Environmental Public Health Journal 2020 | BCIT Institutional Repository

Environmental Public Health Journal 2020

Access to green space and median household income in metro Vancouver cities
Background: Greenspace is a very important component of a healthy built environment. It can provide many benefits which include mitigating the effects of climate change, improving air quality, and enhancing mental and physical health. However, it has been shown that health promoting resources such as green spaces are often unequally distributed among different socioeconomic classes. The objective of this study was to identify disparities in proportional greenspace access between different income categories among the residents of three cities in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia. The mapping tool ArcGIS was used to visualize patterns of greenspace distribution and median household income. Methods: Green space was classified as recreational parks within the cities of New Westminster, Vancouver and Burnaby in Metro Vancouver. Income and green space data were gathered from Statistics Canada and the Municipalities’ websites for mapping in ArcGIS respectively. This data was then exported, and a correlation analysis was performed to identify any relationship between green space and median household income of census tract divisions. Results: Out of 248 data points, 90 census tracts were analyzed in Burnaby, 145 in Vancouver and 13 in New Westminster. Patterns in the maps indicated that higher income census tracts had lower proportional access to green space. Statistical results demonstrated that a negative correlation exists between greenspace and median household income. Higher income households have less access to green space across all three Metro Vancouver cities; New Westminster (p = 0.33), Vancouver (p = 0.02) and Burnaby (p = 0.03) a negative correlation was also found in a combined analysis across all three cities (p=0.0013). Conclusion: Green space is undeniably important to all individuals within a city as it can provide recreational opportunities, improve physical and mental health, temper climate change, improve air quality and provide cooling effects. There may be substitutes to recreational activities that green space can provide, but there are none for the overall benefits that it can provide. This study calls for policy makers and planners to consider greater investments in green space and recreational parks in all census tracts including wealthier neighbourhoods, where smaller proportions of greenspace were identified. Programs such as the City of Vancouver’s “Greenest City Action Plan” whose goal is to encourage green initiatives including situating all residents within a five minute distance of greenspace should be implemented across all three cities., Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published, Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology 2020., ArcGIS, Greenspace, Income, Median income, Recreational park
Analysis of lead, arsenic, and cadmium concentrations in instant noodles within the Canadian market
Background: High levels of lead (Pb), arsenic (As), and cadmium (Cd) in instant noodles have been reported in many countries, leading to temporary bans of several popular brands across the globe. There have been no studies analyzing the heavy metal contamination of instant noodles available in Canada to assess the risk for Canadians. As these contaminants are ubiquitous, their presence in food products is inevitable. A diet high in Pb, As, and Cd can cause permanent health conditions and death, as these metals are highly toxic even in small amounts and cannot be metabolized by the body. Methods: 30 packets of instant noodles were purchased from 6 different brands available in Walmart and T&T. Individual packs of noodles, and the accompanying dry seasoning packs, were ground using a blender and stored in sterile Ziplock bags. The samples were processed using an acid digest and then analyzed using ICP-MS/MS. Concentrations of lead, arsenic, and cadmium were measured for a comparison with FDA recommended levels, a cross comparison between wheat and rice noodles, and across all 6 brands. Results: The results show that the levels of Pb, As, and Cd found in instant noodles do not exceed the maximum allowable limits set forth by the FDA and EFSA. A significant difference between rice and wheat noodles is noted for As and Pb concentrations, where rice > wheat (p<0.05). A significant difference between brands is also noted for all three metals (p<0.05). Conclusion: Although the results did not find Pb, As, and Cd concentrations to exceed the recommended levels, the results of this study are inconclusive due to the low power of the analyses. It has been established that rice noodles contain overall higher levels of Pb and As than their wheat counterparts, and the levels vary significantly between different brands. The results indicate a wide window of variability of exposure for Canadians and the low power of the study indicates a larger need for further studies to confirm the findings., Nongshim Mee, instant noodles, heavy metals, lead, arsenic, cadmium, toxic, contamination, ICP/MS-MS, wheat, rice, noodles, Indomie Mi Goreng, Maggi, Mr. Noodles, Pho Chay, Oh! Ricey
