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BCCDC/NCCEH Environmental Health Seminar Series

Training and Education

The BCCDC/NCCEH Environmental Health Seminars Series provides an opportunity for learning and knowledge exchange on a variety of environmental health topics. The seminars can be attended in-person or online. Subscribe to our monthly eNews to stay informed of upcoming sessions.

General information

The BCCDC/NCCEH Environmental Health Seminar Series was created with the intention of building the capacity of environmental health professionals through presentations on current and emerging topics. A short Q&A session follows each presentation.

The sessions are conducted in English, and are recorded for later viewing. Participants are eligible to receive CIPHI Continuing Education Credits. Webinar instructions will be provided at the time of registration. If you have any suggestions for seminar topics, please contact us.

System requirements

Adobe Connect web conferencing system is used to broadcast the webinars. Audio is delivered via a teleconferencing system. During Q&A, you will be able to ask questions via the text-chat box.

Please test your computer’s system compatibility before the webinar to make sure all the requirements are met and you have enough time to update your system if needed. Google Chrome is the recommended browser.

https://admin.adobeconnect.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm

2016-2017 Seminar Schedule

Date Speaker(s) Details
October 27, 2016 Céline Campagna, Responsable scientifique adjointe, Institut national de santé publique du Québec Title: Climate change adaptation in public health : Over 10 years of progress in Quebec
December 15, 2016

Chief Councillor Marilyn Slett, Heiltsuk Nation 

Linda Pillsworth, Manager of Environmental Public Health Services, FNHA

Angela Eykelbosh, Environmental Health & Knowledge Translation Scientist, NCCEH/BCCDC

Title: Community Impacts of Fuel Spills: a Case Study from BC’s Northern Coast (part 1)

February 16, 2017 Marc Lafontaine, Science Advisor, Health Canada

Title: Guidance for the Characterization and Management of Public Health Risks from the Acute Release of Chemicals of Concern: Crude Oil

April 20, 2017 Laura Chow, Environmental Health Officer, Built Environment Team, Vancouver Coastal Health

Title: Widening the Health Lens in the Environmental Impact Assessment Process: Lessons Learned in the George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project

June 29, 2017 TBA BCIT Environmental Health Student Presentation

 

Archived Seminars

Date Speaker(s) Details View PDF or recording
April 20, 2017 Laura Chow, Environmental Health Officer, Built Environment Team, Vancouver Coastal Health

Title: Widening the Health Lens in the Environmental Impact Assessment Process: Lessons Learned in the George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project

Abstract: The Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit (CEPRU) of Health Canada is developing guidance documents to assist public health and emergency management practitioners in preparing for and responding to the acute release of high-risk chemicals. These guidance documents are intended to be used for awareness and education purposes; they cover considerations spanning the emergency management continuum of prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. They are complementary to chemical-specific response data sheets, include case studies, and promote freely available authoritative data sources and risk management best practices. Using a common structure and Q&A style, guidance documents for chlorine, ammonia, hydrogen fluoride and crude oil are being finalised. The guidance document on crude oil - currently under final review and planned to be made available in both official languages in the summer of 2017 - will be presented during the webinar.

View recording
February 16, 2017 Marc Lafontaine, Science Advisor, Health Canada

Title: Guidance for the Characterization and Management of Public Health Risks from the Acute Release of Chemicals of Concern: Crude Oil

Abstract: The Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit (CEPRU) of Health Canada is developing guidance documents to assist public health and emergency management practitioners in preparing for and responding to the acute release of high-risk chemicals. These guidance documents are intended to be used for awareness and education purposes; they cover considerations spanning the emergency management continuum of prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. They are complementary to chemical-specific response data sheets, include case studies, and promote freely available authoritative data sources and risk management best practices. Using a common structure and Q&A style, guidance documents for chlorine, ammonia, hydrogen fluoride and crude oil are being finalised. The guidance document on crude oil - currently under final review and planned to be made available in both official languages in the summer of 2017 - will be presented during the webinar.

View PDF

View recording

December 15, 2016

Chief Councillor Marilyn Slett, Heiltsuk Nation 

Linda Pillsworth, Manager of Environmental Public Health Services, FNHA

Angela Eykelbosh, Environmental Health & Knowledge Translation Scientist, NCCEH/BCCDC

Title: Community Impacts of Fuel Spills: a Case Study from BC’s Northern Coast (part 1)

Abstract: In the first of two BCCDC Environmental Health Seminars focusing on oil/fuel spills and public health, Chief Marilyn Slett and Linda Pillsworth will speak on the still-unfolding events and impacts of the Bella Bella diesel spill that occurred in October 2016. This case study will provide a brief timeline of the spill events, community perspectives on health impacts, a description of measures used to support the community, and a discussion of existing and upcoming challenges.

