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Biological Agents

Project

Cyanobacteria in Freshwater

Cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae, are naturally occurring microscopic organisms found in fresh, brackish, or marine water that can release cyanotoxins into freshwater systems. These toxins can pose a serious public health risk as exposure through skin contact, or ingestion of contaminated drinking water or food can cause symptoms ranging from minor irritation to more serious...

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Marine Shellfish Poisoning

Marine shellfish poisoning refers to illnesses in humans caused by consumption of marine bivalve shellfish (e.g., clams, mussels, oysters, scallops, cockles) that contain biotoxins (e.g., domoic acid, okadaic acid, saxitoxin). Shellfish feed by filtering microscopic marine plants, called phytoplankton, from the water. Some species of phytoplankton naturally produce toxins. These toxins can cause...

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Document

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,...

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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 physical...

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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...

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Controlling giant hogweed: the scope of a concerted regional intervention

Giant hogweed is an invasive alien plant that can severely burn the skin. The plant is not yet very prevalent in Bas-SaintLaurent, and intervention in the region to date has focused on eradicating it during the first stage of its invasion. To that end, a consultation process was undertaken in 2015 under the leadership of the public health authority and the regional development collective (CRD),...

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April 2018 Environmental Health Research Scan

Full Scan The attached PDF version of the Research Scan has over 100 references and is broken into over 30 categories. Editor’s Picks After searching through the dozens of articles referenced in the scan, our librarian picks the ones she feels may be especially interesting to our stakeholders.  Her “Editor Picks” for April 2018 include: The built environment: Understanding how physical...

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February 2018 Environmental Health Research Scan

Full Scan The attached PDF version of the Research Scan has over 100 references and is broken into over 30 categories. Editor’s Picks After searching through the dozens of articles referenced in the scan, our librarian picks the ones she feels may be especially interesting to our stakeholders.  Her “Editor Picks” for February 2018 include: A review of the experimental evidence on the...

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January 2018 Environmental Health Research Scan

Full Scan The attached PDF version of the Research Scan has over 100 references and is broken into over 30 categories. Editor’s Picks After searching through the dozens of articles referenced in the scan, our librarian picks the ones she feels may be especially interesting to our stakeholders.  Her “Editor Picks” for January 2018 include: Adverse effects after medical, commercial, or self-...

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Growing at Home: Health and Safety Concerns for Personal Cannabis Cultivation

Personal cultivation as described by the proposed Cannabis Act (2017) will permit adults to cultivate up to four cannabis plants per household. This provision is intended to both promote equity by facilitating access to legal cannabis, particularly when retail outlets are difficult to access, and to undercut the black market. However, indoor cultivation and processing of cannabis may also...

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Irrigating Food Crops with Water Containing Cyanobacteria Blooms

Primary inquiry: Small horticulture growers have been watering their crops with surface water containing a cyanobacterial bloom, before selling their crops at local markets. Can irrigation of food crops using surface water affected by cyanobacteria blooms result in bioaccumulation of cyanotoxins in these crops? Can cyanotoxins bioaccumulate to a concentration that might cause a public health...

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Cyanobacteria in Freshwater

What are cyanobacteria? Are cyanoblooms preventable? Who is at risk and how does exposure occur? Is there testing for cyanotoxins? This NCCEH document provides a brief outline of these key questions related to cyanobacteria and the toxins they produce.

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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...

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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...

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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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Workshops Presentations

How the “Tick Talk” works for communicating risk awareness

Climate changes are expanding the areas where ticks can survive and thrive across Canada. The number of Canadians contracting tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme Disease and Anaplasmosis, is also increasing. As a result, educating Canadians on how to prevent tick bites is becoming increasingly important.  This presentation details an animated tick awareness program, aimed specifically at children,...

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Communicating the Risk of Infectious Diseases in a Changing Climate

A changing climate brings the threat of emerging, new infectious diseases and the resurgence of old infectious outbreaks. To ensure that public health professionals and policy makers receive timely information, effective risk communication must be used. NCCEH and NCCID jointly presented a webinar last year that provided different perspectives on communicating risk in an “environment of change"....

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Event

Listeriosis in Ontario

In 2008, Ontario experienced the largest listeriosis outbreak ever recorded in the province. Since then, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Public Health Ontario and local public health units have been collaborating with the Public Health Agency of Canada to conduct enhanced surveillance for this disease. Surveillance of enteric diseases is one of the core mandates of Public Health...

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Workshop: Understanding the Interplay of Environmental Stressors, Infectious Disease, and Human Health

This free workshop will examine emerging research findings on the impact of chemical exposures (e.g. airborne particulate matter, heavy metals, and pesticides) and environmental disruptions (e.g. natural disasters and climate instability) on human susceptibility to infectious agents. Workshop participants, including experts on infectious disease, global public health, toxicology, environmental...

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Identifying Vulnerabilities in Fungal Pathogens Through Functional and Chemical Genomic Analysis

Intrinsic and acquired drug resistance of microbial pathogens poses a grave threat to human health and has enormous economic consequences worldwide. Fungal pathogens present a particular challenge because they are eukaryotes and share many of the same biological processes as the human hosts they infect. The number of drug classes that have distinct targets in fungi is very limited and the...

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The Ontario Public Health Convention (TOPHC)

TOPHC 2019 will explore how strategy, leadership and practice align to address changes in the public health sector. Discover tools and approaches to move knowledge into practice, refresh your knowledge at thought-provoking sessions and collaborate with colleagues motivated to build healthier and more sustainable communities. 

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