In Conversation with Melissa Offner

melissa-offner-_running

Melissa is a content creator, stylist and world explorer. Born and raised in the small town of St-Lambert, Quebec, she now calls Toronto home. After seven years as a TV host, she felt stuck in a place that she no longer wanted to be in. Last summer, she made the decision to leave the television world behind and embrace the freelance life. She now runs her lifestyle website where she shares her passion for running, wellness, travel, food and fashion. Read on to learn about her journey to self love, how she stays motivated, and how she practices self-care while on the road…

You share a lot about self love and acceptance. How did your journey begin?

My journey with self love has been a long and complicated one. I was teased and bullied a lot growing up for having red hair, freckles and being skinny. I also had an eating disorder as a teenager for several years that almost landed me in the hospital.

Even in previous relationships, I had a hard time believing I had any value and didn’t really love myself deep down. It was only after doing a lot of work with a therapist and also getting myself out of those toxic relationships that I was able to really start accepting myself.

My husband has also been key in my journey, accepting and loving me for who I am. I would say the last three or four years, it’s really when I started feeling at peace with who I am and proud of my journey.

Have you always been an active person?

I have always been an active person. Growing up, I did it all. I swam competitively, skiied, played tennis, figured skated, did karate, etc.

When did you first start running?

I only started running about three years ago and only more seriously the past two years.

You shared on Instagram that you’re training for a half marathon. When is the half marathon and what keeps you motivated?

This will be the first ever half marathon I’ve ever done. I was signed up for one last year but ended up getting injured so had to opt out, which was the worst feeling in the world. So I feel like there’s some unfinished business to take care of this year. The first half I’ll be doing is on May 7th, I’ll be running the BMO Vancouver half marathon, followed by the Rock N’ Roll half marathon in San Diego in June, on the day of my birthday.

I think what keeps me motivated is proving to myself that a) I can actually run a half marathon, as I’ve only run shorter distances in the past b) to be the healthiest and strongest version of myself c) challenging and surpassing myself.

What’s your favourite fitness line?

That’s a hard question because every brand has something really cool and unique. I’m a big fan of Nike‘s training and running gear, I also love Adidas‘ more lifestyle inspired garments. I recently discovered a Canadian brand called Hyba, that has cool gear at a great price. I also love Michi, a brand from Toronto. They make the most comfortable leggings and sexiest bras!

Melissa Offner_travel

You’re a bit of a world explorer. What’s your most memorable travel experience so far?

Hardest question to answer. I think last summer’s trip to Kauai stood up a lot for me just because of how beautiful the island is. It was a great surf trip but also great trip to explore the countryside and get to know the local culture. I was really moved by my time there. Also, living out of a van in California this past fall was a major highlight thus far.

You traveled around in a camper van! What was that like?

It was hands down the best experience of my life. It taught me a lot about being self-sufficient and living in minimalism. It also gave me a great sense of freedom. There’s nothing quite like waking up in a new place every day and being able to take your “home” with you wherever you go.

How do you practice self-care while traveling?

Self-care is huge for me, no matter if I’m traveling or at home. I make it a point to eat properly when I travel, even if that means going to do groceries or spending a little more money on getting good vegan food or cold-pressed juices. I also make it a point to sign up for local fitness classes or going out for runs. It’s a top priority for me even when I travel.

What’s the one item you never leave home without?

My phone because it allows me to work no matter where I am or what I’m doing. I also have some great meditation apps, music, organization apps, etc. that allow me to use the phone for so many different purposes and keep me on track.

What are your favourite travel and fitness apps?

I love the NTC app, it’s a great way to get a short workout in no matter where you are – hotel room, park, gym, etc. The NRC is also my go-to running app, which allows me to keep on track of my race training. As for travel apps, I’m a big fan of rideshare apps like Lyft and Uber when I travel, also Ubereats, when I’m busy on the road and don’t have time to go out and get myself food.

Favourite food?

A good vegan meal with a cold-pressed juice and homemade vegan treat. In Toronto, my favorite spots to go eat are FreshLive and Hogtown Vegan. I have yet to go to Planta, but heard it’s great! I miss it when I’m away!

What has traveling taught you about yourself?

Traveling has taught me so much. I learn something new on every single trip, big or small about myself and so much about the world around me and us as humans. I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many incredible people that have taught me so much.

Traveling has taught me how to be self-sufficient, to be flexible because anything can happen when you travel. It has also taught me to be a better listener and have more understanding.

