Built Environment


Recognizing the health impacts of the natural and human-made surroundings in which we live, work, and play.

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Cemetery Setback Distances to Prevent Surface Water Contamination

Primary inquiry: In Canada, as in many other countries, cemeteries are required to be setback a certain distance from waterbodies to protect drinking water sources from contaminated liquids that can…
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COVID-19 and outdoor safety: Considerations for use of outdoor recreational spaces

[NOTE:a printer friendly version of this document is attached at the bottom] Introduction Outdoor recreational spaces make important contributions to social well-being as well as physical and…
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COVID-19 Precautions for Multi-unit Residential Buildings

Multi-unit residential buildings bring together tens to hundreds of people within the same building envelope and in contact with many of the same surfaces. Although we know that COVID-19 is primarily…
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Crematoria and Air Quality Fact Sheet

[NOTE: A printer friendly version is attached at the bottom of this document] In Canada, preference for cremation is increasing. The Cremation Association of North America (CANA) estimates that…
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Crematoria emissions and air quality impacts

Primary inquiry A municipality received an application from a funeral home to install a cremator within their facility. Objections were received from nearby residents who were concerned about…
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Forest Residues to Energy: Is this a pathway towards healthier communities?

Forest residues are non-merchantable woody biomass found in forests and wood waste from logging practices and industrial operations, such as sawmills. Forest residues are a convenient fuel for open-…
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Health Effects of Large LED Screens on Local Residents

In 2011, three high-definition outdoor LED video billboards were erected around a city sports stadium. The residents of the surrounding community are exposed to the lighted images of these screens…
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Health Impact Assessment (HIA) Knowledge and Needs Scan: Findings, Gaps and Recommendations

Background Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a structured approach that allows decision makers to consider how a policy, program or project could affect health. HIAs are often carried out as part of…
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Phosphine Poisoning as an Unintended Consequence of Bed Bug Treatment

Recent news on Canadian fatalities linked to the inappropriate use of phosphine for bed bug control underlines the need for public health practitioners to be aware of the issue.
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Reducing COVID-19 Transmission Through Cleaning and Disinfecting Household Surfaces

Background The primary mode of human-to-human transmission for SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is via direct contact with an infected person and their…
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Reducing Residential Indoor Exposure to Pesticides: a Toolkit for Practitioners

The scientific literature indicates that avoidance of pesticide use and alternative practices, such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM), may be effective methods for reducing indoor residential…
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Review of Field Tests on Bed Bug Control Technologies

Economic, environmental, and health concerns with bed bug control technologies and management options are of interest to public health and pest management agencies, who often receive and need to…
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The Basics of SARS-CoV-2 Transmission

(Previously An Introduction to SARS-CoV-2) [Last Updated Jan 21, 2021] The emergence of a novel coronavirus in late 2019, identified as SARS-CoV-2, has resulted in a global pandemic accompanied by…
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Using a Hierarchy of Evidence to Assess Chemical Health Risks of Artificial Turf

Over the past 40 years, artificial turf has become common in public and private settings. Compared to natural turf, artificial turf is easier to maintain, requires less water and no fertilizer, and…
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Using Shared Laundry Facilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Although COVID-19 is primarily spread by direct contact with an infected person or their respiratory droplets, it may also be possible to transmit the virus by touching a contaminated surface, and…
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