Public libraries are evolving, lending out more than just books and acting as hubs for innovative programming. One example in Canada is the rise of radon “Lending Library” programs that connect patrons to radon information and digital radon detectors. Beginning in British Columbia and Nova Scotia, there are now over 300 libraries that lend digital detectors across the country and more come on board regularly. The success of the radon program hinges on the unique role that libraries play in communities. Not only are libraries well-established, trusted sources of knowledge but more and more libraries are taking part in innovative public health initiatives. In some regions, patrons can borrow items such as CO2 and PM2.5 sensors, sun lamps, surgical recovery equipment and even mobility-aides for visitors. There is growing enthusiasm for more collaboration between librarians and public health professionals, in part as they address important issue such as access and health equity. This…
The team at NCCEH regularly presents at environmental health events across Canada, in addition to organizing workshops and meetings on various topics. A select listing of our conference presentations and external webinars, as well as presentations from our Environmental Health Seminar Series are available here.
Health Canada published the revised lead drinking water guideline in 2019. The document included recommendations for sampling protocols to assess lead exposure such as random daytime and fixed stagnation time sampling. The selection of a sampling protocol will depend on the objective of the sampling (e.g. typical exposure) and building type (e.g., single-family dwellings, large buildings, schools) and factors such as plumbing configuration and water use/consumption patterns. Indigenous Services Canada conducted a sampling survey in Alberta Region to determine community lead levels in schools and daycares ahead of the guideline changes, to identify potential sources of lead, and to evaluate compliance with the updated guideline.
France Lemieux Head, Materials and Treatment Section Water and Air Quality Bureau, Health Canada
France Lemieux is the Head of the Materials and Treatment Section in Health Canada’s Water and Air Quality Bureau. She holds a Bachelor's degree…
David McVea, Public Health Physician, Environmental Health Services, BC Centre for Disease Control Jeffrey Trieu, Epidemiologist, BC Centre for Disease Control
Indoor radon is an important cause of lung cancer in British Columbia (BC), responsible for about 15% of lung cancer deaths. The risk of radon-attributable lung cancers varies across the province, however, depending on geological factors as well as housing characteristics. Accurately assessing the risk posed by residential radon in BC requires sufficient measurements taken from representative samples of homes in each region.
To support this work, as well as other policy and research efforts, the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has established the British Columbia Radon Data Repository (BCRDR), which houses over 14,000 anonymized indoor radon measurements from across the province, including over 11,000 from residences. Measurements are collected from federal,…
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: Juliette O'Keeffe, Environmental Health & Knowledge Translation Scientist, NCCEH Victoria (Tory) Colling, Scientist, Walkerton Clean Water Centre
Title: Cyanobacteria and Drinking Water in Canada, Key issues for Public Health
The NCCEH has undertaken an evidence review of Cyanobacteria and Drinking Water: Occurrence, risks, management and knowledge gaps for public health. This presentation will provide the highlights of the report.
Title: Challenges and a Pilot Study on Cyanobacteria and Small Drinking Water Systems
There is a growing concern regarding cyanobacteria in surface waters and the risks of cyanobacteria entering our drinking water treatment systems. This webinar will discuss the challenges and knowledge gaps for…
Radon, an odorless, colourless, radioactive gas, is an established carcinogen and the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. Radon poses a health risk for indoor environments, particularly in rooms on ground or basement levels where the gas can enter through cracks in the foundation. Health Canada has been measuring radon levels in homes and workplaces and elevated levels of radon have been identified in most regions of the country.
The following presentation focus on radon testing in First Nations communities. The first presentation details historical radon testing initiatives conducted with First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities across Canada. The second presentation provides an overview of a recent collaborative project, done in conjunction with the First Nations Health Authority, that tested radon in communities in the interior of British Columbia.
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.Title 1: Assessing the risk of lead exposure to children from drinking water in Metro Vancouver child care facilitiesSpeaker: Thomas Quach, BCIT Environmental Health StudentAbstract: With the recent elevated lead levels detected in the drinking water of BC schools, greater attention and concern has come to the issue of lead exposure to young children. Water samples were collected from Metro Vancouver-area licensed child care facilities and analysed to assess the risk of exposure to children as well as the efficacy of flushing as a control measure. Title 2: Evaluation of the daycare managers’ knowledge, attitude, and practice on lead in drinking water at daycares licensed by Fraser Health Authority Speaker: Jill Lin, BCIT Environmental Health StudentAbstract: Young children…
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. Comparisons will be made to the Canadian regulatory system and a discussion of the role of lead monitoring in drinking water and blood lead surveillance in Canada will be presented. Effective mitigation strategies for lead in drinking water and implications for public health inspector practice in Canada will be discussed.
Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI) 82nd Annual National Educational Conference.
Climate change is anticipated to have myriad potential impacts on human health, some of which may be difficult to predict. However, the effects of climate change on ground and surface water, and the concomitant risk to human health through disruptions to drinking water, have been the subject of intensive research, particularly for communities with high quality source water supplies that originate in forested watersheds. Observed and modelled impacts include changes to the quantity of water available, as well as changes in water quality. Of particular concern are the anticipated increases in frequency of sudden shifts between high- vs. low-flow conditions, as well as rapidly changing and increasingly variable water quality, which may pose a severe challenge for drinking water treatment, particularly in small water systems.
This presentation will give a brief overview of…