What’s on your travel bucket list this year?

Oh man… Ideally, I would love to go to Asia and Australia/New Zealand this year. I hope my schedule and finances will permit such a trip. But it’s quite high on my list!

Thanks so much for sharing, Melissa!

You can follow Melissa’s adventures on all her social media accounts @melsays, her YouTube channel, and her website Melsays.

(Photos courtesy of Melissa Offner.)

My Favourite Wellness Instagrammers

For years, I avoided Instagram. But at the end of 2015, I took the plunge and now I wonder how I ever lived without it. I can’t stop myself from snapping photos of any and everything. Most of all, I love connecting with like-minded people from all over the world.

This year, I’m focused on getting my health back on track and gaining weight in a healthy way. I’m making an extra special effort to eat more of what’s good for me, enjoy my favourite snacks (gelato, sea salt dark chocolate, caramel popcorn!) in moderation, rest when my body says so (I’m someone who pushes myself even when I’m sick or exhausted), stick to a workout routine, go on regular brunch dates with the girls, and let go of toxic relationships.

Today, I’m sharing the women who are inspiring me on my health journey…

vickie-c

Vickie Chountalos

Toronto-based Certified Nutritionist and CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach, Vickie Chountalos is one of those people you feel comfortable around the moment you meet them. I first met Vickie when Village Juicery opened up in my neighbourhood last year and we became instant friends. She is passionate about being in control, specifically when it comes to her health.

Instagram highlights: Uplifting posts on self-love and letting go of the things that are holding you back, stunning food photos, and delicious recipes that nourish the body and soul.

Follow Vickie on Instagram @theholisticboss and check out her website The Holistic Boss.

melissa-offner

Melissa Offner

Melissa is a content creator and world explorer with a passion for running, surfing, and the great outdoors. Last summer, I started following Melissa’s fitness journey and adventures on Instagram. Melissa suffered a back injury last year and took time off to heal. She handled this situation with such grace and positivity. She viewed it as an opportunity to learn and grow; perspective really does make all the difference. I’m so happy she has fully recovered and is back doing what she loves. Her attitude is infectious and she inspires me to kick fear to the curb and live fully!

Instagram highlights: Fitness and running inspo, outdoor adventures, travel, the most amazing murals, posts on self love, self-care, and acceptance.

Follow Melissa on Instagram @melsays and check out her website Melsays.

amanda-morgan

Amanda Morgan

Amanda Morgan is a clinical nutritionist and yoga instructor living between Connecticut and New York City. She is also the founder of the cleverly named wellness and lifestyle website, Healthy Wifestyle. Last night, I read through all of her posts on Instagram. Amanda doesn’t sugar coat anything and I don’t think I’ve encountered anyone as real, vulnerable, and encouraging as her in a really long time. It’s so refreshing! I love that she’s willing to talk openly about those issues women are too often afraid to talk about. She gives women the permission (and a safe space) to be 100% real about their fears and insecurities.

Instagram highlights: Real talk, tips on healthy relationships, yummy and good-for-you recipes, yoga, and travel.

Follow Amanda on Instagram @healthy_wifestyle and check out her blog Healthy Wifestyle.

ella-mills

Ella Mills

Ella Mills is the owner of The MaE Deli, writer of several cookbooks, and wellness advocate behind the hugely popular food blog, Deliciously Ella. I started following Ella’s wellness journey three years ago and she inspired me to give plant-based foods a fair try. Last spring, I had the pleasure of meeting Ella at the Toronto book signing for her second book, Deliciously Ella Everyday. She truly is a beautiful soul with a great sense of humour!

Instagram highlights: Real talk on social media and comparison, inspiring posts on self-love and self-care, simple plant-based recipes (and gorgeous photos of said recipes), behind-the-scenes of her business, yoga, and travel.

Follow Ella on Instagram @deliciouslyella and check out her blog Deliciously Ella.

mia-harris

Mia Harris

Two years ago, Mia Harris left her corporate job in banking to follow her heart for nutrition and helping people. And she’s never looking back. For the past 7 months, she’s been living her dream as a holistic nutritionist and lifestyle coach. Splitting her time between Los Angeles, CA and her home in Victoria, BC, Mia feels incredibly grateful that her job allows her to connect with awesome people from all around the world. She enjoys hiking, cooking, going to the beach, and she’s currently taking extra courses in women’s health.

