Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (OEH) Seminars

OEH Friday weekly Seminars to resume in September 2021.  List of  upcoming speakers to be displayed soon.

Access past OEH seminar recordings below;

January to April 2020-2021
(Click Date for ICS file)
View Seminar Online

 January 8

No Seminar
January 15

Kate Smith

PhD Candidate

UBC Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

Honey, let me tell you about this city! Honey as a biomonitor for lead distribution in urban environments 

Description:  A look at city, regional, and global-scale applications of honey as a record for lead distribution in the environment. Lead isotopes in honey elucidate source-apportionment and distribution of Pb in a range of urban settings: from very young cities (e.g., Vancouver, BC) to cities with millennia-scale history of lead use (Paris, France), and this approach is applicable in both chronic/diffuse pollution settings and after acute lead pollution events.

January 22


Robert Macpherson

Research Associate

Partnership for Work, Health and Safety



Determining hazard management changes in workplaces following workplace safety inspections by WorkSafeBC   

Description: Workplace safety inspections are an important tool for occupational health and safety agencies to ensure compliance with regulation and promote safer workplaces.

This presentation will explore the latest findings from the WorkSafeBC Inspection Experience and Impact Survey to identify what factors best determine hazard management changes following workplace inspections conducted by WorkSafeBC.


January 29

Anne Trudel

Environmental Health & Safety Manager



Occupational and environmental health at a nuclear facility

Description:  TRIUMF is a Class IB nuclear facility and is regulated under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act administered by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. The three most significant EHS aspects to operation of TRIUMF’s 520 MeV Accelerator Facility are personnel dose management, emission and environmental monitoring, and plans for site decommissioning. This presentation will review the radiological hazards and mitigation measures at TRIUMF and highlight the challenges in each of the significant areas.

February 5

Stacey Fisher

CIHR Health System Impact Fellow

Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto


Artificial intelligence and machine learning for environmental public health

Description:  Increases in the type, size and complexity of health-related data has presented new opportunities for artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve public health. In this presentation I will provide a general introduction to artificial intelligence and machine learning methods and discuss opportunities and challenges associated with their use in the public health context. Examples will be discussed, including the application of these technologies for prediction of childhood lead poisoning and real-time detection of foodborne illness.


February 12

Ela Rydz

Associate Analyst

CAREX Canada


CAREX Canada: Estimating occupational exposure to pesticides among agricultural workers in Canada.

Description: Certain pesticides have been associated with adverse health outcomes including cancer and reproductive harms. However, little is known about the prevalence of occupational pesticide exposure in Canada. In this seminar, I will present on CAREX Canada’s new estimates of occupational exposure to three commonly used, potentially carcinogenic pesticides (chlorothalonil, 2,4-D, and glyphosate) in Canada’s agricultural industry.

February 19 Reading Break

No Seminar 

February 26

Andrea McCormick

Home & Garden Program Manager

Trail Area Health & Environment Program

Meghan Morris

Public Health Nurse

Interior Health Authority

Clare North,

Superintendent, Environmental Remediation, Teck Metals Ltd



Trail Area Health & Environment Program: Reducing children’s exposure to lead and other smelter metals in the community

Description: The community of Trail has developed around Teck Trail Operations, one of the largest lead and zinc smelters that has been operating for more than a century. Living next door to a smelter has created unique challenges in terms of minimizing exposure to lead in the environment.  The program team will share the comprehensive program in place to improve air quality, support family health and keep homes, gardens and parks healthy and safe (https://thep.ca/).

March 5

Sharon Provost

PhD Candidate

UBC Interdisciplinary Studies


How does it make a difference? A realist evaluation of violence prevention education in healthcare

Description:  This session presents the findings and practical recommendations from a realist evaluation of the education for BC healthcare workers to prevent violence from patients and visitors. Data from interviews and focus groups conducted in nine emergency departments was used to identify explanations of how, why, and in what contexts the education is effective.

Meeting ID:
935 381 5254


March 12 AIHA AGM

No Seminar

March 19

Hao Yin

Postdoctoral Fellow

UBC School of Population and Public Health


Global health economic cost of air pollution: Disproportionate burden on the ageing population

Description:  While all people are exposed to air pollution, older individuals tend to be disproportionally affected. As a result, there is growing concern about the public health impacts of air pollution as many countries undergo rapid population ageing. We investigated the spatial and temporal variation in the health cost of deaths attributable to ambient air pollution, and its interaction with population ageing from 2000 to 2016 at global and regional levels.


Meeting ID:
935 381 5254


March 26

Ingrid Jarvis

PhD Candidate

UBC Faculty of Forestry



The association between cumulative exposure to natural environments and early childhood development – is the relation mediated by reduction in harmful exposures?