A brief primer on the health effects of large marine spills on human health, and the critical gaps in our knowledge of the impact of these events, will be presented by Dr. Angela Eykelbosh.

View PDF

View recording

October 27, 2016 Céline Campagna, Responsable scientifique adjointe, Institut national de santé publique du Québec

Title: Climate change adaptation in public health : Over 10 years of progress in Quebec

Abstract: In 2007, the Quebec government released its Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) which included an important public health adaptation component. The ministry of Health and Social Services mandated the Public Health Institute (INSPQ) for the development, management and implementation of the whole program. With the ongoing 2013-2021 CCAP, we are stepping forward to more concerted and larger-scale projects on urban heat islands reduction, research and monitoring of adaptation knowledge and behaviours, a strategy to reduce allergenic pollens, psychosocial surveillance and interventions after major meteorological events, etc. This presentation will provide an overview of past, current, and future climate change adaptation projects at the INSPQ.

View PDF

No recording available

June 30, 2016

Ryan Hammel, BCIT Environmental Health student

 

Alyssa Zambon, BCIT Environmental Health student

 

Title 1: Effect of pH and temperature on food safety of kombucha tea 

Abstract: Kombucha tea is prepared through fermentation at room temperature during which acidic by-products are produced, lowering the overall pH of the tea. Though the pH eventually reaches levels below 4.6, potential food safety issues have been identified. The relationship of pH and time during fermentation at both room and refrigeration temperatures was investigated to better assess these food safety issues.

Title 2: EHO’s knowledge of sensory deprivation tanks 

Abstract: This research project focuses on EHO's knowledge of sensory deprivation tanks. Age, geographic location where EHOs worked, and the number of years they have been in the field, were compared to knowledge scores they achieved by completing a simple online questionnaire.

View PDF 1

View PDF 2

No recording available

April 28, 2016 Dr. Mélissa Généreux, Director, Estrie Public Health

Title: The 2013 Lac-Mégantic tragedy: The public health response then and now

Abstract: As the head of Estrie Public Health, Dr Mélissa Généreux led the public health response during and after the Lac Mégantic train derailment tragedy on July 6, 2013. She retrospectively conducted a comprehensive analysis of direct services provided by her team during the first weeks (i.e. emergency response operations) and months (i.e. recovery operations). During this session, she will share lessons learned from the Public Health response during and after the tragedy. As the Principal Investigator of a large public health survey conducted in 2014 and 2015 in the Estrie region involving more than 10,000 subjects, she will also highlight the long-term psychological impacts of the Lac-Mégantic tragedy.

View PDF

No recording available

February 25, 2016 Anne-Marie Nicol, MES, PhD, Environmental Health Scientist, NCCEH

Title: On Shaky Ground - Evidence of Public Health Impacts from Hydraulic Fracturing

Abstract: This seminar describes the processes involved in shale gas production, including hydraulic fracturing, and provides an overview of the main public health concerns that can arise from the various stages. Potential exposures in air, water and at the community level are discussed, along with the current state of the evidence of regarding these exposures in the US and Canada. The presentation also includes an overview of the seismic risks that can occur specifically from hydraulic fracturing and waste water disposal.

View PDF

View recording

December 17, 2015 Reza Afshari, MD, MPH, PhD. Senior Scientist, Toxicology, BCCDC

Title: Foodborne Chemical Toxins

Abstract: Chemical exposures have been associated with a variety of health effects. Food can be a major pathway through which the general population is exposed to certain types of chemicals. For some chemicals, food accounts for 100% of human exposures. The results of a 10-year project at the World Health Organization on Foodborne Chemical Toxins, the first project of its kind at the WHO, have been released in December 2015. Our team has estimated that four chemicals, cyanide in cassava, peanut allergen, aflatoxin, and dioxin, were responsible globally for 339,000 illnesses, 20,000 deaths and 1,012,000 DALYs in 2010. The significant impact of chemicals in the food supply on the global burden of disease will be discussed.

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November 5, 2015 Dr. Brian A. Nummer, Utah State University

BCCDC Food Safety Workshop and Environmental Health Seminar

Title: Pickling, fermentation, packaging and canning issues: is pH 4.6 the magic number?