Instagram highlights: Nourishing and delicious recipes, inspiring posts on eating well and following your dreams, nutrition tips, rainforest scenes, beach and sunset shots.

Follow Mia on Instagram @miaharrisnutrition and check out her website Mia Harris Nutrition. Mia has a blog in the works, so stay tuned!

mckel

McKel Hill

McKel Hill is a Nashville-based Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, wellness coach, and founder of the wildly popular Nutrition Stripped blog. I’ve been a regular reader for three years now and I drop everything when her weekly newsletter lands in my inbox. McKel is on a mission to “share simple recipes and actionable advice to make healthy living simple and available for anyone and everyone.”

Instagram highlights: Beautiful, delicious, and simple whole food recipes, nutrition tips, wellness advice, fitness motivation (workout playlists + videos), and food for thought.

Follow McKel on Instagram @nutritionstripped and check out her blog Nutrition Stripped.

griffin-mckenzie-hill

Griffin McKenzie Hill

Born and raised in Kentucky, Griffin now calls Colorado Springs home. A dancer for most of her life and a lover of kale and leggings, Griffin opened her studio Pure Barre Colorado Springs in 2014. She followed me on Instagram earlier this week and I’m so happy she did. The photos from her barre classes have inspired me to head back to the studio ASAP.

Instagram highlights: Real talk on body love and self-care, business posts, ski trips, and mountain views.

Follow Griffin on Instagram @griffinmckenzie and check out her blog Griffin McKenzie.

jordan-younger

Jordan Younger

Jordan Younger is a Los Angeles-based yoga teacher, wellness podcaster, and the blogger behind the wellness and lifestyle blog, The Balanced Blonde. A few weeks ago, one of her beautiful photos (a shot of her doing yoga on a beach in Bora Bora) popped up in my explore feed, so naturally I ended up scrolling through all her photos.

Instagram highlights: All things yoga, handstands, travel, yummy bowls of goodness, and natural beauty tips.

Follow Jordan on Instagram @thebalancedblonde, check out her blog The Balanced Blonde, and listen to her Soul on Fire podcast.

Are you on Instagram? What are your favourite accounts to follow? What are your 2017 goals and what keeps you motivated?  I’d love to hear in comments!

20 Pomegranate Recipes for the Holiday Season

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, chances are the aisles of your local fruit markets and grocery stores are bursting with juicy, sweet-tart pomegranate. Hailed as one of the oldest fruits in history, pomegranates are loaded with vitamins, potassium, fibre and powerful antioxidants called polyphenols. Studies show that the ruby-red fruit lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, supports immune function and fights cancer.

From appetizers to after-dinner sips, here are 20 handpicked pomegranate recipes to liven up your table this holiday season…

gingered pomegranate lime cranberry sauceGingered Pomegranate Lime Cranberry Sauce via Lemon Tree Dwelling

SONY DSCPomegranate Blueberry + Goat Cheese Crostini via Jelly Toast

pomegranate jeweled white cheddar cheeseball

Pomegranate Jeweled White Cheddar, Toasted Almond and Crispy Sage Cheeseball via How Sweet It Is

pomegranate nachos

Black Bean Nachos with Pomegranate Salsa via Love and Olive Oil

pomegranate guacamole

Pomegranate Guacamole via Drizzle & Dip

sweet potato pomegranate salad

Sweet Potato Pomegranate Salad via Two Peas & Their Pod

roasted eggplant pide

Roasted Eggplant Pide with Mint Yogurt and Pomegranate via Fig & Honey

pomegranate pear salsa

5-Ingredient Pear Pomegranate Salsa via Gimme Some Oven

grilled fairytale eggplant

Grilled Fairytale Eggplant with Garlic Yogurt Sauce and Pomegranate via Savory Simple

pomegranate duck

Rum-and-Pomegranate Glazed Roast Duck with Boozy Chestnut-Apple Stuffing via Katie at the Kitchen Door

crock pot sweet sour pomegranate short ribs

Crockpot Sweet and Sour Pomegranate Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta via Half Baked Harvest

pom roast chicken

Pomegranate Roast Chicken with Cherry, Nut, Orange and Herb Stuffing via What Katie Ate

pomegranate prosecco jellies

Pomegranate Prosecco Jellies via Supergolden Bakes

pomegranate vanilla sangria

Pomegranate Vanilla Sangria via How Sweet It Is

Pomegranate Rosemary Spritzer

Pomegranate Rosemary Spritzer via A House in the Hills

pom mojitos

Pomegranate Mojito via Host The Toast

pomegranate moscow mule

Pomegranate Moscow Mule via Blogging Over Thyme

pom yogurt tart

Pomegranate Yogurt Tart via my name is yeh

apple pomegranate galette

Apple Pomegranate Galette via A Couple Cooks

pomegranate cookie bars

Pomegranate & Lemon Cookie Bars via Rachel Schultz

Pomegranate Tutorials:

