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Evidence Reviews

We produce Evidence Reviews based on our assessments of needs and gaps in evidence-based environmental health practice and policy. In addition, we also contract with researchers and university students for reviews. These are peer-reviewed and the content is the responsibility of the authors. Click here to see a list of upcoming reviews.

International

Radon Testing and Remediation Programs: What Works?

Local, regional, and national health authorities have used a number of approaches to encourage homeowners to test for radon and to implement remediation measures where warranted. Given Health Canada’s new 200 Bq/m3 radon guideline, the time is right to review lessons learned in implementing testing and remediation strategies. While public information does change knowledge and awareness of...

Radon Testing and Remediation Programs: What Works?

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Cellular/Mobile Phone Use and Intracranial Tumours

Cell phone use is increasingly prevalent in Canada. Public concerns of a potential associated risk with intracranial tumours have been raised. Further, recent media attention has focused on disparate precautionary policies implemented across jurisdictions in Canada and world-wide. In light of this and emerging epidemiological evidence, we review what is known about cell phone use and intracranial...

Cellular/Mobile Phone Use and Intracranial Tumours

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Fact Sheets for Promoting Healthy Built Environments

This set of fact sheets provides an overview of Healthy Built Environment issues for Environmental Health professionals (EHPs include public health inspectors, environmental health officers, and medical health officers). The aim is to help EHPs collaborate with other stakeholders to promote a Healthy Built Environment (HBE).

Fact Sheets for Promoting Healthy Built Environments

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Safe Preparation and Storage of Aboriginal Traditional/Country Foods

Aboriginal populations in Canada (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) have a diverse culture and live in a wide range of habitats. Traditionally, they obtained foods by harvesting, hunting, and fishing; referred to as traditional/country foods. Policy-makers and health professionals have recognized the importance and the benefit of traditional foods and efforts are made to encourage intake. Until...

Safe Preparation and Storage of Aboriginal Traditional/Country Foods

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Adverse Cardiovascular Health Effects of Exposure to Short-Term Air Pollution

Based on appraisals of recent systematic reviews and patient information, this report provides an overview of: 1) evidence available to generate health protection measures; 2) health protection advice currently recommended to persons with/at risk of cardio-vascular diseases through public health, medical, patient information, environmental, and meteorological websites; and 3) a general framework...

Adverse Cardiovascular Health Effects of Exposure to Short-Term Air Pollution

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How efficacious and how practical are personal health protection measures recommended to reduce morbidity and mortality during heat episodes?

Topics: Climate Change 

The potential impact of elevated temperatures on mortality and morbidity is severe. Every year, hospitalizations and deaths occur in numbers well above average during and just after days of extreme heat, particularly in vulnerable populations. Persons living in urban environments may be particularly at increased risk for mortality from ambient heat exposure (urban heat island effect). Other risk...

How efficacious and how practical are personal health protection measures recommended to reduce morbidity and mortality during h

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Epidemiological Studies of the Relationship between Handheld Cellular Telephone Use and Brain Tumours: A review of the evidence

The extensive use of cellular telephones has caused concern surrounding the possibility of adverse health effects amongst users, including potential carcinogenic effects from exposure to radio frequency radiation. The current review assesses the epidemiologic evidence to examine the question: Is there an increased risk of brain tumours from the use of handheld cellular telephones?To date,...

Epidemiological Studies of the Relationship between Handheld Cellular Telephone Use and Brain Tumours: A review of the evidence

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Residential Air Cleaner Use to Improve Indoor Air Quality and Health: A Review of the Evidence

Air cleaners are designed to remove pollutants from indoor air, but their effectiveness depends on the air cleaner design and set-up, as well as on the presence of specific pollutants, their concentrations, and air exchange rates in the room/home. Ozone generators and some electrostatic precipitators produce ozone at levels that pose health concerns. Little evidence is available on removal of...