Analyzing ethanol accumulation in different kombucha tea brands during storage
Background Kombucha tea is a fermented tea beverage that is mainly consumed for its associated-health benefits. These associated-health benefits may range from detoxifying the body to cancer treating. However, there is little to no scientific evidence that suggests that they work on humans. Similarly, kombucha tea is also prone to post-fermentation. This presents possible ethanol production and accumulation within the tea after packaging which can pose a possible health risk to susceptible population if not properly labelled or controlled. This study will investigate if there is any post-ethanol accumulation in commercially produced kombucha tea products under various storage conditions. Methods The ethanol concentration of 3 different kombucha tea brands (i.e.: Pure+, Health-Ade, and RISE) at various storage conditions (i.e.: no storage, refrigeration, and room temperature) were analyzed using GC-FID to determine post-ethanol accumulation. In addition, NCSS software was used to conduct a statistical analysis on the data to determine whether the 3 different kombucha tea brands exceeded the ethanol regulatory limit and whether the ethanol accumulation was dependent on storage temperatures. Results The mean ethanol concentration for Pure+, Health-Ade, and RISE after refrigeration for 3 weeks were 0.722%, 0.696%, and 0.050% relatively which all showed a slight decrease in ethanol compared to their baseline ethanol levels (i.e.: no storage). Similarly, Pure+, Health-Ade, and RISE mean ethanol concentration after room temperature storage were 1.766%, 1.285%, and 0.794% relatively which indicates ethanol accumulation. Statistical analysis showed that there is a significant difference between room temperature storage and the other 2 storage conditions (i.e.: no storage and refrigeration). Also, only Pure+ and Health-Ade under room temperature storage showed a statistically significant mean ethanol concentration above the regulatory limit. Conclusion Results suggests that room temperature storage of Pure+, Health-Ade, and RISE for 3 weeks increased the ethanol levels significantly while refrigerating them will decrease the ethanol levels slightly which can minimize any potential post-fermentation process from happening. Furthermore, only Pure+ and Health-Ade under room temperature storage for 3 weeks were over the 1% ABV regulatory limit. Lastly, the data obtained from this study can be used to develop guidelines and policies in regulating kombucha tea manufacturers and in educating the public and other regulatory agencies on the matter., Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published, Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology 2020., GC-FID, Kombucha tea, Fermentation, Tea, Ethanol
Analyzing knowledge, attitudes and practices around reusable water bottles
Background: It has been acknowledged that personal reusable water bottles pose hazards, such as disease-causing organisms, associated with poor water bottle hygiene practices. Currently, there are no recommended frequencies or procedures, or guidelines for personal water bottle cleaning and sanitation. Likewise, there is little information on outbreaks or cases of illness arising from poor personal water bottle hygiene. This may be due to lack of awareness and non-reporting of cases. Therefore, the importance of knowledge, attitudes and practices around reusable water bottles cannot be over emphasized. This research study will ascertain if water bottle hygiene practices among post-secondary education students are adequate to avoid consumption of drinking water with growth of multiple pathogenic microbes like Escherichia coli, Salmonella species, Pseudomonas species, Vibrio cholera and viruses. Method: 83 participants were surveyed using an in person administered survey method. The survey was conducted on British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) student sample using the Survey Monkey platform and was delivered in person via an iPad at a survey stand. Chi-square tests were used to analyze the survey data using NCSS version 12 statistical package. Tables and bar charts were used to explain and give interpretation to p-values from the chi-square tests. Results: There were found to be no associations between knowledge level around reusable water bottles and either gender or hygiene practices. However, the survey data did show an association between gender and hygiene level. The female participants were more likely to clean their water bottles more frequently than the male participants. Conclusion: Based on the findings of this study, a health promotion initiative targeted toward male students is recommended to achieve behaviour change in cleaning practices with reusable drinking water bottles. Moreover, despite the study findings showing a high level of knowledge among participants, this did not translate to better water bottle hygiene practices, as there was no statistical association between knowledge level and hygiene practice. Therefore, more frequent cleaning of reusable water bottles should be encouraged, highlighting the appropriate cleaning agents and method to be used., Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published, Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 2020., Drinking water, Reusable water bottle, Knowledge attitudes and practices, Hygiene
