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NCCEH Mould Investigation Toolkit

Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) and Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) across Canada have different responsibilities, policies, and guidelines when it comes to investigating public inquiries about mould in indoor environments. Some PHIs/EHOs conduct initial walkthroughs only, some conduct comprehensive investigations, and others educate the public about next steps without conducting any field...

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Exposure to Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Perinatal Health (UBC Bridge Program)

The period between conception and early childhood when vital organs are forming and rapidly developing is the most vulnerable of life stages to the effects of toxic environment exposures, including traffic-related air pollution (TRAP). Epidemiologic studies on preterm birth have consistently shown elevated risks with a number of measures of TRAP, including distance of residence from traffic...

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Mould Assessment Recommendations - revised

Excessive dampness and mould growth on building material surfaces and contents can pose health risks and should not be tolerated in indoor environments. A mould assessment determines if mould is present, but does not determine or estimate mould exposure. Health-based exposure limits for indoor mould in residential environments have not been established; inspecting for visible and hidden mould,...

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Mould Remediation Recommendations - revised

Excessive dampness and mould growth on building material surfaces and contents can pose health risks and should not be tolerated in indoor environments. The main goal of remediation is to reduce the risk of exposure to mould and to prevent structural damage; the underlying cause of dampness must be identified and eliminated or mould will reappear. Effective mould remediation requires the physical...

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Reducing cardiovascular health impacts from traffic-related noise and air pollution: intervention strategies

Recent studies suggest that exposure to both traffic-related air pollution (TrAP) and to road traffic noise (RTN) are independent risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). While the exact pathophysiologic mechanisms are not known, plausible biological models exist for both associations. This paper describes interventions and mitigating measures aimed at reducing both air and noise pollution...

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Health Effects from Mould Exposure in Indoor Environments - revised

Moulds are naturally occurring and widespread in the environment; therefore, it is not possible to eliminate exposure. Sufficient evidence exists to conclude that exposure to mould in indoor environments is associated with asthma and asthma-like symptoms (in asthmatic people), upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough and wheeze, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis in susceptible people. There is...

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Residential Use of Wood-Burning Appliances in Canada

This report summarizes information on woodsmoke emissions and health effects associated with woodsmoke exposures from residential wood-burning (RWB) in Canada and provides a qualitative indication of the potential effectiveness of different intervention strategies based on a review of the available literature and interviews with Canadian health authorities. The purpose of this report is to better...

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Introduction to air quality advisories

Air quality advisories are a mechanism by which provincial and regional governments actively provide the public with information on hourly or daily periods of poor outdoor air quality. Advisories are issued for specific geographical locations when one or more pollutants approach or exceed (or are forecasted to approach/exceed) a relevant air quality trigger. Advisories inform the public about...

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Residential Indoor Radon Testing

Radon is a known carcinogen, and is estimated to cause up to 10% of all lung cancers in Canada. It is a radioactive gas that is produced by the decay of uranium. Radon is naturally occurring, and emanates from soil and rocks. It percolates up through soil into buildings, and if it is not evacuated there can be much higher exposure levels indoors than outdoors. Fortunately, high radon levels can...

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Growing at Home: Health and Safety Concerns for Personal Cannabis Cultivation

Personal cultivation as described by the proposed Cannabis Act (2017) will permit adults to cultivate up to four cannabis plants per household. This provision is intended to both promote equity by facilitating access to legal cannabis, particularly when retail outlets are difficult to access, and to undercut the black market. However, indoor cultivation and processing of cannabis may also...

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Odour from a Compost Facility

Primary inquiry: A citizen’s group reported that putrid smells were occurring daily from a local commercial compost facility located in a suburban area of the city. The local public health agency was contacted to provide information to answer the following questions: What types of contaminants are potentially emitted in air from commercial composting facilities? What causes odours associated with...

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Evaluating the Carbon Monoxide Monitoring and Response Framework in Long-term Care Facilities: A Brief Guide

This guide is intended for public health practitioners, facility/property maintenance managers, risk managers, occupational hygienists, clinicians, or other persons working at long-term care facilities (residential care facilities, nursing homes, seniors’ residences, care occupancies, etc.) when they: have implemented a carbon monoxide (CO) policy in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) consistent...