Abstract: Acid, pickled and fermented foods are trending with small commercial and home-based food producers. What concerns in preparation, ingredients, packaging and acidification are there? Are these foods really lower risk? Is a home-based kitchen safe? How is shelf life determined? How does the processor know if refrigeration is safe? Can these foods be thermally processed for ambient storage? All of these questions will be answered and topped off with a brief discussion on inspections, traceability, and recall issues.

Workshop Promo

Presentation

Workshop notes

No recording available

June 25, 2015

Charlene Tang, British Columbia Institute of Technology

 

 

 

Rebecca Li, British Columbia Institute of Technology

Title 1: Knowledge Translation and the Public Health Inspector: Turning Evidence into Practice

Abstract: This study focuses on knowledge translation – the process of using the best available knowledge to inform decision-making. PHIs are tasked with the critical responsibility of protecting public health. However, there is little data available about how effective and consistent current methods of distributing information to professionals across Canada are. The purpose of this research is to address this deficit by determining: (1) what information PHIs use when making public health decisions, (2) how PHIs go about finding the information required, and (3) the level of trust invested into each source of data.

Title 2: Sous Vide Salmon Pasteurization Temperature

Abstract: “Sous vide” is a new way of cooking involving vacuum-packaged foods immersed in water, providing constant and controllable time and temperature measurements throughout the process. However, some sous vide style foods are cooked at temperatures that are lower than 60oC for short periods of time. This presents a recognizable food safety concern including the survival of harmful bacteria as well as conditions that do not achieve pathogen reduction during either the sous vide cooking or finishing (searing) process. This presentation will be introducing the research project that investigated the time and temperature relationship for sous vide salmon to examine if pasteurization temperature was achieved if an additional searing step was performed.

View PDF 1

View PDF 2

No recording available

April 30, 2015 Winifred Lao, Kimberly Wrixon, Cathy Wong, and Wilson Yu, British Columbia Institute of Technology

Title: EHOs’ involvement with food security: Promoting food donations

Abstract: Food insecurity is a serious public health issue that can result in chronic illnesses, as well as social and mental health problems. Although food distribution organizations (FDOs) are not the ultimate solution to address food insecurity, they were formed to provide support to those in need by collecting and distributing foods. However, FDOs encounter many food donation issues, which affect their capability to help improve the health of the food insecure. Hence, this webinar will provide an overview of the issues related to food insecurity and food donations to enhance Environmental Health Officers’ (EHOs) understanding of the public health significance. To increase EHOs’ involvement in food donations, their current and future potential roles as well as the available resources will also be discussed.

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February 26, 2015 Lorraine McIntyre, Environmental Health Services, BC Centre for Disease Control

Title: Case Studies in Food Risk Assessments

Abstract: If you’ve ever wondered how long partially dried pasta can be refrigerated, the risks with carob or chocolate in raw food and baked desserts, or whether you can safely sous vide shell eggs, this presentation is for you.  Following a brief review of risk analysis, case studies derived from EHO field questions will be used to guide you through the process of a food safety risk assessment.

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December 18, 2014 Dr. Shannon Majowicz, Assistant Professor, University of Waterloo

Title: Can Eating be a Risk-Free Activity?: Conceptualizing Public Policy Initiatives Aimed at Improving Food-Related Health Outcomes

Abstract: Food and health are intimately intertwined, and what we eat is influenced by a complex web of individual and environmental drivers, such as socioeconomic status, culture, politics, economics, trade, legislation, and our built and natural environments. Although all food-related polices integrate at the moment of consumption, policies aimed at influencing food-health outcomes are primarily developed within silos (e.g., food safety efforts, sustainability initiatives, school allergy policies), each focused on optimizing a particular outcome. Since ‘solving problems’ in one domain may create new problems in another, understanding the complex interactions between public policy initiatives aimed at improving specific food-related outcomes is imperative. This presentation will describe a current project whose objective is to apply a systems lens to the intersections between population-level efforts in the areas of food safety, food security, obesity, allergy, and other food-health outcomes.

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October 30, 2014 Dr. Trevor Hancock, Professor and Senior Scholar, University of Victoria

Title: Environmental health equity: From the molecular to the global

Abstract: As is the case with the social determinants of health, the environmental determinants of health are distributed inequitably based on income, ethnicity, age, geography, level of development and so on. In this presentation I will discuss various forms of environmental health inequity, ranging from the molecular to the global level, and the implications for communities, societies and public health and other health professionals.

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Section Topic: 
Training and Education