Search Resources (English): Environmental illnesses, National Network on Environment and Women's Health (NNEWH)

5 results


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.

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Published: 2009
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
Plastics industry workers and breast cancer risk: Q & A

A question and answer format factsheet on the health issues facing women who work in industries, such as the automotive industry, in which they work with plastics. Discusses the risk of developing breast cancer due to these exposures, the current situation with occupational health standards, and what should be done to change those standards.

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Published: 2012
Webinar on biomonitoring: measuring the pollution in women’s bodies to build healthier communities

Presenter Sharyle Patton explores the uses of biomonitoring – the testing of one’s body for chemical exposure – and looks at how the experience of knowing one's body burden (the total amount of chemicals present in the human body at any given time) can help inform personal choice and political engagement. While the findings from biomonitoring may be devastating to some on an individual level, Patton suggests that if the information is used with sensitivity and respect for tradition, it can be quite powerful in helping groups work for change in toxic chemical policy. A storyteller, Patton illustrates her message with the experiences of women she has encountered through her work.

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Published: 2011
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.

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Published: 2010