You are here

Air


Determining factors that impact indoor and outdoor air quality, including mould, radon, VOCs, and criteria air contaminants.

Project

Radon

Radon is a colourless, odourless gas released from the degradation of uranium naturally present in rock and soil. Radon levels outdoors are generally low; however, radon can enter buildings and homes through cracks and openings in the foundation and can accumulate at much higher concentrations indoors, especially in basements and lower floors. Over 3,200 Canadians are estimated to die each year...

View Full Article

Carbon Monoxide in Long-Term Care Facilities

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odourless, colourless, and non-irritating gas that is harmful to humans. As a by-product of incomplete combustion, CO is produced by fuel-burning appliances including boilers, furnaces, fireplaces, kitchen stoves, and laundry dryers. Cigarette smoke and vehicle exhaust also contribute to indoor CO levels. At low levels of exposure, symptoms can include headache, nausea...

View Full Article

Mould

Topics: Air, Indoor Air 

Mould is a ubiquitous fungus in outdoor environments that inevitably makes its way indoors. The general population is commonly exposed to mould through inhalation, and less commonly through direct contact, with no adverse effects. However, individuals with asthma or other underlying respiratory ailments may show sensitivity to mould or its cellular components that may trigger respiratory tract...

View Full Article

Document

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...

View Full Article

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,...

View Full Article

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 ...

View Full Article

Health Effects from Mould Exposure in Indoor Environments - revised

Moulds are naturally occurring and widespread in the environment; therefore, it is not possible to eliminate exposure. Sufficient evidence exists to conclude that exposure to mould in indoor environments is associated with asthma and asthma-like symptoms (in asthmatic people), upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough and wheeze, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis in susceptible people. There is...

View Full Article

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 report is to...

View Full Article

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 already...

View Full Article

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...

View Full Article

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...

View Full Article

Effective Indoor Air Interventions

Canadians typically spend about 90% of their time indoors. Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) resulting from biological and chemical exposures is associated with the development of acute and chronic cardio-respiratory disease. Biological agents commonly found in indoor environments include mould, house dust mites (HDM), pests, and pet dander. Chemical agents can include environmental tobacco smoke (...

View Full Article

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...

View Full Article

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 health Passive ventilation strategies employed to reduce energy can lead to uneven airflow distribution and...

View Full Article

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,...

View Full Article

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...

View Full Article

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...

View Full Article

Workshops Presentations

Infiltration of air pollutants and effectiveness of cleaners

L'Institut national de santé publique (INSPQ) 8e Atelier de santé environnementale

View Full Article

Indoor Air Quality Issues in First Nations and Inuit Communities in Canada

International Union for Circumpolar Health (IUCH) 14th International Congress on Circumpolar Health

View Full Article

Indoor Air and Air Cleaners: An Inside Look

Housing, health and the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada

Joint NCCEH/NCCAH Workshop at Canadian Public Health Association Public Health 2015 in Vancouver Successes and challenges in mitigation of radon in urban Aboriginal housing, Prince George, BCLeo Hebert, Executive Director, Prince George Métis Housing Society Insights into on-reserve housingLinda Pillsworth, Manager, Environmental Health Services, First Nations Health Authority Mould...

View Full Article

Housing and Health: How can Community Health Nurses intervene?

Presentation: Housing and HealthTom Kosatsky, NCCEHMona Shum, NCCEH

View Full Article

Carbon Monoxide Monitoring in Long Term Care Facilities and Hospitals

Saskatoon 2013  Presentations: Carbon monoxide exposures in long-term care facilities and hospitals: Developing a monitoring frameworkPrabjit Barn & Tom Kosatsky, BCCDC/NCCEH Modeling of the Kinetics of Carbon Monoxide for Long Term Care Facilities and HospitalsNathalie Gosselin, Pharsight Consulting ServicesMichele Bouchard, University of Montreal CO Exposure – St. Mary’s Villa, December 26...

