Tag Archives: Canada Health Day

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Here’s to your Health, Canada!

Today is Canada Health Day as well as the first anniversary of the TalkNUclear.ca blog!

We launched one year ago today because we felt it fitting to mark the important contributions nuclear technology has made to health in Canada and around the world.

Our nuclear medicine ad in the Canadian Cancer Society’s feature in the Toronto Star, March 29.

It isn’t hard to understand the impact of medical isotopes. Nowhere is nuclear technology more widely accepted than in the medical field.  Canada supplies a significant amount of the world’s medical isotopes for nuclear medicine, which are used every day in thousands of procedures here at home and around the world.

Last month, in honour of Daffodil Month, the CNA teamed up with the Canadian Cancer Society to promote the excellent work they do to support Canadians living with cancer. Today, we’re happy to share the good news released in the Cancer Society report on cancer statistics in Canada.  The report found that the cancer death rate in Canada is going down. Nearly 100,000 lives have been saved over the last 20 years. This is attributed in part to education on preventative lifestyle measures like not smoking, exercising, maintaining a healthy diet, and avoiding over-exposure to the sun. Improvements in cancer screening and treatments have made a difference as well, thanks to radiation treatments which have evolved and improved over the years:

“In the 1970s, computers were introduced into treatment planning. Radiology developed CAT, MRI and PET scans so that tumors could be targeted with precision. This was followed by intensity modulated and image guided radiation therapy (IMRT and IGRT) machinery which could use these new diagnostic advances to now deliver the dose with pin-point accuracy while avoiding normal tissues.”

-          Roger F. Robison, M.D., Vice-chair, American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) History Committee, Bloomington, Ind. Source

Radiologists can now deliver radiation treatment more precisely, targeting only cancer cells. More effective radiotherapy, means more Canadians surviving cancer.

Nuclear medicine is just one example of how nuclear technology has benefited the health and wellbeing of Canadians.  Beyond medical isotopes, there’s gamma processing to improve, for example, food safety, sterilizing cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices, and there’s the health benefit of clean nuclear energy for the air we breathe.

Nuclear energy in Canada diverts a potential 90 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year that would result from the same amount of electricity generated by fossil-based sources. Greenhouse gasses contribute to climate change and smog – smog and air pollution have a huge impact on the health of Canadians and the global community.

According to Pollution Probe’s Smog Primer:

“Globally, it is estimated that by 2020 a total of 700,000 premature deaths from particulate* exposure could be prevented each year if emission reduction policies were implemented. The majority, as many as 563,000 prevented deaths, would be in developing countries, while the other 138,000 would be in developed nations, such as Canada.”

*’Particulate’ is a general name given to a tiny solid or liquid particle or piece of matter. It usually refers to particles in the air (airborne particulates).

So whether it’s beating cancer, keeping our food and products safe, and our air clean, on this Canada Health Day, we’re saying thank you to the Canadian nuclear community for the historical and ongoing contributions it’s made to our quality of life today.

Learn more about the daily benefits of nuclear technology at NUnuclear.ca and join the TalkNUclear conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

And in celebration of the one-year anniversary of the TalkNUclear.ca blog, here are the top posts of the year!

 

Happy Canada Health Day from your Canadian Nuclear Association!

 

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A Warm Welcome to the Canadian Nuclear Association’s New Blog!

Developing and sustaining a strong online presence that promotes dialogue, collaboration and the sharing of information is a key pillar of the Canadian Nuclear Association’s (CNA) Social Media Strategy and our TalkNuclear brand.

In fact, earlier this year we launched our TalkNuclear Twitter, YouTube and Facebook pages. Through these platforms, we have actively launched and participated in a conversation about the nuclear industry, both at home and abroad.

As we move forward and continue to build upon our outreach efforts, launching our very own TalkNuclear Blog seemed the natural next step.

There isn’t a better time to launch the TalkNuclear blog than today – Canada Health Day. Celebrated every year in honour of the birthday of Florence Nightingale, an innovator and reformer in public health, Canada Health Day encourages Canadians to do something to promote health and a healthy lifestyle.

It is a reminder to us all that health is our most precious resource and one that must be nurtured. Today is also an opportunity to reflect on the contributions of public health and healthcare innovations to the overall well-being and quality of life of all Canadians. Nuclear medicine got its start in Canada with the first cancer treatment machines in the 1950s. Today nuclear medicine continues to contribute to the health of Canadians with medical isotopes being used to sterilize more than 40% of the world’s single-use medical devices like syringes, gowns and masks – not to mention the sterilization of everything from pharmaceutical products to cosmetics. Medical isotopes also significantly improve the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

I have been the CNA President for over a year now and during this time our industry has experienced tremendous growth and promise, but we’ve also had our challenges.

In March, we were faced with the tragic events at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan as a result of a devastating tsunami. As an industry and as individuals, our hearts have gone out to the people of Japan as they continue down their path to recovery.  We have been working tirelessly to support our Japanese counterparts and glean any lessons learned that can apply to our systems here in Canada.

Canada’s nuclear power plants are among the most robust designs in the world with multiple, redundant safety systems.  Our facilities are located in stable areas –  both seismically and in terms of severe weather. However, this doesn’t allow us to be complacent. All our nuclear facilities are in the midst of conducting a thorough review of the lessons learned from Japan and how we might apply that to our own operations and emergency planning (PDF). We will continue to review our operations as we learn more.

On a more positive note, the Ontario Government has committed to building and refurbishing nuclear power plants, reaffirming its confidence in nuclear power as the province moves forward with its Long-Term Energy Plan.

But why do I support nuclear energy? The answer is not long or complicated. I support nuclear energy because I believe – not only as the President of the CNA – but as a Canadian, that nuclear energy is critical to our country’s future.

Nuclear has an important role to play in medicine, research, food safety, highly-skilled jobs, and it makes crucial contributions to other industries across the Canadian economy.  It is a key piece of Canada’s energy system because of its ability to supply continuous, baseload power while releasing virtually zero GHG emissions. In today’s environmentally-conscious, energy-intensive and carbon-constrained world, this last point cannot be ignored.

So welcome to CNA’s blog once again. I encourage you all to check back regularly and participate in the conversation as we have exciting topics lined up.

We would also love to hear from you: What will you do for Health Day? Leave us a comment below or email TalkNuclear@cna.ca. What does nuclear mean to you?