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Cian Hackett

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A 1st year medical student, Cian enjoys learning about anything with general health implications.

Cian Hackett

Medicine & Dentistry

  • Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTR)

Subject areas and related deposits

  • Environmental health

    • Using Pollutant Release and Transfer Register Data for Environmental Health Research

      Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs) are national databases of chemical releases reported by industry to governments. The importance of pollutants to health is well documented, however the use of PRTR data to study relationships between health outcomes and pollution has not been evaluated. A preliminary literature search found few published studies that used data from the Canadian PRTR. Understanding past uses of PRTR data is important in the evaluation of their applicability to future health studies.

  • Pollution Release and Transfer Data


      Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs) collect and provide information on chemicals released to the environment or otherwise managed as waste. They support the public’s right–to-know and provide useful information in gauging performance of facilities, sectors and governments. The extent to which these data have been used in research, particularly in relation to human health, has not been documented. In this scoping review our objective was to learn from scholarly literature the extent and nature of the use of PRTR data in human health research. We performed literature searches (1994-2011) using various search engines/key words. Articles selected for review were chosen following predefined criteria, to extract and analyse data. One hundred and eighty four papers were identified. Forty investigated possible relations with health outcomes: Thirty-three of them identified positive associations. The rest explored other uses of PRTR data. Papers identified challenges, some imputable to the PRTR. We conclude that PRTR data are useful for research, including health-related studies and have significant potential for prioritizing research needs that can influence policy, management and ultimately human health. In spite of their inherent limitations, PRTRs represent a perfectible, unique useful source, whose application to human health research appears to be underutilized. Developing strategies to overcome these limitations could improve data quality and increase its utility in future environmental health research and policy applications.