Resources and Links

Resources and Links

Reference Publications, Fact Sheets & Databases

Health Canada, Health Protection Branch, Great Lakes Health Effects Program

The Health & Environment Handbook for Health Professionals. Ministry of Supply & Services. Cat. No. H46-2/98-211E-2E. (1998).

A useful compendium of information on environmental health including profiles for about 45 different contaminants. The handbook also has a helpful resource guide, which includes national resources and information on many Ontario-based resources (due to the joint authorship of the handbook with the provincial ministry of health) Available online in PDF format.

Investigating Human Exposure to Contaminants in the Environment: A Community Handbook. Ministry of Supply & Services. Cat. No. H49-96/2-1995E. Available online in PDF format.

Investigating Human Exposure to Contaminants in the Environment: A Handbook for Exposure Calculations. Ministry of Supply & Services. Cat. No. H49-96/1-1995E. (1995). Available online in PDF format.

Two handbooks useful in helping communities and health professionals understand the relationship between environmental exposures and health effects.

They describe the step-by-step processes for a) performing an exposure assessment and a health profile of a community and b) calculating exposures to chemicals and radionuclides present in the environment. They are primarily geared for communities in the Great Lakes basin in Ontario.

Also, print copies available free by emailing or by calling Health Canada Publications Office: (TEL. ) 1-613-954-5995; (FAX) 1-613-941-5366

American Academy of Pediatrics. Committee on Environmental Health.

Etzel, Ruth, ed. Handbook of Pediatric Environmental Health. C. 1999. A new, in-depth guide for clinicians and others concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of childhood health problems related to environmental exposures.

Canadian Institute of Child Health

Several resources available for minimal cost by e-mailing or (TEL) 613-224-4144; (FAX) 613-224-4145

  • Environmental Hazards: Protecting Children - Information sheets intended for use by health professionals and others, on pesticides, hormone disruptors, breastfeeding, asthma, childhood cancers, birth defects and respiratory health.
  • Proceedings from "What on Earth," the 1997 national symposium on environmental contaminants and implications for children’s health.
    Entire proceedings available on diskette or selected papers published in Supplement 1 of the Canadian Journal of Public Health (1998).
  • Environmental Contaminants and the Implications for Child Health – Lengthy literature review from 1999
  • "Children's Environmental Health," Chapter 10 in The Health of Canada's Children, A CICH Profile 3rd Ed. (By Sandra Schwartz). Pp 251-292.

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Facts about environment-related diseases and health risks.

EXTOXNET: The Extension Toxicology Network

This database, cooperatively compiled by research programs of Cornell University, Michigan State University, Oregon State University and University of California at Davis, provides short summary reports on more than one-hundred commonly used insecticides, fungicides and herbicides. Pesticide Information Profiles (PIPs) provide an overview of each pesticide's toxic effects and its expected actions in the environment.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

Frequently Asked Questions About Contaminants Found at Hazardous Waste Sites. Fact sheets for over a hundred different substances.

HazDat Database

ATSDR's Hazardous Substance Release and Health Effects Database

Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility

How Chemical Exposures Affect Reproductive Health - one page fact sheets with a table of Reproductive Outcomes and Routes of Exposure including information on reproductive health effects from nearly 50 chemicals/substances.

Physician Fact Sheet - Includes key points on chemicals that affect reproductive and developmental health, recommended questions for taking an environmental history and resources for more information. In PDF format.

Patient Fact Sheet - Includes key points on chemicals that affect reproductive and developmental health, suggested information to bring to your health care provider, and resources for more information. In PDF format.

Children’s Environmental Health Network lists additional Internet sites and instructional resources.

Currently under preparation by the WHO Task Force on Children’s Environmental Health and due for release by March 2002, the Handbook on Children’s Environmental Health will be a useful resource geared to health professionals.

EnviRN from the University of Maryland School of Nursing, is a "virtual resource for environmental health and nursing."

Pesticides and Human Health: A Resource for Health Care Professionals. This is an extensive 60-page review of scientific literature and an essential reference for physicians and other health providers for increasing awareness and understanding of the chronic health impacts of pesticides. Written by Gina Solomon, M.D.,M.P.H., Oladele Ogunseitan, Ph.D., M.P.H. and Jan Kirsch, M.D., M.P.H. Available in PDF format.

Environmental Concepts Made Easy. From the Center for Bioenvironmental research of Tulane and Xavier Universities, New Orleans, Louisiana. A useful Web site, particularly for information and links on environmental estrogens and lead.

Motherisk Updates are available online from the Motherisk Web site.

Research Reports

Ontario College of Family Physicians, Environmental Health Committee.