Description: This session will present latest research findings from the Born to be Wise project. This project examines the effect of prenatal and early life exposure to natural environments on early childhood health and development. It includes mediation analyses to explore potential indirect health benefits of nature exposure through reduction of air pollution and noise.


Meeting ID:
935 381 5254


April 2 Good Friday

 No Seminar


The best of current research in the Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (OEH) field is presented at these seminars, which run weekly during the academic year. Attendance is mandatory for MSc OEH students.    View Certification Maintenance Points information.

Important Note – Presentations may contain provisional unpublished information and must NOT be distributed without explicit permission of the presenter.

Please see list of past OEH Seminars below;



Term One September to December 2020-2021

(Click Date for ICS file)
View Seminar Online
September 11

Michael Brauer


UBC School of Population and Public Health

Global projections of potential lives saved from COVID-19 through universal mask use

Description: We conducted a meta-regression to estimate the reduction in respiratory virus transmission from the use of non-medical masks by the general population. We combined this estimate with daily survey data from nearly all countries on the proportion of people reporting always wearing a mask when outside their home as inputs into a deterministic transmission dynamics model to estimate deaths and infections under reference and universal mask use scenarios.

September 18

Angela Eykelbosh

Knowledge Translation Scientist

National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health

Role of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems and technologies in the public health response to COVID-19

Description:  As we return to indoor public spaces, there has been intense interest around both the role of ventilation systems in spreading COVID-19, as well as the use of ventilation to reduce transmission. This session will discuss what is known regarding SARS-CoV-2 in the environment, where and how outbreaks are occurring, and will discuss current ventilation recommendations for indoor environments.

September 25

Bronwyn McBride

Research Associate

UBC Centre for Gender and Health Equity

Harms of criminalization of sex work: How Canadian sex work laws shape occupational conditions and labour rights among indoor sex workers.

Description:  As sex work remains criminalized in most countries, sex workers remain excluded from the labour rights and protections extended to workers in other industries. This presentation will explore the implications of criminalization on sex workers’ occupational conditions in the Canadian context.

October 2

Varun Kelkar

PhD Candidate

Environmental Health Engineering

Arizona State University

Microplastics: Ubiquitous and persistent

Description: Fragmentation of day-to-day plastics leads to formation of microplastics. With our ever increasing dependency on plastic products, the threat due to microplastics is now greater than ever. This presentation will describe microplastics, their sources, where they can end up, and their possible health implications

October 9 

Matty Jeronimo

Occupational and Environmental Hygiene Lab Manager

UBC School of Population and Public Health

Ensuring a supply of respiratory protection: Occupational hygiene and development of solutions.

Description: In order to address an urgent PPE shortage, the OEH Laboratory worked with interdisciplinary teams to develop solutions to ensure the ongoing protection of workers. This included testing of decontamination methods for traditionally single-use PPE, developing a novel product to adapt other materials to be used as an elastomeric half-mask respirator cartridge, as well as the commissioning of a new laboratory within Vancouver Coastal Health to test PPE products. Engagement with a wide variety of expertise, including occupational hygiene researchers and local health and safety leaders proved to be essential in this process.

October 16

Catherine Trask


Ergonomics Division

KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Sows and cows: Musculoskeletal risk factors in livestock agriculture and large animal veterinary tasks.


Large animal veterinarians are clinical professionals who often perform work literally ‘in the field’, on farms. Their work tasks can be physically demanding, and they have very high rates of upper limb musculoskeletal disorders.  This presentation outlines prevention strategies based on survey and worksite assessments.

October 23

Dany Doiron

Research Associate

McGill University

Urban environmental exposures and deprivation: exploring intersections using CANUE data.

Description:  The Canadian Urban Environmental Health Research Consortium (CANUE) distributes urban environmental exposures to Canadian researchers free of charge. This talk explores the intersections and spatial patterns of nationally standardized walkability, nitrogen dioxide air pollution, greenness and material deprivation data within Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. These analyses allow identification of areas in each city with health-promoting environmental characteristics as well as areas with a confluence of characteristics potentially detrimental to health and demonstrate the potential for environmental data platforms such as CANUE to address questions important in the quest for more equitable and healthier cities.

October 30

Paul Demers


Occupational Cancer Research Centre


Chris McLeod

Associate Professor

UBC School of Population and Public Health

The changing face of mesothelioma in Canada.


We banned asbestos in Canada at the beginning of 2019, but it’s sad legacy will be with us for many years to come. The clearest example of this is mesothelioma, where the number of cases diagnosed annually continues to rise, although the rates appear to have peaked in BC and some other areas of the country. This seminar will examine the changing patterns and trends in the incidence of mesothelioma in Canada.

