October, the breast cancer awareness month is coming to an end. But some of the cancer-linked toxins keep on flourishing, especially as temperatures drop, in the form of wood smoke emissions from wood-fuelled fireplaces.
Lung and respiratory diseases are also contributed to by wood smoke; and so are heart attacks and stroke.
The smoke emissions of one wood-burning fireplace can pollute an entire neighbourhood and can put people at risk. This health risk can be multiplied by secondhand tobacco smoke. Here, too, cancer may be the end result.
By now it is common knowledge that smoking tobacco can kill. But still manufacturers keep producing this poison and trap people to indulge.
Cancer has brought much grief to so many families, not only through breast cancer but other forms as well. Year after year, millions of dollars are raised for cancer research and much of these donations will be in vain if cancer-causing agents in our environment remain.
I believe that now is the time to have a more serious look into preventive measures at the home base, while scientists are looking for a cure.
Prevention is in many circumstances the key. And each and every one of us has the opportunity to participate.
All levels of government and authorities of health departments seem to have failed us by not setting stricter guidelines, for wood smoke and second-hand smoke pollution. No-one is immune.
Brie Oishi, Port Coquitlam