What is CAREX?

CAREX Canada (CARcinogen EXposure) is a multi-institution team of researchers and specialists with expertise in epidemiology, risk assessment, toxicology, geographic information systems, and knowledge mobilization. The purpose of CAREX Canada is to provide a body of knowledge about Canadians’ exposures to known and suspected carcinogens, in order to support organizations in prioritizing exposures and in developing targeted exposure reduction policies and programs.

CAREX Canada is funded by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and hosted at the University of British Columbia.

For more background about CAREX Canada, see our Frequently Asked Questions.



To help reduce Canadians’ exposures to carcinogens and reduce the risk of cancer


To inspire action towards reducing Canadians’ exposures to carcinogens by:


  • Offering an accessible, educational repository of information about Canadians’ exposures to carcinogens
  • Providing unique expertise that organizations can use to set evidence-based priorities for research, policy, and practice
  • Offering relevant, up-to-date information that addresses how exposures are impacted by changing environments
  • Supporting efforts to reduce exposure inequities across jurisdictions and populations

Guiding principles

CAREX Canada acts as a credible, go-to source of information about Canadians’ exposures to known and suspected carcinogens where people live and work.

CAREX Canada research and knowledge mobilization efforts are relevant and useful to organizations working to protect populations from exposures to carcinogens.

CAREX Canada works collaboratively through partnerships and networks to offer unique expertise and apply exposure estimates towards prevention research, policy, and practice.

CAREX Canada scientists work at the forefront of epidemiology, risk assessment, toxicology, geographic information systems, and knowledge mobilization.


Funding for CAREX Canada’s pilot project in 2003 came from WorkSafeBC. Since 2007, CAREX Canada has been funded by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, an independent organization funded by Health Canada to accelerate action on cancer control. CAREX Canada was hosted at Simon Fraser University from 2013-22, and has been hosted at the University of British Columbia since 2022.

Additional funding for First Nations knowledge translation and exchange has been provided by:


Our Team

CAREX Canada is a multidisciplinary team of researchers based at the the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia, working in collaboration with researchers at the Department of Oncology at the University of Calgary. The team has expertise in epidemiology, occupational hygiene, toxicology, risk assessment, geographic information systems, data visualization, and knowledge translation and exchange.



Research Associate

Shelby is a research associate at CAREX Canada. Shelby took a particular interest in occupational hygiene while working at Dalhousie University’s environmental health and safety office as an undergraduate student. After obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Biology, she completed a Master of Public Heath degree with a specialization in environmental and occupational health from the University of Alberta. Her past experience includes working in consulting as a junior occupational hygienist and risk assessment specialist. She has worked on various occupational and industrial hygiene projects, human health risk assessments, and supported environmental site assessments.



Senior Project Manager

Lindsay Forsman-Phillips is a senior project manager at CAREX Canada. Previously, she was a Sun Safety Advisor based in BC for the Sun Safety at Work Canada project, which developed a sun safety program, resources and tools for outdoor workers. The project was led by Thomas Tenkate at Ryerson University in Toronto. Lindsay holds a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. Her past experience includes working for municipal government and non-profit organizations, where she was responsible for the development of community health programs, and various cancer prevention projects. She is passionate about health, and enjoys raising awareness about important health issues.



Research Scientist

Kristian is a research scientist at CAREX Canada. Over the past ten years he has used GIS methods to examine environmental health topics such as air pollution, physical activity, diet, obesity, asthma, and pedestrian injuries. Kristian has conducted environment and health-related research with the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Metrolinx, and the University of Toronto. He holds a PhD in Planning from the University of Toronto and an MA in Health Geography from the University of Western Ontario. Kristian also conducted post-doctoral work in Epidemiology and Public Health with a focus on GIS.



Anne-Marie is an associate professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at SFU. Her areas of research include knowledge translation, occupational and environmental health and risk assessment. Anne-Marie’s work also includes exploring novel ways to communicate information to the public, including the use of popular culture as a vehicle for creating and disseminating risk messages. Her award winning video project Wash with Care used a Bollywood approach to educate about pesticide exposure. Anne Marie holds a BA in Communication from SFU, a MES degree from York University focused on Environmental Communication and a PhD in Epidemiology from UBC.



Executive Director

Alison is CAREX Canada’s executive director, leading CAREX’s strategic operations, communications, and knowledge mobilization. Prior to this, she was a Communications and Training Manager at PrioNet Canada, a Networks of Centres of Excellence in protein folding diseases, and the lead science writer at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research in Toronto, where she covered everything from nanotechnology and quantum computing to personalized genomics and climate science. Her route to science communication involved a valuable detour in the chemistry lab; she earned an MSc in chemical biology from McGill University and a BSc in chemistry from UBC. She is also a graduate of the renowned Banff Centre Science Communications Program.