+ An easy way to open and de-seed a pomegranate (Martha Stewart)

+ How to remove pomegranate seeds (Real Simple)

+ How to de-seed a pomegranate without water (The Roasted Root)

For the Love of Cherries

It’s 95 degrees and sticky in the city today and that means I’m craving my favourite summer treat – cherries. Tart or sweet, I’m not picky. Not only does this fruit throw a party for your taste buds, it also boasts unbelievable health benefits.

  • Cherries contain vitamins A, B, and C and minerals like calcium and phosphorus
  • Rich in flavonoids and procyanidin, cherries help reduce stress and fight dementia
  • High in potassium, cherries help combat hypertension and stroke
  • High in fibre, vitamin C, carotenoids and anthocyanins, cherries help ward off cancer
  • Antioxidants known as anthocyanins help discourage diabetes by reducing insulin resistance and increasing glucose intolerance
  • Anthocyanin also helps reduce inflammation and plaque keeping your heart healthy
  • Phytochemicals block inflammation-causing enzymes, reducing pain from arthritis and other ailments
  • Tart cherries naturally contain melatonin which helps promote restful sleep

Let’s face it. I could finish a bag of cherries in one sitting easily. But this summer, I plan on making a couple of cherry-filled recipes. After searching high and low, I handpicked these delicious sips and eats starring the superfruit.

cherry pie bars

Cherry Pie Bars via Joy the Baker.

cherry almond pie

Cherry Almond Pie via The Candid Appetite.

sweet and sour cherry sparkler

Sweet & Sour Cherry Sparkler via The Kitchn.

roasted cherry, couscous

Roasted Cherry, Couscous and Brie stuffed Poblano Peppers via Half Baked Harvest.

roasted cherry sangriaRoasted Cherry Sangria via FoodieCrush.

chocolate cherry pudding popsicles

Chocolate Cherry Pudding Pops via Whipperberry.

summer cherry crostataSummer Cherry Crostata via Cupcakes & Cashmere.

cherry smoothie

Cherry Revitalizer Smoothie via Averie Cooks.

chilled cherry fennel soup

Chilled Cherry Fennel Soup via Running to the Kitchen.

sweet and sour

Sweet and Sour Cherry Yogurt Pops via the baker chick.

black cherry fudge ripple

Black Cherry Fudge Ripple Ice Cream via Kitchen Meets Girl.

grilled sweet potatoes

Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Cherry Salsa and Quinoa via The First Mess.

Are you crazy for cherries?

 

For the Love of Avocado

I swear I could eat avocados for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Ever since I discovered all the goodness this creamy fruit has to offer, I never leave the fruit market without one or two in my basket.

Touted as one of the healthiest foods on earth, avocados are packed with essential nutrients including vitamin A, B, C, E & K, iron, magnesium and potassium. The delicious fruit has amazing anti-inflammatory properties thanks to healthy fats like oleic acid which increases the absorption of nutrients.

Research shows that avocados lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease and help stabilize blood sugar.

Rich in fibre, avocados help you maintain a healthy digestive system.

For a snack, I’ll cut into a ripe avocado, sprinkle it with salt and chili flakes and a squirt of lemon. On weekend mornings, I mash avocado, spread it on toast and top with a fried egg, tomato and havarti cheese. Eggs and avocado are a match made in heaven!

Recently, I scoured the web for incredibly delicious recipes to feed my avocado obsession.

Charred-Corn-and-Avocado-Pizza-1

 Charred Corn & Avocado Pizza via Two Peas and Their Pod

avocado almondaise tartlettes

 Avocado Almondaise Tartines via Love & Lemons

avocado puff pastries

Avocado, Cream Cheese and Salsa-Stuffed Puff Pastries via Averie Cooks

avocado soup

Avocado Gazpacho Soup via Cooking Stoned

fried avocado tacos

Fried Avocado Tacos via Foodie Crush

avocado egg rolls

Avocado Egg Rolls with Chipotle Ranch Dipping Sauce via Taste and Tell

creamy avocado and gouda

Creamy Avocado and Gouda Cheese Pasta via Half Baked Harvest

avocado tartare

Avocado Tartare with Roasted Beets, Basil & Dukkah via The First Mess

best guacamole

Best Guacamole Ever via Style Me Pretty Living

avocado blt egg salad

Avocado BLT Egg Salad via Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

Do you love avocados as much as I do? 

