The Lung Association

The Lung Association

October 21, 2010 15:17 ET

Canadian Lung Association Welcomes Environment Ministers' Action On Air Quality

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 21, 2010) - The Canadian Lung Association (CLA) is praising yesterday's decision by the federal, provincial and territorial Environment Ministers to move forward on a new system for managing air quality across the country. The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment approved work to complete and implement the proposed Comprehensive Air Management System (CAMS) on a tight timetable by the end of 2013.

"The new system promises to reduce harmful air pollution and save thousands of lives every year", said Heather Borquez, CLA CEO and president. "Better air quality will also improve the health of millions of vulnerable Canadians including people with asthma, COPD and other lung conditions, as well as those with cardio-vascular or heart disease."

Air pollution currently exacts a heavy toll on the health of Canadians. According to a 2008 study by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) over 21,000 people die prematurely every year from the effects of air pollution. Poor air quality also results in over 620,000 visits to doctors' offices and more than 30,000 treatments in emergency rooms every year. The resulting cost to Canada's economy is very high. The CMA study estimates the economic burden at $8 billion annually, from premature deaths, higher healthcare costs, missed work time and lost productivity.

"We are pleased that the Environment Ministers have seen the need for early action to cut air pollution", said Ms. Borquez. "The new system will give Canada the tools required to reduce damaging emissions of ozone and fine particulate matter and reduce the incidence of life-threatening smog conditions."

The CAMS proposal was developed through a unique collaboration among health and environmental organizations, industrial associations, and the provincial/territorial and federal governments. CLA welcomed the Environment Ministers' commitment to continue their collaboration with stakeholders in finalizing and implementing the new air management system.

CAMS will establish consistent nation-wide standards for air quality, regulated base standards for emissions by industrial facilities, and a robust system for managing local and regional air quality across Canada. The new system will deal with pollution from all sources including transportation, industry and trans-boundary sources. Under CAMS action to reduce emissions will be intensified in areas of the country with poor or deteriorating air quality.

The Canadian Lung Association was an active partner in creating the CAMS proposal, contributing to the steering committee and technical working groups that developed the proposal.

About The Canadian Lung Association

Established in 1900, The Canadian Lung Association is one of Canada's oldest and most respected health charities, and the leading national organization for science-based information, research, education, support programs, and advocacy on lung health issues.

Year of the Lung

2010 has been declared the Year of the Lung, by the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS). The goal of this global campaign is to raise awareness about lung health among the public, initiate action in communities worldwide, and advocate for resources to combat lung disease including increased investment in basic, clinical and translational research worldwide.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Lung Association
    Christopher Wilson
    Director of Public Affairs and Advocacy