CAREX Canada E-Bulletin
1. New funding to support Canadian Workplace Exposure Database
Members of the CAREX Canada team have been awarded an operating grant through the Workers' Compensation Board of Manitoba's 2011 Research and Workplace Innovation Program (RWIP). The project, entitled "Development of a Provincial Workplace Exposure Database for Manitoba", commenced April 1, 2012. Funding comes from the RWIP’s Scientific Research funding stream; more information about the program is available here.
CAREX Canada's Canadian Workplace Exposure Database (CWED) currently houses thousands of measured workplace levels of known and suspected carcinogens in Canada. This new project will expand the CWED with data from Manitoba Labour and Immigration’s Workplace Safety and Health Division. With these additional measurements incorporated into the CWED, our exposure estimates will better identify regional differences and vulnerable populations.
If you are interested in contributing data to the CWED, or would like more information on our approach to generating estimates of exposure to occupational carcinogens, consult our handout. It explains more about our approach and partnership opportunities.
2. Investigation into Radon Risk Perception & Communication
CAREX Canada is currently investigating issues surrounding radon such as public risk perception, risk communication and education strategies. Radon, a naturally-occuring radioactive gas present in many locations across Canada, is now the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada. A systematic literature review conducted by CAREX revealed that although the Canadian public is receptive to campaigns aimed at delivering health education on the effects of radon exposure, most individuals are not testing or mitigating their homes. Reasons for this may include the lack of information about where to obtain radon home testing kits, the small number of trained remediators in some regions, and the unfamiliarity of many Canadians with the risks posed by radon. For more information on radon, see CAREX Canada’s substance profile. For information on where to obtain Radon home testing kits, please see the Canadian Lung Association’s page on radon.
3. Vermiculite processing facilities in Canada
CAREX has obtained a database from the US Environmental Protection Agency with information on vermiculite shipments made from the Libby mine to Canadian locations from the 1960s until the early 1990s when the mine was permanently closed. According to the EPA, the mine in Libby, Montana may have produced 80% of the world’s supply of vermiculite while it was in operation. The ore produced was shipped to hundreds of locations in North America and the rest of the world for processing. Vermiculite from Libby was contaminated with a highly toxic form of asbestos (tremolite-actinolite). In the US, there is an ongoing effort of clean up and remediation of hundreds of buildings where the ore was processed.
For more information about asbestos exposures in Canada, please view the profile and estimates for asbestos on the CAREX website.
4. New, more powerful version of the website now available
Our new CAREX website provides updated substance profiles, more detailed exposure estimates and new online tools that allow users to visualize and explore data. The Emissions Mapping Project (EMP) is one of our new tools, which allows users to visualize sources and concentrations of known and suspected carcinogens in the Canadian environment using Google Earth files. We have also added a ranking system that allows users to compare air emissions between Canadian cities and provinces. Please visit the tools section of our website to access the EMP.
5. e-RISK tool available for testing
CAREX Canada is pleased to announce that its eRISK tool, a database application created for the environmental indicators, is now available for testing. This tool allows users to explore the CAREX data for environmental indicators (as of 2006), to create new estimates using their own local data, to explore the sensitivity of the estimates to the input data, and to develop scenarios based on past or future predicted measured levels. We are interested in gathering feedback on the tool so that we can continue to improve it. Please contact us at email@example.com if you or anyone in your professional network might be interested in participating in this eRISK test group.
6. Want to learn more about CAREX Canada?
Are you interested in learning more about our approaches, data sources, or goals? Please get in touch with us – we can arrange to send information, or set up a meeting. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website.