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Guide for Implementing the Carbon Monoxide Monitoring and Response Framework in Long-term Care Facilities

This guide is intended for public health practitioners, facility/property maintenance managers, risk managers, occupational hygienists, clinicians, or other persons working at long-term care facilities (residential care facilities, nursing homes, seniors’ residences, care occupancies, etc.) who would like to implement a program to reduce the risk of indoor carbon monoxide (CO) exposure to...

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Case Study of a Persistent Landfill Fire and Community Health Impacts

This case study explores the issue of health impacts in the community from persistent landfill fires and covers a number of topics including: outdoor air pollution; waste management; health equity; health surveillance; environmental surveillance; and occupational health. Although written from a broad public health and medical health officers’ point of view, this case study may be helpful to other...

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Effective Indoor Air Interventions

Canadians typically spend about 90% of their time indoors. Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) resulting from biological and chemical exposures is associated with the development of acute and chronic cardio-respiratory disease. Biological agents commonly found in indoor environments include mould, house dust mites (HDM), pests, and pet dander. Chemical agents can include environmental tobacco smoke (...

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Cardiovascular Health, Traffic-related Air Pollution and Noise: Are associations mutually confounded? A systematic review

This review assessed the confounding effect of one traffic-related exposure (noise or air pollutants) on the association between the other exposure and cardiovascular outcomes. A systematic review was conducted with the databases Medline and Embase. The confounding effects in studies were assessed by using change in the estimate with a 10 % cutoff point. The influence on the change in the...

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Forest Residues to Energy: Is this a pathway towards healthier communities? (UBC Bridge Program)

Forest residues are non-merchantable woody biomass found in forests and wood waste from logging practices and industrial operations, such as sawmills. Forest residues are a convenient fuel for open-burning and conventional biomass burning systems (e.g., fireplaces and wood stoves), but more recently have been considered as a fuel for advanced wood combustion (AWC) integrated energy systems, used...

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Air Quality Assessment Tools: A Guide for Public Health Practitioners

Several tools exist to assess local air quality, including the impact of specific sources, emissions, and meteorological conditions. Information generated from the use of air quality assessment tools can inform decisions on permitting of emissions, industrial siting, and land use; all can impact local air quality, which in turn can influence air pollution related health effects of a population....

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Air Quality and Community Health Impact of Animal Manure Management (UBC Bridge Program)

Nearly 200 million tonnes of livestock manure are generated in Canada each year.1 Manure storage and land application tends to produce odour, greenhouse gases, microbes, and particulate matter, which can negatively impact the environment and human health. Occupational exposures of manure management have been linked to psychological stress and adverse effects on the respiratory system and heart...

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Minimizing Children’s Non-residential Exposure to Traffic-related Pollution (UBC Bridge Program)

A significant portion of children’s exposure to traffic-related pollution occurs in and around schools and daycares and in transit to these locations. New schools and daycare facilities should be located at least 150 m from major roads (15,000 or more vehicles/day) and should incorporate appropriate ventilation systems to reduce infiltration of outdoor pollutants. Interventions for existing...

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Are Naturally Ventilated LEED Buildings Healthier? (UBC Bridge Program)

Green building rating systems such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) employ a variety of design solutions to reduce energy and minimize environmental damage. These solutions, such as the use of passive ventilation, do not necessarily lead to improvements in occupant health Passive ventilation strategies employed to reduce energy can lead to uneven airflow distribution and...

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Active Transportation in Urban Areas: Exploring Health Benefits and Risks (UBC Bridge Program)

Active transportation refers mainly to walking and cycling for transportation. Health Benefits:  People who use active transportation are, on average, more physically fit, less obese, and have a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease compared to people who use only motorized transportation. A shift from motorized transportation to active transportation has the potential for societal benefits such...

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Carbon Dioxide in Indoor Air

A Public Health Inspector calls about an issue flagged at an older elementary school.  As part of a teacher complaint process, the provincial health and safety agency has been conducting a workplace investigation.  Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels were measured and ranged from 412 ppm in an unoccupied classroom to 1,130 ppm in the school library and 1,660 ppm in an occupied classroom that had closed...