Residential Air Cleaner Use to Improve Indoor Air Quality and Health: A Review of the Evidence

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Retrospective Surveillance for Drinking Water-Related Illnesses in Canada

Waterborne infections are an important cause of preventable enteric disease. This report obtained information on: characteristics of waterborne disease events (WBEs) in Canada; factors contributing to WBEs; current WBE detection and prevention practices; and, information needs of front-line public health staff.Forty-seven WBEs were identified, the majority occurring prior to 2001. Giardia and...

Retrospective Surveillance for Drinking Water-Related Illnesses in Canada

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What is the Evidence on Applicability and Effectiveness of Public Health Interventions in Reducing Morbidity and Mortality during Heat Episodes?

Topics: Climate Change 

Heat events are associated with a diverse range of adverse health effects including excess mortality as well as many symptoms falling under the broad umbrella of “heat-related illness”. Although these effects are most marked in vulnerable populations like the elderly, sociallyisolated, and homeless, everyone is at risk to varying degrees. This negative impact of heat on health...

What is the Evidence on Applicability and Effectiveness of Public Health Interventions in Reducing Morbidity...

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Cardiovascular Effects of Sub-daily Levels of Ambient Fine Particles

Topics: Outdoor Air 

While the effects of daily fine particulate exposure (PM) have been well reviewed, the epidemiological and physiological evidence of cardiovascular effects associated to sub-daily exposures has not. We performed a theoretical model-driven systematic non-meta-analytical literature review to document the association between PM sub-daily exposures (≤6 hours) and arrhythmia, ischemia and...

Cardiovascular Effects of Sub-daily Levels of Ambient Fine Particles

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How the New Analytical Geomatics Technologies can help Environmental Health Professionals and Decision-makers to make Further use of Mapping than what is offered traditionally by Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Web Mapping

This review presents an analysis of geospatial applications in the health field. In this report we focus on the following technologies: spatial dashboard, spatial on line analytical processing (SOLAP), spatial data mining, and spatial data warehouse. Consequently, the report does not include a systematic review of traditional GIS of health practitioners.For environmental health professionals and...

How the New Analytical Geomatics Technologies can help Environmental Health Professionals and...

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Church/Community Suppers: What is the Evidence for Risk of Food-borne Illness?

We estimate that 3% to 16% of food-borne outbreaks investigated by public health agencies are associated with community events including church suppers, fairs, potlucks, picnics, etc. However, there is likely under-reporting of individual cases of enteric illness and of small outbreaks related to these events. Poor food handling practices at home and at the site where the food is prepared or...

Church/Community Suppers: What is the Evidence for Risk of Food-borne Illness?

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Comparison of the prevalence of bacterial enteropathogens, potentially zoonotic bacteria and bacterial resistance to antimicrobials in organic and conventional poultry, swine and beef production

Topics: Food, Zoonoses 

The prevalences of zoonotic and potentially zoonotic bacteria or bacteria resistant to antimicrobials in organic and conventional poultry, swine and beef production were compared using systematic review and meta-analysis methodology. Thirty-eight articles were included in the review. The prevalence of Campylobacter was higher in organic broiler chickens at slaughter, but no difference in...

Comparison of the prevalence of bacterial enteropathogens, potentially zoonotic...

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Disinfectants and Sanitizers for Use on Food Contact Surfaces - revised

Health Canada has approved the sale of disinfectants for food premises which contain chlorine compounds (e.g., bleach), peroxide and peroxyacid mixtures, carboxylic acids, quaternary ammonium compounds, acid anionic, and iodine compounds for use on food-contact surfaces. Disinfectants for use in food premises must have a drug identification number (DIN) and meet criteria, including those...

Disinfectants and Sanitizers for Use on Food Contact Surfaces - revised

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Impact of Home Preparation and Cooking Methods on Levels of Dioxin and Dioxin-Like Compounds in Foods

Human exposure to dioxins and dioxin-like compounds (DLCs) is primarily from ingestion of fish, meat, and dairy products. Based on studies where populations were exposed to much higher levels of DLCs than the general population would encounter, some DLCs have been classified as carcinogens/ probable carcinogens.  However, uncertainty remains about the possible adverse health effects from low...