World Cancer Day 2014 :: Debunk the myths

world cancer day 2014I think about cancer way more than I’d like. I think about cancer while I’m brushing my teeth. I think about cancer while I’m applying my lipstick. I think about cancer when my fingers lightly brush against the scar on my neck. I think about cancer when a stranger asks me about that scar. Cancer, cancer, cancer.

I think about cancer on this day; World Cancer Day 2014.

What is World Cancer Day?

Every year on February 4, World Cancer Day unites the world’s population in the fight against cancer. This global event aims to save millions of lives each year by raising awareness and educating people about this dreaded, yet preventable disease.

Who’s behind World Cancer Day?

Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), the largest cancer fighting organization with over 800 member organizations across 155 countries. Founded in 1933 and based in Geneva, UICC features the world’s major cancer societies, ministries of health, research institutes, and patient groups.

World Cancer Day 2014

The focus of this year’s World Cancer Day – debunking the myths associated with cancer.

mythsFor more information on each of these myths and misconceptions about cancer, check out the World Cancer Day fact sheets.

Want to get involved?

1. Join the fight and spread the truth on social media.

  • Follow @UICC on Twitter and use the hashtags #WorldCancerDay and #debunkcancermyths in your tweets.
  • Like the World Cancer Day Facebook page and share what you’ll be doing on the day.

2. Post the World Cancer Day logo on your blog, website and Instagram or put it as your profile pic on Facebook or Twitter.

3. Share your cancer story.

4. Link to www.worldcancerday.org on your site.

5. Attend a World Cancer Day event in your area. Check out the Interactive Map of Global Events and Activities to see what’s going on.

6. Planning a fundraising event or advocacy activity to mark the day? Share it with the world by uploading it to the World Cancer Day map.

7. Sign the World Cancer Declaration, a tool to help bring the growing cancer crisis to the attention of world leaders and health policymakers in order to significantly reduce the global cancer burden by 2020.

I’m living proof that early detection saves lives. Pay attention to the signs/symptoms, get screened, and don’t wait until it’s too late!

(Images from worldcancerday.org, all information from worldcancerday.org and Union for International Cancer Control.)

For the love of kale

I’ve finally taken the plunge. Yesterday, I walked down the fresh produce aisle and instead of grabbing romaine lettuce, I reached for kale. It’s weird. I have no problem ordering a kale salad or a mushroom and kale pasta dish while I’m out, but I’m afraid to make it at home. I looove experimenting in the kitchen so why do I find this green leafy God-send so intimidating? The textured leaves have got more iron than beef, more calcium than milk, and 10 times more Vitamin C than spinach. It’s good for our eyes and skin, lowers cholesterol, strengthens bones, boosts our immune system, and fights cancer. It’s time to give my health a well-needed boost, so I’ve been scouring the internet for recipes featuring our friend with benefits. Here are 10 of my favourites…

Click on image for source.

farro and kale risotto

Farro and Kale Risotto with Roasted Tomatoes via Foxes Love Lemons

spicy pork soup

Spicy Pork Soup with Kale and Sweet Potato Noodles via Everyday Maven

Cream-of-Leek-and-Kale-Soup-2-en-JK-407Cream of Leek and Kale Soup via Jennifer’s Kitchen
cheesy baked eggs with kale and onion

Cheesy Baked Eggs with Kale and Crispy Onions via Babble

kale salad with citrus

Kale Salad with Citrus, Avocado and Feta via Two Peas and Their Pod

tomato poached eggs with kale

Tomato Poached Eggs with Kale and Wheat Berries via Not Without Salt

kale almond pesto

Gluten-Free Kale Almond Pesto via Elana’s Pantry

Caramelized-Butternut-Crispy-Kale-+-Fontina-Pizza-with-Pomegranate-Salsa-1

Caramelized Butternut, Crispy Kale and Fontina Pizza via Half Baked Harvest

kale pineapple almond smoothie

Kale, Pineapple and Almond Milk Smoothie via Joy The Baker

Yummy, right? Are you going crazy for kale? If so, how do you incorporate this nutritional powerhouse into your diet?

