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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.

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...

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

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

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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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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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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Fact Sheets for Promoting Healthy Built Environments

Topics: Built Environment Location: General, Canada

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

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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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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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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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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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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