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Lung Disease Support Group to host air quality seminar

By: Jonathan Migneault - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Mar 09, 2014 - 1:01 PM |
The Lung Disease Support Group air quality seminar, on Monday, March 24, will explore a number of topics including the impact smoking cannabis has on the lungs. File photo.

The Lung Disease Support Group air quality seminar, on Monday, March 24, will explore a number of topics including the impact smoking cannabis has on the lungs. File photo.

Seminar will cover health risks of radon and cannabis on lungs

Air quality is an issue that is often out of mind for many Canadians, said Karen Zalan, a board member with Sudbury's Lung Disease Support Group.

To keep Sudburians up to date on the latest issues affecting air quality, the support group will host an air quality seminar at the United Steelworkers Hall on Monday, March 24, 2014.

An afternoon agenda, starting at 3 p.m., will have three speakers address the issues of indoor and outdoor air quality, the impact of radon on respiratory health and the effect cannabis has on the lungs.

“It's really important to have good air quality in the home,” Zalan said.

Connie Choy, an air quality co-ordinator with the Ontario Lung Association will speak first about indoor and outdoor air quality, and steps people can take to improve the air quality in their homes.

Michael King, an epidemiologist with the Sudbury and District Health Unit, will speak about the impact radon has on respiratory health.

Radon is a naturally occurring, and radioactive gas, that is produced when uranium in the ground breaks down.

Radon can settle in people's homes through cracks in the foundation, pipe openings and other places where a house is open to the ground.

According to Health Canada, exposure to radon is the country's second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking.

The current Canadian guideline for safe radon levels is 200 becquerels per cubic metre. The gas is invisible, and has no odour, but can be measured with a long-term radon test kit.

Health Canada says it suspects only a small percentage of Canadian homes have radon levels above the recommended guideline.
King will discuss how to test a home's radon levels, and how to reduce exposure.

Brenda Stankiewicz, a public health nurse with the Sudbury and District Health Unit, will give the final presentation about the impact smoking cannabis has on the lungs.

“People need to know that pot smoking is not good for your lungs,” Zalan said.

For people who cannot attend the afternoon session, the three presenters will repeat their presentations in the evening, starting at 6:45 p.m.
Jonathan Migneault

Jonathan Migneault

Staff Writer

@jmigneault

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