Contaminated sites and public health
Emissions from both point sources (e.g. industrial facilities) and non-point sources (e.g. motor vehicles) have resulted in different examples of soil and ground water contamination in Ontario. In some instances, areas of soil or ground water contamination may be considered to represent a contaminated site. The extent to which contaminated sites pose public health risks is sometimes difficult to ascertain. Nevertheless, public health is frequently called upon to provide guidance during assessment or decision-making for risk management of contaminated sites in Ontario. Providing sound and/or consistent advice regarding a contaminated site requires knowledge of chemical fate and transport, potential pathways of exposure, and existing approaches for assessing potential health risks of exposure to contaminated sites. This presentation provides an overview of these items, and describes some of the scientific and applied questions that the Environmental and Occupational Health program at Public Health Ontario has identified or been asked to address by health units and other entities.
Presenters: Rena Chung and Erin Hodge
Rena Chung is an environmental science specialist in the Environmental and Occupational Health program at Public Health Ontario (PHO). She has over ten years’ experience conducting and managing environmental site investigations, chemical risk assessment, and environmental assessment. Rena is a Qualified Person for Risk Assessment (QPRA).
Erin Hodge is an environmental science specialist in the Environmental and Occupational Health program at PHO. Prior to joining PHO, she was a regulatory toxicologist at the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, where she worked on contaminated sites, reviewing chemical risk assessments, and contributing to derivation of numerical criteria for use under O. Reg. 511 and other applications.
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DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.
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