Topic Pages

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Topic Pages introduce an aspect of the environment and its relation to public health by featuring a curated shortlist of NCCEH and external resources. The most relevant resources related to a topic have been selected to best guide the search for further information. These lists are not intended to be exhaustive, and the omission of any individual resource does not preclude it from having value.

Environmental Health Resources for the COVID-19 Pandemic

The transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, occurs primarily via direct contact with or respiratory droplets from an infected person. However, there is evidence to suggest that…

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Radon

Radon gas is a colourless, odourless, radioactive gas that is released during the decay of uranium in rocks and soils. Radon levels outdoors are generally low, but radon gas indoors poses more of…

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Building Shutdown and Re-opening during the COVID-19 Pandemic

During the extended “new normal” of the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be necessary to periodically close public buildings and facilities, followed by re-opening when safe again…

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Drinking water guidelines and governance

The provision of safe drinking water across Canada is a responsibility shared across many agencies. At the federal level, Health Canada sets…

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Neonicotinoid Pesticides

Neonicotinoids (also referred to as “neonics”) are insecticides derived from nicotine. They act by binding strongly to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the central nervous system of insects,…

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Legionella

Legionella is an opportunistic premise plumbing pathogen (OPPP) that can cause illnesses including Pontiac fever and Legionnaires’ disease, a severe pneumonia named after an outbreak that…

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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…

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Oil Spills and Health

Oil spills are very complex events that, depending on where they occur, may result in acute exposures to nearby human populations. Regardless of the presence of humans, however, oil spills have…

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Pools, hot tubs, and other treated recreational water venues

Public swimming pools, hot tubs, splash parks, wading pools, and other treated recreational water facilities are popular recreational water venues, which are regulated at the provincial or…

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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…

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Cannabis Resources for Environmental Health Practitioners

This topic page is intended to help environmental health practitioners understand the guiding principles and public health objectives being used to develop cannabis policy, both federally and…

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Lead in Drinking Water: Homes and Schools

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…

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Cyanobacteria in Freshwater

Cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae, are naturally occurring microscopic organisms found in fresh, brackish, or marine water that can release cyanotoxins into freshwater systems.…

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Healthy Built Environment

Background

Aspects of the built environment, including man-made and natural features, impact human health directly and indirectly through air quality, traffic injuries, and toxic…

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Norovirus

Norovirus is a group of highly contagious viruses that cause short-term gastroenteritis symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and potentially chills and fever. Norovirus infection can…

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Radiofrequency Radiation

Radiofrequency (RF) radiation are electromagnetic waves emitted from a variety of common wireless communication devices, including cell phones, cordless (DECT) phones, Wi-Fi computer networks,…

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Floatation Tanks

Floatation or float tanks have resurged in popularity since their initial commercialization in the 1970s. These tanks, pods, or chambers are intended to help users achieve certain physical and…

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Carbon Monoxide in Long-Term Care Facilities

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odourless, colourless, and non-irritating gas that is harmful to humans. As a by-product of incomplete combustion, CO is produced by fuel-burning appliances including…

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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…

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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…

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