November 6 

Chris Buse

Postdoctoral Fellow

UBC Centre for Environmental Assessment Research

Cumulative environmental, community and health impacts of multiple land-uses in British Columbia.


Resource development is a principle driver of economic and community development across British Columbia, and new developments interact with past, present and future land-uses in ways that leave lasting legacies for ecosystems, communities and human health. This presentation uses a novel quantitative analysis of cumulative impacts based on the CalEnviroScreen method—a relativistic analysis tool that quantifies environmental pollution, environmental exposures, socioeconomic marginalization and population sensitivity into a single measure of cumulative impacts. Challenges and opportunities will be discussed, drawing on feedback from 10 community engagement sessions organized in resource dependent communities in the north.

November 13 

David McVea

Canadian Field Epidemiology Program

Public Health Agency of Canada

BC Centre for Disease Control


Melissa Glier

Research Associate

BC Centre for Disease Control, Public Health Laboratory​

Measuring SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater to supplement COVID surveillance in BC communities


People infected with SARS-CoV-2 shed it via stool, and it can be detected in wastewater systems of municipalities with COVID outbreaks. We discuss whether this presents a risk to wastewater workers and how SARS-CoV-2 levels in wastewater can be used detect and monitor COVID outbreaks.

November 20

Gary Mallach

Air Effects Scientist

Health Canada

In-vehicle air filtration and acute changes in cardiopulmonary and cognitive function among healthy adults.


We measured commuters’ exposure to air pollutants in rush-hour traffic and evaluated whether this exposure could be reduced by cabin air filtration. Also, we looked at effects on cardiopulmonary health, as well as cognition (mental processing and judgement), examining whether cabin air filtration reduced exposure to traffic related air pollutants and improved short term cardiopulmonary and cognitive function. Results will provide information about air pollution’s effects on cognition, an area of growing concern, while testing a potentially valuable and economical means of reducing exposure to traffic related air pollution in a commuting environment.

Recording not available
November 27

Eric Lavigne

Senior Epidemiologist

Health Canada

The burden of heat-related mortality attributable to recent climate change.

Description:  The aim of this presentation is to present latest research conducted in Canada and across the globe on the human health impacts that have already occurred due to climate change. The presentation will focus on empirical data from 732 locations in 43 countries that estimated the mortality burdens associated with the additional heat exposure that has resulted from recent (1991-2018) warming.


The best of current research in the Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (OEH) field is presented at these seminars, which run weekly during the academic year. Attendance is mandatory for MSc OEH students.    View Certification Maintenance Points information.

Important Note – Presentations may contain provisional unpublished information and must NOT be distributed without explicit permission of the presenter.

Please see list of past OEH Seminars below;

Term Two  -   January to April 2020

View Seminar Online
Jan 10  NO SEMINAR Cascadia Conference 2020: For more information, click here N/A
Jan 17
Jan 24

Sonja Senthanar

Postdoctoral Fellow        School of Population and Public Health

Effects of work injury and RTW on family of precariously employed workers

The impact of work injury and the return to work process on family members of injured workers has often been characterized in the context of standard than precarious jobs. Drawing on 19 in-depth interviews with precariously employed workers and employers, we identified three areas where workers’ compensation policy and employer processes did not fit well with the situations of precarious workers in Ontario. Consequently responsibility fell on family members to provide instrumental and financial support while

Click here to view the webinar
Jan 31

Patrick Baylis

Assistant Professor, Vancouver School of Economics

Understanding Defensive Health Behavior: Evidence from Pollution Masks in Delhi.

Air pollution in Delhi, India is among the highest in the world, but few residents choose to self-protect using particulate filtering masks. In this project, results were documented from two field experiments designed to understand the factors influencing mask use. In the first, differences in income levels and experimental variation in information, experience with masks, and perception of social norms were found to affect respondents' likelihood to purchase masks, but demand remained low relative to other highly polluted cities. The second intervention took advantage of a public intervention of unprecedented scale: the Delhi municipal government distributed 5 million masks during the 2018/2019 pollution season. Mask effectiveness and social acceptance beliefs did not seem to change in this intervention.

Click here to view the webinar
Feb 7 

Trevor Peckham

PHD Student, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington

Precarious Employment and Health in the United States

The dramatic changes in the organization of work over the last several decades—including the general shift toward more flexible and competitive employment practices—have not been adequately examined from a public health perspective. To do so, traditional models of work and health research need to be expanded beyond a sole focus on work tasks or physical and social environments to include the relational and contractual aspects of employment that may also impact health. Here we examine the association between the multidimensional construct of employment quality (EQ)—defined as the terms and conditions of the employment relationship, such as contract type, wage/benefit levels, and employee representation—and workers’ health in two nationally representative U.S. surveys. Using cross-sectional data from the General Social Survey and a latent class analysis measurement approach, we identify eight disparate patterns of EQ.

