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First Nation Childrens Environmental Health. To speak about the manual To provide tools which could be used to teach community members about environmental.

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Presentation on theme: "First Nation Childrens Environmental Health. To speak about the manual To provide tools which could be used to teach community members about environmental."— Presentation transcript:

1 First Nation Childrens Environmental Health

2 To speak about the manual To provide tools which could be used to teach community members about environmental health concerns and how to decrease exposure to toxins

3 Elders Union of Ontario Indians Ministry of Children and Youth Services Wendy Burgoyne – Best Start Resource Centre and Health Nexus First Nations Service Providers

4 Air Earth Fire Water


6 The well being of our people today and generations to come are directly related to our ability to live in balance and harmony with Mother Earth John Beaucage Grand Council Chief

7 Every child deserves to live in a healthy environment. We can all work together to improve the health of First Nations children. Phil Fontaine, National Chief

8 Child Health and the Environment – A Primer, August 2005: Canadian Partnership for Childrens Health and the Environment.

9 Physiological, developmental, and behavioral differences set them apart Exposure occurs during sensitive developmental stages Children spend more time close to the ground Explore their environments through taste and touch Consume larger quantities of food and water per body weight Spend more time indoors

10 Liver is not developed to adult capacity until 6 months Kidneys are not fully developed until 16 months The blood-brain barrier is not fully developed for at least 3 years Rapid brain development leads to increased vulnerability

11 Child Health and the Environment-A Primer, August 2005 Canadian Partnership fro Childrens Health and the Environment

12 When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically The Wingspread statement (Wingspread Conference, Racine Wisconsin, 1998)

13 Some pollutants are excreted more slowly than they are absorbed and are stored in the body for long periods of time. Body burden: Total pollutants in the body may increase if the organism is repeatedly exposed to bioaccumulating substances for a long period of time.

14 Intellectual deficits Learning disabilities Vision and hearing problems Behavioral problems

15 Interfere with normal functioning of the reproductive system and stages of development Linked to birth defects in the male reproductive system, fertility problems, early onset menstruation/puberty, and cancer Occurs mainly from contamination of wildlife and other foods including food packaging

16 A childs lungs continue to develop into adolescence Asthma – 12% of children in NA have, increased since 1994, boys higher rates First Nations – higher rates of tobacco use, higher rates of asthma, more likely to be hospitalized for respiratory illness

17 Changes in sexual behaviour, lower sperm count, decreased fertility, irregular menstruation Spontaneous abortion Low Birth Weight Birth defects Vision, hearing, intellectual deficits Aamjiwnaang FN near Sarnia – more females born than males

18 Cause cancer PCBs, pesticides, diesel exhaust, vehicle emissions, tobacco smoke Cancer rates are lower among FNs Increasing incidence of lung and colon cancer

19 Lead Methyl Mercury PCBs, Dioxins Volatile Organic Compounds Tobacco Smoke Radiation – UV Exposure Outdoor pollution – diesel, combustion, burning, industrial air releases

20 Bisphenol A Poly Vinyl Chloride Phthalates Pesticides Persistent Organic Pollutants Poly Brominated Diphenyl Ethers

21 Found : Water supply, lead based paint (renovations), soil and gardening, some consumer products Health Canada banned in gasoline in 1990 Todays plumbing code prohibits the use of lead-based solder Water Supply : piping, solder, fixtures (taps themselves) Longer water sits in pipes the more lead may dissolve into water Homes constructed before 1955 (today plumbing code prohibits lead based solder)

22 Paint manufactured before 1980 & homes built before 1950 If chipped, peeled or sanded can release particles into dust and soil Areas with increased abrasion (doors/rails/window sills) prone to creating dust therefore ensure that painted surfaces in older buildings are well maintained

23 Soil and Gardening Soil can be contaminated from current or past industrial activities/use of products by residents (vehicle emissions) especially if garden is close to roads/highway Soil can be contaminated from current or past industrial activities/use of products by residents (vehicle emissions) especially if garden is close to roads/highway Consumer Products: plastic mini-blinds, candlewicks, sidewalk chalk, crayons, the paint on pencils, clothing zippers, inexpensive jewellery and trinkets, pewter items, some imported candy and traditional medicines and some painted toys

24 What Can Families Do? Water Supply: Most effective way is to replace lead water service or piping (expensive) Filtration (NSF Standard 53) Use only cold flushed water for drinking, cooking and especially for preparing baby formula (never use hot water for tap consumption as heated water may contain higher levels Boiling water doesnt remove it MOE requires all daycares to have less than 10 ppb in water Flushing

