You are here

Field Inquiries

NCCEH field inquiries are based on a real or hypothetical situation related to an environmental health problem. A field inquiry uses a question format to offer context and background to the problem, knowledge to assess the situation and concludes with an approach to solve the problem.

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...

PDF icon Odour_from_compost_facility-Feb_2018.pdf

View Full Article

Naturally Occurring Asbestos in an Outdoor Setting

Primary inquiry: Heavy rains caused a river to flood and overflow its banks. Soil containing naturally occurring asbestos (NOA) was deposited onto the surrounding land. This land is used for farming, and includes the backyards of private dwellings and areas used for various recreational pursuits. What are the potential public health risks from exposure to NOA in these outdoor settings? What...

PDF icon Naturally_occurring_asbestos_outdoor_setting-Feb_2018.pdf

View Full Article

Meat-packing Pads as Tattoo Dressings

Primary inquiry: Is there evidence for or against the use of clean vs. sterile dressings in the care of tattoos?

PDF icon Meat-packing_pads_as_tattoo_dressings-Jan_2018.pdf

View Full Article

Infection Control for Tebori Tattooing

Primary inquiry: Information regarding tebori, a traditional form of Japanese “hand-poke” tattooing; requesting information regarding infection control and inspection.

PDF icon Infection_control_for_tebori_tattooing-Jan_2018.pdf

View Full Article

Adverse effects after medical, commercial, or self-administered colon cleansing procedures

Primary inquiry: What information is available regarding the environmental health-related risks of colonics in the academic literature, and how can environmental health practitioners help reduce these risks?

PDF icon Adverse_effects_after_colon_cleansing_procedures-Jan_2018.pdf

View Full Article

Cemetery Setback Distances to Prevent Surface Water Contamination

Primary inquiry: In Canada, as in many other countries, cemeteries are required to be setback a certain distance from waterbodies to protect drinking water sources from contaminated liquids that can arise from the decomposition of bodies after burial. What is recommended as a safe setback distance? What is the rationale for the setback distances used throughout Canada?

PDF icon Cemetery_setback_distances_surface_water_contamination-Oct_2017.pdf

View Full Article

Irrigating Food Crops with Water Containing Cyanobacteria Blooms

Primary inquiry: Small horticulture growers have been watering their crops with surface water containing a cyanobacterial bloom, before selling their crops at local markets. Can irrigation of food crops using surface water affected by cyanobacteria blooms result in bioaccumulation of cyanotoxins in these crops? Can cyanotoxins bioaccumulate to a concentration that might cause a public health...

PDF icon Irrigating_Food_Crops_Water_Containing_Cyanobacteria-Oct_2017.pdf

View Full Article

Going Underground: Electrical Substations and Health

Concerned citizens and municipal authorities contacted their public health region about a proposal by an electrical utility company to build an underground electrical substation in an urban area, near to an elementary school and playground. 1. Background – substations and electromagnetic fields2. Literature search3. What are the health implications of exposure to ELF magnetic fields?4. What is...

View Full Article

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...

PDF icon Persistent_Landfill_Fire_Health_Impacts_Case_March_2015.pdf, PDF icon Persistent_Landfill_Fire_Health_Impacts_Solutions_March_2015.pdf

View Full Article

Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning

Trigger for Investigation On June 18, 2010 a commercial harvester advised an inspection specialist at CFIA of four cases of suspect PSP-related illness that occurred June 17, 2010. CFIA began an investigation and trace-back and advised relevant public health authorities of illnesses to ensure follow-up of cases. You are the epidemiologist working at the local health authority where the cases...

View Full Article