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 Simon Fraser University.
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 changing given changing environments
- Supporting efforts to reduce exposure inequities across jurisdictions and populations
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 has been hosted at Simon Fraser University since 2013.
Additional funding for First Nations knowledge translation and exchange has been provided by:
Additional funding for the Canadian Workplace Exposure Database (CWED) has been provided by:
CAREX Canada is a multidisciplinary team of researchers based at the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University, working in collaboration with researchers at the Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research at Alberta Health Services, the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia, and Occupational Cancer Research Centre at Cancer Care Ontario. The team has expertise in epidemiology, occupational hygiene, toxicology, risk assessment, geographic information systems, data visualization, and knowledge translation and exchange.
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.
Lindsay Forsman-Phillips is a 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.
Kristian is a geographic information systems (GIS) specialist 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 the co-principal investigator of CAREX and an assistant 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.
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.
Co-Principal Investigator / Occupational Exposures Lead
Cheryl is CAREX’s co-principal investigator. She started working with CAREX Canada at the beginning of the project in 2007. She is also a Research Scientist in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research at Alberta Health Services and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncology, Cumming School of Medicine 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 (particular 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.
Ela is an associate analyst based out of Cancer Care Ontario in Toronto. Currently, she is working for both CAREX and the Occupational Cancer Research Centre. During her MPH in Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Alberta, Ela took a particular interest in the surveillance of various environmental health issues, including microbial water quality and oils sands pollutants. Her final project assessed dietary exposure to PAHs and heavy metals in berries in Northern Alberta. At CAREX, Ela is working on further developing pesticide exposure estimates and profiles.
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.
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
PALEAH BLACK MOHER
Paleah’s work with CAREX has focused on research into environmental exposures and pesticides. Paleah completed a CIHR Postdoctoral Fellowship on Gender, Work, and Health with the University of Victoria, where she studied occupational exposures to dust and mercury vapour in small-scale gold mining communities in Africa. Her interests include combining her knowledge of risk assessment, toxicology, and public health to assist in developing applicable and integrated solutions to improve the health of people. Paleah grew up in Iqaluit, Nunavut and has a particular passion for Aboriginal and indigenous issues surrounding health and well-being. She has conducted health-related research with Health Canada, the Universidad National in Costa Rica, NGOs, and various Canadian universities. Paleah holds a Ph.D. from the University of Ottawa in Environmental and Chemical Toxicology.
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 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.
Mandy’s work with CAREX involved converting eRISK into an online web-based tool and developing data visualizations to effectively communicate carcinogen information. Mandy is currently working as a Major Gifts Officer at the Victoria Hospitals Foundation. She holds an MSc in Experimental Medicine from the University of British Columbia, where her research focused on the knowledge, attitude, and behaviour of workers exposed to occupational diesel exhaust. Mandy is a graduate of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scientist Knowledge Translation Training workshop, Knowledge Translation Professional Certificate program from the University of Toronto, as well as the Canadian Visual Analytics School.
We would like to acknowledge the significant contributions of many CAREX team members who have moved on to other assignments:
Eleanor Setton Leadership; environmental exposures estimates; First Nations KT.
Chantal Burnett Occupational exposure estimates; profile development and updates.
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:
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
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.