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Topic Pages

Topic Pages introduce an aspect of the environment and its relation to public health by featuring a curated shortlist of NCCEH and external resources. The most relevant resources related to a topic have been selected to best guide the search for further information. These lists are not intended to be exhaustive, and the omission of any individual resource does not preclude it from having value.

Indigenous Disaster Response

Background First Nations communities may be disproportionately impacted by a variety of emergencies and disasters, including floods, wildfires, and crude oil spills in their traditional territories. This may be the result of several key factors, including: Discordance between Indigenous governance and traditional knowledge versus the externally imposed emergency response apparatus, which can...

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Oil Spills and Health

Background Oil spills are very complex events that, depending on where they occur, may result in acute exposures to nearby human populations. Regardless of the presence of humans, however, oil spills have the potential to produce long-term impacts on human well-being through impacts on ecosystems, food systems, livelihoods, and psychosocial effects. Over the past 50 years, dozens of moderate to...

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Psychosocial impacts: resources for mitigation, response and recovery

Background All disasters --natural or technological-- can adversely affect the health and well-being of community members and response workers involved. Because of local and global transformations (climate change, conflicts, migration, urbanization, aging, etc.), these public health impacts are expected to grow over the coming decades.  Psychosocial effects refer to the adverse psychological and...

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Floods: prevention, preparedness, response and recovery

A number of extreme flooding events have occurred in Canada over the last few decades, and as a result of climate change, are growing in both frequency and magnitude. Manitoba experienced intense flooding in 1997 which resulted in the relocation of 25,450 evacuees and damage to more than 1,000 homes – extreme floods occurred again in the province in 2009 and 2011. A few years later in 2013,...

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Extreme Heat

According to Environment Canada, a heat wave is a period of more than 3 days when temperatures are more than 32°C (Health Canada, 2012); the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines excessive heat events as “summertime temperatures that are substantially hotter and/or more humid that average for a location for that time of year”(US EPA, 2016). Due to climate change, by 2050, cities...

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Wildfire Smoke and Health

Background The frequency and intensity of Canadian wildfires is increasing as a consequence of the changing global climate, as well as long-standing forest management practices (Flannigan et al., 2013). Fires pose a direct threat to lives and properties in some communities, and also cause episodes of extreme smoke pollution that threaten the health of populations over large geographic areas....

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