Click here to view the Recorded Seminar
Feb 14 

Michael Brauer

Professor, UBC

Health and the built environment: Looking to the future

Just over 50% of the global population is urbanized, with cities expected to absorb all future population growth. In general, urban populations are healthier, with improved access to services and healthcare. Densely populated cities also play a key role in efforts to reduce emissions related to global warming. Yet, cities face significant challenges, especially those in the rapidly developing megacities of low and middle income countries. Urban design and management and the ways that we interact with this “built environment” can profoundly impact health. Air pollution, noise, mobility options and land-use, among others, play a role and interact in multiple, complex ways.  Understanding these interactions and using this knowledge to shape our cities as they grow has the potential improve population health and build resilience to climate change.  In this presentation I will review a number of analyses using cohorts and linked administrative data combined with geospatial estimates of environmental exposure to examine built environment-health linkages, describe emerging trends, and discuss implications for population health

Click here to view the Recorded Seminar
Feb 21  No Seminar  Reading Week (Feb 18 - 21) N/A
Feb 28

Emily Gummell

MPH, School of Population and Public Health, UBC

Anxiety, Access and Trust: Communicating with new mothers about infant vaccination

Information use in vaccination decision-making has evolved with the movement toward patient activation coupled with the arrival of online and social content sharing. Effective risk communication requires understanding the information seeking, assessment and use of specific vaccine-hesitant populations. This study applied ethnographic research methods to identified communities of low vaccine uptake in order to improve public health communication with new mothers at risk for vaccine hesitancy.

Click here to view the webinar
Mar 6  Pierre Tanquay

Health, Safety and Advisor, UBC Faculty of Medicine

Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees at UBC Vancouver – then and now.

This presentation explores WorkSafeBC requirements regarding workplace Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees - and how the systems for meeting these requirements have evolved at UBC.

click here to view the webinar
Mar 13 No Seminar AIHA AGM Meeting
Mar 20  Matilda van den Bosch

Urban natural spaces and public health: a matter of challenges or common sense?

Over the last decade, research on human health impacts of urban natural spaces has rapidly developed. An increasing number of epidemiological studies demonstrates direct and indirect health benefits by exposure to urban green and blue spaces. While these studies have significantly contributed to confirming associations between nature exposure and various health outcomes, a number of challenges remain before evidence on mechanisms and causality can be established. These challenges range from uncertainty about optimal exposure measures to what physiological effects can be expected from nature contact. Nevertheless, the side effects of “urban green interventions” occur limited. By taking also co-benefits, such as increased biodiversity and climate change mitigation from urban natural spaces, into account there seems to be little to lose from a policy perspective by advocating for more natural spaces in our cities, although the evidence is still insufficient. This presentation will provide an outline of the current evidence level and present research challenges in on-going studies around urban nature and human health. It will also discuss the prevailing discourse around pathways and mechanisms. Finally, the goal is to initiate a debate around opportunities and risks with taking a “nothing-to-lose” approach to urban green initiatives across the world.

Click here to view the webinar
Mar 27 Hugh Davies Advancing surveillance protocols for antineoplastic drug exposures in health care settings

Abstract: The number of people receiving antineoplastic drug treatment for cancer is increasing as the population ages and more people are diagnosed with cancer. While these drugs are powerful tools in the fight against cancer exposure to these drugs can also cause genetic damage miscarriages and cancer in otherwise healthy people. Despite the dissemination of safe handling practices, healthcare workers and others such as veterinarians continue to be exposed through surface contamination. Guidelines such as USP Chapter 800 call for routine workplace surveillance but do not provide detailed guidance on how this should be done  or how to interpret surface wipe samples.  The SURveillance For AntiCancer drugs Exposure Study (SurFACES) sampled up to 20 different surfaces monthly at nine facilities in the US and Canada for one year, and obtained 2000 samples, each tested for 11 antineoplastic drugs.  In this presentation we will characterize exposures found at the sites, discuss spatial and temporal patterns and determinants of exposures, and discuss how the findings can be used to provide improved AD surveillance guidance to practitioners.

Click here to view the webinar


View Seminar Online
Sept 6 Chris McLeod
Associate Professor and Head, Occupational and Environmental Health Division

Towards a vision on the future of occupational and environmental health in British Columbia: Beginning the conversation

As incoming head of OEH division Dr. McLeod will outline his thoughts and ideas on current and future training and research needs in the area of occupational and environmental health. This will be an interactive presentation using online polling technology and social media to start a conversation to identify and stimulate action around this important topic.

