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Guidance Documents

This section is comprised of recommendations and tools designed to advise on issues encountered in the field. These documents are peer-reviewed and the content is the responsibility of the authors.

Key resources for environmental public health practitioners to address health equity: A curated list

Public health organizations across Canada have highlighted health inequities as a priority area for action.  Environmental public health practitioners may be unclear of how to approach health inequities within their scope of practice because they have often not been included in discussions about how public health can do this work. This list contains resources specific to environmental public...

PDF icon Key_Resources_Env_PHP_Health_Equity_Oct2016.pdf

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Toward health equity: Practical actions for Public Health Inspectors

NCCEH, the NCC for Determinants of Health, and the BC Centre for Disease Control have collaborated to produce a Framework and accompanying User Guide to help environmental public health practitioners identify potential actions on the social determinants of health and health equity. Environmental health practitioners can play a role to address the social determinants of health (SDH) and work...

PDF icon Health_Equity_PHIs-Framework_Sept_2016.pdf, PDF icon Health_Equity_PHIs-User_Guide_Sept_2016.pdf

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Guide for Implementing the Carbon Monoxide Monitoring and Response Framework in Long-term Care Facilities

This guide is intended for public health practitioners, facility/property maintenance managers, risk managers, occupational hygienists, clinicians, or other persons working at long-term care facilities (residential care facilities, nursing homes, seniors’ residences, care occupancies, etc.) who would like to implement a program to reduce the risk of indoor carbon monoxide (CO) exposure to...

PDF icon Carbon_Monoxide_Framework_Implementation_Guide_Aug_2016.pdf, File Carbon_Monoxide_Framework_Implementation_Slides_Aug_2016.pptx

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Cleanup Instructions for Small Mercury Spills - revised

Exposure to the small amount of mercury found in common household devices, such as fever thermometers, thermostats, or fluorescent light bulbs, is not likely to cause serious health problems. Humans are frequently exposed to greater quantities of mercury, much of it methylmercury, through diet. Nevertheless, all mercury spills, regardless of quantity, should be treated seriously and cleaned up ...

PDF icon Small_Mercury_Spills_Clean-up_Oct_2015.pdf

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Phosphine Poisoning as an Unintended Consequence of Bed Bug Treatment

Recent news on Canadian fatalities linked to the inappropriate use of phosphine for bed bug control underlines the need for public health practitioners to be aware of the issue.

PDF icon Phosphine_Poisoning_Bed_Bug_Treatment_March_2015.pdf

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NCCEH Mould Investigation Toolkit

Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) and Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) across Canada have different responsibilities, policies, and guidelines when it comes to investigating public inquiries about mould in indoor environments. Some PHIs/EHOs conduct initial walkthroughs only, some conduct comprehensive investigations, and others educate the public about next steps without conducting any field...

PDF icon Mould_Toolkit_Overview_Nov_2014.pdf, PDF icon Mould_Toolkit_Checklists_Forms_Nov_2014.pdf, PDF icon Mould_Toolkit_Typical_Fungi_Nov_2014.pdf, PDF icon Mould_Toolkit_Sampling_Methods_Nov_2014.pdf, PDF icon Mould_Toolkit_Interpretation_Lab_Reports_Nov_2014.pdf, PDF icon Mould_Toolkit_Reviewing_Investigation_Reports_Nov_2014.pdf

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Mould Assessment Recommendations - revised

Excessive dampness and mould growth on building material surfaces and contents can pose health risks and should not be tolerated in indoor environments. A mould assessment determines if mould is present, but does not determine or estimate mould exposure. Health-based exposure limits for indoor mould in residential environments have not been established; inspecting for visible and hidden mould,...

PDF icon Mould_Assessment_Evidence_Review_March_2014.pdf

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Mould Remediation Recommendations - revised

Excessive dampness and mould growth on building material surfaces and contents can pose health risks and should not be tolerated in indoor environments. The main goal of remediation is to reduce the risk of exposure to mould and to prevent structural damage; the underlying cause of dampness must be identified and eliminated or mould will reappear. Effective mould remediation requires the ...

PDF icon Mould_Remediation_Evidence_Review_March_2014.pdf

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Understanding microbial indicators for drinking water assessment - revised

Topics: Water, Drinking Water Location: General, Canada

Boil water advisories are issued when water testing detects higher than accepted amounts of microbial indicators or when there are deficiencies with water treatment. The fear of not issuing a boil water advisory when there is truly a health risk associated with water consumption can lead water operators to call for boil water advisories as a precautionary measure. Yet, issuance of boil water...