Impact of Home Preparation and Cooking Methods on Levels of Dioxin and Dioxin-Like Compounds in Foods

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Systematic Review of Human Biomonitoring Studies of Environmental Contaminants

This review synthesizes information on biological markers of exposure to environmental contaminants in Canada through a systematic search of the published and grey literature from January 1990 to January 2007, evaluates the studies, and summarizes the information in an easy access format. This review will make the Canadian work on biomonitoring for environmental contaminants more accessible to...

Systematic Review of Human Biomonitoring Studies of Environmental Contaminants

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Chlorination Disinfection By-Products in Drinking Water

The challenge of judging and managing public health risks “caused by” chlorination disinfection by-products (DBPs) in drinking water is likely the most complex issue faced by the drinking water industry in the developed world over the past three decades. Public health professionals must be sure that precautionary efforts in managing DBP risks are never allowed to compromise necessary...

Chlorination Disinfection By-Products in Drinking Water

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Does Eating Organic Food Reduce Pesticide Exposures and Health Risks?

Diet is an important source of pesticide exposure, particularly for children, but data are lacking on the amount of pesticides consumed in the diet relative to exposures from other sources. Available data suggest that organically-grown food contains fewer synthetic pesticide residues than conventionally-grown food, and that eating an organic diet can result in lower exposures to some pesticides....

Does Eating Organic Food Reduce Pesticide Exposures and Health Risks?

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Residential Pesticides and Childhood Leukemia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Many Canadian municipalities or provinces have banned or restricted cosmetic pesticide use and other jurisdictions are considering similar bans or facing continuous public pressure for such action. Major public and scientific concerns about pesticides include their potential adverse effects on child health and development. Of the 15 most intensely used pesticides in the U.S. during 2001, five are...

Residential Pesticides and Childhood Leukemia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Childhood Leukemia and Parental Occupational Pesticide Exposure

Many Canadian municipalities or provinces have banned or restricted cosmetic pesticide use and other jurisdictions are considering similar bans or facing continuous public pressure for such action. Major public and scientific concerns about pesticides include their potential adverse effects on child health and development. Of the 15 most intensely used pesticides in the U.S. during 2001, five are...

A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Childhood Leukemia and Parental Occupational Pesticide Exposure

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Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)

Topics: Chemical Agents 

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers are a group of commercially produced substances that are used as flame retardants in a wide range of consumer products including television sets, computers, printers, fax machines, carpets, and upholstery. They are structurally related to PCBs and, like PCBs, are produced commercially as mixtures of various chemical configurations, or congeners. Different congeners...

Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)

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Epidemiologic Evidence of Relationships Between Reproductive and Child Health Outcomes and Environmental Chemical Contaminants

This review summarizes the level of epidemiologic evidence for relationships between prenatal and early life exposure to environmental chemical contaminants and fetal, child, and adult health. Discussion focuses on: fetal loss, intrauterine growth restriction, preterm birth, birth defects, respiratory and other childhood diseases, neuropsychological deficits, premature or delayed sexual...

Epidemiologic Evidence of Relationships Between Reproductive and Child Health Outcomes and...

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When can Point-of-Use Water Filters be used for Removal of Protozoa?

While boiling water is an effective way to kill most microbial pathogens, research performed in the United Kingdom has shown that people do not necessarily comply with boil water advisories. Similarly, in Walkerton, Ontario in 2000, only 44% of respondents reported that they were aware of the order to boil water when it was first issued on the local radio at the start of the outbreak and in...

When can Point-of-Use Water Filters be used for Removal of Protozoa?

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An Evaluation of Interventions Designed to Reduce Ultraviolet Radiation Exposure

Ultraviolet radiation from sunlight is the main risk factor for the development of skin cancer. This risk factor can be greatly reduced by following responsible sun protection measures and avoiding artificial ultraviolet radiation. This review was conducted to assess the evidence behind interventions aimed at reducing ultraviolet radiation exposure.A literature search was conducted using several...

