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For Life and Breath Summit

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For Life and BreathThe Asthma Society of Canada held the inaugural “For Life and Breath” summit in Toronto on the 30th April and 1st May. The event focused on the impact the environment is having on asthma and respiratory allergies in Canada and brought together leaders from government, industry, academia and the not for profit sector to discuss the issue.

In his introduction to the conference, Rob Oliphant, President & CEO of the Asthma Society of Canada, stated that:

“Over three million Canadians suffer from asthma, most of them with allergy-induced asthma. They, along with millions more who suffer from respiratory allergies have their daily lives impacted often severely by environmental factors, both those in the natural environment (pollen, dust mites, pet dander etc) and by environmental factors generated by human activity (vehicle and industrial emissions, climate change and energy choices)."

The keynote address was delivered by Hon, Leona Aglukkaq, the Minister of the Environment and former Minister of Health in Canada. A variety of speakers offered insights into their current research, clinical practice, patient experience, business and industry activities or their involvement in public policy development.

The event was preceded by an awards ceremony, where the Bastable-Potts Asthma Research Prize was awarded to Dr Michel Brauer, Professor in the School of Population & Public Health at the University of Columbia. The award recognised Innovation in Health Research for his ground breaking study into traffic-related air pollution and its relationship to asthma in children and adults.

Sir James Dyson CBE, founder of the Dyson company received an award for Innovation in Consumer Product Design. The award was presented by Dr. John McKeon of Allergy Standards,who co-administer the asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program with the Asthma Society of Canada. Dyson’s creative implementation of cyclonic separation in vacuum cleaners allow their vacuums to maintain suction as they pick up dirt.

Dyson’s range of vacuum cleaners have earned asthma and allergy friendly™ Certification, having undergone an independent program of rigorous tests at airmid healthgroup. These tests cover the removal of allergen-containing test dust from carpets, levels of airborne allergens during vacuuming, filtration integrity, cleaning performance when the bin is almost full, and the risk of allergen exposure during bin emptying. Dyson machines meet and exceed the strict criteria for all these tests.

Contact me, Graeme Tarbox if you have any questions on the issues raised in this article and how we can add value to your company: or 00353 1 6336820.


About airmid healthgroup
airmid healthgroup helps clients with products and services related to residential and commercial indoor environments to differentiate their customer offerings through health relevant marketing claims. Clients include Dyson, LG, Stanley Steemer, Shaw Industries, Tarkett, Spring Air and Kenmore. airmid healthgroup creates value for clients through a number of collaborative strategies, including field research projects, environmental test chamber studies and licensing our own intellectual property. airmid healthgroup specializes in studying the relationship between allergens, viruses, bacteria, molds or other ultra-fine particles in the air and on surfaces to the spread of illness and disease in buildings. As a leading authority on biomedical and aerobiology research, they use this deep domain knowledge to improve products and services to make the indoor environment as healthy as possible.


[1] Asthma Society of Canada: For Life and Breath Summit. 2014.

Further Information
Asthma Society of Canada
Allergy Standards Limited
asthma and allergy friendly™ Certification

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