Environmental Health

This section of the site provides quick access to case studies and helpful on-line social marketing resources for addressing environmental health. We welcome suggestions for additional case studies and resources

Latest News

November 2, 2020 Two New Topic Resources Added
Environmental health information is often controversial, with vested interests pushing their own agendas; one of our newest Topic Resources looks at how to debunk misinformation. Another of our recently-posted resources looks at the importance of interventions that increase contact and connection with nature.  Access these in the right hand column below Let us know what you think.
 

Most Recent Environmental Health Case Studies

Clean Air at Home  EnvironmentHealth

"Clean Air at Home: Small Steps Make a Big Difference" is a targeted, community-based social marketing campaign that reduces young families’ exposures to environmental contaminants at home such as mould, dust, fumes from toxic cleaners and tobacco smoke. Almost three in four participants changed some of their behaviors and almost one half reported performing all five of the behaviors being promoted.

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Landmark Case Study HSBC Clean Air Achievers  EnvironmentHealth

CAC's HSBC Clean Air Achievers programs provides youth with a chance to meet high profile athletes and be inspired by personal messages to adopt healthier, more active and sustainable lifestyles. The program has dual goals of reducing air pollution and increasing physical activity levels via active transportation. Designated a Landmark case study in 2013. 

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20/20 The Way to Clean Air  EnvironmentHealth

20/20 The Way to Clean Air involved individuals in the Greater Toronto Area in reducing home energy use and vehicle use by 20%. It asked participants to make a small commitment (some easy-to-do activities done for a period of two weeks), leading to a larger commitment (longer-term, greater cost savings actions), and connected them with programs and services that helped them succeed.

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Ozone Action Program  EnvironmentHealth

In Southeast Michigan, the Clean Air Coalition runs a program to help reduce the formation of ground level ozone, which is a threat to environmental and human health and is one of the primary contributors to smog. The Ozone Action Program educates households and businesses, and encourages participation in voluntary ozone reduction activities. A key component of the program involves Ozone Action alerts which are issued when ozone levels are expected to exceed federal standards the following day.

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Spare the Air  EnvironmentHealth

When air pollution concentrations approach unhealthy levels, people living and working within the San Francisco Bay Area are notified, and encouraged to avoid activities that pollute the air. Partnerships with local businesses and public agencies allow the program to target commuters at work, and offer information, incentives and services to help them choose less polluting alternatives.

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Oregon's Air Quality Public Education and Incentive Program  EnvironmentHealth

This ongoing program educates the public and provides incentives to improve air quality in Portland. It uses non-regulatory approaches that target vehicles, lawnmowers, paints and certain consumer products - to reduce emissions from Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

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Turn it Off  EnvironmentHealth

Turn it Off is a community-based initiative to encourage individuals to avoid idling their vehicles while waiting at such places as school pick-up areas and transit Kiss and Ride parking lots. Replicability: high.

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Promoting Sustainable Agriculture in Panama  EnvironmentHealth

This case study describes the experiences of a Canadian woman working as a project leader promoting sustainable agriculture in a rural village in Panama. It provides some tips on improving the success of programs aimed at promoting sustainable agriculture, with a focus on building partnerships and achieving buy-in.

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Bert the Salmon: Promoting Natural Lawn Care in the Seattle Area  EnvironmentHealth

An extremely successful, media-based public relations campaign has convinced hundreds of thousands of Seattle-area homeowners to turn their backs on many environmentally harmful lawn care practices and embrace elements of natural lawn care. The campaign also uses a habit change kit that includes a lawn sign.

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Reducing Pesticide Use in Hudson, St. Lazare, and Notre Dame de l'Île Perrot  EnvironmentHealth

A combination of by-laws with escalating fines and home visits enabled a number of small towns in Quebec, Canada to reduce the cosmetic use of pesticides on residential properties by 80 to 90%. They were some of the first communities in North America to do so.

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Quebec's Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides  EnvironmentHealth

The Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (CAP) brought about a quick change in thinking regarding pesticides, and engaged citizens and other organizations to organize their own pesticide reduction efforts, with their Pesticide Free Naturally campaign in the province of Quebec, Canada. Their program used action kits with lawn signs, community workshops and events, low-cost memberships and mass media. A survey included with the action kits (self reported) indicated changes in pesticide use as well. This campaign built on the one originally developed by the Green Communities Association.

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Switch Out Mercury Recovery Program  EnvironmentHealth

The Switch Out program draws on the voluntary assistance of Canadian automotive recyclers to remove light switches containing mercury from end-of-life vehicles. Initiated by the Clean Air Foundation (CAF) in June 2001, Switch Out has significantly reduced the impact of mercury disposal into the environment.

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Halifax Regional Municipality Pesticide By-law  EnvironmentHealth

In 2000, Halifax introduced a by-law reducing the use of pesticides on municipal and residential properties, to protect human health and the environment. The municipality used internal resources and external partners to phase in the by-law over several years while educating residents on sustainable turf maintenance and alternatives to synthetic pesticides.