Assessing the knowledge, attitude and practices of hikers on drinking surface water while hiking
Background: Hiking is a popular outdoor activity among British Columbians. Within this group of hikers there is bound to be a wide range of knowledge for what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ in terms of health and safety practices while hiking. Assessing hiker’s knowledge, attitude and practices regarding drinking water while hiking can help identify whether education for safe drinking water for hikers is needed to aid in the prevention of waterborne illnesses. In addition, potential barriers to hikers treating their water in the wilderness can be determined, with the goal of being able to reduce these barriers in the future. Methods: The survey was created using Survey Monkey and distributed as an online self-administered survey through Facebook and email. The survey contained 18 questions which consisted of demographic and knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) questions regarding drinking surface water while hiking. Chi-square statistical tests were used to analyze the data. Results: Of the 328 participants; 72.7% were female, 26.1% male, 0.6% other and 0.6% preferred not to answer. The distribution of age groups was as follows: 31.4% were 19-30 years old, 27.6% were 31-45 years old, 26.4% were 46-60 years old, 14.0% were 61+ years old, and 0.6% preferred not to answer. This study found that the more outdoor knowledge hikers had, the more often they treated surface water used for drinking water (P=0.000), that hiker’s attitude on how risky they thought drinking untreated surface water was affected how often they treated drinking water from surface water sources (P=0.000). The more advanced hikers had more outdoor knowledge (P=0.001), younger hikers thought that drinking untreated surface water was less risky (P=0.025), post-secondary education did not determine how much outdoor knowledge hikers had (P=0.088) and males treated their water less often than females (P = 0.014). Conclusion: This study identified a need for accessible outdoor education with respect to safe drinking water. This education can help hikers make informed decisions to safeguard their health while hiking. This information can be distributed by outdoor organizations, government organizations, high school health education classes, and integrated into outdoor advertisements., Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published, Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology 2020., Surface water, Hiking, Hiker, Waterborne illness, Giardia, Water treatment, Drinking water
Can exposure to second-hand cannabis smoke be harmful?
Background: Canada legalized the use of cannabis for recreational purposes in October 2018. To ensure public health and safety, the Cannabis Act was also introduced by the Government of Canada in 2018. This Act does not permit smoking cannabis in restricted areas. However, people still smoke in public places, thus, exposing the general public to second-hand cannabis smoke (SHCS). As cannabis is an emerging topic and the legalization of cannabis for recreational use is still recent, the long-term health effects of SHCS is unknown. However, the perceived immediate health impacts of SHCS can be examined to better understand its long-term health effects on human body. Methods: An online survey was conducted, targeting residents of British Columbia (Canada) with differing smoking status, gender, education level and age groups, to determine the differences in perceived immediate health impacts and/or concerns from exposure to SHCS. The survey consisted of sixteen questions divided into three sections, covering demographic information, exposure to SHCS and perceived immediate health impacts and/or concerns about SHCS. The data was analyzed using Chi-square tests. Results: A total of 159 participants took part in this survey. The results showed no associations between exposure to SCHS and perceived immediate health impacts. This could be due to the legalization of cannabis for recreational use being so recent. However, headaches, coughing, chest tightness and irritation to eyes are a few perceived immediate health impacts experienced by 41 out of 139 participants (30%) after exposure to SHCS. This study also found that age and place of exposure may not affect the likelihood of experiencing perceived immediate health impacts. However, females and cannabis non-users are more likely to experience perceived immediate health impacts compared to males and cannabis users, with p = 0.01 and 000003, respectively. Conclusion: The findings of this study identified a few perceived immediate health impacts associated with SHCS such as headaches, coughing, chest tightness and eye irritation. However, the study indicates that there is an inadequate scientific knowledge regarding the long-term health effects from exposure to SHCS as well as the variation in health effects among different age groups, gender, smoking status and place of exposure. As a result, precautionary steps should be taken now to minimize its ill-effects in future. The government should provide tools to aide researchers and health care professionals to conduct in-depth research on SHCS and its health effects. Moreover, initiatives should be taken to educate general public about cannabis smoke, its composition, associated health effects and legislation., Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published, Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology 2020., Public health, Cannabis, Cannabis smoke, Second-hand cannabis smoke, Smoking, Health impact, Environmental health
