Two New Articles from The Lancet Planetary Health

Flooding-related displacement and mental health :  In the past decade, flooding took place in 50 of 53 countries in the WHO European region, with the most severe floods in Romania, Russia, Turkey, and the UK... Read more

Effect of evacuation and displacement on the association between flooding and mental health outcomes: a cross-sectional analysis of UK survey data. Extensive flooding occurred during the winter of 2013–14 in England. Previous studies have shown that flooding affects mental health...Read more.

Read about some Canadian best practices in sustainability!  Click here for just a few best practices from across the country worth celebrating – and emulating! – including: 
  • Curbside Give Away Weekend 
  • Home Energy Loan Program
  • Summerside Wind Farm
  • Energy Leaders Consortium
  • Turning organic waste into biogas... and revenue!
City of Toronto appoints first chief resilience officer. 

Toronto has appointed Elliott Cappell as its first chief resilience officer (CRO). Cappell will lead resilience-building efforts across the city to prepare for catastrophic events and other stresses. It’s expected the role will “break down barriers in government” and oversee initiatives designed to address major urban challenges.

Toronto was selected from almost 1,000 cities that applied over the last several years to be part of  100 Resilient Cities (100RC). Cappell will collaborate with other 100RC cities around the globe and access 100RC tools and services. Read more.
How do you dispose of mercury-containing lamps?  Tell us here
Edmonton launches three-year energy benchmarking pilot.  On June 5, 2017, the City of Edmonton kicked off its three-year Large Building Energy Reporting & Disclosure (LBERD) pilot program to benchmark the energy performance of its largest buildings (20,000 sq. ft. or larger). Participating building owners and managers will have access to technical support, workshops and other educational opportunities; incentives to help offset the cost of an energy audit; information on provincial and federal rebate and incentive programs; and the advice and experience of local experts and energy champions. A recognition program will also highlight the buildings that reduce the most energy and emissions. Read more
Taking a Megabyte out of Energy Bills. At the Princess Margaret Cancer Research Tower (PMCRT), Dr. Igor Jurisica’s research lab conducts cutting edge experiments using computational biology with the goal of developing new cancer treatments. The massive computational power required to run biological simulations is provided by a High Performance Computing (HPC) mainframe with an estimated performance of 6.2  teraFLOPS and total memory of 2688 gigabytes - about 500x more powerful than an average laptop computer. In an effort to reduce the energy required to support this intensive system, the team at PMCRT recently replaced the old servers and cooling units with a completely new system. Extrapolations for energy consumption for the new system show that it uses just 8.5% of the energy previously required!  Read more.
Climate change puts healthcare in harm’s way. 

Worsening climate change means more intense, frequent extreme weather events – and more disruptions to healthcare delivery. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that the yearly average for U.S. extreme weather events costing over $1 billion has shot up from a historic 5.5 to 10.5 events per year between 2012 and 2016. As of July 7, 2017, nine extreme weather events have already caused the deaths of 57 people and exceeded $1 billion in losses. Read more.

In Cleveland, climate change isn't about rising seas. It's about jobs and health. More than 250 mayors from around the United States  convened in Miami Beach last week  at the annual United States Conference of Mayors. The mayors,  a mix of Democrats and Republicans, signed a  resolution to increase efforts to combat climate change and commit to transitioning to renewable energy. Cities have been pushing for stronger action on climate change for years, and in Cleveland Ohio, coal-burning power plants have been having a severe impact on public health. “Cleveland was in the top 10 cities that had the most preventable deaths related to air quality issues,” says Kristie Ross, a pediatric pulmonologist with Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine. Ross sees a lot of children from Cleveland’s East Side dealing with health issues related to air pollution: “Asthma, reductions in lung growth even in children who do not have asthma.” Read more.
Handwashing with cold water just as good as hot water for killing bacteria. Many of us have been taught from an early age that washing our hands with hot water and soap is crucial for keeping germs at bay. Previous research has drawn attention to the fact that there is no scientific evidence to back up the claim that hot water is required to kill off germs during handwashing. Now, new research suggests that cold water might do the trick just as well as hot water. The study, carried out by researchers at the Rutgers University-New Brunswick in New Jersey and published in the Journal of Food Protection, found that water temperature did not have a significant effect on reducing bacteria. Whether it was 38°C or 16°C, the researchers did not detect any difference in bacteria reduction. Read more.
Common Phthalates Implicated in Thyroid Function Disturbance in Young Girls. Phthalates are chemicals found in common household products, including shampoos, plastic toys, building materials, and nail polish. They are typically used in polyvinyl chloride plastic products, and widely used in healthcare. Despite their ubiquitous nature in home, hospital, and school settings, the link between phthalate exposure and thyroid function in children over time has not been well studied.  In a May 2017 study published in Environment International, researchers measured five phthalates and two thyroid hormones from 229 pregnant women and 229 children who were three years old. They found early childhood exposures to specific phthalates were associated with depressed thyroid function in girls at age 3. Read more.

