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Contaminants and Hazards


Identifying hazards posed by infectious diseases, chemicals, radiation, and noise, in homes and personal service establishments.

Project

Cannabis Resources for Environmental Health Practitioners

Legalization of cannabis in 2018 will bring many challenges for Canadian public health professionals, ranging from the difficulties of establishing regulatory frameworks in a short period to the unknown consequences of widespread availability of this psychoactive substance. This topic page is intended to help environmental health practitioners understand the guiding principles and public health...

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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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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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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...

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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...

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Comparison of the prevalence of bacterial enteropathogens, potentially zoonotic bacteria and bacterial resistance to antimicrobials in organic and conventional poultry, swine and beef production

The prevalences of zoonotic and potentially zoonotic bacteria or bacteria resistant to antimicrobials in organic and conventional poultry, swine and beef production were compared using systematic review and meta-analysis methodology. Thirty-eight articles were included in the review. The prevalence of Campylobacter was higher in organic broiler chickens at slaughter, but no difference in...

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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-...

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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...

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Church/Community Suppers: What is the Evidence for Risk of Food-borne Illness?

We estimate that 3% to 16% of food-borne outbreaks investigated by public health agencies are associated with community events including church suppers, fairs, potlucks, picnics, etc. However, there is likely under-reporting of individual cases of enteric illness and of small outbreaks related to these events. Poor food handling practices at home and at the site where the food is prepared or...

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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...

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Event

BC Healthy Living Alliance - Hashing it Out: Can We Learn About Cannabis From What We Know About Alcohol?

In recent years, there has been a dramatic shift in policy approaches to substance use in Canada and BC. The introduction of Happy Hours and expansion of booze sales to new places such as farmers markets, grocery stores and hair salons are a few examples of the loosening of alcohol regulations that happened when elements of the 2013 Liquor Policy Review promoting consumer convenience and...

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CIPHI Ontario Seminar Series - Student Edition

This CIPHI Seminar Series will feature three student abstracts. Microbial Levels of Kibbeh Nayyeh Presenter: Mahmoud Kanaan Kibbeh Nayyeh is a raw beef ready-to-eat dish typically found in the Middle East, but also prepared and served in Canada. Under Section 33 (7) of Ontario Regulation 562:  Food Premises (1990), it is specified that all ground meat, with the exception of poultry, must be...

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Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Mycotoxins in Food Insecure Countries

Presenter: Dr. J. David Miller, Department of Chemistry, Carleton University, Ottawa Abstract: There are five agriculturally important mycotoxins in food and feed, aflatoxin (1961), ochratoxin (1965), deoxynivalenol (1974), zearlanone (1966) and fumonisin (1988). In the US and Canada, contamination by mycotoxins costs the agri-food system between $200 million and $2 billion in loss each year....

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