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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.
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...View Full Article
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...View Full Article
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...View Full Article
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...View Full Article