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Health Canada Publishes Revised Human Exposure Limits for Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Energy

March 19, 2015 Comments off

Health Canada Publishes Revised Human Exposure Limits for Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Energy
Source: Health Canada

Today Health Canada published its revised Safety Code 6. Safety Code 6 is Health Canada’s guideline for recommended human exposure limits to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic energy, the kind of energy given off by various electronic devices such as cell phones and Wi-Fi, as well as broadcasting and cell phone towers.

Health Canada has updated Safety Code 6 based on the latest available scientific evidence, including improved modelling of the interaction of radiofrequency fields with the human body. The revised Safety Code takes into consideration recommendations from the Royal Society of Canada’s Expert Panel on Safety Code 6, as well as the scientific and technical feedback received by Health Canada during the public consultation on the proposed guideline. The updated Safety Code includes slightly more restrictive reference levels in some frequency ranges to ensure even larger safety margins to protect all Canadians, including newborn infants and children.

Health Canada reminds all Canadians that their health has always been protected from radiofrequency electromagnetic energy by the exposure limits in Safety Code 6. Safety Code 6 has always established human exposure limits that are far below the established, scientific threshold for potentially harmful health effects. The limits in Safety Code 6 are based on established, scientific evidence, and provide protection against all known harmful health effects for all individuals.

Government of Canada Reveals New Research on Tobacco, Alcohol and Drug Use

February 6, 2015 Comments off

Government of Canada Reveals New Research on Tobacco, Alcohol and Drug Use
Source: Health Canada

The Government of Canada published today the results of the 2013 Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drugs Survey (CTADS), which demonstrate progress made in sustaining all-time lows in smoking rates, while also highlighting the need for continued attention to issues such as marijuana use among youth and prescription drug abuse.

The CTADS is a national general population survey of tobacco, alcohol and drug use among Canadians aged 15 years and older, with a focus on 15-24 year olds. More than 14,500 Canadians were interviewed for the survey, conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of Health Canada.

The survey includes the first national data on e-cigarette use, which will add to the growing body of knowledge Health Canada is gathering to determine next steps in regulating this product. Last fall, Minister Ambrose asked the Standing Committee on Health to study the potential risks and benefits of e-cigarettes and to seek the advice of a variety of health stakeholders. The Standing Committee report is expected to be released in early 2015.

Understanding trends in tobacco, alcohol and drug use is vital to the effective development and implementation of strategies, policies and programs. The CTADS data will contribute to sources of evidence as the Government of Canada continues to create policies and programs that respond to the needs of Canadians and protect health and safety.

This is the first release of the CTADS, which merged two previous survey tools – the Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS) and the Canadian Drug and Alcohol Use Monitoring Survey (CADUMS), streamlining federal efforts and representing the first time that tobacco, drug and alcohol data has been reported together.

Health Canada Publishes Findings From Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study

January 13, 2015 Comments off

Health Canada Publishes Findings From Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study
Source: Health Canada

Today, Health Canada published findings from the Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study. Launched in 2012, in collaboration with Statistics Canada, this study explored the relationship between exposure to wind turbine noise and the health effects reported by, and measured in, people living near wind turbines.

In the effort of being more open and transparent, the findings are available on Health Canada’s website. The findings provide a more complete overall assessment of the potential impacts that exposure to wind turbines may have on health and well-being.

No evidence was found to support a link between exposure to wind turbine noise and any of the self-reported or measured health endpoints examined. However, the study did demonstrate a relationship between increasing levels of wind turbine noise and annoyance towards several features (including noise, vibration, shadow flicker, and the aircraft warning lights on top of the turbines) associated with wind turbines.

It is important to note that the findings from this study do not provide definitive answers on their own and must be considered in the context of a broader evidence base.

