“It may be important for people to consider removing scented spray cleaning products from their cleaning routine. We believe that the smell of a healthy home is no smell at all.”
The study was published Tuesday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
The study used data from 2,022 children enrolled in the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development cohort study and examined their daily, weekly and monthly exposure to 26 types of household cleaners — including dishwashing and laundry detergents, cleaners, disinfectants, polishes, and air fresheners.
By the age of three, 7.9 per cent of those living in homes where cleaning products were used frequently had asthma. That’s compared to nearly five per cent diagnosed from homes that used low amounts of products.
Data were collected between 2008 and 2015.
Researchers also found the relationship between product exposure and respiratory problems was much stronger in girls than boys.
Lead researcher Tim Takaro of Simon Fraser University noted infants typically spend most of their time indoors and come in regular contact with household surfaces, making them especially vulnerable to chemical exposure.
The findings suggest that small, preventive changes could help families with children at risk of asthma. That could include choosing cleaning products that are not sprayed or contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are gases emitted from solids or liquids that can be found in aerosol sprays, paints, glue, cleansers and disinfectants.
Health Canada recommends reducing VOC exposure, noting health effects may include breathing problems, irritation of eyes, nose and throat, and headaches.
But manufacturers in Canada and the United States are not required to list all ingredients in cleaning products. Some “green” products may also contain harmful substances, said the study.
The findings were not surprising to Toronto evironmental journalist Candice Batista, whose website The Eco Hub promotes environmentally conscious Canadian brands and companies.
“There’s been tonnes and tonnes of studies that show that indoor air pollution can be five to 10 times worse than outdoor air pollution. And that’s thanks mostly in part to the products and the cleaning items that we have in the home,” said Batista.
While it can be confusing for consumers to know what ingredients could add to indoor pollution, Batista suggested eco-conscious shoppers look for ingredients that use common terms and are easy to read, and avoid those that contain ammonia, coal tar dyes and fragrance or parfum.
“If a label has the word ‘fragrance’ or ‘perfume’ on it, avoid it. Don’t buy it,” she said, noting the term generally involves undisclosed chemicals.
“Companies, through loopholes in Health Canada’s legislation, are allowed to use those terms to protect their proprietary concoction.”
Those looking to freshen their home with less harmful options can consider a diffuser or candle scented with essential oils, she said, while recipes abound for alternative homemade cleaners. Common do-it-yourself concoctions use hydrogen peroxide or vodka to disinfect, and vinegar and baking soda as a soap substitute, she said.
The research team on the study included experts at Simon Fraser University; the University of British Columbia; McMaster University; the University of Alberta; the University of Manitoba; the University of Toronto and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
Funding came from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Allergy, Genes and Environment Network of Centres of Excellence.
—By Cassandra Szklarski in Toronto
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 18, 2020.
The Canadian Press
COVID-19 shows up in Canadian wildlife for first time with three Quebec deer infected – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
OTTAWA – For the first time, the COVID-19 virus has been detected in Canadian wildlife.
Environment Canada says the virus was detected late last month in three wild white-tailed deer in Quebec.
The department says the deer all appeared healthy and showed no clinical signs of COVID-19.
The discovery follows recent reports of the virus spreading among white-tailed deer in the United States.
There has so far been no known transmission of COVID-19 from deer to humans and Environment Canada says it remains “largely a disease of human concern and typically spreads from human to human.”
Still, until more is known, it says anyone exposed to respiratory tissues and fluids from deer should wear a well-fitting mask and avoid splashing of fluids as much as possible.
COVID-19 has infected multiple species of animals, including dogs, cats, farmed mink and zoo animals. But this is the first time in Canada that it has spilled over into wildlife.
Deer in the Estrie region of Quebec were sampled Nov. 6 to 8. The National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease confirmed the virus in three of them on Monday. The World Organisation for Animal Health was notified on Wednesday.
“As this is the first detection of SARS-CoV-2 in wildlife in Canada, information on the impacts and spread of the virus in wild deer populations is currently limited,” Environment Canada said in a news release Wednesday.
“This finding emphasizes the importance of ongoing surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 in wildlife to increase our understanding about SARS-CoV-2 on the human-animal interface.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2021.
KFL&A reports 34 new COVID-19 cases, 304 active – Globalnews.ca
The Kingston region is once again over the 300 active cases mark, as Wednesday’s 34 new cases bring the daily active case count to 304.
Of the new cases, 10 are in the five-to-11 age group.
Nineteen people remain in hospital, with 11 of those cases are in the intensive care unit. Six people are on ventilators.
The cases per 100,000 over the past week is up slightly to 104.7, from 102.8 Tuesday.
The rise in cases locally has also forced the postponing of at least one local event. The Marine Museum of the Great Lakes was scheduled to have its grand opening on Dec. 5 from 2 to 4 p.m.
“As the coronavirus pandemic continues to have significant impacts throughout our communities, the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston is committed to supporting the community through this time of heightened risk and uncertainty,” the Marine Museum said in a statement Wednesday.
“We consider the safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors paramount.”
As Covid-19 cases rise in the Kingston region the community reacts
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Roussin takes aim at HIV stigma – Brandon Sun
Wednesday was World AIDS Day and the province is getting behind the message to end the stigma of the disease.
There were 117 new cases of HIV identified in the province in 2020, slightly fewer than in 2019.
“Even though there are fewer cases, there was also significantly less testing,” Dr. Brent Roussin, the province’s chief public health officer, said Wednesday.
“Around 25 per cent of people with HIV are unaware they have it, and that can contribute to the spread.”
The stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS continues to be a significant public health issue in the province. Roussin said the populations most at risk are also facing problems of accessibility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Roussin urged people who may be at risk to get regular testing and speak to their health-care providers regarding prevention, testing and treatment options.
All these services are confidential and free of charge.
Those living with HIV are also encouraged to stay connected to care and treatments.
Roussin said it is considered a chronic infection and there are effective treatments for HIV, with many being able to get the virus level down to undetectable levels and minimizing risk of transmitting it to other people.
» The Brandon Sun
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