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Research and Education Action and Advocacy Action Alerts Advocacy Issues Research and Education

The CNHE/IISE Executive Board of Directors know that research and education about environmental health is vital to everyone across the nation. We believe that nurses should be kept up to date about current environmental research and education events, documents, presentations and initiatives. To that end, we present current key research findings and educational announcements of interest to nurses.

PLEASE NOTE: CNHE/IISE members will be able to network and become more involved by accessing the evolving in-depth research and educational work being done in the Member's Only Community Portal. If you are not currently a member, just click on "Become a Member" in the top navigation bar.

If you are a CNHE/IISE member and are aware of environmental health research findings or education events or opportunities that you think should be featured on this page, email your suggestion by filling out our "Contact Us" form, accessible in the top navigation bar.

CNHE/IISE Environmental Curriculum

Working together for Environmental Health Education

CNA Biennium PPT

The Canadian Nurses for Health and the Environment - Infirmieres et Infirmiers pour la Sante et l'Environnement (CNHE/IISE) ris currently preparing curriculum resources and learning activities that can be used by schools of nursing to integrate environmental and ecoliteracy content and theory into nursing curriculum. Nurses can also use these resources to develop their personal ecoliteracy. As part of this process, we are currently engaged in the following preparatory work


  An environmental scan of resources and activities currently offered by nursing schools;

  A review of the literature and available resources;

  A survey to gather input from nurses and nursing faculty about topics to focus on;

  Learning activities on a variety of ecoliteracy and environmental topics.

Visit our CNHE Curriculum page »

Waste Reduction Week October 16 - 22, 2017

CNHE supports the Organizing Coalition in promoting Waste Reduction in Canada

Waste Reduction Week

Waste Reduction Week in Canada is a national environmental campaign that builds awareness around issues of sustainable and responsible consumption, encourages choice for more environmentally responsible products/services, and promotes actions that divert more waste from disposal and conserve natural resources.

The program’s educational resources and “take action” messaging empower all Canadians to adopt more environmentally conscious choices. Waste Reduction Week in Canada further provides information and ideas to reduce waste in all facets of daily living, creating the solutions to the many environmental challenges we face including climate change, water pollution and preservation of natural resources.

WRW in Canada is coordinated by a coalition of 13 recycling councils and sister organizations from across Canada. Collaborating on a national level, this partnership promotes waste reduction on provincial/territorial and local levels.

FIND OUT HOW TO PARTICIPATE! »

Visit our CNHE page in support of this National Initiative. »

2016 - International Year of Pulses

CNHE Supports the UN International Year of Pulses

International Year of Pulses

The IYP 2016 aims to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production aimed towards food security and nutrition. The Year will create a unique opportunity to encourage connections throughout the food chain that would better utilize pulse-based proteins, further global production of pulses, better utilize crop rotations and address the challenges in the trade of pulses.

Pulses are annual leguminous crops yielding between one and 12 grains or seeds of variable size, shape and colour within a pod, used for both food and feed. The term “pulses” is limited to crops harvested solely for dry grain, thereby excluding crops harvested green for food, which are classified as vegetable crops, as well as those crops used mainly for oil extraction and leguminous crops that are used exclusively for sowing purposes (based on the definition of “pulses and derived products” of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations).

Pulse crops such as lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas are a critical part of the general food basket. Pulses are a vital source of plant-based proteins and amino acids for people around the globe and should be eaten as part of a healthy diet to address obesity, as well as to prevent and help manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, coronary conditions and cancer; they are also an important source of plant-based protein for animals.

In addition, pulses are leguminous plants that have nitrogen-fixing properties which can contribute to increasing soil fertility and have a positive impact on the environment.

Visit our CNHE page in support of this International Initiative. »

2015 - International Year of Soils

CNHE Supports the UN International Year of Soils, December 5, 2014 to December 5, 2015

International Year of Soils

Soil is a vital component of a healthy environment and health for all living organisms yet it is mistreated, abused, and forgotten. December 5, 2014 marked the first day of the International Year of the Soils. Join us to learn more about how our precious soils can be protected, nurtured, and rejuvenated and why this is important to nurses and all other Canadians

" It can take up to 1,000 years to form one centimetre of soil, and with 33 per cent of all global soil resources degraded and human pressures increasing, critical limits are being reached that make stewardship an urgent matter, Mr. Graziano da Silva said.

Calling soils a “nearly forgotten resource,” he urged investment in sustainable soil management, saying that would be cheaper than restoration and “is needed for the achievement of food security and nutrition, climate change adaptation and mitigation and overall sustainable development.”