Principal Investigator / Occupational Exposures Lead

Cheryl is CAREX’s principal investigator. She started working with CAREX Canada at the beginning of the project in 2007. She is the Senior Scientist for Cancer Prevention at the BC Centre for Disease Control and BC Cancer. She is also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncology at the University of Calgary. Cheryl has an MSc and PhD in occupational and environmental hygiene, both from the University of British Columbia. Her research interests include occupational exposure assessment (particularly for solar UV radiation), the effects of sex and gender on occupational carcinogen exposures, and exposures in the construction industry. Cheryl also holds a BSc in earth and ocean sciences and geography, and her interest in environmental and occupational health stemmed from her work as a geologist in northern BC and the Yukon.



Senior Research Associate

Ela is a senior research associate at CAREX Canada. Ela’s interests lie in occupational exposure assessment (including exposures to pesticides and shiftwork), the impacts of sex and gender on health, and the mobilization of occupational exposure and cancer research through accessible tools, materials, and collaborations. Previously, Ela worked at the Occupational Cancer Research Centre, led by Dr. Paul Demers, where she mobilized estimates of the burden of occupational cancer and coordinated a radon survey of workplaces in Ontario. Ela has a Master of Public Health (MPH) in environmental and occupational health from the University of Alberta; for her master’s capping project, she assessed dietary exposure assessment to PAHs and heavy metals in berries in Northern Alberta.



Knowledge Translation Specialist

Joanne is a knowledge translation specialist at CAREX Canada. Joanne’s interest in environmental and occupational health began during her undergraduate studies in Toxicology at the University of Saskatchewan. She completed a Master of Public Health degree from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC, where she wrote her final master’s project on knowledge translation in environmental health. Through this project, Joanne identified some of the unique characteristics and challenges associated with knowledge translation in environmental health and examined the knowledge-to-action gap in Canada. She also critically analyzed the Canadian Environmental Health Atlas, an online knowledge translation initiative for which she is currently the Project Coordinator. Joanne is particularly interested in environmental contaminants and is inspired by the use of creative approaches to communicating occupational and environmental health knowledge across various populations.

Key Partners



Key Partner

Paul is the director of the Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC) housed at Cancer Care Ontario. He moved to OCRC from UBC, where he was a Professor in the School of Environmental Health and founded CAREX Canada. As well as being Director of the OCRC, he is also a Professor with the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. He has an MSc in Industrial Hygiene and a PhD in Epidemiology, both from the University of Washington in Seattle. Paul is internationally recognized for his expertise on the health effects of workplace exposures and sits on many expert panels, including the International Agency for Research on Cancer working groups that evaluated carcinogens such as dusts and fibres, firefighting and formaldehyde.



CWED Lead and Key Partner

Hugh, the co-investigator of CAREX Canada and lead on the Canadian Workplace Exposures Database, specializes in occupational hygiene and exposure assessment and modelling. He led the largest cohort study of the impact of noise exposure on heart disease, and was the first to incorporate sophisticated exposure measurement and true heart disease outcomes rather than measures of hypertension. His work has received international recognition, and he is co-chair of the International Commission on the Biological Effects of Noise.

Associates and Past Contributors

Sajjad is a research associate at CAREX Canada. He is also a research associate in the Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research department at Alberta Health Services. Sajjad holds a Doctor of Pharmacy from Manipal University and a Master of Public Health from Western University. He has worked on various occupational health and safety projects including safe handling of antineoplastic drugs among frontline workers and sun safety messaging for outdoor workers. Sajjad is recognized for his expertise in policy analysis, knowledge translation, and qualitative research. He is currently working on various cancer and COVID-19 misinformation projects.

Amy has consulted with CAREX Canada to assess occupational exposures to hazardous drugs. She worked as an occupational exposures researcher with CAREX from 2008 to 2013, creating estimates of exposure to known and suspected carcinogens in Canadian workplaces and establishing a national workplace exposure database. Amy is currently a Senior Researcher at Veterans Affairs Canada. She was previously a Postdoctoral Fellow at the International Agency for Research on Cancer. She holds a PhD from the University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health, focusing on shiftwork. Amy also holds a BScN from the University of Toronto and worked as a Registered Nurse in critical care settings prior to obtaining a MSc in Occupational and Environmental Hygiene from The University of British Columbia.

