JEH455 Current Issues in Environment and Health Syllabus

University of Toronto, Winter 2016

About This Course

On April 18, 2008, the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health, and the Honourable John Baird, Minister of the Environment, announced that the Government is taking action to protect the health of Canadians and the environment from another chemical of concern. Canada is the first country in the world to complete a risk assessment of bisphenol A in consultation with industry and other stakeholders, and to initiate a 60 day public comment period on whether to ban the importation, sale and advertising of polycarbonate baby bottles which contain bisphenol A.” This current and controversial bisphenol A case will be used as a starting point for understanding current issues in environment and health. How does the Canadian government reach decisions about chemical substances? What roles do industry, the media and nongovernmental organizations play? How does this translate into public policy in Toronto, Canada, internationally? What does it mean for individual Canadians? The highlight of the course is the diverse expertise of the guest lecturers. Scientists from academia, industry, government and nongovernmental organizations provide different and sometimes conflicting perspectives on the scientific and medical facts and interpretations. Environmental experts from academia, the media, law associations and Toronto Public Health, together with the scientists, provide important insights into the political and policy implications.