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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.
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...View Full Article
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...View Full Article
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...View Full Article
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...View Full Article
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...View Full Article
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...View Full Article
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...View Full Article
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...View Full Article
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...View Full Article
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,...View Full Article
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...View Full Article
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...View Full Article
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...View Full Article
How efficacious and how practical are personal health protection measures recommended to reduce morbidity and mortality during heat episodes?
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...View Full Article
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...View Full Article
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...View Full Article
What is the Evidence on Applicability and Effectiveness of Public Health Interventions in Reducing Morbidity and Mortality during Heat Episodes?
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...View Full Article