On December 15, 2014, the Globe and Mail ran an excellent feature on asbestos. Asbestos is still widely prevalent in building materials, particularly in buildings constructed in the 1980s or earlier. Mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer caused almost exclusively by asbestos exposure, is the most common cause of workplace deaths in Canada. Once diagnosed, victims of mesothelioma are typically given six months to a year to live. The feature emphasizes the importance of testing for asbestos prior to undertaking any renovation and the importance of proper abatement procedures. The article correctly notes that paper masks are not adequate to protect against the risk of exposure and that special respirators must be worn.
The 9 December 2014 issue of the European Heart Journal published an article entitled "Expert position paper on air pollution and cardiovascular disease". The paper is a consensus document on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology and is intended to raise awareness of the link between air pollution and cardiovascular disease.
The paper highlights particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide as the pollutants of greatest concern from a health perspective. The infiltration of outdoor pollutants into buildings results in most exposure occurring indoors.
Findings from a number of studies are described, including:
The authors emphasize that awareness of outdoor pollution and its adverse health effects should not downplay the role of indoor air pollution.