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Case Studies

The NCCEH has assembled a directory of scenarios on various environmental health topics intended to sharpen the problem-solving skills of practitioners and students. We welcome your use of our feedback form to share new questions and scenarios.

Pool Chlorination and Closure Guidelines

Topics: Recreational Water, Water Location: General, Canada 

As an EH director at a local health authority, helping to review provincial guidelines on swimming pools, you want to know if scientific evidence supports pool closure orders when free available chlorine (FAC) is found to be at or above 10 ppm. Should the level be different and are there other factors to be considered for closure, instead of or in addition to FAC? What is Free Available Chlorine...

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Carbon Dioxide in Indoor Air

A Public Health Inspector calls about an issue flagged at an older elementary school.  As part of a teacher complaint process, the provincial health and safety agency has been conducting a workplace investigation.  Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels were measured and ranged from 412 ppm in an unoccupied classroom to 1,130 ppm in the school library and 1,660 ppm in an occupied classroom that had closed...

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Pepper Spray in the Indoor Environment and in the Vicinity of Food Products and Preparation Surfaces

Pepper spray is discharged during an attempted robbery of a jewellery store in a large urban mall.  The robbery site is located next to the mall’s food court.  For several days, mall patrons continue to report uncomfortable symptoms (e.g., burning sensation in their eyes and throat) when they enter the food court.  Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) are asked to respond to concerns about...

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Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) - revised

A Public Health Inspector (PHI) has raised a concern about a local middle school with a small, poorly ventilated computer room containing computers over 10 years old. The PHI has read that brominated flame retardants used in computers can affect reproductive health and is concerned about many students and teachers who spend 20-50% of their school week in this room. What is the issue?What are...

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Nematodes for Pest Control

A provincial Health Ministry has been asked by the Ministry of the Environment to advise on the health risks associated with use of nematodes to control the cranberry girdler, an insect that has been affecting the economic viability of provincial cranberry production. You are assigned the development of a response as part of your practicum with the Ministry of Health. Here is an outline of...

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Health Effects of Large LED Screens on Local Residents

In 2011, three high-definition outdoor LED video billboards were erected around a city sports stadium. The residents of the surrounding community are exposed to the lighted images of these screens when they are illuminated. A representative of a community organization advocating to remove the video screens has asked the Chief Medical Health Officer of the local health department whether the...

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Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning

Trigger for Investigation On June 18, 2010 a commercial harvester advised an inspection specialist at CFIA of four cases of suspect PSP-related illness that occurred June 17, 2010. CFIA began an investigation and trace-back and advised relevant public health authorities of illnesses to ensure follow-up of cases. You are the epidemiologist working at the local health authority where the cases...

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Case Study of a Persistent Landfill Fire and Community Health Impacts

This case study explores the issue of health impacts in the community from persistent landfill fires and covers a number of topics including: outdoor air pollution; waste management; health equity; health surveillance; environmental surveillance; and occupational health. Although written from a broad public health and medical health officers’ point of view, this case study may be helpful to...

PDF icon Persistent_Landfill_Fire_Health_Impacts_Case_March_2015.pdf, PDF icon Persistent_Landfill_Fire_Health_Impacts_Solutions_March_2015.pdf

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