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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

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...

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Document

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Workshops Presentations

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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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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Foundations of Health and the Built Environment

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

American Public Health Association (APHA) - Incorporating Health in Transportation Decisions

APHA believes in working with the transportation sector to create equitable and healthy transportation policies and practices. Since its release in 2015, the Transportation and Health Tool has been an online resource for public health and transportation professionals alike. Using this important tool, practitioners can learn how their states and metropolitan regions stack up against their peers...

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Public Health Association of BC (PHABC) 2017 Summer School - Facing a Changing World: Transformative Leadership and Practice

This two-day summer school is a unique collaboration of key-note presentations, case studies and hands on workshops that dive into the meaning of transformative practice and social innovation and its applications across multiple sectors in public health. The PHABC Summer School provides the opportunity for professionals throughout the province to meet, mingle and learn during discussion groups...

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Human Environments Analysis Laboratory (HEAL) - Children's Health and the Environment Workshop & Symposium: Moving Research to Action for Healthy Kids

The purpose of the workshop is to provide an effective forum for knowledge exchange and relationship building among leading researchers, policymakers, and practitioners concerned with children's health and the built environment. This intimate workshop and symposium will feature presentations on the latest in research evidence around healthy children's environments, as well as successful...

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Public Health Ontario (PHO) et al. - The Ontario Public Health Convention (TOPHC) 2017: Global challenges. Local solutions.

The Ontario Public Health Convention (TOPHC) is hosted jointly by Public Health Ontario, the Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA), and the Association of Local Public Health Agencies (alPHa). TOPHC is your opportunity to connect with health professionals from Ontario and beyond to share knowledge and develop skills related to public health. For three days in March we will explore this year’s...

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