Welcome to your July update from the Asthma Society of Canada. As your summer heats up, make sure you are taking proper precautions if the sudden weather changes of approaching thunderstorms or the chlorine from swimming pools are triggers for your asthma.
1. Team Asthma Takes on Toronto and Vancouver Charity Runs
One event down, one more to go for Team Asthma on the Canada Running Series circuit.
Team Asthma is gearing up for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM), while winding down from the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon. In Vancouver, we had nine runners competing in the half-marathon and two participated in the 5k. This is the first year that the Asthma Society of Canada (ASC) had a team in Vancouver.
In Toronto in 2009, 47 people came out to run or walk under the Team Asthma banner, including ASC staff, volunteers, NAPA members, and partners. Do YOU have what it takes to join us this year?
The Toronto race is on Sunday September 26th and includes 3 distances: marathon, half-marathon, and 5km. Participants can even power-walk the 5km, if you don't want to run! If you join Team Asthma, every dollar you raise comes directly to the ASC. Last year, over $16,000 was raised in the STWM.
The goal for this year's Toronto event is to have at least 100 participants wearing the Team Asthma jerseys.
Registration is a two-step process. To get started go to http://www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com/en/charity/asthma.htm
Pledges can be made online at http://my.e2rm.com/TeamPage.aspx?teamID=167161&langPref=en-CA
Thanks for supporting Team Asthma!
2. Know your Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) Numbers
The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) is now available in 35 communities across Canada. The AQHI is a web-based scale designed to help you understand what the air quality around you means to your health. The AQHI will report four key pieces of information for you:
A number from 1 to 10+ indicating the air quality. A higher number means a greater health risk as a result of air quality. When the amount of air pollution is very high, the number will be reported as 10+.
A category that describes the level of health risk (low, medium, high, very high).
Health messages customized to each category, tailored to both the general population, and the 'at risk' population.
Current AQHI readings for your area, and a forecast
To find your local readings, click here.
We are still looking for your opinion on the AQHI. We would like to know your awareness of the scale, how much you are willing to use it, and what ways you prefer to receive the information. Additionally, does your knowledge of the AQHI encourage you to make environmentally friendly lifestyle choices?
We encourage you to provide feedback at our online survey, our web poll, the AQHI Blog Page, or through our Audio Blog at 1-866-787-4050.
3. Partner Profile: Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE)
The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) is a national organization with over 4,800 members. In the spring of 2010 it launched the Doctors' Renewable Energy Project, an effort to close Ontario's coal-fired electricity plants and ramp-up renewable energy sources.
CAPE runs the project in collaboration with the Ontario Clean Air Alliance and the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario. Ending coal use is crucial because the fuel is a major threat to human and environmental health. Ontario's coal plants emit the greenhouse gas equivalent of almost seven million cars. They are also responsible for nearly 250 deaths and almost 123,000 illnesses, including asthma attacks, each year. And coal is not necessary to keep the lights on: the province could close the plants tomorrow and still have 25% more electrical capacity than needed.
Could you please take a minute to e-mail Premier McGuinty the following message? Feel free to tailor this to your needs or individual story:
Each year Ontario coal plants kill hundreds of Canadians and make over 120,000 sick with illnesses like asthma.
You don't need coal to keep the lights on. I urge you to shut these plants this year -- to protect our climate and human health.
The Premier's e-mail is: Dmcguinty.email@example.com
If you would like more information on CAPE's Doctors' Renewable Energy Project, please contact Ms. Farrah Khan, Executive Asst, CAPE, at (416) 306-2273 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on CAPE visit www.cape.ca.
4. Announcing Our New Staff Member
We are happy to welcome Rob Lanteigne to the staff team at the Asthma Society of Canada. Rob comes on board as the new NAPA Coordinator, and has now been with us for just over a month. He will be working to provide more benefits, opportunities, involvement and advocacy for National Asthma Patient Alliance members, and taking over the social media presence of the ASC.
Rob is a lifelong asthma patient himself, who comes to us by way of Brock University. He has just finished a few years in various roles of post-secondary education advocacy and member services, with the Brock University Students' Union, Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, and Canadian Alliance of Student Associations.
Feel free to contact Rob with any of your questions, concerns or ideas about the National Asthma Patient Alliance at 1-866-787-4050 x.100, or by e-mail at email@example.com
If you are not yet a NAPA member, visit http://www.asthma.ca/napa/register.php to register for your FREE membership.
5. asthma & allergy friendly™
Underscoring the expansion of the asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program in Canada; Allergy Standards Limited (ASL), are pleased to announce the signing of a contract by leading purification technology provider, Rabbit Air, to test its high-quality air cleaners for compliance with the Canadian asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program.
ASL will immediately begin an extensive research and testing regimen to assure the entire Rabbit Air purifier line is ideal for use in homes, offices, healthcare and multiple other settings.
'Energy efficiency initiatives are making indoor air quality and airborne infection a major issue in the international marketplace' said Andrea Richardson the ASL Canadian Program Manager. 'The asthma & allergy friendly™Certification process considers the in use phase of lifecycle analysis of products with specific emphasis on asthma and allergy for the concerned customer'.
"Rabbit Air is dedicated to improving and optimizing the indoor environment for those suffering from allergies and asthma and we are excited to be commencing certification testing for the asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program," said Rabbit Air spokesperson Edwin Cheung Vice President of Business Development.
"I am delighted that an innovative company like Rabbit Air is taking a leadership position and is submitting products to our robust third party independent testing program," said Christine Hampson, President and CEO of the Asthma Society of Canada.
To find out more about Rabbit Air products visit the website, www.rabbitair.com. And you can find out more on asthma & allergy friendly™ Certified products at www.asthmaandallergyfriendly.ca.
6. NAPA Launches a New Blogging Page
Available at http://napa-blog.blogspot.com, this interactive blog will bring you interesting news, facts, tips and more. To get your updates between our newsletters each month, visit http://napa-blog.blogspot.com and follow us on Twitter at @AsthmaSociety to find out when a new blog post goes live.
A sampling of stories you may have missed this month at the NAPA blog:
Check out the blog today, and provide your thoughts on any of the articles we share!
"Smog" Days of Summer
New Medication Breakthroughs on the Horizon?
Medication Tips - Remembering Your Controller
In the News: Asthma patients often have other diseases