An Evaluation of Interventions Designed to Reduce Ultraviolet Radiation Exposure

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Tanning and Skin Cancer: A Brief Review (UBC Bridge Program)

Topics: Radiation 

The prevalence of intentional solar tanning in Canada ranges from 4 to 49% depending on age and sex. The prevalence of tanning using artificial tanning devices in Canada ranges from 4 to 27% depending on age and sex. Both solar and artificial tanning are much more frequent in younger persons and in females. Although both solar and artificial ultraviolet radiation is categorized as a human...

Tanning and Skin Cancer: A Brief Review (UBC Bridge Program)

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Nanotechnology: A Review of Exposure, Health Risks and Recent Regulatory Developments

Nanotechnology is the creation of materials, devices, and systems by controlling matter at the nanometer scale (1-100 billionths of a meter). Potential exposures to engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) through contact with consumer products or air, water, and food sources are an emerging potential threat to human health. ENPs have unique properties and characteristics in addition to size, such as a...

Nanotechnology: A Review of Exposure, Health Risks and Recent Regulatory Developments

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Systematic Review of Surveillance Systems for Emerging Zoonotic Diseases

The purpose of this review is to synthesize available evidence for public health practitioners, making decisions in the event of emerging zoonosis, by finding public health surveillance initiatives for emerging zoonosis and seeing what criteria have been used to evaluate these systems.Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) can be broadly defined as having newly appeared in a population or rapidly...

Systematic Review of Surveillance Systems for Emerging Zoonotic Diseases

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Water-borne Disease Outbreaks in Canadian Small Drinking Water Systems

Information about Canadian drinking water systems and past water-borne disease outbreaks is incomplete and non-standardized. Standard definitions and coordinated surveillance systems for water-borne disease outbreaks would help inform policy and practice. A relatively high proportion of past water-borne disease outbreaks in Canada are estimated to have occurred in small drinking water systems...

Water-borne Disease Outbreaks in Canadian Small Drinking Water Systems

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Bed Bugs and Public Health: New Approaches for an Old Scourge

The objective of this paper is to share four Canadian cities’ experiences with bed bug infestations and to explore public health roles in managing them. We summarize presentations from a workshop at the 2010 Canadian Public Health Association Conference which examined the re-emergence of bed bugs in Canada and compared management approaches of municipal and public health authorities in four...

Bed Bugs and Public Health: New Approaches for an Old Scourge

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Increasing Use of Pyrethroids in Canadian Households: Should We Be Concerned?

Topics: Chemical Agents 

Pyrethroids are a class of plant-derived insecticides and their man-made analogues that are increasingly applied in Canada as first choice for pest control in many agricultural and residential settings. Their popularity is partly due to their alleged safety compared to the older organochlorine and organophosphate insecticides. Application of pyrethroids is expanding because of recent increases in...

Increasing Use of Pyrethroids in Canadian Households: Should We Be Concerned?

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Characteristics of small residential and commercial water systems that influence their likelihood of being on drinking water advisories in rural British Columbia, Canada

Health officials often lack information about characteristics that predict which water systems are most likely to be placed on and to persist on drinking water advisories (e.g. health warnings offering advice or information). This study uses data collected by the Interior Health Authority in British Columbia to characterize water systems on advisory for microbiological threats and to identify the...

Characteristics of small residential and commercial water systems that influence their likelihood of...

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

Topics: Forest Fires 

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...

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

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Community Planning with a Health Equity Lens: Promising Directions and Strategies (UBC Bridge Program)

Community planning has the potential to reduce health inequities. Applying an equity lens to community health planning can encourage greater focus on the process, the implications, and suggested outcomes. Health inequalities are unavoidable; health inequities are differences in health outcomes that are avoidable. Efforts to create vibrant and healthy communities, cities, and neighbourhoods are...

