished by consulting the new Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) app. Available for multiple mobile devices and platforms including iOS, Android and coming soon, BlackBerry, the Alberta AQHI app reports local air quality conditions and health messages in more than 24 communities across the province.  The index updates throughout the day, and reports local air quality on a scale of 1 to 10: the lower the number, the lower the risk to health. This allows individuals to be more proactive about planning

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It’s time to test for radon!

Radon Detector

Have you been thinking about testing your home for radon? As it happens, the ideal time to test for radon is between the months of October and April. The reason for this is that the windows and doors to your home generally remain closed due to cold weather. By keeping the doors and windows shut, radon gas builds up, which allows you to get a more accurate reading of the radon level in your home. Radon is an invisible, odourless, and tasteless gas that is produced naturally in soil and rock as uranium breaks down. Due to its nature, radon

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