View Full Article

Evaluating a Novel Carbon Monoxide Monitoring Framework in Long-Term Care Facilities

The Ontario Public Health Convention (TOPHC) 2016 This poster highlights the findings from our evaluation of Saskatoon Health Region’s carbon monoxide (CO) monitoring policy in 10 long-term care facilities (LTCFs). Presenter: Daniel Fong

View Full Article

Indoor Air Quality: Interpreting Assessment Results

Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI) 79th Annual National Educational Conference Presentations General indoor air quality parameters: CO, CO2, relative humidity, temperatureDru Sahai, Public Health Ontario Volatile organic compoundsPrabjit Barn, NCCEH MouldDaniel Fong, NCCEH RadonPam Warkentin, Radonmatters Additional indoor pollutantsDru Sahai, Public Health Ontario

View Full Article

Event

Health Canada - Residential Attached Garage Intervention Study

The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) and Indoor Air Contaminants Assessment Sections at Health Canada are inviting their stakeholders, including public health officials, urban planners, policy decision-makers, and health and emergency management Non-Governmental Organizations to participate in our next Air-Health webinar. This webinar series has been designed to provide a forum for communities to...

View Full Article

Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) - Vancouver Chapter Meeting

Topics: Air, Indoor Air BC, Canada 

IAQA Vancouver is pleased to present the fourth of its quarterly chapter meetings at the University of British Columbia on Indoor Air Quality in Green and LEED Buildings. Cost: $25 for members, $35 for non-members (cheque made out to “IAQA Vancouver” or cash at door)

View Full Article

Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC) - Radon in Canada: the challenges of putting prevention into action

Radon is an invisible, radioactive gas that contributes to the deaths of thousands of Canadians every year. Conventional wisdom suggests there should be outrage about the number of Canadians unnecessarily and unwitting exposed to elevated levels of alpha radiation from radon gas. Unfortunately, most Canadians are still not aware of the threats posed by this leading cause of lung cancer; or how...

View Full Article

Legislation

Swimming Pool, Wading Pool and Water Spray Park Regulation, Alta Reg 293/2006

Dairy Industry Act, RSA 2000, c D-2

Dairy Industry Regulation, Alta Reg 139/1999

Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, RSA 2000, c E-12

Pesticide Sales, Handling, Use and Application Regulation, Alta Reg 24/1997

Remediation Certificate Regulation 154/2009

Meat Inspection Act, RSA 2000, c M-9

Meat Inspection Regulation, Alta Reg 42/2003

Occupational Health and Safety Act, RSA 2000, c O-2

Tobacco Reduction Act, SA 2005, c T-3.8

Tobacco Reduction Regulation, Alta Reg 240/2007

Food Regulation, Alta Reg 31/2006

Food Premises Regulation, BC Reg 210/99

Community Care and Assisted Living Act, SBC 2002, c 75

Child Care Licensing Regulation, BC Reg 332/2007

Residential Care Regulation, BC Reg 96/2009

Environmental Management Act, SBC 2003, c 53

Hazardous Waste Regulation, BC Reg 63/88

Fish Inspection Act, RSBC 1996, c 148

Fish Inspection Regulations, BC Reg 12/78

Fisheries Act, RSBC 1996, c 149

Fisheries Act Regulations, BC Reg 140/76

Food Safety Act, SBC 2002, c 28

Meat Inspection Regulation, 349/2004

Integrated Pest Management Act, SBC 2003, c 58

Integrated Pest Management Regulation, BC Reg 604/2004

Milk Industry Act, RSBC 1996, c 289

Milk Industry Standards Regulation, BC Reg 464/81

Dwellings and Buildings Regulation, Man Reg 322/88 R

Food and Food Handling Establishments Regulation, Man Reg 339/88 R

Health Hazards Regulation, Man Reg 29/2009

Swimming Pools and Other Water Recreational Facilities Regulation, Man Reg 132/97

The Community Child Care Standards Act, CCSM c C158

Child Care Regulation, Man Reg 62/86

The Health Services Insurance Act, CCSM c H35

Personal Care Homes Standards Regulation, Man Reg 30/2005

The Child and Family Services Act, CCSM c C80

Child Care Facilities (Other than Foster Homes) Licensing Regulation, Man Reg 17/99