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Pepper Spray in the Indoor Environment and in the Vicinity of Food Products and Preparation Surfaces

Pepper spray is discharged during an attempted robbery of a jewellery store in a large urban mall.  The robbery site is located next to the mall’s food court.  For several days, mall patrons continue to report uncomfortable symptoms (e.g., burning sensation in their eyes and throat) when they enter the food court.  Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) are asked to respond to concerns about...

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Workshops Presentations

Infiltration of air pollutants and effectiveness of cleaners

L'Institut national de santé publique (INSPQ) 8e Atelier de santé environnementale

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Forest Fires: Impacts on Air Quality and Health

Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (New Brunswick Branch) 2010 Annual Conference

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Indoor Air Quality Issues in First Nations and Inuit Communities in Canada

International Union for Circumpolar Health (IUCH) 14th International Congress on Circumpolar Health

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Indoor Air and Air Cleaners: An Inside Look

Public health interventions related to risks associated with exposure to local air pollution sources: control measures and health protection and public education approaches

An Introduction to Tools Used in Air Quality Assessment

Topics: Air, Outdoor Air BC, Canada 

In March 2011, the British Columbia Lung Association held its 8th Annual Air Quality & Health Workshop in Vancouver. As a pre-meeting event, the NCCEH, in combination with the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and the BC Lung Association, organized an air quality training workshop. Workshop Objective The objective of this training workshop was to increase the understanding and...

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Health Promotion in the Context of Health Protection

Housing and Health: How can Community Health Nurses intervene?

Presentation: Housing and HealthTom Kosatsky, NCCEHMona Shum, NCCEH

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Carbon Monoxide Monitoring in Long Term Care Facilities and Hospitals

Saskatoon 2013  Presentations: Carbon monoxide exposures in long-term care facilities and hospitals: Developing a monitoring frameworkPrabjit Barn & Tom Kosatsky, BCCDC/NCCEH Modeling of the Kinetics of Carbon Monoxide for Long Term Care Facilities and HospitalsNathalie Gosselin, Pharsight Consulting ServicesMichele Bouchard, University of Montreal CO Exposure – St. Mary’s Villa, December 26...

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Indoor Air Quality: Interpreting Assessment Results

Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI) 79th Annual National Educational Conference Presentations General indoor air quality parameters: CO, CO2, relative humidity, temperatureDru Sahai, Public Health Ontario Volatile organic compoundsPrabjit Barn, NCCEH MouldDaniel Fong, NCCEH RadonPam Warkentin, Radonmatters Additional indoor pollutantsDru Sahai, Public Health Ontario

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Event

NCCEH eJournal Club - Prevalence of problematic cannabis use in Canada: Cross-sectional findings from the 2013 Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey

The NCCEH eJournal Club is a series of informal hour-long sessions discussing and appraising articles relating to environmental health. Active participation is encouraged. Although these sessions are directed at public health inspectors, anyone interested in a given topic is more than welcome to take part. Remote viewing instructions are available on the Eventbrite registration page. Title of...

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Canadian Urban Environmental Health Research Consortium (CANUE) - Urban Green and Built Infrastructure as a Tool to Mitigate Local Air Pollution

For his presentation, Dr. Baldauf will summarize the U.S. EPA’s research program on the use of built and green infrastructure to mitigate local air pollution impacts from transportation facilities. His presentation will describe the current scientific understanding of how urban infrastructure affects local air quality, including a review of projects conducted in the US and other parts of the...

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Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) - Legalizing cannabis: Clearing the smoke

Canada is poised to pass the Cannabis Act. But, is it just about providing legal access to the drug? Regulations that lessen the risks and enhance the benefits of legalization will be key to the success of the policy. The Canadian Public Health Cannabis Webinar Series is focused on a range of issues related to cannabis consumption. It is imperative that Canadians are able to access unbiased and...

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Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) - Air Quality Planning for Wildland Smoke: Part 4 of 5

This webinar series will provide attendees with an understanding of the impacts of wildland smoke on the health of tribal communities and strategies to minimize exposure. Each 90-minute webinar will feature multiple presentations on the topics listed below. The webinars are free and open to anyone; registration for the webinars will be available in late November. The webinars will be recorded. In...