Community Planning with a Health Equity Lens: Promising Directions and Strategies (UBC Bridge Program)

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General

Current Evidence on the Effectiveness of Interventions During Heat Episodes

Topics: Climate Change Location: General, Canada

This summary provides current evidence on the effect iveness of a variety of described heat interventions by highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each. The authors argue that in the absence of a formal evaluation of effectiveness, and given the limited evaluations of interventions so far accomplished, it is difficult to present a complete review on this topic. The authors also caution...

Current Evidence on the Effectiveness of Interventions During Heat Episodes

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Effective Interventions to Reduce Indoor Radon Levels

Topics: Indoor Air, Radiation Location: General, Canada

Radon represents one of the environmental exposures that can be reduced with effective and practical solutions, reducing an individual’s risk of developing lung cancer. There is extensive literature supporting the cost-effectiveness of radon abatement compared with other healthcare and environmental interventions. Of the remediation measures evaluated to reduce indoor radon levels in...

Effective Interventions to Reduce Indoor Radon Levels

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Residential Indoor Radon Testing

Topics: Indoor Air, Radiation Location: General, Canada

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...

Residential Indoor Radon Testing

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Infections Associated with Personal Service Establishments: Aesthetics

Bacterial infections, particularly mycobacterium infections, are most commonly reported for aesthetic services while viral infections are less reported. No studies associating fungal infections with personal service establishments (PSE) services were found. Limited evidence is available for some infection risks services, including manicures, hair styling, and barbering. Studies related to...

PSE_Infections_Aesthetics_Dec_2011.pdf

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Effectiveness of Alternative Antimicrobial Agents for Disinfection of Hard Surfaces - revised

Topics: Chemical Agents Location: General, Canada

A review of alternative antimicrobial agents reveals the need for standardized methodology for efficacy testing as well as considerations of toxicity, safety, cost, ease of use, availability, storage, and application-specific testing. The appropriateness of alternative antimicrobial agents, such as vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda appear to be limited for commercial disinfection or...

Alternative_Antimicrobial_Agents_Aug_2014.pdf

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Systematic Review of Environmental Burden of Disease in Canada

Few studies have estimated the environmental burden of disease (EBD) in Canada. Available data suggest that the total EBD for high-income, developed countries, like Canada, may range from as low as 1 – 5% to as high as 15 – 22%, depending on how EBD is calculated and defined. Potentially preventable illnesses and deaths resulting from exposure to environmental contaminants have been...

Summary

Full Report

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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...

Residential Use of Wood-Burning Appliances in Canada: Emissions, Health Effects, and Intervention Strategies

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Hog Farms and Their Impact on the Quality of Life of People Living in Rural Areas

Location: General, Canada

Public health professionals are increasingly concerned about hog farms and their impacts on the quality of life in rural areas. The potential impacts of hog farms are raising questions about environmental health. On the one hand, their potential impacts are being put forward by citizens during public debates on hog production.On the other hand, the presence of these controversies raises concerns...

Hog Farms and Their Impact on the Quality of Life of People Living in Rural Areas

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Infections Associated with Personal Service Establishments: Piercing and Tattooing

Piercing and tattooing are associated with bacterial and viral infections, typically localized to the pierced or tattooed site. Individuals with pre-existing heart conditions are at risk of developing infective endocarditis, a systemic infection involving the outer lining of the heart, when obtaining invasive procedures, such as piercing and tattooing. There is a lack of published literature on...

PSE_Infections_Piercing_Tattooing_May_2012.pdf

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Household Pets and Zoonoses (University of Guelph Master of Public Health Program)

Topics: Zoonoses Location: General, Canada

In addition to dogs and cats, the popularity of exotic animals, such as geckos, bearded dragons, and African Dwarf Frogs is increasing; the greatest increase is ownership among children. It is estimated that approximately 75% of emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic. The implications of these two trends are of concern to the public health community. A review was conducted of household pet...

Household_Pets_Zoonoses_Jan_2012.pdf

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

Topics: Outdoor Air, Solid Waste Location: General, Canada

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...