Past Contributors

We would like to acknowledge the significant contributions of many CAREX team members who have moved on to other assignments:

Paleah Black Moher Environmental exposures; pesticide estimates; First Nations KT.

Eleanor Setton Leadership; environmental exposures estimates; First Nations KT.

Chantal Burnett Occupational exposure estimates; profile development and updates.

Mandy Pui eRISK tool; user experience; evaluation.

Roz Cheasley Environmental exposures estimates (food and beverages); tutorial videos.

Orion Warje Knowledge translation tracking; research support.

Marabeth Kramer Occupational exposure estimates; profile research.

Karla Poplawski Environmental exposures estimates; First Nations KT.

Calvin Ge Occupational exposure estimates; eWORK tool.

Basil Veerman Emissions Mapping Project.

Katie Raso Knowledge translation design.

Benita Okocha Knowledge translation tracking.

Zaeem Khan Radon occupational exposure estimate; profile updates.

Caitlin Blewett Pesticides and para-occupational exposure literature review and risk assessment protocol.

Alejandro Cervantes Outdoor air environmental estimates; geographic information systems.

Philip Chen Substance profiles, data cleaning and analysis for occupational exposure team.

Yat Chow Occupational estimates.

Steeve Deschenes Large spatial datasets; land use regression models for outdoor air modeling; substance profiles and video tutorials.

Negar Elmieh Pesticide policy in Canada.

Anders Erickson Emissions Mapping Project (EMP) database and methods assessments and emissions estimates; EMP training for First Nations groups.

Nichole Garzia Surveillance methods for estimating agricultural pesticide use and exposure.

Kristin Hodgins Research and review of historical news coverage of asbestos issues; development of an asbestos policy timeline.

Christie Hurrell Knowledge translation; communications and website design.

Sarah-Nelle Jackson Website design; substance profiles.

Barbara Karlen Implementation of needs assessment survey; project management.

Anya Keefe Partnership building; communications; government relations.

Barbara Lang Occupational estimates.

Jennifer Matthews Website development; knowledge translation strategy.

Alison McKenzie Pesticide estimates; development of the Workplace Exposures Mobile Tool.

Tyler Morgenstern Design of occupational estimate tables.

Brian Sloan Systematic review of risk communication research on asbestos and radon.

Matt Tomlins Spatial data to support the environmental indicators.

Cloe Whittaker Tutorial videos and training manuals; content management of CAREX and EMP websites; French translations.


Pesticide Advisory Committee (PAC) members

CAREX Canada’s Pesticide Advisory Committee (PAC) members are based in Canada and the U.S. and offer a broad range of exposure research expertise. These advisors are helping to guide the development of our pesticide exposure estimates. They include:


Scientist Emeritus, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health


Associate Professor, University of British Columbia and Affiliated Scientist, BC Cancer Agency


Evaluation Officer, Pest Management Regulatory Agency, Health Canada


Assistant Researcher, Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH), Berkeley


Scientist, Cancer Care Ontario and Associate Professor, University of Toronto


Professor and Assistant Chair, University of Washington

Knowledge Translation Advisors

CAREX Canada’s Knowledge Translation Advisors are based across the country and have a broad range of backgrounds and expertise. These advisors have helped to guide our knowledge translation strategy, ultimately supporting our efforts to put CAREX resources and tools into action for cancer prevention in Canada. They include:


Director, Marketing Communications, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)


Manager, Research and Workplace Innovation Program, Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba


Independent Labour Consultant specializing in Occupational and Environmental Health


Associate Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa


Environmental Health Specialist, Toronto Public Health


Manager, Healthy Environments, Toronto Public Health


Canadian Cancer Society (Nova Scotia) Chair in Population Cancer Research, Professor Departments Medicine and Pediatrics, Population Cancer Research Program


Manager, Clean Air Section, Environmental Standards Branch, BC Ministry of Environment (RETIRED)


Executive Director, Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, University of Waterloo

We would also like to acknowledge the contributions of many agency, government, and academic experts who provided scientific feedback during the development of our environmental and occupational exposure estimates.

Subscribe to our newsletters

The CAREX Canada team offers two regular newsletters: the biannual e-Bulletin summarizing information on upcoming webinars, new publications, and updates to estimates and tools; and the monthly Carcinogens in the News, a digest of media articles, government reports, and academic literature related to the carcinogens we’ve classified as important for surveillance in Canada. Sign up for one or both of these newsletters below.

CAREX Canada

School of Population and Public Health

University of British Columbia
Vancouver Campus
370A - 2206 East Mall
Vancouver, BC  V6T 1Z3

© 2022 CAREX Canada
Simon Fraser University