25 What Can Families Do? Get advice from a qualified contractor on how best to deal with old painted surfaces that require renovations or repair Wash hands after cleaning Do not let children eat or suck on paint chips Keep painted surfaces in good repair Wipe up paint chips immediately with damp cloth Keep pregnant women and children out of renovated spaces until the work is finished and well cleaned

26 What Can Families Do? Soil and Gardening: Remove shoes at the door and use washable door mats Try to ensure that children play on grass not bare soil Wash childrens feet after they play barefoot outdoors Plant community gardens away from industrial or high traffic areas Plant home gardens away from foundation of the house if paint is peeling from outside of the building Add organic matter (such as compost) to your soil Keep soil moist to control dust Remove as much soil as you can from produce before bringing into home/thoroughly wash vegetables before consuming or cooking

27 What Can Families Do? Consumer Products: Check for product warnings/advisories/recalls from Health Canada Watch out for trinkets that have a dull grey colour or are heavy for their size Carefully discard plastic mini-blinds bought before 1997 Do not store or serve food and drinks in leaded crystal dishes Avoid buying candles with metallic core in the wick Avoid toys, backpacks and lunchboxes made of brightly coloured PVC plastic Choose products such as pencils, crayons and sidewalk chalk that are made in Canada

28 Found: Naturally occurring element found in soil, rocks,lakes, streams and oceans. Released in environment by human activities such as burning coal and other fossil fuel mining and manufacturing Nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces Tuna (steaks), pike, bass, swordfish, shark and marlin contain high levels

29 Eat Less Often Eat Less Often Canned white tuna (Albacore or blue fin) (Albacore or blue fin) Pregnant Breastfeeding Women Children Ages 1-4 Children Ages grams a week = 4 food guide servings 75 grams a week = 2 food guide servings 150 grams a week = 2 food guide servings Higher in mercury Higher in mercury

30 Canned Tuna EAT MORE OFTEN Canned light tuna Made from skip jack, yellow fin and togol LOWER IN MERCURY

31 FISH TO LIMIT Fresh/frozen tuna steaks Swordfish Shark Marlin, tilefish Orange roughy Escolar Large freshwater fish- walleye, northern pike ENJOY OFTEN! Canned Tuna *light* Crab Clams, oysters Halibut Herring Lake whitefish Rainbow trout Shrimp, scallops Squid Breaded fish cakes, sticks 2 food guide servings a month or 150 grams 2 food guide servings per week or 150 grams FISH AND MERCURY

32 Where Are They Found? Also known as PCBs Used in manufacture of transformer cooling oil etc.. No longer in use in Canada (banned) but still persists in the environment Found in air, soil, water and food Main source of contaminant is through the fat of some fish as with most contaminants they are lipophilic ( fat loving) Poly Chlorinated Biphenyls

33 What Can Families Do? When eating fish, trim off fat, discard the flesh and use a drip tray to allow fat to drip off fish and remove PCB Follow same fish consumption guidelines as mercury Poly Chlorinated Biphenyls

34 Where Are They Found? Also known as PBDE The new PCB Found in air, consumer products, dust, soil and water Some are used as flame retardants and heat stabilizers in thousands of products Often make up a large portion of the plastics in building materials, television and computer casings, hand tool housings, foam and fabrics of textiles, drapery fabrics and furniture Poly Brominated Diphenyl Ethers

35 What Can Families Do? Dusting around the house and car with a damp cloth. Never dry dusting Handle dryer lint and vacuum cleaner bags carefully Wash hands often before eating and preparing food Open windows when cleaning Cover any exposed foam on household items, or discard if it is crumbling or cannot be contained Remove unecessary carpets Ask retailers whether they carry PBDE free products Poly Brominated Diphenyl Ethers

36 Where Are They Found? Also known as VOCs A large group organic compounds that are airborne at room temperature eg: formaldehyde, toluene, benzene Release of fumes also known as off gassing Fumes from solvents like paints and paint thinners Fumes from new carpets, new furniture, new cars, cigarette smoke, hair spray, nail polish, mothballs, pressed wood, paints and thinners Volatile Organic Compounds

37 What Can Families Do? Look for low-VOC, non toxic or enviro friendly labelled products Choose a carpet free option for childrens play area Encourage a smoke free environment Reduce the number of personal care products such as hairsprays and nail polish Open windows or let product off gas before installing- length of off gassing varies depending on product Volatile Organic Compounds

