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We know that sound opinions cannot be formed without sound information. One of our main goals, therefore, is to do research to find scientific articles, consult health organizations and government agencies, so that we can share with you the information and resources that are available about air pollution and its effects on children’s health. Our FACTSHEET represents a starting point in this process.
www.airhealthbc.ca is part of the national Air Quality Health Index project supported in BC by the Government of British Columbia, the Government of Canada, Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley Regional District and the BC Lung Association.
Outdoor Air Quality – A Primer for B.C. Physicians and resource for informing patients http://www.bc.lung.ca/airquality/documents/AirQualityPhysiciansPrimerSP.pdf
B.C. Lung Association www.bc.lung.ca
Utah Moms for Clean Air www.utahmomsforcleanair.org
Utah Physicians for Healthy Environment http://www.uphe.org/
Canadian Public Health Association http://www.cpha.ca/uploads/progs/env/rdrp_asthma_e.pdf
Health Canada – Environmental and Workplace Health:
- Links and Other Resources http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/air/in/res-centre/links-liens-eng.php
- Regulations Related to Health and Air Quality http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/air/out-ext/reg-eng.php
In addition, here are some clean air strategies for everyday life:
When you can, where you can, make an air pollution difference!
* Suggestions for your INDOOR air:
- Let the fresh air in! When you can, even in the winter, open your bedroom windows just a finger width to have fresh air through the night.
- When outdoor temperatures allow it, open windows wide for twenty minutes to let fresh air circulate through all rooms – this is a natural way to deodorize.
- When the garbage truck or other diesel-run vehicles roll by, close windows to avoid diesel fumes from entering and lingering inside your home.
- When you or your neighbour are trimming/mowing with a gas trimmer/mower, close windows to avoid gas fumes from getting in and polluting your indoor air space.
- Close garage-to-house door quickly to keep out engine fumes from parked motorcycles/ATVs, as well as tire fumes from all of your vehicles.
- Did you know: Popcorn made on the stove-top or in an air popper is safer for your indoor air than using microwave popcorn bags
Many people do not realize that heavily-perfumed products create a form of air pollution within the home. These products elevate the level of irritation to nasal passages and sinus cavities and can be an irritant and/or cause of inflammation to bronchial airways. Many establishments now say – “This is a ‘scent-sensitive’ environment, please refrain from wearing perfume”. This is due to a vast increase in the number of people who have sensitive and reactive airways (asthma) and chemical sensitivities, which can create symptoms such as headache, nausea and disorientation.
Keeping in mind that children are even more sensitive and susceptible to irritations due to use of perfumed products, here are some suggestions:
- Avoid use of heavy deodorizers in your home, especially “plug-in” varieties, and scented candles.
- Choose lower-fume bathroom and household cleaners, and always run extractor fans and/or open windows, whenever possible, during and following cleaning.
- Use unscented laundry detergents & fabric
softeners and avoid heavily-scented dryer sheets
- Avoid use of heavily-scented soaps, lotions, and hair products
- Lower-scent and unscented options now exist in many stores, and health food stores have a nice selection of alternatives to products you may be currently using.
* Suggestions for the OUTDOOR air we share:
- When parked at your child’s school – turn off your engine. If it is winter, try blasting the heat just before parking, then sit with the engine off for as long as you can before warming things up again! Do the reverse in the summer with the A/C.
- Turn off your engine often when you are in a drive-through line-up.
- When you go to buy your next trimmer/mower, try to go electric.