What is a natural toxin? <ul><li>Natural toxicant are elements and/or compounds that are present in gaseous, solid or liquid form that at specific doses are toxic to humans and occur geologically. </li></ul><ul><li>There are many of these natural toxicants in the periodic table that we breath, drink and ingest (through soils, water, air and food). </li></ul>
Are there laws/policies that protect? <ul><li>Lots! </li></ul><ul><li>There are at least twenty-five separate acts of the federal legislature relating to environmental matters of contamination. </li></ul><ul><li>Included are the Canadian Environmental Protection Act; Canadian Environmental Assessment Act designed to protect. </li></ul><ul><li>Canadian Environmental Protection Act (1999) contains provisions that establishes a regime for identifying, assessing and regulating toxic substances. </li></ul><ul><li>Air, water, soil and radiation laws/policies… </li></ul>
What are some natural toxins that may be a risk to population health in Canada? There are many natural toxins that may pose as a risk to Population health. To simplify and to follow the lead of Environment Canada - Priority 1 Substance list (PSL1) http://www.ec.gc.ca/ceparegistry/subs_list/PSL1.cfm . Hexavalent chromium compounds . Inorganic arsenic compounds . Inorganic cadmium compounds . Inorganic fluorides . Oxidic, sulphidic and soluble, inorganic nickel compounds . Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons Hazard I.D.
Lots of laws/policies and regulations… <ul><li>Treasury Board Government of Canada Guidelines on Real Property Management </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental Canada’s Toxic Substance Management Policy </li></ul><ul><li>Canadian Environmental Protection Agency Review </li></ul><ul><li>1995, 1996 Auditor General’s Report </li></ul><ul><li>A Framework for Application of Precaution in Science, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Health Canada 2000 Decision Making Framework </li></ul><ul><li>Management of Drinking Water </li></ul><ul><li>Healthy Environments and Consumers Safety </li></ul><ul><li>Priority Substances List </li></ul>
<ul><li>Just not for natural toxicants … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>at least not very well </li></ul></ul>
<ul><li>Health Canada and Environment Canada combine to define guidelines relative to air quality </li></ul><ul><li>“ Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines” for air, defined by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment </li></ul><ul><li>“ assess the impact of anthropogenic activities on air quality and ensures that current emission control policies are successfully protecting human health and the environment” </li></ul>Air
<ul><li>Lack of compositional (chemical and physical) guidelines of Particle Matter (PM) </li></ul>What’s missing…
Why not use… Geological earth materials can play a significant role in quality issues: exposure pathways, absorption, biodistributions , chemical conditions of the human body from a geochemical perspective, earth materials in a biosolubility and bioreactivity context, particle shape and size, particle solubility and dissolution rates, …..
Human body response (bioaccessibility) to earth materials… (Plumlee et al. 2006)
Water <ul><li>The Canada Water Act (1970) enables federal and provincial control over water resource management </li></ul><ul><li>Historically the provincial and municipal levels manage drinking water issues </li></ul><ul><li>Under the Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines (CCME) (1999) if the maximum acceptable concentrations continue to be exceeded in drinking water, the local authority responsible for drinking water supplies should be consulted concerning appropriate corrective action. </li></ul>
What’s missing… <ul><li>Not all municipalities analyse for all natural toxins </li></ul><ul><li>Private wells even less testing occurring (up to individual well owner)- </li></ul>
Rocks that contain arsenic and cadmium (shale) Shale in Western Canada (after Chorlton and Pai, 1999) Natural Toxins As Cd
Health affects of Earth Materials (Plumlee et al. 2006)
Soil Some of the regulations… Guided by recommendations of the CCME 1999 Canadian Soil Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Environment and Human Health, 1999 Canadian Council Ministry of the Environment National Classification System for Contaminated Sites Guidance Document PN1403, 2008
<ul><li>Bedrock geology…and… earth science knowledge base: </li></ul>What’s missing? … mitigating or exacerbating effects of trace elements and accessory minerals, particle crystal structure, surface features, fluid mineral reactions that generate free radicals, mining waters and tailings, smelting by-products, mineralogy ingestion bioaccessibility,respiratory bioaccessibility, soils and neurodegenerative diseases, soil-borne pathogens and uptake of toxicants from involuntary ingestion
Why not use… Risk of exposure Nickel and Chromium natural toxicants in soil, water, food from rocks Coding based on Wheeler’s (1997) Geology of Canada map. Scale: 1:7,600,000 with census areas (2006 from Statistics Canada) overlain. Geographic units by province and territory, 2006 Census Source: Mafic(ultramafic) rocks (purple colour) in Eastern Canada
A few of the many Medical Geology publications….
The Radiation Protection Bureau part of Health Canada Protect “the effects of nuclear accidents, radioactivity in water and food, radon in indoor air, and naturally occurring radioactive materials from non-nuclear industries monitoring system involves a single-stationary monitoring station (receptors) for each of the provinces Soil and Radiation monitoring
What’s missing… <ul><li>Geological mapping of natural radioactivty: Only a single-stationary monitoring station (receptor) for each province… </li></ul>
Radioactivity map of Canada Geological Survey of Canada > 40 years airborne and ground radioactivity techniques
Risk Assessments of natural toxins We should care what we are eating breathing and drinking if they contain natural toxicants. Evidence supports that earth materials can produce PSL 1 substances at toxicant levels to humans from natural sources. This knowledge is available from earth science studies.
What’s Missing? The current Canadian policies/regulations are inadequate. Only sparse information on earth science knowledge and association of naturally occurring toxicants and their abundance Often inaccurate Lacking in the current Health and Environment Canada’s laws/policies is a systematic consultation at all levels and stages in the development of policies/laws regarding human health and geological material (including the natural toxicants listed on the PSL1).
Framework for Risk Management and Population Health Krewski et al. 2007
An Earth Science- Biology Integration… Modified Krewski et al. 2007 model
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