Thursday, October 26, 2017

Heart & Stroke Foundation sends the WRONG message

What's wrong with this picture?

The Heart & Stroke Foundation's brochure advertising their 2017 lottery includes an image of a three-generation family sitting lakeside...AROUND A FIRE PIT!
Yes, yes, the device pictured is actually fuelled by propane, but that fact is disguised by a metal surround, presumably to make it look like the (authentic) wood-burning kind.

The message couldn't be more off base, unless the adults were passing cigarettes to the kids ("Let me light that for you, and then I'll teach you how to inhale!").

It's hard to believe that no one at H&S is aware of recent research connecting wood smoke with cardiovascular issues, such as the study done in B.C. and funded by Health Canada, that found increased levels of fine particulate matter were associated with increased heart attacks in seniors:

H&S does have a Position Statement buried on their website entitled "Air pollution, heart disease and stroke", but it hasn't been updated since 2009, and the dangers of burning wood/inhaling particulate matter aren't mentioned in any of the "healthy lifestyle choice" advice offered up front.

The issue is even more disturbing when one considers that the person who disregards all the conventional advice offered on the H&S website (concerning weight, diet, exercise, smoking, medical attention), probably puts only their own health at risk, while the person who regularly burns wood damages the health of their entire community.

It would be wonderful to see the Heart & Stroke Foundation redeem itself from this faux pas by launching a wood-smoke-awareness campaign.

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