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Contaminants and Hazards


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

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Tanning and Skin Cancer: A Brief Review (UBC Bridge Program)

The prevalence of intentional solar tanning in Canada ranges from 4 to 49% depending on age and sex. The prevalence of tanning using artificial tanning devices in Canada ranges from 4 to 27% depending on age and sex. Both solar and artificial tanning are much more frequent in younger persons and in females. Although both solar and artificial ultraviolet radiation is categorized as a human...

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Effective Interventions to Reduce Indoor Radon Levels

Radon represents one of the environmental exposures that can be reduced with effective and practical solutions, reducing an individual’s risk of developing lung cancer. There is extensive literature supporting the cost-effectiveness of radon abatement compared with other healthcare and environmental interventions. Of the remediation measures evaluated to reduce indoor radon levels in already...

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Residential Indoor Radon Testing

Radon is a known carcinogen, and is estimated to cause up to 10% of all lung cancers in Canada. It is a radioactive gas that is produced by the decay of uranium. Radon is naturally occurring, and emanates from soil and rocks. It percolates up through soil into buildings, and if it is not evacuated there can be much higher exposure levels indoors than outdoors. Fortunately, high radon levels can...

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Going Underground: Electrical Substations and Health

Concerned citizens and municipal authorities contacted their public health region about a proposal by an electrical utility company to build an underground electrical substation in an urban area, near to an elementary school and playground. 1. Background – substations and electromagnetic fields2. Literature search3. What are the health implications of exposure to ELF magnetic fields?4. What is...

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Cellular/Mobile Phone Use and Intracranial Tumours

Cell phone use is increasingly prevalent in Canada. Public concerns of a potential associated risk with intracranial tumours have been raised. Further, recent media attention has focused on disparate precautionary policies implemented across jurisdictions in Canada and world-wide. In light of this and emerging epidemiological evidence, we review what is known about cell phone use and...

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Radon Testing and Remediation Programs: What Works?

Local, regional, and national health authorities have used a number of approaches to encourage homeowners to test for radon and to implement remediation measures where warranted. Given Health Canada’s new 200 Bq/m3 radon guideline, the time is right to review lessons learned in implementing testing and remediation strategies. While public information does change knowledge and awareness of the...

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An Evaluation of Interventions Designed to Reduce Ultraviolet Radiation Exposure

Ultraviolet radiation from sunlight is the main risk factor for the development of skin cancer. This risk factor can be greatly reduced by following responsible sun protection measures and avoiding artificial ultraviolet radiation. This review was conducted to assess the evidence behind interventions aimed at reducing ultraviolet radiation exposure. A literature search was conducted using...

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