Contaminants and Hazards


Identifying hazards posed by infectious diseases, chemicals, radiation, and noise, in homes and personal service establishments.

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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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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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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 across…
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Cyanobacteria in Freshwater

Cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae, are naturally occurring microscopic organisms found in fresh, brackish, or marine water that can release cyanotoxins into freshwater systems. These…
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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 Drinking Water Guidelines for contaminants in drinking…
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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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Floatation Tanks

Floatation or float tanks have resurged in popularity since their initial commercialization in the 1970s. These tanks, pods, or chambers are intended to help users achieve certain physical and mental…
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Hydraulic Fracturing for the Production of Shale Gas

Hydraulic fracturing (also termed “fracking”) is the process used, along with horizontal drilling, to extract unconventional natural gas (shale gas, tight gas or coalbed methane) and tight oil from…
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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 exposure…
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Legionella

[Last Updated: Feb 24, 2021] Legionella bacteria are opportunistic premise plumbing pathogens (OPPP) that can cause illnesses collectively referred to as legionellosis. Legionellosis includes…
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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 acid…
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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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Norovirus

Norovirus is a group of highly contagious viruses that cause short-term gastroenteritis symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and potentially chills and fever. Norovirus infection can occur…
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Oil Spills and Health

Oil spills are very complex events that, depending on where they occur, may result in acute exposures to nearby human populations. Regardless of the presence of humans, however, oil spills have the…
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Radiofrequency Radiation

Radiofrequency (RF) radiation are electromagnetic waves emitted from a variety of common wireless communication devices, including cell phones, cordless (DECT) phones, Wi-Fi computer networks, smart…
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Radon

Radon gas is a colourless, odourless, radioactive gas that is released during the decay of uranium in rocks and soils. Radon levels outdoors are generally low, but radon gas indoors poses more of a…
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