Fall 2019 - HSCI 845 G100

Environmental and Occupational Health (3)

Class Number: 8032

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 3 – Dec 2, 2019: Tue, 11:30 a.m.–2:20 p.m.



Globalization and industrialization impacts on the health of the environment, populations, and workers. Environmental hazards in consumables (food, air, and water) and waste (liquid, solid, and gaseous) with special reference to hazardous waste. Risk assessment in community, workplace, and residential settings. A case studies approach.


This is a graduate level overview of the multidisciplinary field of environmental and occupational health. We will cover a broad spectrum of environmental and work hazards, their interactions with human health and susceptibility, and their relevance to the effective maintenance and promotion of public health. 

Approach: The course has been designed using a hybrid standard lecture and flipped classroom model; there are 11 modules to complete throughout the semester. Students will learn through online study, in-class learning activities, a comprehensive group project, and a final class poster session. The main characteristic of the flipped classroom component is that content and material are delivered primarily outside of the face-to-face classroom, using online tools and educational technologies, while in-class time is used to work through problems, advance concepts, and engage in collaborative learning.   Every week, students will need to complete the activities outlined under the ‘Preparing for in-class learning’ section in canvas (generally watching a vodcasts, completing 1-2 readings, and preparing for in-class activities). It is important that students come to class prepared. Workplace, community and home exposures are considered with a case studies approach. The examples are chosen to be representative of the major media or settings in which environmental hazards are commonly encountered: water and wastewater, solid and hazardous waste, food, and air; in community, workplace, and residential settings in addition to global health threats such as climate, conflict and weapons of mass destruction. With support of the online and classroom lectures, the small group work will evaluate environmental issues and risks that have consequences for environmental and occupational health on a population basis. These may include analysis of classical or contemporary incidents, risk communication challenges, or future public health threats outside the basic topics below.

Basic Topics
1.     Principles of occupational and environmental health.
2.     Principles 2: Basic toxicology, risk assessment, risk communication.
3.     Human susceptibility and interactions with environmental exposures.
4.     Introduction to global environmental health issues including health effects of climate change.
5.     Introduction to occupational health. Shifting global economics and industrialization and impact on workers.
6.     Air Pollution and global disease epidemiology.
7.     Indoor air hazards, housing and human health.
8.     Human health impact of climate change.
9.     Water as an important route of exposure in human disease.
10.   Regulation and environmental health policy.
11.  The built environment.


Objectives: Students will gain general familiarity with fundamental principles and general areas of knowledge that are important to the broad field of environmental and occupational health (EOH); the approaches used to anticipate, recognize, assess, and prevent or manage environmental health hazards and their associated health risks; the standard-setting processes, current regulatory policies, and points of controversy using representative examples of environ­mental and occupational health hazards. This course aims to expose students to numerous EOH issues and to encourage critical thinking and reflection on these issues as well as what we can do about them. Finally, this course aims to inspire interest in the role of the environment in promoting and maintaining the health of populations across the world.  Students will also develop collaborative problem-solving and leadership skills relevant to public health practice more broadly.


  • In-class participation and assignments 30%
  • Small Group Project 45%
  • Midterm Exam 25%


Exams:  There will be one midterm exam.  Date yet to be determined.


Assignments:  Each student will be required to complete:

In class activities: A selection of in-class activities will be assessed for 20% total mark with an additional 10% for completion of 5-minute reflections previous to most of the classes. For the week 2 activity, each student will select a preference on Canvas among the possible environmental disaster topics. Written assignment  DUE:  the Friday, following class, no later than 4:00 pm. on Canvas.

Group Assignments: Group work in and outside class are a crucial component of the course. In addition to less formal group activities completed in class, students will form a group for the major course project on an agreed upon environmental or occupational health problem or issue, with the goal of determining feasible answers, options and preventive solutions for the problem. Each student will select his/her personal preferences for group final projects , informing T.A. Topics for the final group projects are based on students' preferences, as much as possible.  

Major Paper Group Assignment Students self-select into groups composed of 4 to 6 students.  Notify T.A. with your name and the chosen environmental or occupational issue on Canvas. Preferences DUE: at the start of the last class session (11:30 am)

Peer Reviews for large group project:  Each student will evaluate the contributions of each of his/her work group members, using a provided peer-review form.   DUE:  at the start of the last class session (11:30 am).    Each group is required to produce: ·   
Group report:  One 20 to 40 page written report of findings and determinations from the group investigation.  One hard copy and one electronic version (Canvas) are required.   ·   
Poster Presentation: Details to be described later in the year. DATE:  Presentations will occur PAPER DUE:  by the last class time on Canvas.



Required Readings: All required readings are available online through the canvas class website or follow syllabus: Frumkin H. Environmental Health: From Global to Local. 3rd Ed. John Wiley & Sons. 2016.                                

The textbook is on reserve at the Bennett library and can be purchased on-line through:
or the SFU Bookstore


Supplementary texts:  LaDou J and Harrison R. Current Environmental and Occupational Medicine 5th Ed. Lange Publishing 2014.
https://www.amazon.ca/CURRENT-Occupational-Environmental-Medicine-5/dp/0071808159/ ref=dp_ob_image_bk  

More in-depth peer reviewed literature can be found by topic on PubMed Central, found through SFU: http://www.lib.sfu.ca/researchtools/databases/dbofdb.htm?DatabaseID=662     

Additional topical readings from peer-reviewed literature and daily media  

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html