Dr. Peters

Dr. Peters is involved in two projects that draw from the Canadian Census Health and Environment Cohorts (CanCHEC). CanCHEC comprises population-based, linked datasets that combine long-form census respondents with administrative health data and postal codes. It can be used to assess health outcomes in Canada’s population by different demographic and socioeconomic variables that are included in the linked databases, as well as by exposure data, which can be linked to CanCHEC using postal code.

Outdoor air pollution

Outdoor air pollution is a known lung carcinogen. However, little is known about the relationship between air pollution and other types of cancer. Given that many people are exposed to air pollution and the potential health impacts may be substantial, the goal of this research project is to investigate whether exposure to ambient air pollution (i.e. PM2.5, NO2, and ozone) is associated with increased risk of non-lung cancers, including leukemia, kidney, bladder, brain pancreatic, prostate, and female breast. Exposure data will be obtained form the Canadian Urban Environmental Health Research Consortium (CANUE) at the 6-digit postal code level, as a proxy for home neighbourhood in urban settings. Risk estimates between air pollution exposure metrics and the risk of the seven identified cancers and lung cancer will be calculated. In addition, we will identify differences in risk between men and women, as well as those living in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Our findings can be used to inform policies that aim to reduce the risk of cancer in Canada.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Cheryl Peters

Co-Investigators: Dr. Kristian Larsen, Dr. Lauren Pinault, Dr. Daniel Rainham, Dr. Paul Villeneuve, Dr. Scott Weichenthal, Dr. Lin Yang

Funder: Canadian Institute of Health Research

Nuclear power plants

Nuclear power is used in Canada to generate electricity. However, there is public concern over its potential health impacts, and current scientific evidence shows uncertainty about the health risks of low-level ionizing radiation exposure associated with nuclear power plants. This study’s objectives are to examine patterns of cancer incidence and mortality among adults living close to 5 nuclear power plants in Canada. The study population and disease outcomes are drawn from CanCHEC. In particular, we will investigate differences in mortality and cancer rates between those who live near nuclear power plants to those who do not, while accounting for other determinants of health (e.g. smoking, socioeconomic status, etc.). We will also create exposure surfaces that map differences in ionizing radiation around the nuclear power plants, and we will estimate how health risks vary by these exposures. Our findings will generate important evidence about the population health impacts of low-level exposure to ionizing radiation for the public and regulatory agencies.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Paul Villeneuve

Co-Investigators: Dr. Mark Goldberg, Dr. Cheryl Peters, Dr. Lauren Pinault, Dr. Daniel Rainham, Dr. Michael Tjepkema

Funder: Canadian Institute of Health Research