Changes in processing and labelling of frozen chicken products available to consumers in Vancouver
Background: Between May 2017 and May 2019, 18 Salmonella outbreaks in Canada were linked to raw chicken, resulting in the recall of 13 chicken products. Most of these products contained frozen raw breaded chicken, such as chicken nuggets, chicken fries, and breaded chicken burgers. (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2019) These products are especially risky for consumers because they may appear precooked, resulting in inadequate food safety measures being taken. (Catford, Ganz, & Tamber, 2017). Due to this concern, as of April 1, 2019, all frozen raw breaded chicken product manufacturers are required to follow one of four Salmonella control measures set out by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The simplest option for processors is to precook their products to destroy Salmonella bacteria and produce a ready-to-eat product. (Government of Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, & Food Safety and Consumer Protection Directorate, 2019a) Methods: Data was collected from all frozen chicken products available at 14 retail locations in Metro Vancouver that were randomly selected in previous studies carried out in 2018 and 2019 by the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) students. The processing status of the products surveyed in this study (n=466) was compared to those collected in the previous studies done in 2018 and 2019, respectively (n=383; n=415). Other information collected included whether product packaging contained statements of internal temperature, requirements for thermometer use, and additional food safety instructions. Data on these parameters collected in the current study (n=466) were compared to similar data collected in 2008 (n=24) and in 2018 (n=67). Photos were taken of all product labels and relevant data from the photos was compiled in Microsoft Excel. Statistical analyses were done using chi-square tests performed using NCSS 2019 software. Results: The proportion of surveyed frozen chicken products that were cooked as opposed to raw increased from 38% in 2018 to 41% in 2019 to 69% in 2020. The proportion of products containing statements regarding required internal temperatures increased from 58% in 2008 to 96% in 2018 and then decreased to 86% in 2020. 0%, 4.5%, and 1.7% of products surveyed in 2008, 2018, and 2020, respectively, included an indication to use a food thermometer. 79%, 57%, and 25% of products surveyed in the same years included additional food safety statements. Conclusions: This study showed that the ratio of cooked to uncooked frozen chicken products available to consumers in the Metro Vancouver area has increased since the CFIA’s Salmonella control measure requirements for frozen breaded chicken manufacturers were implemented in 2019. The 28% and 26% increase since 2018 and 2019, respectively, suggests that many frozen chicken product manufacturers are complying with the CFIA requirements by using a validated cook process to reduce Salmonella in their products. This study also showed that, since 2019, there has been a significant decline in the proportion of frozen chicken products that contain information about internal cooking temperatures and additional food safety information on their packaging., Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published, Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology 2020., Salmonella control, Frozen chicken, Frozen breaded chicken, Salmonella, Salmonellosis, Foodborne illness, Food safety, Public health, Poultry products, Food recalls, Chicken processors
A comparison of ethanol content of water kefir products to kombucha products and their compliance to British Columbia's Liquor Control and Licensing Act
Background: Water kefir is an up-and-coming beverage similar to kombucha involving the fermentation of water, sugar, fruits, and cultured microorganisms. The fermentation process develops various metabolites including lactic acid, carbon dioxide, and ethanol. These products need to be controlled to prevent unsafe overproduction, particularly of ethanol, as it can be dangerous to consume alcohol unknowingly. This study examined (i) whether water kefir and kombucha beverages are at-risk of containing elevated levels of alcohol, and (ii) the labelling practices of these products. Methods: 31 samples of water kefir were collected in various markets in Vancouver, British Columbia to be compared to 107 samples of kombucha previously collected by the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BC CDC). The samples were tested using gas chromatography mass spectroscopy (GCMS/D) to