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Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) - Air Quality Planning for Wildland Smoke: Part 5 of 5

This webinar series will provide attendees with an understanding of the impacts of wildland smoke on the health of tribal communities and strategies to minimize exposure. Each 90-minute webinar will feature multiple presentations on the topics listed below. The webinars are free and open to anyone; registration for the webinars will be available in late November. The webinars will be recorded....

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UBC School of Population and Public Health - A Randomized Controlled Trial of HEPA Filter Air Cleaner Use and Fetal Growth in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Ecohealth Knowledge to Action Research Group (EKTA) - Wildfires and ecosocial determinants of health: Reflections on the experience in the NWT and BC

This webalogue will explore the complex implications of wildfires for the ecosocial determinants of health, exemplified by experiences of recent wildfire events in the NWT and BC. Consideration of wildfire impacts on public health will be explored in relation to environment, social and cultural impacts, with consideration of impacts on communities, wildfire and ecosystems. The session will...

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2nd North Central Clean Air Forum 2018

The forum theme -- Community Tools for Change -- will provide the opportunity for meaningful discussion about air quality challenges facing communities today, along with policy, education or regulatory mechanisms to apply toward lasting solutions. This forum is designed to bring together air quality managers, health professionals, policy and decision makers and community members from all over...

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UBC School of Population and Public Health - How low to go? Assessing the health effects of low levels of air pollution

The best of current research in the Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (OEH) field is presented at these seminars, which run weekly during the academic year. Title: How low to go? Assessing the health effects of low levels of air pollution. The Mortality Air Pollution Associations in Low Exposure environments (MAPLE) project. Presenter: Anders Erickson

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UBC School of Population and Public Health - Indoor air quality and health in Canadian First Nations communities

The best of current research in the Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (OEH) field is presented at these seminars, which run weekly during the academic year. Title: Indoor air quality and health in Canadian First Nations communities Presenter: Karen Bartlett

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UBC School of Population and Public Health - Characterizing the Impacts of Residential Woodsmoke in BC Communities

The best of current research in the Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (OEH) field is presented at these seminars, which run weekly during the academic year. Presenter: Matthew Wagstaff

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Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC) - Tackling Local Air Quality at the Local Level: Peel Public Health’s Experience

Topics: Air, Outdoor Air ON, Canada 

Ambient air quality is a long-standing concern in Peel region. While health is the common concern, the sources of pollution range from industrial emissions, to power plants, aggregate extraction and transportation and growth. The two ambient air monitors in Peel region, in Mississauga and Brampton, operated by the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, do not provide sufficient...

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Diesel Exposure in Workplaces

CAREX Canada is hosting a webinar on diesel exposure in workplaces, taking place June 5th, 2018. The goal of this webinar is to convey the importance of diesel engine exhaust as a workplace hazard and to discuss ways this hazard can be assessed and controlled in the workplace.

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Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) - Air Quality Planning for Wildland Smoke: Part 1 of 5

This webinar series will provide attendees with an understanding of the impacts of wildland smoke on the health of tribal communities and strategies to minimize exposure. Each 90-minute webinar will feature multiple presentations on the topics listed below. The webinars are free and open to anyone; registration for the webinars will be available in late November. The webinars will be recorded....

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Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) - Air Quality Planning for Wildland Smoke: Part 2 of 5

This webinar series will provide attendees with an understanding of the impacts of wildland smoke on the health of tribal communities and strategies to minimize exposure. Each 90-minute webinar will feature multiple presentations on the topics listed below. The webinars are free and open to anyone; registration for the webinars will be available in late November. The webinars will be recorded....

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Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) - Air Quality Planning for Wildland Smoke: Part 3 of 5

This webinar series will provide attendees with an understanding of the impacts of wildland smoke on the health of tribal communities and strategies to minimize exposure. Each 90-minute webinar will feature multiple presentations on the topics listed below. The webinars are free and open to anyone; registration for the webinars will be available in late November. The webinars will be recorded....

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