Forest_ Residues_to_Energy_Mar_2012.pdf

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Surveillance for Emerging Infectious Diseases: A Canadian Perspective (UBC Bridge Program)

Surveillance approaches for emerging zoonotic infectious diseases is less well developed than for traditional clearly-defined diseases. Zoonotic diseases with recent implications in Canada include: influenza, West Nile Virus (WNV), Lyme Disease (LD), Hantavirus Pulmonary Disease (HPS), and food-borne zoonoses, with influenza having the greatest human impact. Emerging zoonotic disease (EZD)...

Surveillance_Emerging_Infectious_Diseases_Dec_2011.pdf

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One Health: A Primer (University of Guelph Master of Public Health Program)

Public health events are best dealt with in an interdisciplinary manner with many actors and agencies involved, each lending their expertise to solve the complex problem. Many examples exist of agencies working across boundaries to solve significant public health issues, but the examples are less frequent of agencies that work cross-disciplines. It is not a matter of desire, but one of tradition...

One_Health_Primer_Nov_2011.pdf

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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...

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

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Potential Human Health Effects of Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs) (UBC Bridge Program)

Topics: Chemical Agents Location: General, Canada

Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), including perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), are stain, water and grease repellent chemicals found in a wide range of consumer products. Almost everyone has detectable levels of PFOS, PFOA, and other PFCs in their blood. Although levels of PFOS and PFOA in human serum have declined in the US and Europe over the past decade, levels...

Potential Human Health Effects of Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs) (UBC Bridge Program)

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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 healthPassive ventilation strategies employed to reduce energy can lead to uneven airflow distribution and low...

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

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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...

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

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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...

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

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Wind Turbines and Health - revised

Noise and Low Frequency SoundThe sound level associated with wind turbines at common residential setbacks is not sufficient to damage hearing, but may lead to annoyance and sleep disturbance.Electromagnetic Fields (EMF)Wind turbines are not significant sources of EMF exposure.Shadow FlickerShadows caused by wind turbine rotors can be annoying, but are not likely to cause epileptic seizures at...

Wind_Turbines_Feb_2013.pdf

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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...

Mould_and_Health_Effects_Jul_2012.pdf

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

Topics: Outdoor Air Location: General, Canada

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...

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

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Intersection between the Built and Social Environments and Older Adults’ Mobility

Inevitably, an aging population will demand significant health and economic costs at personal and societal levels. Emerging evidence highlights that built and social environments both play a role in older adults’ mobility, community engagement and health. It may be the interaction between the person, the built environment, and elements of the social environment that encourage or dissuade an...

Built_and_Social_Environments_Older_Adults_Nov_2012.pdf

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Perceived and Potential Human Health Risks Associated with Consumption of Genetically Modified Animals (University of Guelph Master of Public Health Program)

Topics: Food Location: General, Canada

Numerous varieties of genetically modified (GM) crops have been approved in Canada, and processed foods containing GM ingredients can be found on grocery store shelves. In contrast, there are currently no GM animals or products derived from GM animals approved for human consumption in Canada. According to the principle of substantial equivalence, which is used to evaluate the safety of GM foods,...

Genetically_Modified_Animals_Mar_2013.pdf

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Review of Guidelines for Shock Chlorination in Private Wells (UBC Bridge Program)

Microbial contamination of groundwater from private wells can pose a significant health risk to rural Canadians. To mitigate risk, Health Canada currently recommends shock chlorination along with microbial well testing, voluntary measures most often performed by the homeowner. However, infrequent testing and paucity of research assessing the effectiveness of shock chlorination guidance as...

Shock_Chlorination_Wells_Nov_2013.pdf

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Review of Food Safety Interventions and Evaluation in Food Service Establishments

Topics: Food Location: General, Canada

The public health and economic implications for foodborne illness in industrialized nations can be costly. Food service establishments (FSEs) are major settings for foodborne pathogen exposure in developed countries due to high consumption of food prepared outside homes. To reduce foodborne illness risks, many health authorities implement food safety interventions in FSEs in order to modify food...