determine the concentration of alcohol in each. The data was analyzed using the statistical package NCCS. Two-tailed t-tests assessed differences in alcohol content between the two products, as well as whether kombucha and/or water kefir exceeded the regulatory standard of 1% ABV (alcohol by volume), as set under the Liquor Control and Licensing Act. Results: Based on the collected data, 53% of kombucha samples and 19% of water kefir samples exceeded 1% ABV for ethanol. There was a statistically significant difference in ethanol concentrations between the water kefir and kombucha samples p = 0.00002, power = 100%. More specifically, the kombucha products had a higher alcohol level. Two t-tests compared the kombucha and the water kefir to the standards which resulted in mean kombucha samples being greater than the 1% ABV while mean water kefir samples were less than the 1% ABV regulatory level. Conclusions: The results indicated that kombucha products had a higher mean alcohol concentration when compared to water kefir samples. However, some samples of water kefir exceeded the 1% ABV level and also lacked an alcohol warning label. Therefore, it is recommended that manufacturers for both kombucha and water kefir products label potential alcohol contents to protect the safety of their consumers – especially vulnerable groups including pregnant women, children, and recovering individuals., Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published, Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology 2020., Food safety, Water kefir, Kombucha, Ethanol, Fermentation, Public health, Labelling
Comparison of restaurant inspection report results and its corresponding star ratings on Yelp and Google Reviews
Background: In the current culture of dining-out, there is a greater emphasis on the overall dining experience at restaurants and less of a concern regarding food safety. The public often relies on consumer-generated review websites, such as Yelp and Google Reviews, to decide on where to eat. Each restaurant is often rated out of 5-stars based on factors such as customer service and food quality. The public perceives a restaurant with a 1-star rating poorly, whereas a restaurant with a 5-star rating is seen as excellent. Moreover, the aspect of food safety is determined by Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) who conduct inspections and assign hazard ratings to restaurants, which describe them as a low, moderate, or high-risk food premises. These inspection report results can be disseminated to the public online or through a placard system by the health authority. Currently, in most cities, there is no linkage or display of inspection report results on consumer-generated review websites. Methods: Secondary data was collected from publicly available online sources: Fraser Health’s restaurant inspection reports and two consumer-generated restaurant review websites – Yelp and Google Reviews. The author analyzed 170 randomly selected restaurants from the three most populous cities under Fraser Health’s jurisdiction (British Columbia, Canada): Surrey, Burnaby, and Abbotsford. Only independent restaurants and their routine inspection reports were considered in this study. The following data was obtained from each of the restaurant’s available routine inspection reports: current hazard rating, the average hazard score, and total number of critical violations (CVs). These variables were then compared to the current star rating found on Yelp and Google Reviews. Results: A total of six statistical analyses were conducted: two chi-square tests and four correlational analyses. When comparing the current hazard rating of the restaurant and their current star rating using chi-square tests, p = 0.0855 for Yelp and p = 0.0739 for Google Reviews. Furthermore, in all four correlational analyses, a negative linear relationship was observed, but only three resulted in statistically significant results. When comparing the average hazard score of the restaurant’s routine inspections and their current star rating, p = 0.0591 for Yelp (power = 47.21%) and p = 0.0000 for Google Reviews (power = 99.97%). When comparing the restaurant’s total CVs from routine inspections and their current star rating, p = 0.0001 for Yelp (power = 97.29%) and p = 0.0000 for Google Reviews (power = 100%). Conclusions: The findings of this study demonstrated that prescribed food safety evaluations largely align with the customer perception of restaurants. Although three out of six statistical tests resulted in statistically significant results, overall, it appears that restaurants with a higher star rating have lower number of CVs and lower average hazard scores. Even though this ideal relationship was established, the importance of safe food handling practices and serving safe food to the public should not be overlooked. Consumer-generated restaurant review websites are an excellent avenue to promote food safety within the overall culture of dining-out at restaurants., Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published, Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology 2020., Google Reviews, Food safety, Inspection report results, Star ratings, Restaurants, Review websites, Yelp
Is this too ugly for you?
