Canadian Lung Association Blog

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What makes up air pollution?

As the summer months roll on, we may hear regular air quality or smog alerts in the news. But what exactly happens in order for air pollution levels to be high? Air pollutants come from many sources, such as traffic and vehicle emissions, industrial activities (factories, steel mills, and power plants), residential sources (wood burning, driving the car often), and transboundary sources (from the United States). In the warm summer months, many of these pollutants can linger around in the air, especially if there is little wind movement. There are a number of chemicals that make up air pollution, such

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Posted in Air Quality, Lung Health

Protect your lungs on hot and humid days


    Heat and humidity can affect your breathing, especially if you have asthma or COPD. On very hot, humid days, especially days that have high levels of air pollution or smog, stay indoors. Find an indoor place that’s cool. Make sure the place you choose has clean air – this means no tobacco smoke or harsh scents. If your home is not air conditioned, go to an air-conditioned public space, like a recreation centre, public library, or shopping mall. Some things to remember when it is hot and humid: Stay indoors in an air-conditioned place with good indoor air

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Posted in Air Quality, Asthma, COPD

21 years smoke-free, thanks to the Lung Association!

Karen Flanagan-McCarthy

                                          I couldn’t have quit smoking without the ‘Countdown’ course I took at The Lung Association 21 years ago. And I am quite sure becoming a non-smoker has added years to my life. It certainly has added life to my years! I smoked for 18 years. I got to the point where I was smoking a pack a day. My ‘ah-hah’ moment, when I knew I had to quit smoking, came when I realized I couldn’t climb two flights of

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Posted in Smoking & Tobacco, Stories

Reducing asthma triggers in the classroom

Heather Crysdale

As a teacher, Heather Crysdale knows that asking for help is important. That’s why she sought out The Lung Association’s help to learn how to manage her asthma better. Heather worked with Rosario Holmes, a certified asthma educator with The Lung Association in Ottawa, to learn more about her asthma medications and how to use her inhalers appropriately. Rosario explained to Heather about how to use a spacer with her metered dose inhaler to improve the delivery of the medication. Rosario also taught Heather how to keep her inhalers clean and sanitary. “As a teacher of young children, I have

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Posted in Asthma

An “Elbow Test” May Predict Sleep Apnea

Dr. Mark Fenton

Have you ever been “elbowed” by your bed partner because you were snoring? If you have, new Canadian research says this could be a sign that you have obstructive sleep apnea, a serious breathing problem that interrupts your sleep. In a study, researchers from the University of Saskatchewan asked 124 patients referred to a Sleep Disorders Centre if they have ever been poked or elbowed because they were snoring or stopped breathing. Afterwards, the patients underwent polysomnography testing that monitored their breathing while sleeping. The researchers then compared the polysomnography scores to whether the patient answered ‘yes’ to being elbowed

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Posted in Lung Health, Research

COPD in Canada


COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. COPD is a long-term lung disease often caused by smoking. COPD includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Many people with COPD have both bronchitis and emphysema. Learn more about COPD

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Posted in COPD