All posts by James Gomes

An Interdisciplinary Population Health Approach to the Radon Health Risk Management in Canada

Authors: Selim M. Khan, James Gomes

Abstract

Radon is a known carcinogen found in indoor air that exists at higher than the federal reference level (200 Bq/m3) in about 10% of Canadian homes. Every year, over 3,000 people die from radon-induced lung cancer, which accounts for 16% of annual lung cancer deaths in Canada. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among non-smokers and is second among smokers. Children, women, and smokers from lower income groups are disproportionately affected. Although the Federal Government has reset the guideline (from the previous 600 Bq/m3 down to 200 Bq/m3) and provincial governments revised the building codes to limit exposure, there remain controversies with the latest scientific development in adopting strategies of radon management in Canada.

This review applies an Integrated Population Health Framework to look at the relationships and interactions between population health determinants such as biology and genetics, environment and occupation, and social and economic factors, that influence the health risk of radon. The evidence gathered supports policy analysis with the application of ethical and risk management principles that lead to the identification of efficient and affordable broad-based and population-level preventive strategies. The final inferences enhance the framework by adding critical intervention modalities to Health Canada’s National Radon Program.

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The Risk of Prostate Cancer from Occupational Exposures in Male Firefighters

Author: Zing-Wae WONG & James GOMES

Abstract

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men. Since prostate cancer is a slow developing cancer, mortality can be prevented if the tumour is detected and treated in its early stages. There is proof that environmental exposures can increase the risk of prostate cancer. Many papers have performed data analyses on prostate cancer levels in firefighters. There has been some research on firefighter prostate cancer levels but few reviews on the topic. This paper focuses on finding whether there is a correlation between firefighting occupation and levels of prostate cancer. As well, this paper notes potential carcinogens within the firefighting occupation. Five papers were included in this review; these papers used different methods to obtain the cases and cohorts for the study. The papers also used different controls for comparison. Nevertheless, the papers found in the search supported a positive correlation between exposures in firefighting occupations and the level of prostate cancer. The two chemicals that were suspected carcinogens in these studies were Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and fire smoke. However, future research can be more rigorous in calculations of prostate cancer levels by including lifestyle factors, other confounders such as smoking, and estimated length of exposure.

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Les risques associés à l’utilisation inappropriée des stéroïdes anabolisants

Authors: Marie-Claudel BORGEAT & James GOMES
Article in French only.

Résumé

Notre société accorde une grande importance à la beauté et à la performance physique. Il n’est donc pas surprenant qu’une fraction non négligeable de gens aient recours à des méthodes draconiennes pour atteindre ces objectifs, ou s’en rapprocher. Une des méthodes les plus populaires est l’utilisation abusive de stéroïdes anabolisants. Plusieurs études ont évalué les effets indésirables et néfastes de ces composés à des doses “supra-physiologiques”. Nous présentons donc ici une révision et une synthèse de ces effets afin de mieux comprendre la nocivité de ces stéroïdes anabolisants quand ils sont mal utilisés.

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