Removing Some Highly Fluorinated Chemicals from Water is Possible but Pricey. Long-chain poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), such as PFOA and PFOS, are incredibly persistent both inside the body and within the environmenttravelling long distances throughout the globe and contaminating water in heavily populated and remote areas alike. This is of concern given the negative health implications associated with these chemicals, such as cancer, harm to the developing fetus, and immune effects. With over 3,000 highly fluorinated chemicals in existence, there is an urgent need to locate contamination hotspots and to understand the best methods for removal from drinking water sources. In an attempt to identify effective methods, researchers examined different filtration options and discovered both granular activated carbon filters and reverse osmosis filters have the capacity to remove these chemicals from water. However, the need to change the filters often greatly drives up the cost of these efforts. Additionally, the underlying challenge of identifying their presence within the private supply or the wastewater treatment system remains. Read more

A Global Threat: G20 Health Ministers Join Forces to Address Antimicrobial Resistance.  The threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is growing worldwide and according to the May 2017 Berlin Statement put out by G20 Health Ministers, “AMR has the potential to have a major negative impact on public health as well as on growth and global economic stability.” A result of their first-ever meeting, the statement articulates a strong, multifaceted approach to tackling global misuse of antibiotics.  Representatives from 20 of the world’s leading economies and the European Union pledged to “lead by example” by instituting national level action plans by the end of 2018, as well as improving antimicrobial resistance surveillance and antibiotic usage, incentivizing research and development of antimicrobial agents, and encouraging better coordination of existing initiatives.The declaration will inform the agenda of the G20 leaders’ summit in July. Read more. 
Ontario's Solutions 2030 Challenge

Ontario’s Solutions 2030 Challenge is a global call for innovators to propose their solutions to help Ontario Industry reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. With up to $7 million in funding, including up to $3 million in support for the winning team to bring their transformative technology to market, the Challenge asks teams and industry to collaborate and envision a path forward to tackle climate change in Ontario and around the world.


Applications are now open to apply for Phase 1. Entry Deadline: September 22, 2017


Learn more about the Challenge
Registration for HealthAchieve 2017 Now Open!
Global health care and business leaders come to HealthAchieve to be empowered by the potential that change holds. They seek new ways to push boundaries that move the health care system forward, to learn from and collaborate with industry leaders and innovators, and, ultimately, to change lives by helping to create a high-performing health system that is truly focused on putting patients first.

This year, HealthAchieve will be in the South Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre over two days, November 6 and 7.

Register today and save with early bird rates!

www.healthachieve.com

CHES National Conference 2017
Quality Healthcare by Design: Putting People First
September 17-19, 2017
Scotiabank Convention Centre
Niagara Falls ON

Key individuals representing over 400 healthcare facilities will be in attendance at this conference and networking event for health care professionals. Delegates include individuals who are directly involved in, or responsible for plant engineering, safety, real estate management, facilities management, facilities planning, support services, building maintenance, construction, environmental management, clinical engineering, security, and waste management.


For more information, click here.

Register HERE.


CAEM Conference and Trade Show 2017 Registration is Now Open
Join your peers to expand networks, discover new products and techniques, hear the best speakers, and learn about the very important future of environmental management.

Occupational Infections: AIDS to Zika
Dr. Murray Cohen, Consultants in Disease and Injury Control

The mounting threat of infectious agents on our health
Dr. Syed Sattar, CremCo Labs


Register HERE.

Register before July 15th and be entered to WIN:
One Free Weekend @ Blue Mountain Resort
Includes Lodging for Two

Recycling Council of Alberta Waste Reduction Conference 2017 
It Takes A Village
October 11-13, 2017
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Lake Louise, Alberta

Join your waste reduction peers in Lake Louise to learn and discuss the latest recycling and resource conservation issues and developments. This conference will deliver technical content through topics and speakers that promise to generate lively discussion, combined with ample networking opportunities and social events, to make this the premier waste reduction event in Canada. Sing along with the "It Takes A Village" intro video, and find program updates, registration information, and other details on the conference web site. Be sure to come back to this site often – the program will continue to be updated as speakers, sessions, and other feature events are confirmed. Register HERE.

The RCA promotes and facilitates waste reduction, recycling and
resource conservation in the Province of Alberta.
Do you have a photo or story for The Green Digest? Send to samantha@greenhealthcare.ca.