Can you catch your breath?

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Can you catch your breath?

Postby Wilberforce » Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:20 pm

Can you catch your breath?
Health Talk

By Rutland Herald | on November 25, 2017
Dr. Mark JACOB

I t is not normal to be short of breath. Many people think that being short of breath is part of growing old. That is not true. We might slow down as we get older, but not because we cannot breathe well. If you have “normal” shortness of breath and find yourself gasping at the top of the stairs, you might have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. COPD is caused by pollution in the air. Dusts, wood smoke, diesel smoke, cigarette smoke are just some of the pollutants that cause lung disease. The “obstruction” in COPD is when the air you breathe in meets an obstruction coming out of your lungs. When you breathe out the pressure rises in your lungs and squeezes the small air passages, slowing the air coming out. This causes air to be trapped in your lungs. It is hard to catch your breath when air is trapped in your lungs already. This sometimes happens after a few minutes of exertion, like climbing stairs or carrying groceries. Symptoms often are a feeling of chest tightness and inability to suck air into your lungs. If you feel short of breath with usual daily activity, let a doctor know your breathing is not as good as it should be.

There are medications which can help. These medications allow air to flow in and out of your lungs and often help a person with COPD enjoy more activity. There are no medications that cure COPD. That is why it is very important not to smoke or expose your lungs to air pollution. Ask your doctor for help stopping smoking and tell him or her if you run out of breath doing routine chores. Remember, this is not normal.

For more information on COPD, contact the Rutland Pulmonary Center at 775-2036 or visit them at services/respiratory-pulmonary.

This week’s Health Talk was written by Dr. Mark Jacob, a pulmonologist at Rutland Regional Medical Center.

source ... ur-breath/

Merced County residents with asthma should know this about burning wood, experts say

By Monica Velez
November 21, 2017 01:11 PM

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District advises Merced County residents not to burn wood through the end of Tuesday as a health precaution, officials said in a statement.

Because air quality is poor, officials are prohibiting people to burn wood or pellets in fire pits, residential stoves and other devices not registered with the Valley Air District.

The district’s winter program, Check Before You Burn, lasts through February, and is designed to reduce the amount of unhealthy emissions in Central Valley air by restricting the use of wood-burning devices.

"Wood smoke is one of the most dangerous pollutants that you can expose yourself, your children and your neighbors to," said Seyed Sadredin, executive director of the Valley Air District. "Prolonged exposure to wood smoke can lead to pulmonary arterial hypertension, pulmonary heart disease, heart failure and cancer."

People can look at daily wood-burning statuses at or by calling 1-800-SMOG INFO (766-4463).

The district also advises people to register their wood-burning devices at

Particulate matter, the main emission seen during winter, can affect people with respiratory diseases, like asthma, and cause lung infections and bronchitis.

"Residential wood burning is the single largest source of harmful particulate matter during winter and can pump 17 tons of particulate matter into Valley skies daily," according to the statement.

Fireplaces and stoves that run solely on propane or gas are exempt.

Monica Velez: 209-385-2486, @monicavelez21

source ... 38958.html


RDN urged to address air quality issues now

There is no lower limit at which the air quality will not cause health problems. That’s the message Island Health’s medical officer Paul Hasselback told the Regional District Board at its inaugural regular meeting in Nanaimo Tuesday, Nov. 14., 2017

Hasselback was invited by the RDN board to discuss further the health issues that arise from smoke from wood-burning appliances and wood stoves, and actions the regional district should take.

A Health Canada study has shown ambient fine particulate air pollution, or PM2.5, resulting from wood burning in the winter has strong adverse associations with cardiovascular health.

It affects multiple organs and causes both acute and chronic health effects such as lung cancer, congestive heart failure, arrhythmia, and stroke.

“So anything that we can do collectively to improve the quality of air, will reduce poor health outcomes,” Hasselback explained. “I say that because generally, the air quality in the regional district is actually pretty good.”

Hasselback pointed out that about 40 per cent of the population is in some sort of elevated risk group that makes the likelihood of developing a poor outcome higher. He wants the regional district to take preventative actions now.

There are several vocal advocates in the area who are quite concerned about wood smoke in general, said Hasselback.

He advised the RDN to look at developing an effective response to growing air quality concerns in the region.

“If there’s something that all of us share, it is that we breathe the air and we really don’t have control over what is in the air as we breathe it in,” said Hasselback. “So when that air quality is poor, we’re all going to be sharing all that.”

Ministry of Environment air quality meteorologist Earle Plaine was also present to discuss air quality monitoring taking place in the regional district. He explained that PM2.5 are very fine particulates that can’t be seen by the naked eye. The big concern about PM2.5, Plaine said, is that they are able get past the body’s natural defenses and settle in the deep recesses of the body, where they can cause health problems.

Using an emissions inventory done in the Comox Valley, Plaine said, the main PM25 sources are from open burning, land-clearing burning, agricultural burning, forest harvesting burning and space heating.

A study done in Nanaimo in 2010 using global monitoring, an instrument installed in the back of a car paired with a GPS, showed relatively clean air towards the north but some hot spots in the south such as Departure Bay.

In other places in the RDN, in 2013, the areas that typically generated multiple wood stove complaints, said Plaine, were the populated areas in French Creek, Hilliers, and towards the Cedar extension south of Nanaimo. A study done in January on Gabriola Island revealed high emissions coming from wood stoves, said Plaine.

Hasselback suggested some things the RDN can implement to put itself in a better position, such as introducing air quality bylaws that imposes stricter controls on the type and use of wood burning appliances; creating social marketing; and educational campaigns that provide awareness about health effects due to woodstove.

“It’s going to be a challenge for you in the future,” Hasselback told the RDN board. “But here’s an opportunity of being proactive moving forward.”

Parksville mayor and director Marc Lefebvre said after reading all the literature about the harmful health effects of smoke, “I put on my layman’s glasses and I sincerely believe, looking at all these issues cropping up, I think we should ban woodstoves and fireplaces.”

“To me that’s one of the only ways that I think, if we’re going to do anything substantial,” said Lefebvre, who added that in Parkskville, although backyard burning is controlled pretty well, with the “hundreds” of woodstoves and fireplaces in the city, at the present time they do “absolutely very little.”

“Bigger cities have done it… I think the City of Montreal has a seven- or eight-year timeframe that all woodstoves are banned,” said Lefebvre.

For story tips:

source ... ssues-now/
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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