Food_Safety_Interventions_Sept_2013

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Cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization at PSEs - revised*

Health concerns regarding the transmission of infections at personal service establishments (PSEs) are often mitigated by public health inspectors (environmental health officers). Inspection of PSEs are carried out to ensure that premises have adequate cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization protocols to reduce the risk of transmitting pathogens such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV),...

Cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization at PSEs

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Risk Factors and Surveillance Systems for Foodborne Illness Outbreaks in Canada (University of Guelph Master of Public Health Program)

Topics: Food Location: General, Canada

Risk factors for foodborne illness in Canada span along the “farm-to-fork continuum.” Human risk factors include personal hygiene, cross-contamination, temperature control and unsafe food sources. Surveillance and food safety systems at the regional (or local), provincial/territorial, and federal levels are designed to...

Risk_Surveillance_FBI_Outbreaks_June_2014.pdf

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Community Water Fluoridation in Canada – Trends, Benefits, and Risks (University of Guelph Master of Public Health Program)

Topics: Drinking Water Location: General, Canada

Fluoride has been added to public drinking water in Canadian communities since the 1940s as a means of preventing tooth decay. Dental fluorosis is a known adverse effect of excessive fluoride exposure during tooth formation. Fluorosis ranges from barely noticeable whitish striations in the enamel to severe pitting and brownish staining. In general, the...

Community_Water_Fluoridation_Feb_2014.pdf

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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_perinatal_effects_April_2014.pdf

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Health Effects of Oil Spills and Implications for Public Health Planning and Research

Topics: Chemical Agents Location: General, Canada

Two major pipeline projects have been proposed to transport petroleum products from Alberta to the British Columbian coast. Despite potential economic benefits, these proposals have roused widespread public concern regarding the health and ecological consequences of a major marine or terrestrial spill. In Metro Vancouver, the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion will triple the volume of petroleum...

Health_Effects_Oil_Spills_Nov_2014.pdf

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Effective Indoor Air Interventions

Topics: Indoor Air Location: General, Canada

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...

Full_Review-Effective_Indoor_Air_Interventions_Jan_2015.pdf, Summary-Effective_Indoor_Air_Interventions_Jan_2015.pdf

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Review of Field Tests on Bed Bug Control Technologies

Economic, environmental, and health concerns with bed bug control technologies and management options are of interest to public health and pest management agencies, who often receive and need to respond to inquiries regarding bed bugs (Hemiptera: Cimex). However, control technologies are constantly changing as evidence emerges for evaluating their efficacy/feasibility and acceptance by regulators...

Field_Tests_Bed_Bug_Control_Tech_March_2015.pdf

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Equity in Environmental Health Practice: Findings of a Pilot Study

Topics: General Location: General, Canada

Patterns in the distribution of the social determinants of health (SDH) create inequities in the health of populations and communities. This has been identified as a priority area for all public health professionals, including those in environmental health protection. Certified public health inspectors (PHIs) are environmental health professionals who carry out inspections, enforce...

Equity_EH_practice_April_2015.pdf

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Green Space and Mental Health: Pathways, Impacts and Gaps

Around the globe, mental health disorders are a significant and growing cause of ill health and early death, with the burden of such diseases increasing by more than a third between 1990 and 2010. Almost a third of all Canadians have experienced a mental illness at some point during their lifetimes. A Statistics Canada survey reported the most commonly reported illnesses to be mood disorders,...

Full_Review-Greenspace_Mental_Health_Mar_2015.pdf, Summary-Greenspace_Mental_Health_Mar_2015.pdf

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Environmental Risk Factors for Community-Acquired MRSA

Community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) is endemic in North America. In contrast to MRSA acquired in hospital settings, CA-MRSA is present in a wide variety of environments including health care settings outside of hospitals and animal care settings, beaches and recreational waters, athletic facilities, spas and saunas. The risk of infection from...

Environmental_Risk_Factors_MRSA_April_2015.pdf

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