Mesothelioma :: The deadly yet preventable cancer

logo finalLast week, I received a lovely email from Emily Walsh, the Community Outreach Director of the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance is the largest web-based mesothelioma community of its kind, offering a place to share current clinical information, new treatment options for asbestos cancer patients, and personal journeys with mesothelioma. Emily spends much of her time educating the public about mesothelioma through blogging and social media. She asked if I’d be willing to share some facts about this rare form of cancer here on the blog and of course, I was happy to do so.

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer affecting the mesothelium, a thin membrane lining the lungs, abdomen, and heart cavities. Since this cancer can lay dormant for decades before attacking the internal organs, prevention and early diagnosis are of utmost importance.

Causes

Exposure to asbestos is the primary cause of mesothelioma. Asbestos is an insulating material made up of magnesium-silicate mineral fibres. It was popular among builders and manufacturers for many years because of its sound absorption and resistance to melting and burning.

How does asbestos exposure cause mesothelioma?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is invisible to the naked eye. Loose or airborne asbestos fibres are easily inhaled and once that happens, the fibres lodge easily in the protective lining of the lungs. Inhaled asbestos is the main cause of pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lung’s protective lining in the chest cavity.

If ingested, asbestos can lead to the less common peritoneal mesothelioma (affects the abdominal cavity) or pericardial mesothelioma (affects the cardiac cavity).

Things You Should Know about Mesothelioma

1. No amount of asbestos exposure is safe.

Just exposing yourself once could put you at risk for developing the disease later on in life. Typically, there is a great deal of time between a person’s initial exposure to asbestos and the on-set of asbestos-related problems. The latency period may be 20-50 years after exposure.

2. Asbestos was once used in more than 4,000 consumer products.

During much of the 20th century, at least 4,000 household products used by Canadians contained asbestos in varying amounts. Common household items still being used today like hair dryers and crock pots may contain asbestos.

3. Asbestos can be found in older homes, schools, factories, and commercial buildings.

Most homes built prior to the 1970s, along with public buildings still could potentially contain asbestos because of materials used in original construction.

4. Asbestos exposure is still the leading cause of occupational cancer in the US and Canada.

Even though 30 years have passed since the United States government first issued strict warnings concerning the continued use of asbestos, many workers who were once exposed are now at risk of developing the disease.

The number of mesothelioma cases in Canada is among the highest in the world. According to Cancer Care Ontario, occupational cancer is the leading cause of job-related deaths in Ontario.

  • Since 1997, the number of compensated claims for on-the-job cancer deaths has dramatically increased and surpasses those for traumatic injuries.
  • Between 1997 and 2010, approximately 71% of all accepted occupational cancer fatality claims were the direct result of exposure to asbestos.
  • Of these deaths, approximately 93% were caused by lung cancer or mesothelioma.
  • Between 2006 and 2010, there were 402 accepted claims for occupational lung cancer deaths in Ontario alone, and 626 nationwide.

5. United States Veterans are at the greatest risk.

For many years, asbestos was used across all branches of the military. Many veterans and shipyard workers were exposed to high levels of asbestos from several different applications.

#6. Mesothelioma can be caused by secondary exposure.

Family members of those who were directly affected by on-the-job asbestos exposure may also be at risk of developing mesothelioma.

#7. Asbestos is still not banned in the US and Canada.

While countries in the European Union and around the rest of the world have banned all types of asbestos, the US and Canada still lag behind. US Federal law requires that newly manufactured products contain no more than 1% asbestos. Although its use is regulated, roughly 30 million pounds are still being used each year.

Asbestos use in Canada has a long history, beginning with the opening of the first asbestos mine in Quebec in 1879. By 1966, Canada was producing 40% of the world’s chrysotile asbestos. By the 1970s, doctors had declared the asbestos mining towns in Canada to be among the most dangerous in the world, with rates of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases skyrocketing.

Canada continues to fight a universal ban on chrysotile, holding on to the last thread of the asbestos mining industry in the country.

Asbestos is still widely used today and as such, awareness of the risks of exposure is very important. Check out Emily’s blog for up-to-date information and stories on mesothelioma.

If you wish to learn more about this disease, please visit the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance website for a wealth of useful information and links.

You can also connect with the community on Facebook.

(Information via Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance BlogCancer Care Ontario, The Mesothelioma Center)