Respiratory disease

9 January 2008

Nunavik Inuit Health Survey 2004 : Respiratory Health: Frequency of Asthma, Wheezing and Allergies in Inuit Children in Relation to Indoor Air Quality

A respiratory health survey on a representative sample (1023) of Inuit children aged 0 to 14 was undertaken for the first time in Nunavik in 2004. The data on respiratory symptoms and asthma were obtained from a household respondent, usually a parent, by means of the standardized ISAAC questionnaire (International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood). Other questions were also asked about various home and environmental variables.

Results indicate that the prevalence of wheezing, persistent wheezing and severe wheezing is three to four times higher in the 0 to 4 age group compared to the 5 to 14 age group (14.5% vs. 3.4%). In comparison with southern Quebec and many countries, the prevalence of wheezing in younger Inuit children is relatively high, while it is relatively low among older children. The prevalence of wheezing among Inuit children aged 5 to 14 is about half the prevalence of wheezing found in children from southern Quebec aged 9 to 13, and is similar to th…

5 September 2007

Descriptive Epidemiology of the Principal Asbestos-Related Diseases in Québec, 1981-2004

While awaiting the introduction of the future surveillance system for asbestos exposures and their related diseases, we created the descriptive epidemiological portrait of two of these health problems, malignant mesothelioma and asbestosis. It was constructed using the data from statutory databases available at the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux: the Fichier des tumeurs du Québec (tumour registry) for cancer incidence, the Fichier des décès (death registry) for mortality and the Med-Echo registry for asbestosis hospitalizations. Finally, the international comparisons of malignant mesothelioma incidence rates were made using the electronic database of the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

The study area is the Province of Québec. The incidence rates, mortality and hospitalization at the regional level (health region) were compared. The time trends of incidence rates, mortality and hospitalization were analyzed. Standardized rates using the direct met…

2 March 2007

Ventilation of residential buildings: Impacts on the occupants' respiratory health

A residential building’s indoor air can theoretically contain various types of contaminants to which the occupants could be exposed. Many studies have established links between the presence of indoor air contaminants and some health problems. A reduction in indoor air contamination must ideally be the subject of a strategy encompassing a certain number of measures, with control at source definitely being the first option to be considered. However, this approach alone is not sufficient to reduce all of the contaminants present, so other complementary measures need to be considered, such as the ventilation of indoor spaces.

At the present time, the application of regulations on the ventilation of small residential buildings varies greatly in Québec, with municipalities having the power to adopt their own construction regulation. The Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) wants to adopt a uniform basic standard for all new buildings, particularly concerning the installation of mecha…

15 September 2005

The Use of Chrysotile Asbestos in Quebec

In 1997, in light of international developments with respect to asbestos, the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (Québec's department of health and social services) set up the Comité aviseur sur l'amiante (asbestos advisory committee) to make recommendations concerning appropriate measures for informing the public about the asbestos situation in Québec and protecting public health in this regard. To carry out this mandate, the committee conducted a number of studies. These were synthesized in three documents that may be consulted on the website of the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) (De Guire et al., 2003; Lajoieet al., 2003; De Guire & Lajoie, 2003).

In 2002, the Québec government adopted a Politique d'utilisation accrue et sécuritaire de l'amiante chrysotile (Policy concerning the increased and safe use of chrysotile asbestos). As the name indicates, the objective of this policy is to increase the…

14 November 2003

The Epidemiology of Asbestos-related Diseases in Quebec

Under the auspices of the Comité aviseur sur l'amiante au Québec (asbestos advisory committee), the sub-committee on the epidemiology of asbestos-related diseases reviewed the available epidemiological data on these diseases in Quebec. The sub-committee also conducted various studies to fill in certain gaps identified during the analysis of available data. 

The findings that have been summarized here show a statistically significant increase in the incidence of mesothelioma of the pleura among Quebec men between 1982 and 1996. Statistical projection suggests that this increase might level off in a few years, but this is not certain. Quebec men and women also show significantly higher rates of mesothelioma of the pleura than men and women in the rest of Canada and in several other countries. This clearly points to the necessity of monitoring the evolution of this cancer in Quebec in the coming years, especially to see whether or not the increase levels off and to describe the…

20 November 2002

Health risks associated with the indoor presence of moulds - Summary document

In April 2000, the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux mandated the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) to coordinate the production of a scientific report on the health risks associated with the indoor presence of moulds. To accomplish this mission, a Task Force was created, primarily composed of representatives of the public health network, especially the environmental health and occupational health sectors.

This document is a summary of the scientific report produced by the Task Force, which is based on an up-to-date literature review on the issue and on the opinions of internationally recognized organizations. This document is mainly intended for the stakeholders of organizations interested in management of indoor fungal contamination cases.

Over the years, the indoor presence of moulds has become a matter of concern for health professionals and for the general public. Over the past few years, more and more studies conducted in North A…