38 Car and diesel exhaust, fuel combustion, burning of garbage or materials containing harmful chemicals and industrial air releases Affects climate change Creation of smog in the air Dioxins Are by-products of combustion, degradation of other chemicals such as vinyl and some industrial processes Many types of dioxins and highly toxic Outdoor Pollution

39 Water run off, illegal waste dumping, improperly managed raw sewage, industry, agriculture, inadequate waste management systems Most water pollution is now caused by overuse of consumer products particularly in the Great Lakes Outdoor pollution also contributes to soil and water contamination

40 What Can Families Do? Do not burn garbage that should not be burned Properly store and dispose of hazardous waste Organize a hazardous waste day in your community Stay indoors on very hot or smoggy days Switch to paper instead of disposable foam items such as paper plates Outdoor Air Pollution

41 Where Are They Found? Travel from farm fields, golf courses, parks, forests by air, food and soil Used for pest control in houses, indoor plants and gardens, lawns and pets Used on fruits and vegetables Sprayed on side of road and hydro lines for weed control Ontario has a new Cosmetic Pesticide Law-some exceptions Some pesticides are banned in Canada but not necessarily in the US Pesticides and Herbicides

42 Direct Exposure Those using pesticides Eg: Professionals, Farmers Indirect Exposure Those living close to areas where pesticides are used : Eg: agricultural areas, hydro lines, golf courses, agricultural crops

43 What Can Families Do? Avoid spraying the lawns with pesticides Wash fruits and vegetables well with water Buy local and grow your own produce Avoid picking berries, medicinal herbs in areas where it may have been sprayed Wash work clothes separately Take shoes and work clothes off at the door Dust with a damp cloth Pesticides and Herbicides

44 Build up occurs when excess moisture is retained indoors Mostly happens in bathrooms, kitchens and basements- can spread to rest of house Can be found in carpets, wallpaper, insulation, wood and drywall More than 270 kinds of mould Causes include home design, poor ventilation, use of basements and crawl spaces in moist climate


46 Numbers 1-7 are for the purpose of recycling (Thunder Bay #1&2) No regulatory body enforcing mandated numbering on plastics (manufacturers choice) Industries in charge of own testing Not designed to be used to determine safety of plastics

47 Tests (Heating of plastics) conclude plastics heat resistance NOT whether they leach into product or not Most plastics are made from petroleum (non-renewable imported) Plastics in cooking and food storage can carry health risks ( chemicals leach in to food/occupational concerns & air pollution during manufacturing)

48 Found : Pop bottles - ability to hold fizz Juice containers, water bottles, Recyclable: Yes Safe for Food Storage: Yes only if one time use only, must be recycled not re-used Polyethylene Terephthalate Ethylene

49 Found: Used in clear containers Milk jugs, juice containers, bleach, detergent and shampoo containers, sports water bottles (soft) Found in some plastic bags Recyclable: Yes Safe for food storage: Yes High Density Polyethylene

50 Concerns: plastic packaging (especially plastic bags) is an enormous source of landfill waste and is regularly eaten by marine and land animals to fatal consequences What Can Families Do? Try use alternatives to plastic packaging and storage containers. Cloth, paper or cardboard are possibilities for transporting groceries. High Density Polyethylene

51 Found: Used in some cling wrap, some plastic squeeze bottles, peanut butter jars, shower curtains and childrens toys (ie: rubber ducky) Bottles that have handles - handle can be molded easily into the bottle Recyclable : No Safe for food storage : No Concerns : PVC products contain and can leach toxic additives Poly Vinyl Chloride

52 What can Families Do? Avoid shower curtains and other products, such as vinyl table cloths, made from PVC as much as you can/choose PVC-free curtains made from safer materials such as cotton OR allow it to air out (off gassing is the smell of PVC) Vinyl smells, dont buy if there is no label Poly Vinyl Chloride

53 What can Families Do? If you can, only purchase toys (other products) that are not made from PVC If you already have toys that are made from PVC try your best to limit (if possible stop altogether) the mouthing or sucking on items since this will speed up the leaching process Health Canada has banned use of phthalates in teethers and rattles but no other toys at this time/US ban on phthalates in all toys Poly Vinyl Chloride

54 Found: Grocery store bags, frozen food bags, plastic wrap and some bottles Recyclable : No Safe for food Storage : Yes Concerns : Use plastic wrap with caution, especially in microwave. Keep it from touching the food. Alternatives : Wax paper, paper towels Low Density Polyethylene

