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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. We also work with researchers and environmental public health students for reviews. These documents are peer-reviewed and the content is the responsibility of the authors.

Effective Indoor Air Interventions

Topics: Air, 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...

PDF icon Full_Review-Effective_Indoor_Air_Interventions_Jan_2015.pdf, PDF icon Summary-Effective_Indoor_Air_Interventions_Jan_2015.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...

PDF icon TRAP_perinatal_effects_April_2014.pdf

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

Topics: Air, 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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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...

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

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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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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...

PDF icon Forest_ Residues_to_Energy_Mar_2012.pdf

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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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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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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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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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Cardiovascular Effects of Sub-daily Levels of Ambient Fine Particles

Topics: Air, 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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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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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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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...

Residential Indoor Radon Testing

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Effective Interventions to Reduce Indoor Radon Levels

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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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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