Outdoor air pollution plays a significant role in impacting health. Exposure to outdoor air pollution has been associated with adverse health outcomes, including impaired lung function, exacerbation of asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease and impacts on the cardiovascular system that may lead to hospitalization and premature death.
Ambient air quality affects not only individuals with heart and breathing problems but also pregnant women, the very young and the elderly. On October 17, 2013 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization, declared that it has classified outdoor air pollution as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1). A causal relationship was observed between outdoor air pollution exposure and lung cancer, as was a positive association with an increased risk of bladder cancer from such exposure (World Health Organization, http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/iarcnews/pdf/pr221_E.pdf).
While individual risk to ambient air pollution is relatively small, poor air quality impacts large exposed population. Recent research from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors Study (GBD) has shown that four of the top five chronic diseases affected by air pollution include ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, lower respiratory infections, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorders.
With funding support by Health Canada, the UBC School of Population and Public Health and leading air pollution and health experts developed a free, on demand, accredited web-based course that featured multimedia content and a comprehensive overview on air pollution and health effects. Topics covered include commonly measured air pollutants and their sources; health effects associated with short- and long-term exposure to air pollution, and how air pollution is a contributing risk factor to chronic diseases; use of the AQHI to advise patients/clients on reducing exposure and mitigating effects from air pollution.
After completion of this course, physicians and other health professionals can become better informed on air quality and health effects, and be able to advise patients and the public to help them reduce their exposure to air pollution.
- Funding from Health Canada ended on January 31, 2016. Previously approved CME credits for physicians are no longer available, although certain health professionals may still claim learning credits (please check with your accreditation bodies.)
- As demand for this course continues the UBC School of Population and Public Health is extending the offer as an learning opportunity of the subject matter. This free course remains open until March 31, 2021.
Continuation of the course beyond this date will be determined at that time. If you feel this course offers education value and would like its availability continued, please let us know.