Environmental Standard Setting and Children’s Health

Lengthy review by Canadian Environmental Law Association and Ontario College of Family Physicians, Environmental Health Committee. Available in PDF format.

Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility

  • In Harm’s Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development. Schettler, T et al. May, 2000. Downloadable in PDF format.
  • Generations at Risk: Reproductive Health and the Environment. Schettler, T et al. MIT Press, June, 1999. See information on how to order this report.

International Joint Commission, Health Professionals Task Force

Health Effects Review - A quarterly summary of recent findings in the field of environmental health available online in PDF and HTML format.

Harvard Medical School - Center for Health and the Global Environment

Quarterly Review – Brief summaries of recent research on global environmental change and the implications for human health.


Opportunities for Further Education

Ontario College of Family Physicians – Environmental Health Committee
Environmental Health in Family Medicine

A curriculum of six modules on core environmental health issues in clinical practice. The modules impart key skills such as exposure history taking, knowledge of environmental health resources and risk communication. They are useful for self-directed learning and for teaching.

The modules will soon be released in an online version at the OCFP or the IJC Web sites.


Two interactive case studies of environmental health issues.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

ATSDR provides an online case study on lead exposure and information on how to receive hard copies of other case studies in environmental health issues. These case studies constitute continuing medical education credits.

US Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA)

Online lead case study.

Children’s Environmental Health Network in the US

Sign on to the CEHN mailing list for notification of physician-oriented conferences. The first one took place in June, 1999, and produced an important document entitled "Training Manual on Pediatric Environmental Health: Putting it Into Practice," available in its entirety in PDF format on their Web site.


Formal Educational Programs

International Joint Commission, Health Professionals Task Force

Directory of Occupational & Environmental Medicine electives for medical students in Canada and the US.

McMaster Institute of Environment & Health (MIEH)

Diploma Program in Environmental Health.This is an eight-month post-professional program (one full day per week) that can be completed on campus or by distance education. Intended to provide new (or upgraded) skills and knowledge for individuals from diverse backgrounds including physicians and other health professionals. The program is comprehensive and multidisciplinary and exposes the student to many researchers in the field of environment and health.

University of Toronto, Institute of Environmental Studies

Offers a collaborative graduate program in Environment and Health towards Masters or PhD degrees.


Especially for Parents and Patients

Canadian Children’s Environmental Health Network

This fledgling network links diverse Canadian groups active in children’s environmental health issues. Its goals are to "protect the health of all children from environmental hazards through the promotion of safe environments for healthy growth and development" through education, research, advocacy and policy development. The site currently includes resources, contacts and a discussion group.

The Healthy Schools Project is a Canadian Web site focused on alerting people to the problems and remedial actions regarding indoor air and health effects in children. It includes instructions on "best practices" for creating healthier indoor environments in schools.

Hidden Exposures: A Practical Guide to Creating a Healthy Environment for You and Your Children (2nd Edition, 2000). Written by Nita Chaudhri et al. Presented by the Indoor Air Quality Workgroup. Available from The South Riverdale Community Health Centre, 955 Queen St. East, Toronto, Ontario M4M 3P3 (416) 461-1925. Excerpts and ordering information can be accessed in PDF format.

Down-to-Earth Choices: Tips for Making Where You Live One of Canada’s Healthy Neighbourhoods

Available in print from Environment Canada’s Inquiry Centre, 351 St. Joseph Boulevard, Hull, PQ, K1A 0H3 (819) 997-2800 or 1-800-668-6767 or online.

US National Safety Council's Environmental Health Center

Over a dozen fact sheets that outline salient points and FAQs relevant to environmental exposures of children and others. Some of the topics include: Asthma, Biological Contaminants, Carbon Monoxide, Combustion Appliances, Environmental Tobacco Smoke, Indoor Air Quality, Lead Poisoning, Ozone, Pesticides and others.

US Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN)

Tips for Parents and Caregivers: What You Can Do to Better Protect Your Children

Preventing Harm

A useful resource and action center on children and the environment intended for a wide audience. Sponsored by the Clean Water Fund.

US EPA Office of Children’s Health Protection (OCHP)

Provides lay reference information and tips on protecting children from environmental threats.

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Their "Toxic Chemicals" and "Health/Kid’s Health" web pages include a parent’s guide to protecting children from environmental risks and the NRDC’s in depth report, OUR CHILDREN AT RISK: The 5 Worst Environmental Threats to Their Health, from November 1997.


Information compiled by Cornell University, Michigan State University, Oregon State University and the University of California at Davis focuses on a wide range of environmental health issues.


Copyright © 2000 Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
Credits. Web site designed and maintained by J.Hewak