Click here to view the webinar

For interactive questions and polling app go to https://www.sli.do/

Event code is 9746

Sept 13 Angela Yao,
PhD Candidate
Assessing Sub-Daily Exposure to Wildfire Smoke and its Public Health Effects in British Columbia
Inhaling smoke emitted by wildfires can affect human health. This is a growing concern for public health as wildfires will occur more frequently and affect more communities under the changing climate. This research aimed to improve our ability to monitor wildfire smoke exposures every hour at different locations in British Columbia during wildfire seasons, and to study whether more people call the ambulance during hours with more smoke. The findings show that ambulance calls for heart and lung conditions increased within one hour of exposure to smoke, while calls for diabetic conditions increased after 24 hours. These results suggest that the health effects from wildfire smoke can occur soon after exposure, and actions to reduce exposure should be taken promptly.
Click here to view the recorded seminar
Sept 20 Anya Keefe, MSc
Occupational & Public Health Consultant

Determining causation and creating an exposure history for long latency occupational disease claims – challenges and practical tools

Despite studies showing that occupational exposures are responsible for approximately 2 to 10 percent of all newly diagnosed cancer cases, many cancers are not recognized as being work-related and consequently not filed with the workers’ compensation system. This presentation will provide an overview of the challenges and potential solutions in better establishing evidence of exposure that not only shows medical causation, but also meets the test of legal causation. It will discuss the role of epidemiology in determining a general causal link between a disease and an occupational exposure as well as the need to build a comprehensive occupational history to answer the question of whether an individual work developed the disease as a result of their job.

Click here to view the recorded seminar
Sept 27 Cancelled Climate Strike Day
For more info follow link
Oct 4 Andrea Jones
PhD Candidate
Anxiety and Depression disorders among workers with Musculoskeletal injury in British Columbia
Anxiety and depression are leading causes of global disability and frequently co-occur with physical health conditions. The purpose of this research was to describe the occurrence of anxiety and depression disorders among workers with musculoskeletal work injury in British Columbia, and to investigate the impacts of these disorders on work disability outcomes. Approximately 1 in 10 men and 3 in 10 women were found to have a recent or current anxiety or depression disorder at the time of musculoskeletal work injury, and both pre-existing and new onset anxiety and depression disorders were associated with longer work disability. Collectively these results support the inclusion of anxiety and depression disorders as part of the disability management plan for workers with musculoskeletal work injury.
Click here to view the webinar
Oct 11 Erin McDuffie, PhD - Atmospheric Chemistry

Dalhousie University | Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science

Quantifying the burden of disease from major sources of ambient fine particulate matter:   Insights from an atmospheric chemist

Air pollution, specifically fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in outdoor air, is recognized by the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) as the leading environmental risk factor for human health, attributable to 7.5% of all deaths in 2016. To reduce exposure to ambient PM2.5, contributions from major emission sources must be quantified. Previous studies have identified coal and residential emissions as dominant sources in polluted regions in Asia and fossil fuel emissions as dominant global sources. These studies, however, have been limited to particular regions or have focused on large, aggregate emission sectors. Here, we expand upon previous work and utilize recent updates to anthropogenic emission inventories and atmospheric chemical transport modeling to quantify the source- and fuel-specific PM2.5 exposure levels for all 195 countries and territories currently included in the GBD. This presentation will focus on methods used to quantify PM2.5 exposure levels and discuss ongoing collaborations to quantify the burden of disease from all major sources.

Click here to view the webinar
Oct 18 Occupational & Environmental Hygiene students to present on their 2019 Summer Practicums 1:00pm           Minal Pachchigar - Drinking Water Contamination in a Downtown Vancouver Building
A tenant at a downtown Vancouver (DTV) building requested consulting company services for the collection of water samples in response to tenant staff concerns regarding drinking water quality.  Potable water quality tests were conducted over four days to investigate the cause and provide recommendations.
1:15pm           Ehsan Hemmativaghef - Assessment of Occupational Exposures during Laser Engraving
Occupational exposures to total and respirable dust, methyl methacrylate, VOCs, formaldehyde and noise during laser engraving and cutting of acrylic based sheets was evaluated based on NIOSH and WorkSafeBC methods. Personal exposure to formaldehyde was found to have the highest risk rate (3 out of 4) followed by respirable dust and noise (2 out of 4). Recommendations for improvement include establishing a preventive maintenance for ventilation systems as well as provision of ventilation system for the supply and distribution of air in the workplace
1:30pm           Soham Parelkar - Noise Sampling at a BC Health Authority
This project examined the noise exposure associated with various occupations through personal noise monitoring at a BC Health Authority

Click here to view the webinar

Click on presenters name below for personal Evaluation Form




Oct 25 Occupational & Environmental Hygiene students to present on their 2019 Summer Practicums

1:00pm  Aaron Agyeman - Prevention and FSII officers exposure to TENORM in oil and gas.

Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (TENORM) in oil and gas processing develop from the pre-concentration and distribution of radionuclides in oil ad gas. Radionuclides continue to undergo radioactive decay causing the release of alpha, beta and gamma radiation which are harmful to human health. Worksafe field officers conduct investigation and inspections in environments contaminated with TENORM. Therefore, to ascertain compliance and the protection of health and safety a study was conducted to investigate the extent of radioactive exposure for officers during their mandated work.

1:15pm      Arthur Leung - Health Hazard Exposure Survey of Workers in Aluminum Pot Lining

A health hazard survey was conducted at the Lining Facility located in an aluminum smelting facility, as no exposure monitoring has been performed in the past. This health hazard assessment aims to accomplish the following:

  • Stratify the workers into Similar Exposure Groups (SEG);
  • Determine compliance with regulatory exposure limits;
  • Identify tasks associated with highest exposures;
  • Recommend appropriate controls.

1:30pm Hongjie Yu - Respiratory silica and noise exposure survey of employees in building product industry".

During the summer co-op in 2019, industrial hygiene surveys were taken at a large North American building product company. Employees' respiratory silica and noise exposures were measured. Results suggest that employees working as ground men and tower operators are at risk of silica and noise overexposure.

1:45pm         Sana Javaheri -  Occupational Exposure Limit for Hydrogen Sulphide in British Columbia’s Mines.

The purpose of this project was to propose a new worker exposure limit for hydrogen sulphide (H2S) in Table 2-1 of the Health, Safety and Reclamation Code for Mines in BC. This was achieved by identifying sources of H2S in BC mines, evaluating the H2S exposures of worker involved in these processes, assessing the accuracy of electrochemical direct reading instruments (DRIs),conducting a literature review of the health effects, reviewing the exposure limits set in other jurisdictions to evaluate their underlying evidence and rationale, and investigating the feasibility of a new limit with regards to practicality of implementation.

Click here to view the webinar

Click on presenters name below for personal Evaluation Form

: Aaron





Nov 1 Dr. Lawrence Frank,
Bombardier Chair Professor Transportation & Health SPPH, UBC

Where Matters:  The Health and Economic Impacts of Where We Live

There is a public health crisis happening right now. Total health expenditure in Canada was estimated to be up to $253.5 billion ($6,839 per person) for 2018. This represents 11% of Canada’s gross domestic product according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information. For example, obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes place tremendous pressure on our healthcare system.  There is an increasing consensus that the postal code of the neighbourhood where we live is as important as our genetic code. Studies have shown that land-use decisions and transportation investments to enhance neighborhood walkability and access to green space can significantly affect how you travel and your physical activity, and exposure to air pollution, traffic safety and crime, and noise.  Very few studies have examined how transportation investment, neighbourhood walkability and access to green space are associated with less chronic disease and lower health care cost.  To date, existing evidence used to inform major transportation investment decisions have rarely accounted for the potential health impacts and related costs of these factors.

The Where Matters Study aims to incorporate health into local and regional policy-making by examining the multiple pathways linking the way our communities are planned and designed with people’s travel and physical activity patterns, chronic disease risk and health care cost.

Click here to view the recorded seminar
Nov 8

Matt Shupler

4th year PhD Candidate

The PURE Air Study: A multinational examination of household air pollution concentrations & primary fuel switching determinants

Approximately 2.5 billion individuals (~40% of global population), primarily in rural areas of Asia (>1.5 billion), Sub-Saharan Africa (>500 million) and Latin America (>50 million) are exposed to harmful household air pollution (HAP) from cooking and heating with polluting fuels (e.g. wood, crop waste, animal dung, coal) in rudimentary stoves. Exposure to HAP was the second highest environmental risk factor in the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2017, with an estimated 1.6 million attributable deaths annually. Residential combustion of polluting fuels is also a major contributor to outdoor air pollution and emissions of climate-forcing agents, including up to one-third of global anthropogenic emissions of black carbon.

Few multinational studies have examined multilevel (e.g. household, community, national) factors associated with households switching from polluting to clean (gas, electric) primary cooking fuels. Longitudinal epidemiological studies of HAP exposure are also sparse due to the financial and time intensity associated with such studies. The Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiology (PURE)-Air study, one of the largest HAP exposure assessments to-date, was carried out among rural communities of eight countries: Bangladesh, Chile, China, Colombia, India, Pakistan, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. The study design enabled an examination of physical, environmental and contextual determinants of primary cooking fuel switching and household air pollution concentrations. The concentrations measured in the PURE-Air study will be used in one of the largest epidemiological analyses of cardiovascular and respiratory disease burden due to cooking and heating with polluting fuels.

