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About Health Canada

Environmental Health, Science and Research Bureau

The mandate of the Environmental Health, Science and Research Bureau is to reduce the negative impacts of environmental exposures on the health of Canadians through research, surveillance, monitoring, epidemiological investigations, and emergency planning.

Specifically, the Bureau is responsible for:

  • Operationalizing the Safe Environments research framework, generating data in support of regulatory programmes and translating and transferring scientific knowledge from research to policy
  • Characterizing human exposure to harmful substances through direct measurement and the application of biomarkers to identify environmental contaminants, measure their amounts, elucidate the mechanism of formation and exposure, identify sources of exposure and to validate remedial strategies
  • Identifying potential hazards posed by environmental contaminants through toxicological and mechanistic studies
  • Conducting population studies to investigate the association between exposure to environmental contaminants and human health effects, to link results obtained experimentally in the laboratory to human disease
  • Identifying vulnerable populations and the genetic, physiological, and environmental factors that make them susceptible
  • Developing more accurate and efficient testing and research tools for hazard identification by assessing and refining existing methods, and exploiting new technologies
  • Providing expert advice Nationally and Internationally on the conduct and interpretation of research and testing related to environmental health
  • Providing chemical emergency preparedness and response capacity in the Safe Environments Programme and coordinating related activities across the Department, Nationally, and Internationally