55 Found: Containers such as Rubber maid, deli soup, syrup, yogurt and margarine containers Straws and other clouded plastic containers including baby bottles Safe for food storage : Yes Recyclable : No Polypropylene

56 Concerns/Tips: Avoid using plastic containers in the microwave OR for food storage immediately after cooking while food is still hot. Chemicals are released from plastic when heated. Use glass or ceramic containers free of metallic paint for microwaving and cooling/storing food. Avoid storing fatty foods in plastic containers as there is greater leaching of chemicals into fatty foods. Still continue to use as storage containers in other parts of daycare ie: mouthed toys waiting to be cleaned and disinfected, items used in crafts Polypropylene

57 Found: Styrofoam food trays, egg cartons, disposable cups/bowls, carry out containers and opaque plastic cutlery Safe for food storage : No Recyclable : No Polystyrene

58 Concerns/Tips: Can leach into food Toxic to brain and nervous system Has been known to adversely affect red blood cells, liver, kidneys and stomach in animal studies What Can Families Do? Purchase eggs in cardboard cartons Do not store food in these containers (especially food that has been heated) If being used in crafts, do not let children mouth these items (ie: styrofoam balls etc.) Polystyrene

59 Found: Used in most plastic baby bottles 5-gallon water bottles, sports bottles, metal food can liners clear plastic sippy cups and some clear plastic cutlery 7-PC-polycarbonate 7-Other-not just PC, can also be a mixture of other plastics Bisphenol A

60 7-Other-new bio based plastic 7-ABS-Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene- similar concerns as 7- PC Safe for food storage : No Recyclable : No Bisphenol A

61 In the News: *October 2008: Health Canada adds it to its Toxic Substances List *Spring 2010-Health Canada bans BPA in baby bottles *Aug New Stats Can Bio Report- BPA in over 90% of population. Ages higher levels- *kids under 6 not tested* Bisphenol A

62 What Can Families Do? Baby bottles containing BPA should not be on-site ( Health Canada ban) use glass or BPA free plastic- no longer allowed to sell in stores due to ban Avoid plastic containers made of polycarbonate eg: kitchen use ie: no microwaving, do not put hot foods/liquids in them (use glass, porcelain or stainless for ALL food/liquid storage Bisphenol A

63 What Can Families do ? Dishwashing is considered to be a heat source (if used as the sanitizer) or the detergent itself can contribute to the break down of the container When possible, replace all canned food with fresh or frozen Look for bio based plastic which is not made from petroleum products Switch to glass or stainless steel Bisphenol A

64 Where are they found? Used in plastics( mostly in vinyl) to soften and make them flexible Used in baby toys, tablecloths, shower curtains, medical equipment, flooring and packaging, paints and lubricants Several classes of phthalates Used in scented products such as candles, room deodorizers, personal care products, cars to make the scent last longer. New car smell.

65 What Can Families Do ? Used in unscented products to mask the scent Limit or avoid purchasing vinyl products. Choose fabric Limit the use of soft toys such as bath toys around small children especially if they chew Limit or avoid scented or unscented products

66 What Can Families Do? Look for term Fragrance Free Let products off gas outside on clothes line for a few days and/or open windows Feb 2009 – US banned phthalates in kids toys. Canada currently only bans phthalates in teething rings and rattles/US ban for all toys Keep pregnant women and children away from renovations


68 Tobacco Use Pesticide and Herbicide Use Household Chemicals Smog

69 Infants born to smokers have higher rates of nicotine dependency, lower birth weights and developmental as well as physical abnormalities. Canadian Paediatric Society, 2006

70 Food Source Contamination Soil Contamination Waste Management Housing

71 Loss of traditional practices, including loss of traditional diets, can be linked to the increase in dietary related disease and obesity. Elder Rebecca Martell (2008)

72 Home Heating Emissions from Combustion

73 Water Quality (Drinking) Breastfeeding Water Quality (Fish)

74 Lobby and advocate for change within community and at broader government level Use resources available through internet and government agencies Be aware and create awareness Provide up to date information Educate community members, Chief and Council Participate in research activities Incorporate environmentally friendly strategies in to service provision

75 Downloaded for free at Call Laurie McLeod-Shabogesic to purchase copies at (705) The cost is $12.85 plus $5.00 for shipping and handling. Limited number available for purchase during the conference.


77 Seven Sins of Greenwashing Wallet Card Personal Care Products Fact Sheet Breastfeeding: The Greenest Way To Go Fact Sheet Smart Plastics Guide Guide to Eating Ontario Sport Fish List of Contaminants


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