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Waterloo's Plant Health Care Program  EnvironmentHealth

The City of Waterloo has dramatically decreased its use of pesticides on municipally owned land through practices that promote healthy, vigorous turf and soil. The city's Plant Health Care Program (PHCP) has over time become Waterloo's preferred method of turf care. 

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Manitoba Heavy Construction Association's Safety, Health and Environment Program  EnvironmentHealthSafety

Manitoba heavy construction companies are more eager than ever to learn safety, health and environment skills since the industry's trade association launched a revamped, user-friendly new support program. Organizers of the Manitoba Heavy Construction Associations Safety, Health Environment Program (SHEP) hope this interest will lead to fewer worker injuries and environmental accidents. Write-up funding provided by Environment Canada's National Office of Pollution Prevention.

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Most Recent Environmental Health Resources

Limiting Global Warming to 1.5 to 2.0°C: A unique and necessary role for health professionals  EnvironmentHealth

This short paper was written to engage health professionals in our efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change, Its central message is that climate solutions are health solutions, and health solutions are economic solutions. Health professionals are among the people best positioned to make sure that the public and policy makers understand this.

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Factors Influencing Health Behaviours in response to the Air Quality Health Index  EnvironmentHealth

This research looked at the predictors, motivators and barriers at the individual level, of following and acting on advice provided through the Air Quality Health Index program.

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Program Impact Attribution  EnvironmentHealthSafety

This document provides a brief summary of options for assessing what portion of any measured behavior changes resulted from your program and what portion resulted from other influences. These options can also be used to attribute the affects of your program on a wide range of related variables such as resources used, pollutants released, accident rates and health status.

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Impact of Comics vs Photographs on Knowledge, Attitude and Behavioural Intentions  EnvironmentHealthSafety

This 2017 study compares two modes of visually presenting information  - one using photographs and the other using cartoons - on audience's knowledge, attitudes and behavioural intentions.

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Idle-Free Zone (Vehicle Idling)  EnvironmentHealth

This is the place to go for information and tools related to idling prevention programs. You'll find research, tools and findings, prepared articles, and ready-to-use graphics. A site newsletter provides news, a variety of graphics, presentations and other ideas for your idle-free campaign.

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Hints (Health Information National Trends Survey)  Health

HINTS collects nationally representative data routinely about the American public's use of cancer-related information (including specific cancers, nutrition, physical activity, tobacco.

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Evidence-Based Cancer Control Programs (EBCCP)  Health

EBCCP is a searchable database of evidence-based cancer control interventions and program materials. Topics include specific cancers, diet / nutrition, obesity, physical activity, sun safety and tobacco.

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Both Diet Change and More Efficient Farming Practices Required for Sustainability  EnvironmentHealth

Changing consumers' diets and using more efficient farming methods globally are both essential to stave off irreversible damage to the environment, a new study says.

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CDC Public Health Image Library  EnvironmentHealth

Provides photographs, illustrations and multimedia files, with image collections for environmental health, natural disasters, anatomy, biological sciences, heart health, nutrition, chemicals and drugs, diseases (including AIDS) and organisms.

Most of the images in the collection are in the public domain and are thus free of any copyright restrictions.

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CDCynergy  Health

While this resource is over a decade old, it is still a rich source of information. Contains an introduction to social marketing, and sections on program description, market research, market strategy, interventions, evaluation, and implementation. Also contains examples, resources, research tools and a media library with videos. Users can develop plans and models that can be imported into common word processors

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Centre for Climate Change Communications  EnvironmentHealth

The Centre's Climate Change in the American Mind program tracks and provides ongoing reports on public understanding of climate change and support for climate policies. Also works with specific intermediaries to influence public dialogue on climate change (e.g. weathercasters, health professionals, and the EcoRight.) Based at George Mason University.

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Child Trends: Research to improve children’s lives  HealthSafety

Child Trends is a leading American research organization focused exclusively on improving the lives of children and youth, especially those who are most vulnerable. Their website includes research briefs on: Child welfare, Early childhood, ECDC, Education, Families and parenting, Health, Juvenile justice, Poverty and inequality, Race equity, School health, Social and emotional development, Teen pregnancy and reproductive health, Trauma, and Youth development. The website is also home to the Early Childhood Data Collaborative (ECDC), which helps coordinate inter-state data on childhood, and provides tools and resources to encourage data-driven state policy changes.

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Community Toolbox  EnvironmentHealthSafety

Includes many annotated links to other web-based resources supporting social marketing and social change

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Global Burden of Disease  EnvironmentHealthSafety

A comprehensive picture of what disables and kills people across countries, time, age, and sex. The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) provides a tool to quantify health loss from hundreds of diseases, injuries, and risk factors, so that health systems can be improved and disparities can be eliminated.Collected and analyzed by a consortium of more than 2,300 researchers, the data capture premature death and disability from more than 300 diseases and injuries in 195 countries

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Health-Evidence.ca  EnvironmentHealthSafety

A free, searchable online registry of systematic reviews on the effectiveness of public health and health promotion interventions. The content has been quality rated. Bilingual (English and French).

Topics include: AIDS, environmental health, fitness, injury prevention, nutrition, safety, cycling, walking, water quality

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