The Dairy Act, CCSM c D10

Dairy Regulation, Man Reg 203/87 R

The Non-Smokers Health Protection Act, CCSM c N92

Non-Smokers Health Protection Regulation 174/2004

Smoke-free Places Act, RSNB 2011, c 222

General Regulation, NB Reg 2004-99

Community Planning Act, RSNB 1973, c C-12

Provincial Mobile Home Parks and Sites Regulation, NB Reg 84-291

Education Act, SNB 1997, c E-1.12

School Administration Regulation, NB Reg 97-150

Family Services Act, SNB 1980, c F-2.2

Community Placement Residential Facilities Regulation, NB Reg 83-77

Day Care Regulation, NB Reg 83-85

Municipalities Act, RSNB 1973, c M-22

Residential Properties Maintenance and Occupancy Code Approval Regulation, NB Reg 84-86

Public Pools Regulations, CNLR 1023/96

Environmental Protection Act, SNL 2002, c E-14.2

Pesticides Control Regulations, 2012, NLR 26/12

Food and Drug Act, RSNL 1990, c F-21

Food Premises Regulations, CNLR 1022/96

Smoke-free Environment Act, 2005, SNL 2005, c S-16.2

Smoke-free Environment Regulations, 2005, NLR 54/05

Tobacco Control Act, SNL 1993, c T-4.1

Urban and Rural Planning Act, 2000, SNL 2000, c U-8

Occupancy and Maintenance Regulations, CNLR 1021/96

Smoke-free Places Regulations, NS Reg 144/2002

Water Supply System Regulations, NWT Reg 108-2009

Child Day Care Act, RSNWT 1988, c C-5

Environmental Tobacco Smoke Work Site Regulations, NWT Reg 082-2003

Tobacco Control Act, SNWT 2006, c 9

Tobacco Control Regulations, NWT Reg 101-2006

Public Pool Regulations, RRNWT 1990, c P-21

Meat Inspection Regulations, NWT Reg (Nu) 190-96

Milk Regulations, RRNWT (Nu) 1990 c P-19

Public Pool Regulations, RRNWT (Nu) 1990 c P-21

Tourist Accommodation Health Regulations, RRNWT (Nu) 1990 c P-24

Community Care Facilities and Nursing Homes Act, RSPEI 1988, c C-13

General Regulations, PEI Reg EC391/84

Nursing Home Regulations, PEI Reg EC10/88

Fish Inspection Act, RSPEI 1988, c F-13

General Regulations, PEI Reg EC764/72

Pesticides Control Act, RSPEI 1988, c P-4

General Regulations, PEI Reg EC761/05

Smoke-free Places Act, RSPEI 1988, c S-4.2

Tourism Industry Act, RSPEI 1988, c T-3.3

General Regulations, PEI Reg EC267/99

The Education Act, 1995, SS 1995, c E-0.2

Education Regulations, 1986, RRS c E-0.1 Reg 1

The Tobacco Control Act, SS 2001, c T-14.1

Tobacco Control Regulations, RRS c T-14.1 Reg 1

Agricultural Products Act, RSY 2002, c 3

Meat Inspection and Abattoir Regulations, YOIC 1988/104

Child Care Act, RSY 2002, c 30

Smoke-Free Places Act, SY 2008, c 8

Smoke-Free Places Regulation 2009, YOIC 2009/99

Child Care Centre Program Regulation, YOIC 1995/87

Collection & Disposal of Wastes Regulation, Man Reg 321/88 R

Fumigation and Pest Control Regulation, Man Reg 323/88 R

Industrial and Construction Camps Regulations, NS Reg 40/42

Summer Trailer Court, Tenting and Camp Areas Regulations, PEI Reg EC167/69

Tourist Accommodation Health Regulations, RRNWT 1990, c P-24

Public Health Act, SNB 1998, c P-22.4

Public Health Act, RSA 2000, c P-37

The Public Health Act, CCSM c P210

Health and Community Services Act, SNL 1995, c P-37.1

Public Health Act, SNWT 2007, c 17

Public Health Act, RSNWT (Nu) 1988, c P-12

Public Health Act, RSPEI 1988, c P-30.1

Public Health Act, 1994, SS 1994, c P-37.1

Public Health and Safety Act, RSY 2002, c 176

Public Health Act, SBC 2008, c 28