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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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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Mould

Topics: Indoor Air, Mould

Mould is a ubiquitous fungus in outdoor environments that inevitably makes its way indoors. The general population is commonly exposed to mould through inhalation, and less commonly through direct…

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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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Radon

Radon is a colourless, odourless gas that is released during the naturally-occurring, radioactive decay of uranium in rocks and soils. Radon levels outdoors are generally low; however, radon can…

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Health Impact Assessments

A health impact assessment (HIA) is a combination of procedures, methods, and tools that allow for the strategic evaluation and assessment of the potential effects on health related to a policy,…

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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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Indigenous Disaster Response

Background

First Nations communities may be disproportionately impacted by a variety of emergencies and disasters, including floods, wildfires, and crude oil spills in their traditional…

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Psychosocial impacts: resources for mitigation, response and recovery

All disasters --natural or technological-- can adversely affect the health and well-being of community members and response workers…

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Floods: prevention, preparedness, response and recovery

A number of extreme flooding events have occurred in Canada over the last few decades, and as a result of climate change, are growing in both frequency and magnitude.…

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Extreme Heat

According to Environment Canada, a heat wave is a period of more than 3 days when temperatures are more than 32°C (…

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Coastal waters, fresh water and other untreated recreational water venues

Recreational water venues such as oceans, lakes, and rivers, attract large numbers of users. Usage is higher in the summer months, although recreational water activities such as swimming, water…

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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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Wildfire Smoke and Health

Background

The frequency and intensity of Canadian wildfires is increasing as a consequence of the changing global climate, as well as long-standing forest management practices (…

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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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Ethnic and Specialty Foods

Topics: Food

The definition of “ethnic food” depends on the geographic and cultural context in which the cuisine is found. Broadly speaking, ethnic foods are defined by others outside of the respective ethnic…

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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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