Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Public Health

Raising Public Awareness and Taking Action on the Health Impacts of Air Pollution

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Public Health

Raising Public Awareness and Taking Action on the Health Impacts of Air Pollution

Article excerpt

With funding from Health Canada's Air Health Effects Division, CPHA has undertaken a project to develop consistent messages about the health impacts of air pollution as well as resource materials to educate the general public, at-risk groups and health professionals.

Air pollution has wide-ranging impacts on human health. Pollutants can damage lungs and breathing systems, irritate eyes, increase allergies and cause wheezing and shortness of breath. In Canada each year, about 16,000 premature deaths and many more hospital visits are associated with air pollution.' Groups particularly at risk are the very young, the elderly and people suffering from chronic respiratory and heart diseases.

Enhanced participation by the health sector is critical to raise public awareness of these impacts and actions that may be taken to reduce their risk and improve the long-term health of Canadians. Health professionals have high credibility with the public and have been effective in promoting and supporting social change.

The project will include three streams of activity: 1) the development and testing of core messages; 2) the development and dissemination of resource materials and public awareness activities for Clean Air Day (to be held in June 2002) targeting the general public, several at-risk groups and health professionals; and 3) the design and implementation of a national pilot workshop for health professionals. …

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