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Clean Air Now

Questions and Answers

Why is indoor air quality an imporant issue?

Studies in Canada and the U.S. have shown that domestic environments often contain an array of potentially harmful pollutants, and that concentrations of some contaminants can be between two to five times higher than outdoors levels.

The average home contains numerous pollutants, including toxic chemicals, pet dander and biological contaminants like mould. All of these pollutants, when added together, can have an impact on lung health, especially when combined with poor ventilation.

Some symptoms of poor indoor air? While the symptoms vary depending on the level and type of pollutant, some symptoms include: headaches, itchy eyes, a runny nose, scratchy throat, and too many colds. And for those already suffering from a respiratory illness, such as asthma, poor indoor air can exacerbate the condition.

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What continues to be one of the most serious indoor air quality issues?

Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS)! Did you know that tobacco smoke contains as many as 4,000 chemicals, 50 of which are associated with, or known to cause cancer? These include, for example, nicotine, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and other known cancer-causing agents and make ETS one of the most significant indoor air quality issues.

Studies have clearly linked ETS to cancer. In fact, Health Canada attributes 300 cancer deaths a year to this cause. So, while smokers themselves face serious health risks from tobacco, tobacco can pose a threat to you and your family members even if you don't smoke.

The C.A.N. DO solution? Banning smoking from your home is the only way to eliminate this indoor health hazard.

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Who's at risk?

Everyone can benefit from clean air-and each of us can be susceptible to a particular pollutant-however, certain populations do tend to be more vulnerable to the potential impacts of poor indoor air. It's important to note that individual reactions to air contaminants depend on several factors such as the type of pollutant, the degree of exposure and how much of the pollutant is present. Age and health are also important factors. Generally, experts agree that the following populations may be more vulnerable:

  • the elderly
  • people who already suffer from respiratory problems such as asthma
  • people who spend a great deal of time indoors
  • newborns and children since they take in more air than adults for their body weight and consequently, a higher level of pollutants

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