Background: Globally 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted every year equating to approximately 750 billion US dollars (1). In Canada it has been estimated that $31 billion of food is wasted annually (2). This amount can easily be used to feed hundreds of thousands of undernourished people across the world. Food wastage can occur at every level of the food supply chain. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the food waste generated by residents of British Columbia, Canada. The study aimed to identify the general knowledge regarding food waste and ugly produce, the attitudes of the public towards food waste, and the general practices of waste disposal. Methods: A self-administered electronic survey created on Survey Monkey Canada was distributed on various social media platforms over a two-week period in January 2020. The survey contained questions that resulted in a score for knowledge of food waste, attitude towards food waste and the waste reduction practices of British Columbian residents. Chi square and correlational analyses were performed using the statistical package NCSS. Results: 96 respondents met the inclusion criteria and completed the survey. Many participants received a medium score for knowledge (N=67) and possessed a positive attitude (N=71) towards food waste. There was an even distribution between good and fair practice level (N=49 and N=46). There was no association between level of food waste knowledge and demographic categories except for age (p=0.025). Younger participants were less knowledgeable. Between practice and demographic variables, no statistically significant associations were found. The results for attitude were determined to be non-statistically significant for age, gender and experience working in the food industry while there was a statistically significant association between attitude and an individual’s education level (p = 0.008). Those with higher levels of education had a more positive attitude. No correlation was determined between knowledge and practice indicating that there is no influence of knowledge on practice and vice versa. The study found that there is a positive correlation (p = 0.0004 and r = 0.3542) between attitude and practice indicating that these two variables influence each other. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that the population in B.C. who responded to the survey has adequate knowledge, a positive attitude and moderate practice behaviours regarding food waste. Younger individuals were less knowledgeable about food waste and the more educated one is, the more positive their attitude towards food is. The study also indicated that positive attitudes translated into better practice. These results are only a starting point in determining the causes for food loss and waste in B.C as it reveals the need for more local initiatives to bring everyone to start adopting food waste reduction strategies., Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published, Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology 2020., Environmental health, Food waste, Ugly produce, Environment, Greenhouse gases
The perceived health effects of e-cigarette use among adult smokers
Background: Vaping and e-cigarettes have been an epidemic among youths in recent years. In addition, as of April 2020, there has been hundreds of vaping related illnesses causing fatalities. As such there has been increased coverage by media and the government in regard to reporting vaping-related dangers and implementing regulatory changes such as bans. These actions could deter the target population from engaging in vaping – tobacco users. Research has shown that e-cigarettes are significantly less toxic relative to tobacco and that it could be more effective as a cessation treatment relative to nicotine gums or patches. This study surveyed current perceptions of Canadians with regards to vaping in order to determine if certain groups (i.e. varying ages, smoking status) hold different opinions in terms of harm, health benefits, and support for stricter e-cigarette regulations. Methods: Self-administered online surveys created on Survey Monkey were distributed to Canadians via online platforms Reddit and Facebook. The survey assessed opinions and perceptions of Canadians through multiple choice questions and were collected over a three week period. Results: This study received 157 respondents the majority of which were under 35 (73.08%) and from British Columbia (65.38%). Thirteen chi-square tests were performed comparing group variables (age, smoking status, and awareness of vaping related news) to perception variables (perceived harm, health benefits, safety). There was no association found between age and the tested perception variables. Several associations were found where e-cigarette users viewed e-cigarettes more favourably relative to tobacco users and non-users based on chi-square results. Chi-square associations between media awareness and harm perceptions could not be established due to a small sample size (n< 30). Conclusion: The results indicated that there are associations with e-cigarette perceptions and a person’s smoking status. This may be an indication that there is possible misinformation between groups when it comes to evaluating objective health effects of e-cigarettes. Non-users and a percentage of tobacco users seem to overstate, Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published, Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology 2020., Harm, E-cigarettes, Vaping, Perceptions, Beliefs
The presence of pesticide residue in farmer market produce
Background: Thiabendazole is a pesticide that is mainly used after harvesting and directly applied to produce such as citrus fruits, apples, pears, bananas, mangos, corn, carrots and potatoes in the form of a spray or dip. The most common and most likely route of exposure to pesticide for the average person is through their diet. Studies have shown that the health risk of regular consumption of pesticide residue through produce is linked with disruption to various functions in the body, such as reproductive, developmental and hormone irregularity. The following study tests whether fruits and vegetables sold at farmers markets contain Thiabendazole and if they are below the acceptable Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) set by Health Canada. Methods: A QuEChERS method and solid phase extraction was used to recover Thiabendazole from various fruits and vegetables. The gas chromatography was used to analyze all samples and a calibration curve was produced to identify the concentration of Thiabendazole. Results: Thiabendazole was detected in all of the citrus fruit samples, but was below detectable limits for all other fruits and vegetables. All Thiabendazole levels were below the Maximum Residue Level allowed by Health Canada. Conclusion: The various fruits and vegetables analyzed are all below the MRL, with only the citrus fruits having detectable concentrations. However, since the citrus fruits were imported, further studies are required on different pesticide compounds to determine if locally grown produce meet the MRL for other pesticide compounds., Peer reviewed, Peer-reviewed article, Published, Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health, British Columbia Institute of Technology 2020., Farmers markets, Pesticides, Pesticide residues, Thiabendazole, Fruits and vegetables