You are here

Chemical Agents

Project

Lead in School Drinking Water

Lead is a potent neurotoxin that is commonly present in our environment and can have serious, irreversible cognitive and behavioral impacts, particularly in children. Historically, most lead exposure has occurred through inhaling leaded-gasoline combustion products in the atmosphere; this contribution has drastically declined due to the global phase-out of leaded gasoline. Other sources of...

View Full Article

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...

View Full Article

Oil Spills and Health

The transportation of oil and gas products by land and sea create opportunities for unexpected mass exposures in communities that may or may not be prepared for such an event. Oil spills are also very complex events, in that they may have minimal or very serious human health and environmental impacts. The resources here are intended to assist public health practitioners in: Understanding the...

View Full Article

Hydraulic Fracturing for the Production of Shale Gas

Hydraulic fracturing (also termed “fracking”) is the process used, along with horizontal drilling, to extract unconventional natural gas (shale gas, tight gas or coalbed methane) and tight oil from reserves deep in the earth. Fractures are created in relatively impermeable rock (such as shale) by injecting large amounts of fracturing fluid (a mixture of water and chemicals) deep into the earth...

View Full Article

Document

Cleanup Instructions for Small Mercury Spills - revised

Exposure to the small amount of mercury found in common household devices, such as fever thermometers, thermostats, or fluorescent light bulbs, is not likely to cause serious health problems. Humans are frequently exposed to greater quantities of mercury, much of it methylmercury, through diet. Nevertheless, all mercury spills, regardless of quantity, should be treated seriously and cleaned up ...

View Full Article

Summary: Animals as Sentinels for Public Health Risks from Oil and Gas Development

This document was based on a contracted review: Animals as Sentinels for Public Health Risks Associated with Oil and Gas Development by Craig Stephen and Tyler Stitt, March 2014.

View Full Article

Health Effects of Oil Spills and Implications for Public Health Planning and Research

Two major pipeline projects have been proposed to transport petroleum products from Alberta to the British Columbian coast. Despite potential economic benefits, these proposals have roused widespread public concern regarding the health and ecological consequences of a major marine or terrestrial spill. In Metro Vancouver, the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion will triple the volume of petroleum...

View Full Article

Effectiveness of Alternative Antimicrobial Agents for Disinfection of Hard Surfaces - revised

A review of alternative antimicrobial agents reveals the need for standardized methodology for efficacy testing as well as considerations of toxicity, safety, cost, ease of use, availability, storage, and application-specific testing. The appropriateness of alternative antimicrobial agents, such as vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda appear to be limited for commercial disinfection or...

View Full Article

Potential Human Health Effects of Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs) (UBC Bridge Program)

Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), including perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), are stain, water and grease repellent chemicals found in a wide range of consumer products. Almost everyone has detectable levels of PFOS, PFOA, and other PFCs in their blood. Although levels of PFOS and PFOA in human serum have declined in the US and Europe over the past decade, levels...

View Full Article

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...

View Full Article

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...

View Full Article

Understanding the Public Health Implications Concerning Shale Gas Production and Hydraulic Fracturing

The intent of this document is to synthesize scientific information related to public health concerns of relevance to Canada about shale gas production (including the pre-production stages of drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and well completion, as well as abandonment). Current policy and regulations are not considered. For the most part, the environmental and public health implications relating...

View Full Article

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...

View Full Article

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.

View Full Article

Clandestine Amphetamine-Derived Drug Laboratories: Remediation Guidelines for Residential Settings - revised

Clandestine labs produce illegal substances using a variety of chemicals and manufacturing processes. Clandestine labs can be housed in a variety of structures, including residential and non-residential uildings. In particular, residential buildings previously used for clandestine labs can pose health concerns to re-occupants. Amphetamine-derived drug labs are the most common type of clandestine...

View Full Article

Increasing Use of Pyrethroids in Canadian Households: Should We Be Concerned?

Pyrethroids are a class of plant-derived insecticides and their man-made analogues that are increasingly applied in Canada as first choice for pest control in many agricultural and residential settings. Their popularity is partly due to their alleged safety compared to the older organochlorine and organophosphate insecticides. Application of pyrethroids is expanding because of recent increases...

View Full Article

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-...

View Full Article

Nanotechnology: A Review of Exposure, Health Risks and Recent Regulatory Developments

Nanotechnology is the creation of materials, devices, and systems by controlling matter at the nanometer scale (1-100 billionths of a meter). Potential exposures to engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) through contact with consumer products or air, water, and food sources are an emerging potential threat to human health. ENPs have unique properties and characteristics in addition to size, such as a...

View Full Article

Disinfectants and Sanitizers for Use on Food Contact Surfaces - revised

Health Canada has approved the sale of disinfectants for food premises which contain chlorine compounds (e.g., bleach), peroxide and peroxyacid mixtures, carboxylic acids, quaternary ammonium compounds, acid anionic, and iodine compounds for use on food-contact surfaces. Disinfectants for use in food premises must have a drug identification number (DIN) and meet criteria, including those...

View Full Article

Impact of Home Preparation and Cooking Methods on Levels of Dioxin and Dioxin-Like Compounds in Foods

Human exposure to dioxins and dioxin-like compounds (DLCs) is primarily from ingestion of fish, meat, and dairy products. Based on studies where populations were exposed to much higher levels of DLCs than the general population would encounter, some DLCs have been classified as carcinogens/ probable carcinogens.  However, uncertainty remains about the possible adverse health effects from low-...