The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils (IYS) (A/RES/68/232).

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has been nominated to implement the IYS 2015, within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership and in collaboration with Governments and the secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

The International Year of Soils 2015 aims to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions.

Visit our CNHE page in support of this International Initiative. »

Preparing Health Care Facilities in Canada for Climate Change

from The Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care

Canadian Green Health Care Digest The Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care, with research and technical support from Health Canada, is pleased to announce the release of the Health Care Facility Climate Change Resiliency Toolkit. The toolkit was co-developed for use by health care facilities to assess their resiliency to the impacts of climate change.

Health care facilities in Canada are vulnerable to climate change. Climate-related hazards are expected to create risks that can disrupt health care facility services and delivery. Extreme weather events (e.g. storms, floods, wildfires, extreme temperature events) can create emergencies by damaging infrastructure, compromising access to critical resources (e.g. food and water) and safety of patients, visitors and staff. Climate change increases risks of some infectious diseases (vector-, water- and food-borne, new and emerging) and worsens air quality. Climate-related hazards can have significant implications for demand on health care facility services.

VIEW THE RESEARCH & KIT »

The Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care

Keeping Up with Green initiatives in Health Care

Canadian Green Health Care Digest The Coalition provides diverse research and educational resources to support the greening of health care in Canada. Topics include Greening Hospitals, Doing Less Harm, Climate Change Content and Green Initiatives in Canadian Schools of Nursing, Waste Reduction & Recycling, Toxic Products in the Home, Fragrance and health, and more.

VIEW THE RESOURCES »

Kids exposed to mercury or lead more likely to have ADHD symptoms, Canadian study finds

From Environmental News

Kids and Mercury Children exposed to higher levels of mercury or lead are three to five times more likely to be identified by teachers as having problems associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, according to a scientific study published today. The study, of Inuit children living in Arctic Canada, is the first to find a high rate of attention-deficit symptoms in children highly exposed to mercury in the womb. In addition, the Inuit children more often had hyperactivity symptoms if they were exposed to the same low levels of lead commonly found in young U.S. children. Laval University scientist Gina Muckle said the findings are important because they show for the first time that the effects of mercury in children are not just subtle, but are actually noticeable to teachers. They “may be clinically significant and may interfere with learning and performance in the classroom,” the study says. For lead, the school teachers reported much more frequent ADHD symptoms at levels far below the CDC's newly developed health guideline. Dr. Bruce Lanphear, of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, said evidence is mounting that toxic compounds are “shifting children’s behavior...There seem to be a whole host of different toxicants that are associated with ADHD." One of the most intriguing findings was that mercury was linked to attention deficits while lead was associated with hyperactivity. The difference may be the timing of the exposures: in the womb for mercury and during childhood for lead. The findings "suggest the brain may be sensitive to different environmental chemicals at different times in development," said Harvard epidemiologist Joe Braun.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS RESEARCH! »

U of A study tests the air quality in Edmonton homes

By Carmen Leibel

Air Quality August 12, 2010 (Edmonton) Researchers at the University of Alberta are trying to help clear the air about the levels of air pollutants in people’s homes. “This is pretty important because almost two thirds of our lifetime is spent inside our home,” said Warren Kindzierski, associate professor from the School of Public Health.

The U of A’s School of Public Health has been asked by Health Canada to help with a Residential Indoor Air Quality Study. “Very simply, a study like this gives us answers about what are causes of poor air quality and provides us insights about what we can do to maintain good indoor air quality,” said Kindzierski.

READ FULL U of A RESEARCH ARTICLE »

Toxins in the Athabasca River

Dr. David Schindler

Athabaska River, AB (Edmonton) University of Alberta ecologist David Schindler and several colleagues have completed new research, concluding that Alberta’s oilsands industry is releasing more pollutants into the Athabasca River, its tributaries and its watershed than previously estimated.

“This study counters industry and government claims that the pollutants are from natural seepage of bitumen,” said Schindler.

Schindler and the research team analyzed 13 elements in river water and snow pack along the Athabasca and its delta. The pollutants found include mercury, arsenic, lead and cadmium. The researchers say the releases are a clear violation of the federal fisheries act and provincial guidelines for protection of aquatic life.

Schindler says some of the metals interact with organic pollutants, making them more toxic. The combined impact of the toxins on the river is not fully understood.

VIEW CBC VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH DR DAVID SCHINDLER »

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