Click here to view the recorded seminar
Nov 15 Seminar Cancelled
Nov 22

Dr Alex Bigazzi

Assistant Professor, UBC Dept. of Civil Engineering and School of Community and Regional Planning

A closer look at energy expenditure and pollution inhalation during urban cycling: Physics, physiology, and travel behaviour

Although urban cycling is widely known and promoted as physically active transportation, the actual physics of utilitarian cycling have been given little attention in transportation engineering and planning. In contrast, the field of sports science has developed detailed data and models of road bicycle performance, but only for sport and racing cyclists. What can we learn about utilitarian cycling by integrating knowledge of the physical attributes of bicycles and cyclists? Findings will be presented from recent and ongoing studies aiming to quantify these relationships and enhance travel analysis tools with an understanding of the physical aspects of cycling.

Click here to view the recorded seminar
Nov 29 Jennie Christensen

Can a single strand of hair be used to monitor exposure to toxic metals?

Hair is a growing keratinous tissue comprised of sulfur. As such, the sulfur in the hair can bind the many elements present in circulating blood, including toxic metals. Since hair is metabolically inert once formed, the elements retained in the tissue become locked in, so as the hair grows it can record changes in blood element concentrations over time. Using laser ablation on single strands of hair, exposure histories can be revealed for toxic metals. But, there are some caveats, including external contamination by air, water, and hair treatments. Here we will discuss occupational exposure to lead and other metals, compare hair and blood concentrations, effects of contamination on hair concentrations, examine another growing keratinous tissue (nails) for metal monitoring, and provide forensic case studies from an inadvertent poisoning event, and the historic Franklin Expedition.

Click here to view the webinar

View Seminar Online
January 4
No Seminar
January 11
No Seminar
Cascadia Conference   https://www.spph.ubc.ca/about/cascadia/
January 18 Dr. Anders Erickson Disease assimilation: the loss of the healthy immigrant advantage over time with exposure to fine particulate matter Click here to view recorded seminar
January 25 Dr Hind Sbihi
The role of microbiome and built environment on asthma development Click here to view the webinar
February 1 Jessica Yu, PhD Candidate Mapping spatial patterns in vulnerability to climate change-related health hazards Click here to view recorded seminar
February 8

Baytalan Greg,

Interior Health – Community Health and Services Centre

Occupational Health & Safety, Common Indoor Radon Levels and the New 2017 International Commission on Radiological Protection, Alpha Radiation to Lung Tissue Effective Dose Coefficient Click here to view recorded seminar
February 15 Dr. Andrew Clarke Psychological Safety in Health Care Workplaces Click here to view recorded seminar
February 22

No Seminar

Reading Week

No seminar
March 1 Emily J. Rugel, M.P.H Modeling exposure to natural spaces as a factor in mental health and social interaction across metro Vancouver Click here to view recorded seminar
March 8

Sharon Provost

PhD Candidate

Michelle Naimi

Research Coordinator

Is it making a difference: Why, how, & for whom? A realist review of violence prevention education in healthcare
Click here to view the webinar
March 15 No Seminar AIHABC - Annual General Meeting    for further details click here
No seminar
March 22 Emily S. Acheson, MSc, PhD candidate, Dept of Geography, UBC
Exploring links between deforestation and the 1999 outbreak of Cryptococcus gattii on Vancouver Island Click here to view the webinar
March 29 Kim McLeod, PhD student Workplace Safety inspections in British Columbia Click here to view the webinar

2018-2019 Friday Seminars - Term One  -   September - December 2018

View Seminar Online
September 7 Dr. Brian Ng WorkSafe BC:  How Physicians, Hygiene Officers, and Case Managers work together to manage a claim Click here to view the webinar  
September 14 Dr. Parveen Bhatti A Target for Cancer Prevention Among Shift Workers Click here to view the webinar 
September 21 Dr. Yuhao Lu People and Pixels Click here to view recorded seminar
September 28 Dr. Ben Wheeler Are greener (and bluer) cities really better for health? Interdisciplinary perspectives informing environment and public health policy” Click here to view the webinar
October 5 Dr. Robert MacPherson How does geography matter for return-to-work after work-related injury Click here to view the webinar 
October 12 Brian Campbell Development, programs and initiatives of the BC Federation of Labour Occupational Health and Safety Centre Click here to view the webinar 
October 19 Dr. Ajay Pillarisetti (Candidate for UBC Assistant Professor position in Environmental Health) Postdoctoral Scholar Environmental Health Sciences, University of California, Berkeley Household Energy & Health In India and Beyond: Strengthening the Case for Clean Household Energy with Measurements and Modeling Click here to view the webinar

