Environmental Health Services acts as a resource to the Provincial Health Officer, the Ministry of Health and BC’s regional health authorities on environmental health policy, practice and research.
We coordinate and support policy, provide consultative resources, expand capacity for environmental health and climate change adaptation in public health through research and education and provide direct services through our programs and services.
We help support and coordinate environmental health policy development primarily through the BC Environmental Health Policy Advisory Committee (BCEHPAC). Other roles include:
- As a member of the BCEHPAC, EHS plays a key role in ensuring an efficient, inclusive, and collaborative approach to the development of environmental health policy in British Columbia.
- EHS provides technical advice and expertise to the BCEHPAC, The Provincial Health Officer (PHO) and the Ministry of Health (MoH), and other public sector partners in order to ensure that environmental health policy development is well supported by scientific evidence and focused on those environmental and climate change related hazards that contribute to the greatest burden of morbidity and mortality in the province.
- EHS also works to develop practical surveillance instruments to better monitor the incidence and prevalence of health impacts related to environmental and climate change hazards in BC, as well as tools to assess the distribution and impact of environmental hazards needing remediation.
We provide a number of unique consultative services to the PHO, MoH, regional health authorities (RHAs), and other public sector partners including, but not limited to, the following activities:
- Knowledge translation related to the management of unusual or complex situations involving risks to human health from environmental and climate change related hazards;
- Risk-analysis and risk-assessment of different environmental and climate change hazards; and,
- Development of guidelines and advice related to diverse issues of environmental health significance.
Where there is limited scientific evidence to support Environmental Health policy, EHS leverages its strong relationships with academic partners to coordinate and conduct focused research to fill these knowledge gaps.
EHS also focuses on developing educational tools to assist RHA based environmental health practitioners. More recently, EHS has hosted and mentored a number of young researchers conducting studies in different areas of environmental health.
Works to reduce the negative impacts of environmental exposures on the health of British Columbians through research, surveillance, monitoring, epidemiological investigations and emergency planning.
Provides licensing and dairy inspection services for provincial dairies, performs food risk assessments, reviews food security and safety issues and produces guidelines for industry and health professionals. | Food Protection Services
Provides drug information consultation for health professionals, poison information and treatment guidelines to clinicians and the public, toxicology education for residents in emergency medicine and pharmacy, and public poison prevention education and resources. | DPIC
Synthesizes, translates and exchanges knowledge for environmental health practitioners and policy-makers, identifies gaps in research and practice knowledge, and builds capacity through networks of practitioners, policy-makers and researchers. | NCCEH
Serves as a centralized hub of technical expertise, capacity building, and coordination for climate change and public health activities in BC. Supports provincial and regional adaptation planning with data, science, research, surveillance, and knowledge translation. | Climate Change and Health