Health and the Environment
Human health issues related to environmental exposures are becoming increasingly prominent for communities, public agencies, public health officials, and private industry. Science is progressing in gauging the impacts on human health from many different sources of exposure. A clear understanding of the impacts requires consideration of the many contexts for individuals, such as the communities in which they live and the occupations in which they work.
GGI has assisted various communities, public agencies, health officials and industry in understanding the links between health and the environment. For example, GGI designs, develops, and conducts community health studies and occupational health studies. GGI provides clients with an analysis of the primary health issues and concerns and develops a scientific approach to addressing the issues and concerns. GGI follows through with the actual field work, analyses and reporting.
GGI’s reputation in this area rests on our expertise in developing rigorous scientific designs drawing from epidemiology, statistics, risk assessment and toxicology. Designs are tailored to ensure that they meet the specific needs and concerns of the communities or contexts of the studies. Through this tailoring process, GGI is able to provide relevant, rigorous, and timely findings for clients. This allows clients to make the necessary decisions regarding mediating negative health impacts from environmental exposures.
GGI offers a multi-disciplinary team of staff and sub-contractors with experience and expertise in:
- Community based health studies
- Occupational health studies
- Human exposure measurements (e.g., biomonitoring)
- Assessment of community-level psycho-social impacts
GGI has recently completed numerous assignments in the area of health and the environment for:
- Ontario Ministry of the Environment
- Ontario Ministry of Health
- Public Health Departments
- Department of National Defence
- Community Groups
GGI’s multi-disciplinary team offers specific services to clients in the areas of health and the environment:
- Conducting Community Health Studies – GGI provides reliable services in the area of planning, designing, and implementing community health studies, often as a response to an identified potential contaminant or contaminants of concern within the community (e.g, arsenic, lead, nickel)
- Conducting Occupational Health Studies – GGI has conducted health studies focussing on specific occupational exposures (in contrast to community level exposures)
- Human Exposure Assessments (Biomonitoring) – Often as a component of a health study, or as part of a survey of exposure, GGI will collect human biological samples (e.g., blood, urine, hair) to assess the amount of recent exposure that individuals have had to specific contaminants
- Assessment of Psycho-social Impacts – As communities and individuals are made aware of potential health impacts, psycho-social component (e.g., stress, anxiety, depression) involved is often involved. GGI has experience in the assessment of these issues in communities
Examples of GGI’s project experience in the area of health and environment include:
- City of Hamilton Child Blood Lead Prevalence Study, which examined the blood lead level of child residents
- Aamjiwnaang First Nation Food Consumption Survey
- Falconbridge Urinary Arsenic Health Study, which examined the level of urinary arsenic among both adult and child residents
- Participated as a study team member for The Belledune Area Health Study. The study involves a Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) including air dispersion modeling, and a Community Health Status Assessment (CHSA).
- Community Health Study for the Village of Deloro, Ontario designed to assess residents’ levels of exposure of arsenic
- Survey of Arsenic Exposure among Residents of Wawa, Ontario which examined the level of urinary arsenic among both adult and child residents
- Survey of Gulf War Veterans for the Department of National Defence designed to determine symptom levels for various health outcomes among GWVs in comparison to other Canadian Forces Personnel
- East Side Community Health Study (Port Colborne, Ontario) conducted on behalf of the Regional Niagara Public Health Department examined the levels of exposure to nickel, arsenic, lead, cobalt, and cadmium in relation to health outcomes and psycho-social factors
- Development of the Health and Lifestyles Information Survey 2000 for the Department of National Defence
- Blood Lead Studies for Children in Northern Ontario conducted for the Ontario Ministry of Health and Porcupine Health Unit examined blood lead levels among children in seven northern Ontario communities
- Blood Lead Study of South Riverdale and Comparison Communities conducted for the City of Toronto examined blood lead levels among children