Canada — Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study

December 8, 2014 Comments off

Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study
Source: Health Canada

Health Canada, in collaboration with Statistics Canada and other external experts launched a multi-year research study in July 2012 to explore the relationship between exposure to sound levels produced from wind turbines and the extent of health effects reported by, and objectively measured in, those living near wind turbines.

The research design for the study was posted for a 60-day comment period to allow for public review and input. Feedback obtained through the consultation, as well as the responses provided by Health Canada officials, was compiled and posted on the Department’s website in alignment with transparent business practices.

Health Canada has released a summary of the results of the study. Results should only be considered final following peer review and publication in the scientific literature. The results of this study contribute to the body of peer-reviewed scientific research on wind turbine noise, but do not provide definitive answers on their own.

Canada — Fewer Young People Smoking, Drinking and Using Drugs – New survey reveals encouraging trend

June 8, 2012 Comments off

Fewer Young People Smoking, Drinking and Using Drugs – New survey reveals encouraging trend
Source: Health Canada

According to the latest results of the Youth Smoking Survey, only three per cent of Canadian students in grades 6-12 said they smoked daily in 2010-2011, down from 4% in 2008-2009.

The school-based survey also found that fewer students have even tried cigarettes once; a decline among those who had ever tried little cigars; and a drop in the percent of students reporting using alcohol, cannabis and other drugs.

“After seeing smoking rates hit historic lows in Canada recently, these new statistics are encouraging,” said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. “In particular, the drop in little cigar smoking suggests that the Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act is having an impact on consumption of these products by youth.”

The Youth Smoking Survey, funded by Health Canada and conducted by the University of Waterloo’s Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, is a survey of Canadian youth in grades 6-12 that captures information related to tobacco, alcohol and drug use.

Health Canada Offers Practical Advice on Safe Cell Phone Use

October 30, 2011 Comments off

Health Canada Offers Practical Advice on Safe Cell Phone Use
Source: Health Canada

The issue:
The number of cell phone users in Canada rose from 100,000 in 1987 to more than 24 million by the end of 2010. With their growing popularity, questions have been raised about their safety. Cell phones emit low-levels of radiofrequency (RF) energy. The RF electromagnetic energy given off by cell phones is a type of non-ionizing radiation. It is similar to the type of energy used in AM/FM radio and TV broadcast signals.

Cell phones in Canada must meet regulatory requirements that limit human exposure to RF energy. Health Canada has developed guidelines for safe human exposure to RF energy.

Who is affected:
There are a small number of epidemiology studies that have shown brain cancer rates might be elevated in long-term/heavy cell phone users. Other epidemiology studies on cell phone users, laboratory studies and animal cancer studies have not supported this association. The International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) recent classification of RF energy as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” is an acknowledgement that limited data exists that suggests RF energy might cause cancer. At present, the scientific evidence is far from conclusive and more research is required.

Health Canada reminds cell phone users that they can take practical measures to reduce RF exposure. The department also encourages parents to reduce their children’s RF exposure from cell phones since children are typically more sensitive to a variety of environmental agents. As well, there is currently a lack of scientific information regarding the potential health impacts of cell phones on children.

What consumers can do:

  • Limit the length of cell phone calls
  • Replace cell phone calls with text messages or use “hands-free” devices
  • Encourage children under the age of 18 to limit their cell phone usage

+ Health Canada’s Radiofrequency Exposure Guidelines

Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS) 2010

September 25, 2011 Comments off

Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS) 2010
Source: Health Canada
From press release:

According to new statistics released today, the smoking rate in Canada has dropped to 17% in 2010. This is the lowest level ever recorded, according to annual results of the 2010 Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS).

“The numbers announced today are encouraging, as they show more Canadians are making the healthy choice when it comes to smoking,” said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. “I am particularly encouraged by the numbers when it comes to youth.”

According to the 2010 survey, smoking rates have significantly declined for key age groups. For example, in 2010 smoking among teens aged 15 to 17 fell to 9% — the lowest recorded rate in an age group often seen as key in the fight against smoking.

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