Built Environment


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

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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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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, generating…
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Bed Bugs and Public Health: A Re-emerging Scourge for the New Public Health

Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) 2010 Centennial Conference 
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Bed Bugs and Public Health: New Approaches for an Old Scourge

The objective of this paper is to share four Canadian cities’ experiences with bed bug infestations and to explore public health roles in managing them. We summarize presentations from a workshop at…
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Bed bugs: What to do about unwanted houseguests

Beyond Zoonosis: The Mental Health Impacts of Rat Exposure of Inner-City Residents

This work was one of the 2018 Ron de Burger Student Award winners. Author: Raymond Lam, University of British Columbia – Master of Science in Occupational and Environmental HygieneIntroductionRats…
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Building Safe & Inclusive Communities: The Public Health Approach

The annual conference is designed to help attendees learn new methods of fostering safe, healthy and inclusive communities by showcasing the latest work and research within the realm of public health…
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Building Shutdown and Re-opening during the COVID-19 Pandemic

[Last Updated: Feb 11, 2021] During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it may be necessary to periodically close public buildings and facilities, followed by re-opening when safe again. Periods of low…
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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

The transmission of COVID-19, which occurs primarily through close contact with an infected person, has made it necessary for large proportions of the world’s population to self-isolate in their…
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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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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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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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From ship to shore: Sightings of Asian Giant Hornets in Canada’s west coast

Recent sightings of the Giant Asian Hornet- dubbed the murder hornet by some sources- have left many wondering whether these enormous, aggressive insects are a new insect of concern.   Their usual…
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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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