View Full Article

Systematic Review of Human Biomonitoring Studies of Environmental Contaminants

This review synthesizes information on biological markers of exposure to environmental contaminants in Canada through a systematic search of the published and grey literature from January 1990 to January 2007, evaluates the studies, and summarizes the information in an easy access format. This review will make the Canadian work on biomonitoring for environmental contaminants more accessible to...

View Full Article

Chlorination Disinfection By-Products in Drinking Water

The challenge of judging and managing public health risks “caused by” chlorination disinfection by-products (DBPs) in drinking water is likely the most complex issue faced by the drinking water industry in the developed world over the past three decades. Public health professionals must be sure that precautionary efforts in managing DBP risks are never allowed to compromise necessary measures to...

View Full Article

Does Eating Organic Food Reduce Pesticide Exposures and Health Risks?

Diet is an important source of pesticide exposure, particularly for children, but data are lacking on the amount of pesticides consumed in the diet relative to exposures from other sources. Available data suggest that organically-grown food contains fewer synthetic pesticide residues than conventionally-grown food, and that eating an organic diet can result in lower exposures to some pesticides...

View Full Article

Residential Pesticides and Childhood Leukemia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Many Canadian municipalities or provinces have banned or restricted cosmetic pesticide use and other jurisdictions are considering similar bans or facing continuous public pressure for such action. Major public and scientific concerns about pesticides include their potential adverse effects on child health and development. Of the 15 most intensely used pesticides in the U.S. during 2001, five...

View Full Article

A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Childhood Leukemia and Parental Occupational Pesticide Exposure

Many Canadian municipalities or provinces have banned or restricted cosmetic pesticide use and other jurisdictions are considering similar bans or facing continuous public pressure for such action. Major public and scientific concerns about pesticides include their potential adverse effects on child health and development. Of the 15 most intensely used pesticides in the U.S. during 2001, five...

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

Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers are a group of commercially produced substances that are used as flame retardants in a wide range of consumer products including television sets, computers, printers, fax machines, carpets, and upholstery. They are structurally related to PCBs and, like PCBs, are produced commercially as mixtures of various chemical configurations, or congeners. Different congeners...

View Full Article

Epidemiologic Evidence of Relationships Between Reproductive and Child Health Outcomes and Environmental Chemical Contaminants

This review summarizes the level of epidemiologic evidence for relationships between prenatal and early life exposure to environmental chemical contaminants and fetal, child, and adult health. Discussion focuses on: fetal loss, intrauterine growth restriction, preterm birth, birth defects, respiratory and other childhood diseases, neuropsychological deficits, premature or delayed sexual...

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

Intervention Strategies to Reduce Residential Pesticide Exposures

Shale gas extraction and public health: What we know, what we can infer, and how we can move forward

Canadian Public Health Association 2014 Conference Presentations: Hydraulic Fracturing & Public Health: What we know, what we can infer and how we can move forward Merry Turtiak, Alberta Health Public Health Review on Shale Gas Activities: Water, Air Contamination and Technology Risk Management Gaétan Carrier, Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) Audrey Smargiassi, INSPQ ...

View Full Article

Public Health and Industry: Partners In Reducing Lead Exposure

This presentation, delivered at the Canadian Water Quality Association's (CWQA) Annual General Meeting, discusses opportunities for Public Health and the Drinking Water Treatment Industry to partner in reducing lead exposure.  

View Full Article

Guidance for the Characterization and Management of Public Health Risks from the Acute Release of Chemicals of Concern: Crude Oil

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: Marc Lafontaine, Science Advisor, Health Canada Abstract: The Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit (CEPRU) of Health Canada is developing guidance documents to assist...

View Full Article

Community Impacts of Fuel Spills: a Case Study from BC’s Northern Coast

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. Speakers:Chief Councillor Marilyn Slett, Heiltsuk NationLinda Pillsworth, Manager of Environmental Public Health Services, FNHAAngela Eykelbosh, Environmental Health & Knowledge...

View Full Article

The 2013 Lac-Mégantic tragedy: The public health response then and now

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. Mélissa Généreux, Director, Estrie Public Health Abstract: As the head of Estrie Public Health, Dr Mélissa Généreux led the public health response during and after the Lac...

View Full Article

On Shaky Ground - Evidence of Public Health Impacts from Hydraulic Fracturing

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: Anne-Marie Nicol, MES, PhD, Environmental Health Scientist, NCCEH Abstract: This seminar describes the processes involved in shale gas production, including hydraulic fracturing, and...

View Full Article

Public health impacts of hydraulic fracturing: Seismic activity and potential risks

Canadian Public Health Association Public Health 2015 Presenter: Anne-Marie Nicol

View Full Article

Health Effects of Oil Spills: Implications for Impacted First Nations Communities

This presentation, delivered at the Centre du savoir sur mesure (CESAM) 1st national symposium, contains a combination of academic research carried out during the Exxon Valdez oil spill as well as a much more recent event that occurred in Heiltsuk territory on BC’s central coast.

View Full Article

Flint Water Crisis: Can It Happen in Canada?

Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI) 82nd Annual National Educational Conference In January 2016 a US federal state of emergency was declared in Flint Michigan due to elevated lead concentration in the city’s drinking water. This presentation gives an overview of the Flint lead crisis and how regulation was insufficient to protect public health given human error and omission....

View Full Article