Evidence Reviews

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We produce evidence reviews based on our assessments of needs and gaps in evidence-based environmental health practice and policy. We also work with researchers and environmental public health students for reviews. These documents are peer-reviewed and the content is the responsibility of the authors.

Cyanobacteria and Drinking Water: Occurrence, Risks, Management and Knowledge Gaps for Public Health

With warming temperatures due to climate change and increased nutrient loads to freshwater systems, the occurrence of harmful algal blooms, largely associated with toxin-producing cyanobacteria…
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Indigenous Food Safety and Security: Community Adaptations in the Wake of Climate Pressures

As ecosystems try to adapt to climate volatility, so are Indigenous communities striving to become more food self-sufficient — both in reaction to and in anticipation of further climate pressures…

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Food Deserts and Food Swamps: A Primer

Topics: Equity, Food

Our food environments, which include the food that is available to us in our day-to-day environments, is a determinant of what we eat as individuals.

This document is intended for…

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Food Environments: An Introduction for Public Health Practice

Topics: Food

This document was written for environmental public health practitioners (environmental health officers and public health inspectors), as well as other public health professionals whose work…

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Community Water Fluoridation in Canada – Trends, Benefits, and Risks (University of Guelph Master of Public Health Program)

Risk Factors and Surveillance Systems for Foodborne Illness Outbreaks in Canada (University of Guelph Master of Public Health Program)

Topics: Food

Risk factors for foodborne illness in 

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Review of Guidelines for Shock Chlorination in Private Wells

Microbial contamination of groundwater from private wells can pose a significant health risk to rural Canadians. To mitigate risk, Health Canada currently recommends shock chlorination along with…

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Review of Food Safety Interventions and Evaluation in Food Service Establishments

Topics: Food

The public health and economic implications for foodborne illness in industrialized nations can be costly. Food service establishments (FSEs) are major settings for foodborne pathogen exposure in…

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Perceived and Potential Human Health Risks Associated with Consumption of Genetically Modified Animals (University of Guelph Master of Public Health Program)

Topics: Food

Numerous varieties of genetically modified (GM) crops have been approved in Canada, and processed foods containing GM ingredients can be found on grocery store shelves. In contrast, there are…

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Characteristics of small residential and commercial water systems that influence their likelihood of being on drinking water advisories in rural British Columbia, Canada

Health officials often lack information about characteristics that predict which water systems are most likely to be placed on and to persist on drinking water advisories (e.g. health warnings…

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Water-borne Disease Outbreaks in Canadian Small Drinking Water Systems

Information about Canadian drinking water systems and past water-borne disease outbreaks is incomplete and non-standardized. Standard definitions and coordinated surveillance systems for water-…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.…

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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,…

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Safe Preparation and Storage of Aboriginal Traditional/Country Foods

Aboriginal populations in Canada (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) have a diverse culture and live in a wide range of habitats. Traditionally, they obtained foods by harvesting, hunting, and…

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Retrospective Surveillance for Drinking Water-Related Illnesses in Canada

Waterborne infections are an important cause of preventable enteric disease. This report obtained information on: characteristics of waterborne disease events (WBEs) in Canada; factors…

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Chlorination Disinfection By-Products in Drinking Water

The challenge of judging and managing public health risks “caused by” chlorination disinfection by-products (DBPs) in drinking water is likely the most complex issue faced by the drinking water…

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When can Point-of-Use Water Filters be used for Removal of Protozoa?

While boiling water is an effective way to kill most microbial pathogens, research performed in the United Kingdom has shown that people do not necessarily comply with boil water advisories.…

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