All Canadian Lung Association chapters must begin doing much more to help protect everyone’s right to breathe healthy air


Edit, May 9, 2017:  For some reason the previous two embedded Facebook posts, visible here before this evening, are showing at the time of this writing as not presently available:


In case the links are still not appearing in some browsers, I’ll describe them here and include direct links to each one:  The first includes a post that I had made to the Visitor Posts section of the BC Lung Association on May 3, asking them to help protect clean air in Kamloops, British Columbia, after the City Council there had voted 4-2 to revoke the former ban on outdoor wood boilers.  Another is a link to a May 9 post that Bill Lewin, a British Columbia clean air advocate, made to the BC Lung Association’s page. In that post, prior to the May 9 Kamloops City Council meeting scheduled to include discussion of the wood boiler issue, Bill Lewin asked if the organization had yet made any attempt at all to inform Kamloops officials of the serious and unacceptable harm that residential wood burning inflicts.

In both of those posts, the organization ignored questions and comments from clean air supporters.

Recently on the Facebook page of the Canadian Lung Association, comments raising the issue of wood smoke pollution, and asking the CLA for help and a proper response regarding the frightening recent decision about wood boiler use in Kamloops – these were also ignored.

On the CLA post at this link, comments in support of healthy, smoke-free air were actually hidden from public view, earlier today (May 9) and this evening; my comment mentioning the need for positive change actually disappeared after being re/posted three times, which is why that point is repeated in a screen capture photo shown below.


Image source: Canadian Lung Association – Facebook | May 9, 2017

Image source: Canadian Lung Association – Facebook | May 9, 2017

Why would relevant, helpful, constructive comments – comments that support full protection of smoke-free air for children and others to breathe – be censored at any time by an organization whose stated mandate is to protect clean air and public health?   This is a message that every Lung Association chapter should be conveying to the public.  These organizations need to be protecting public health, after all, not the wood burning industry.

Calling for pro-active residential wood burning bans – and raising awareness about the harmful lung health impacts of industrial and commercial biomass burning pollution –  is advocacy work that all environmental/health organizations ought to be doing.

Why are some of these organizations, especially some Lung Association chapters, attempting to ignore or minimize the serious problem of wood burning pollution?  By doing so, they are  not fulfilling their stated mandate or mission, which is supposed to include protecting clean air and informing people about issues affecting public health.

When it comes to the need for increased public awareness about the health impacts of residential, commercial and industrial wood burning pollution, by practicing inappropriate, unfair censorship – along with displaying a general attitude of complacency, inaction, evasiveness, and even a puzzling apathy regarding the subject – the Canadian Lung Association and some of its member chapters, including the BC Lung Association – as well as the Alberta/NWT and Ontario chapters of the CLA – are failing to protect the lung health and the well-being of people, including infants and children who are especially sensitive to any air pollution and smoke exposure.

Presently, constructive comments that are hidden from public view on the Canadian Lung Association page include the relevant and helpful comment which had been posted by a clean air supporter on the afternoon of May 4/17, and which is displayed in a screen capture photo above:

Yet a child can live in cities with or next to wood stoves and wood boilers and be smoked out putting them at high risk for developing lung problems.”

As I wrote in one of my own May 9 comments (also shown above, and also currently hidden from public view on the Canadian Lung Association’s Facebook page):

It is time for a positive change.”

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