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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)

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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Current Evidence on the Effectiveness of Interventions During Heat Episodes

Topics: Climate 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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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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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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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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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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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 

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

Topics: Climate 

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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