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Built Environment


Recognizing the health impacts of the natural and human-made surroundings in which we live, work, and play.

Project

Food Environments

The foods that people choose to consume are influenced by the availability, affordability, and accessibility of foods in the environments in which they live, work, and play. Defined by the built and social environments, including physical, social, economic, cultural, and political factors, food environments play an important role in shaping diets and eating habits. A healthy food environment...

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Artificial Turf and Crumb Rubber

Modern artificial turf is used indoors and outdoors in a wide variety of settings, including multipurpose recreational and professional sports fields, playgrounds, residential areas, and public streetscapes (base of trees, sidewalks), and public parks. This product is thought to play an important role in urban environments by increasing play space, reducing injuries, allowing play under adverse...

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Bed Bugs

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are small, elusive, and resilient insects that live by feeding on the blood of mammals, including humans. Bed bug infestations have become prominent worldwide, generating increased public concern. Despite the attention given to bed bugs by the public, researchers, governments, and pest management professionals, there are still considerable challenges with managing bed...

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Document

March 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 March 2018 include: Wildfires, emergency preparedness, and the importance of...

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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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Cemetery Setback Distances to Prevent Surface Water Contamination

Primary inquiry: In Canada, as in many other countries, cemeteries are required to be setback a certain distance from waterbodies to protect drinking water sources from contaminated liquids that can arise from the decomposition of bodies after burial. What is recommended as a safe setback distance? What is the rationale for the setback distances used throughout Canada?

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Using a Hierarchy of Evidence to Assess Chemical Health Risks of Artificial Turf

Over the past 40 years, artificial turf has become common in public and private settings. Compared to natural turf, artificial turf is easier to maintain, requires less water and no fertilizer, and provides a year-round access to playing surfaces. This is presumed to have important public health benefits by promoting physical activity and access to recreational space, although detailed research...

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Green Space and Mental Health: Pathways, Impacts and Gaps

Around the globe, mental health disorders are a significant and growing cause of ill health and early death, with the burden of such diseases increasing by more than a third between 1990 and 2010. Almost a third of all Canadians have experienced a mental illness at some point during their lifetimes. A Statistics Canada survey reported the most commonly reported illnesses to be mood disorders,...

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Review of Field Tests on Bed Bug Control Technologies

Economic, environmental, and health concerns with bed bug control technologies and management options are of interest to public health and pest management agencies, who often receive and need to respond to inquiries regarding bed bugs (Hemiptera: Cimex). However, control technologies are constantly changing as evidence emerges for evaluating their efficacy/feasibility and acceptance by regulators...

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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.

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Cardiovascular Health, Traffic-related Air Pollution and Noise: Are associations mutually confounded? A systematic review

This review assessed the confounding effect of one traffic-related exposure (noise or air pollutants) on the association between the other exposure and cardiovascular outcomes. A systematic review was conducted with the databases Medline and Embase. The confounding effects in studies were assessed by using change in the estimate with a 10 % cutoff point. The influence on the change in the...

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Wind Turbines and Health - revised

Noise and Low Frequency SoundThe sound level associated with wind turbines at common residential setbacks is not sufficient to damage hearing, but may lead to annoyance and sleep disturbance. Electromagnetic Fields (EMF)Wind turbines are not significant sources of EMF exposure. Shadow FlickerShadows caused by wind turbine rotors can be annoying, but are not likely to cause epileptic seizures at...

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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 case...

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Bed Bugs and Public Health: New Approaches for an Old Scourge

The objective of this paper is to share four Canadian cities’ experiences with bed bug infestations and to explore public health roles in managing them. We summarize presentations from a workshop at the 2010 Canadian Public Health Association Conference which examined the re-emergence of bed bugs in Canada and compared management approaches of municipal and public health authorities in four large...

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Intersection between the Built and Social Environments and Older Adults’ Mobility

Inevitably, an aging population will demand significant health and economic costs at personal and societal levels. Emerging evidence highlights that built and social environments both play a role in older adults’ mobility, community engagement and health. It may be the interaction between the person, the built environment, and elements of the social environment that encourage or dissuade an older...

