As of July 1, the inspection, compliance and enforcement functions from several provincial government departments will come together under Nova Scotia Environment.
Departments involved in this consolidation include the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Health and Wellness, the Department of Agriculture, Nova Scotia Environment, and the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture.
For more information, visit novascotia.ca/nse/inspection-compliance-enforcement/
Every day Nova Scotians purchase and use products, consume water and food and come into contact with materials that contain chemicals. Many of these chemicals are designed to make life easier, healthier and more efficient. Exposure to most of these chemicals is not harmful. However, in some cases, exposure can affect your health, if risks aren’t properly managed or chemicals are not used as intended.
The health risks of chemicals depend on several factors, such as:
Some people may be more sensitive to chemical exposure than others. Groups that may be at higher risk include children, pregnant women, and seniors.
Accidents or incorrect use of household chemical products may cause immediate health effects, such as burns and poisoning. There can also be longer-term health effects from chemicals. When these occur, they are usually the result of exposure to certain chemicals over a long period of time. Depending on the chemical, these longer-term health effects might include:
You can take steps to protect yourself and your family from chemical risks:
Children are more vulnerable than adults to chemicals found in the environment for many reasons.
Children may be exposed to chemicals in indoor and outdoor air, water, soil, house dust, food, and consumer products, in the settings where they live, learn and play. In addition, during pregnancy the fetus can be exposed to chemicals, as certain chemicals can cross the placenta. Nursing infants may also be exposed to chemicals that may be present in breast milk.
Health risks associated with a specific chemical depend on the hazard (its potential to cause health effects) and the dose (the amount of chemical to which you are exposed). The timing of the exposure is also very important. For example, specific stages of pregnancy are now recognized as critical windows of susceptibility to the effects of some chemicals.
The easiest place to reduce children’s exposure is in the home where chemical products such as cleaning liquids and powders, polishes, drain cleaners, paint thinners, windshield washing fluid and pesticides are commonly found.
Health Canada -
It’s Your Health - information sheet on Chemicals and your Health (PDF)
Government of Canada’s information sheet on -
Chemicals and Children’s Health (PDF)
Chemicals Substances Web site
Health Environments for Children – What You Can Do
If you wish to report
a health hazard,
or fill out our online form