Search Resources (English): Environmental illnesses

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How strong is the evidence of a link between environmental chemicals and adverse effects on human reproductive health?
Describes the current evidence for the link between environmental chemicals and human reproductive health, and the difficulty in obtaining such data or the genuine absence of effects. (See Details)
Published: 2004
Environmental contaminants and breast cancer: the growing concerns about endocrine disrupting chemicals
Examines the link between increasing rates of breast cancer and the impacts of hormone disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Highlights the need for strong legislation to control EDCs which are used in everyday products such as baby bottles and other plastics and cosmetics. (See Details)
Published: 2006
Rethinking breast cancer and the environment: the case for the precautionary principle

Provides a framework for examining and determining the environmental causes of breast cancer. 

 (See Details)
Published: September 1998
Women and water

A website that seeks to contribute to the dialogue around Canadian water policy through water research that affects women and their health. Women have historical and traditional ties and spiritual relationships with water. In this way, water is of central importance to health broadly-defined (i.e. not just physical health). However, often women are not specifically studied or physical effects on women are measured in relation to the health of their unborn and new babies. This website will explore the gendered risks to women in a country where access to safe water is often taken for granted.

 (See Details)
Published: 2010
Pathways to breast cancer: a case study for innovation in chemical safety evaluation

A report of the Breast Cancer and Chemicals Policy Project, arising because proposed legislation in the US calls for disclosure of information about the toxicity of industrial chemicals. Investigates how such efforts could help identify chemicals that may raise the risk of breast cancer. Includes a testing scheme, called the Hazard Identification Approach, that provides a methodology for identifying substances that could elevate breast cancer risk.

 (See Details)
Published: 2010
Full circle: drugs, the environment and our health (Chapter 9 of The Push to Prescribe: Women & Canadian Drug Policy)

The Push to Prescribe: Women & Canadian Drug Policy discusses the complexity surrounding women and pharmaceuticals and uses the best evidence to argue for changes that better reflect women's needs in public health policy and that ensure those who are best suited to make these determinations are included in policy-making.

This chapter looks from a public health perspective at the trace amounts of pharmaceuticals and personal care products that have been detected in Canadian water, with particular attention to women’s relationship to this issue.

The Push to Prescribe, edited by Anne Rochon Ford and Diane Saibil and published by Women’s Press, is available at your local bookstore or can be ordered online at

This chapter is being made available by National Network on Environments and Women's Health. Please note that this chapter is for individual use only and distribution is prohibited.

 (See Details)
Published: 2009
Human fertility under attack: from research to action on phthalates and endocrine disruptors

A video of an address by Dr. Shanna Swan to the Assemblée Nationale colloquium on endocrine disruptors, focussing on phtalates and fertility.

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Published: April 10, 2012
The gendered health effects of chronic low-dose exposures to chemicals in drinking water

Presents the results of research examining drinking water data in five case studies spanning communities across the country. The data was examined in the context of emerging epidemiological evidence on low-dose exposures and their potential health effects during key developmental and reproductive life stages that can create “windows of vulnerability” with a distinctly gendered character. Confirms that for Canadians, the quality of your drinking water, from a long-term health perspective, depends on where you live.

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Published: 2009
Incorporating environmental health in clinical medicine

A special issue of the Journal of Environmental and Public Health focussed on incorporating environmental health into medical practice.

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Published: 2012
Canada’s North in a changing climate: Hearing from the women of Nain

Discusses research done where women's insights about climate change came from their experiences travelling, hunting, harvesting, hanging fish and laundry outdoors to dry and raising their families.

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Published: Fall/Winter 2008/2009