Please click here for a survey evaluation for the presentation
October 26 Dr. Jana Hirsch (Candidate for UBC Assistant Professor position in Environmental Health) Assistant Research Professor, Urban Health Collective, Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel University, Philadelphia Planning for Health: Constructing Evidence for the Built Environment’s Influence on Health and Health Equity
Click here to view the webinar
Please click here for a survey evaluation for the presentation
November 2

Dr. Kate Weinberger

(Candidate for UBC Assistant Professor position in Environmental Health)  Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Public Health, Brown University

Preventing heat-related morbidity and mortality in a warming world
Click here to view the webinar
Please click here for a survey evaluation for the presentation
November 9 Dr. Lorien Nesbitt Human faces, forest places: Urban forestry in multicultural cities
Click here to view recorded seminar
November 16 Dr. Hugh Davies Surveillance for Occupational Exposures to antineoplastic Drug in Hospital Settings in Alberta and Minnesota Click here to view recorded seminar
November 23 Leela Steiner, PhD Candidate  National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health Growing at Home: Health and Safety Concerns for Personal Cannabis Cultivation
Click here to view recorded seminar





2017-2018 OEH Seminars

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January 12 Andy Hong Healthy Cities: Towards building healthier and smarter communities through urban planning and technology Click here to view recorded seminar
January 19 Bojosi Gamontle Perspectives of Botswana policy-makers and healthcare workers towards Tuberculosis infection control and occupational health measures: An interpretive description study Click here to view recorded seminar
January 26 Noah Seixas Defining Precarious Work Click here to view recorded seminar
February 2 Esther Maas The Evaluation of a Standard Treatment for Back Pain and the Policy-Related Changes  Click here to view the webinar 
February 9 Jonathan Patz Mitigating Climate Change: Greatest Public Health Opportunity of the 21st Century? Click here to view recorded seminar
February 16 Michael Brauer

Current and future burden of disease from major air pollution sources in China and India

Click here to view recorded seminar
February 23 Talk Cancelled


March 2

Prescillia Percy Chua

Craft Brewing: Advancing Health and Safety in British Columbia Breweries

March 9 Darrell Skinner Efficacy of Prophylactic Taping in Managing Tendinitis of the Thumb in Tree Planters Click here to view recorded seminar
March 16 France St-Hilaire Psychological Health at Work: Beyond Concepts, the day-to-day Practices Recorded seminar not available
March 23 Cancelled for AIHA AGM
March 30 Good Friday EASTER BREAK
April 6 Marissa Baker The use of metabolomics for exposure assessment in occupational health: linking to the exposome? Click here to view the webinar  

View Seminar Online
September 8 Jesse Cooper The role of hospital toilets in microbial dissemination and the effectiveness of ultraviolet C irradiation Not available
September 15 Chris McLeod Developing an effective occupational health and safety management system. A provincial, national, and international perspective. Click here to view the recorded seminar
September 22 Mieke Koehoorn Does gender matter to occupational health and safety? Not available
September 29 Matthew Wagstaff Monitoring Residential Woodsmoke in BC Click here to view the recorded seminar
October 6 Xibiao Ye Epidemiology of hematologic cancers: the role of environment, occupation, and medications Click here to view the recorded seminar
October 13 Byron Gates Engineered Nanomaterials in the Workplace Environment: A Perspective Not available
October 20 Anders Erickson How low to go? Assessing the health effects of low levels of air pollution. The Mortality Air Pollution Associations in Low Exposure environments (MAPLE) project. Click here to view the recorded seminar
October 27 Karen Bartlett Indoor air quality and health in Canadian First Nations communities Click here to view the recorded seminar
November 3 Carolyn Sparrey The effect of environmental exposure on the performance of fall arrest systems Click here to view the recorded seminar
November 10 Sara Adar From Tailpipe to Windpipe: Characterizing the Health Impacts of Pollution from Motor Vehicles Not available
November 17 Prabjit Barn A Randomized Controlled Trial of HEPA Filter Air Cleaner Use and Fetal Growth in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia Click here to view the recorded seminar
November 24 Abigail Overduin Ergonomic Case Studies: Successes & Challenges Click here to view the recorded seminar

Technical Information

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Android phones and tablets:

Please visit this Adobe page to ensure system requirements are compatible between your device (desktop computer or mobile device) and Adobe Connect.

Logging into  Adobe Connect seminar:

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  • Enter as a Guest - please type your FIRST and LAST NAME
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Communicating in Adobe Connect:

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  • If you have a question for the presenter, please type it into the chat screen and it will be read aloud during the Q&A portion of the seminar.

We cannot diagnose remote technical issues on the day of the seminar.

However, we are happy to confer with you or your IT support staff regarding our configuration ahead of time. Please contact spph.it@ubc.ca at least three business days before the next seminar.

Adobe Connect Technical Supporton-line  or by phone 1-800-422-3623.