PDF icon Microbial_Indicators_Jan_2013.pdf

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Prevention, identification, and treatment options for the management of bed bug infestations

In the past decade, bed bug infestations have been increasing worldwide. Historically, studies have failed to provide evidence for the transmission of human diseases through bed bugs, but recent evidence is lacking. Although physical reactions to bed bug bites continue to be documented, evidence regarding the mental health effects arising from bed bug infestations is limited to anecdotes and...

Prevention, identification, and treatment options for the management of bed bug infestations

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Clandestine Amphetamine-Derived Drug Laboratories: Remediation Guidelines for Residential Settings - revised

Clandestine labs produce illegal substances using a variety of chemicals and manufacturing processes. Clandestine labs can be housed in a variety of structures, including residential and non-residential uildings. In particular, residential buildings previously used for clandestine labs can pose health concerns to re-occupants. Amphetamine-derived drug labs are the most common type of clandestine...

Clandestine Amphetamine-Derived Drug Laboratories: Remediation Guidelines for Residential Settings

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Air Quality Assessment Tools: A Guide for Public Health Practitioners

Topics: Air, Outdoor Air Location: General, Canada

Several tools exist to assess local air quality, including the impact of specific sources, emissions, and meteorological conditions. Information generated from the use of air quality assessment tools can inform decisions on permitting of emissions, industrial siting, and land use; all can impact local air quality, which in turn can influence air pollution related health effects of a population....

Air Quality Assessment Tools: A Guide for Public Health Practitioners

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Reducing Residential Indoor Exposure to Pesticides: a Toolkit for Practitioners

The scientific literature indicates that avoidance of pesticide use and alternative practices, such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM), may be effective methods for reducing indoor residential pesticide exposure. Safe use of pesticides, indoors and outdoors, involves following label directions and taking precautionary measures, such as wearing gloves and protective clothing. Track-in and take-...

Reducing Residential Indoor Exposure to Pesticides: a Toolkit for Practitioners

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Guidance on Locating and Evaluating the Evidence for Investigating Environmental Health Risks

Topics: General 

Are you investigating a particular environmental health risk (e.g., potential health effects or ways of reducing them) and would like guidance on locating and evaluating the evidence? If so, check out the environmental health resources below (originally developed for our own use) and please let us know if you find them useful. Locating Documents Peer-reviewed Evidence-based practice Grey...

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Heat Advice

Topics: Climate Location: General, Canada

Our HeatAdvice project was about the advice provided to the public for protection against heat-related illness. The potential impact of elevated temperatures on mortality and morbidity are severe. Every year, hospitalizations and deaths in numbers well above average, occur during and just after days of extreme heat, particularly in vulnerable populations. HeatAdvice was developed by the NCCEH...

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Comparison of Guidelines and Regulatory Frameworks for Personal Services Establishments

Personal services establishments (PSEs) have been identified as a priority area by public health inspectors (PHIs) and provincial ministry staff in several provinces, as well as by people within the industry. There are a lot of gaps and conflicting information regarding public health issues associated with PSEs. Guidelines and regulations are often vague or impractical. In general, there is a...

PDF icon PSE_Guidelines_Comparison_Table_July_2010.pdf

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Waxing Promising Practices Fact Sheet

Waxing can draw blood and body fluid from the skin. If this occurs, there is a potential to transmit viral, bacterial, and fungal infectionsbetween the technician and the client, as well as between clients. Folliculitis (infection of the hair follicle), irritant dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and general skin irritation can also occur. These health risks can be minimized by using proper...

Waxing Promising Practices Fact Sheet

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Built Environment Readiness Assessment

Topics: Built Environment Location: General, Canada

How ready is your organization to work in this area? We've developed resource materials to be used as a package or separately. The package includes the following:  Dialogue between a public health physician and a planner (DVD, available on request) 

Readiness assessment tool

Fact sheets

Case studies

Workshop agenda

Workshop presentation

National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy Built Environment Project

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Introduction to air quality advisories

Topics: Air, Outdoor Air Location: General, Canada

Air quality advisories are a mechanism by which provincial and regional governments actively provide the public with information on hourly or daily periods of poor outdoor air quality. Advisories are issued for specific geographical locations when one or more pollutants approach or exceed (or are forecasted to approach/exceed) a relevant air quality trigger. Advisories inform the public about...

Introduction to air quality advisories

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Recommendations for Safe Re-occupancy of Marijuana Grow Operations

The following guide offers a practical approach to achieving safe re-occupancy of former marijuana grow operations (MGOs) and reviews possible exposures/hazards (tables 1 and 2). It is essential to make a clear distinction between risks associated with an “active” MGO and risks associated with a “shut down” MGO. An “active” MGO is linked to criminal activity, which in itself poses safety risks,...

Recommendations for Safe Re-occupancy of Marijuana Grow Operations

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