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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-...

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Air Quality and Community Health Impact of Animal Manure Management (UBC Bridge Program)

Nearly 200 million tonnes of livestock manure are generated in Canada each year.1 Manure storage and land application tends to produce odour, greenhouse gases, microbes, and particulate matter, which can negatively impact the environment and human health. Occupational exposures of manure management have been linked to psychological stress and adverse effects on the respiratory system and heart...

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Community Planning with a Health Equity Lens: Promising Directions and Strategies (UBC Bridge Program)

Community planning has the potential to reduce health inequities. Applying an equity lens to community health planning can encourage greater focus on the process, the implications, and suggested outcomes. Health inequalities are unavoidable; health inequities are differences in health outcomes that are avoidable. Efforts to create vibrant and healthy communities, cities, and neighbourhoods are...

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Fact Sheets for Promoting Healthy Built Environments

This set of fact sheets provides an overview of Healthy Built Environment issues for Environmental Health professionals (EHPs include public health inspectors, environmental health officers, and medical health officers). The aim is to help EHPs collaborate with other stakeholders to promote a Healthy Built Environment (HBE).

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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...

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Active Transportation in Urban Areas: Exploring Health Benefits and Risks (UBC Bridge Program)

Active transportation refers mainly to walking and cycling for transportation. Health Benefits:  People who use active transportation are, on average, more physically fit, less obese, and have a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease compared to people who use only motorized transportation. A shift from motorized transportation to active transportation has the potential for societal benefits such...

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Built Environment Readiness Assessment

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) 

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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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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 how...

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Workshops Presentations

Public Health Surveillance of Housing Conditions: Recent Data From Montreal and Thoughts on Improving Impacts on Policy

The BCCDC/NCCEH Environmental Health Seminar Series provides an opportunity for learning and knowledge exchange on a variety of environmental health topics. The seminars can be attended in-person or online. Speaker: Dr. David Kaiser, Specialist Physician, Montreal Public Health Abstract: Housing conditions are a fundamental determinant of health and one of the core targets of public health...

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Integrating Indigenous Community Planning into a Healthy Built Environment

Canadian Public Health Association Public Health 2016 In collaboration with NCCAH, this session included four presentations, each addressing different aspects of a holistic approach towards integrating the natural and built environment, economy, and health in Indigenous community planning. The following concepts emerged from the 90-minute symposium: A healthy built environment takes into...

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Foundations of Health and the Built Environment

An Introduction to Healthy Built Environments

Intervention Strategies to Reduce Residential Pesticide Exposures

Wind Turbines and Environmental Assessment

Western Medical Officers of Health Meeting June 2009; previous versions presented at Atlantic Medical Officers of Health Meeting May 2009 and CIPHI (NS/PE Branch) 2009 Annual Educational Session

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Widening the Health Lens in the Environmental Impact Assessment Process: Lessons Learned in the George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project

The BCCDC/NCCEH Environmental Health Seminar Series provides an opportunity for learning and knowledge exchange on a variety of environmental health topics. The seminars can be attended in-person or online. Speaker: Laura Chow, Environmental Health Officer, Built Environment Team, Vancouver Coastal Health Abstract: The George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project is a large scale project that...

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Introduction to Healthy Built Environment

Agenda Presentations: Overview of HBE and impacts on public healthLarry Frank, University of British Columbia Healthy Canada by Design: Case StudiesAlice Miro, CLASP NationalHelena Swinkels, Fraser Health AuthorityClaire Gram, Vancouver Coastal HealthJani Urquhart, Vancouver Island Health Authority Healthy Built Environment in the NetherlandsErna van Balen, NCCEH NCCEH Healthy Built Environment...

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Public Health Roles with Regard to Bed Bug Management in Canada

Presentations: Toronto’s Response to Bed BugsRon de Burger & Tracy Leach, Toronto Public Health Current Bed Bug TechnologiesTaz Stuart, TDTS Consulting Bed Bug Management: Preliminary Survey of Public Health Agencies in CanadaDaniel Fong, Mark Lysyshyn & Tom Kosatsky, NCCEH/BCCDC Future Bed Bug TechnologiesTaz Stuart, TDTS Consulting Bed bugs, Housing and Montreal Public HealthStéphane...

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Built Environment: A multisectoral health issue

Health and Planning: Exploring Options for Rural Communities

Bed Bugs and Public Health: A Re-emerging Scourge for the New Public Health

Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) 2010 Centennial Conference 

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Bringing Health Back Into Planning: Overview of Canadian Tools and Cross-Sector Action

Presentations: IntroductionCatherine Elliott, BC Centre for Disease Control Health 201Alice Miro, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada Healthy Built Environment InventoryErna van Balen, NCCEH CLASP InitiativeDavid Mowat, Peel Public Health  

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Linking practice with research: Building a public health evidence base for health and the built environment

Event

Resources to Improve Health and Promote Active Transportation

This webinar will feature resources and tools public health professionals can use to educate others on the importance of active transportation, including the 2018 Benchmarking Report on Bicycling and Walking in the United States, a study exploring access to trails in Milwaukee and success stories from the Planners4Health initiative.

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Canadian Urban Environmental Health Research Consortium (CANUE) - Urban Green and Built Infrastructure as a Tool to Mitigate Local Air Pollution

For his presentation, Dr. Baldauf will summarize the U.S. EPA’s research program on the use of built and green infrastructure to mitigate local air pollution impacts from transportation facilities. His presentation will describe the current scientific understanding of how urban infrastructure affects local air quality, including a review of projects conducted in the US and other parts of the...

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Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Population Health Intervention Research: Creating Evidence to Support Healthy Cities

Presenter: Dr. Meghan Winters, Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, SFU Meghan Winters is a population health researcher leading a research program on the linkages between health, transportation, and city design. She works in close collaboration with cities and stakeholders to conduct research and create tools that address real-world challenges. Dr. Winters is an Associate Professor...

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Canadian Urban Environmental Health Research Consortium (CANUE) - Measuring Walkability and Urban Sprawl: Opportunities and Challenges

Urban form is associated with health behaviours, including physical activity, and health outcomes, including diabetes. A challenge with conducting studies examining the association between the urban form and health is that there are no national scale indicators for concepts like walkability and sprawl. This webinar will discuss the potential of national walkability and urban sprawl indices...

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UBC School of Population and Public Health - Pedestrian Crossing Behaviour and the Built Environment: How Can We Keep Them Safe

The best of current research in the Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (OEH) field is presented at these seminars, which run weekly during the academic year. Presenter: Marie-Soleil Cloutier

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Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) - A Day in the Life of an Urban Planner with a Public Health Impact

What role can urban planners play to improve health? How do you embed a public health lens in municipal plans and policies? Given that the built environment, land use and transportation systems are among determinants of population health, this webinar will explore the role of an urban planner with a focus on public health and how urban planning can help support more socially just and equitable...

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NCCEH Environmental Health Seminar Series - Public Health Surveillance of Housing Conditions: Recent Data From Montreal and Thoughts on Improving Impacts on Policy

The BCCDC/NCCEH Environmental Health Seminar Series provides an opportunity for learning and knowledge exchange on a variety of environmental health topics. The seminars can be attended in-person or online. Speaker: Dr. David Kaiser, Specialist Physician, Montreal Public Health Abstract: Housing conditions are a fundamental determinant of health and one of the core targets of public health...

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Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA) - Ecohealth in Action: Achieving Health and Well-being through Greenspace

Join us on November 9th in Toronto for our biennial workshop, Ecohealth in Action: Achieving Health and Well-being through Greenspace! Our biennial, interactive workshop will include five round-table discussions; expert speakers from the fields of public health, planning, academia and the environment; a keynote speech from Dr. Faisal Moola; networking and a catered breakfast and lunch. Keynote...

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