Sault Ste. Marie Air Quality Study (2010-12)

Beginning in 2003, former MP Tony Martin, together with a group of residents concerned about emissions from nearby Essar Steel Algoma, began the search for a team of health professionals with the skills and knowledge to conduct this research. Read more

Bayview Area Residents have lobbied for decades for assistance in determining the impact of the neighbourhood’s air quality on the health of local residents, and in 2010, NORDIK Institute was able to partner with Health Canada to address their needs. Beginning in 2003, former MP Tony Martin, together with a group of residents concerned about emissions from nearby Essar Steel Algoma, began the search for a team of health professionals with the skills and knowledge to conduct this research. In the fall of 2009, the group found Dr. Robert Dales and a team of professionals at Health Canada with the technical know-how, and then approached NORDIK to manage and oversee the data collection.

Although the project stretched NORDIK’s capacity to the limit, Ildiko Horvath, the project lead, together with Stephanie Blaney, gathered a team of local health care professionals and recruited over 60 healthy adults to participate in the study. The $900,000 study on the effects of industrial air pollution involved local researchers, nurses, health professionals and research participants.
This is the third study of outdoor air quality in a Canadian urban centre, and is the largest. The study’s 60 research participants were closely monitored in three testing environments: breathing unfiltered air at Sault College, breathing unfiltered air at Essar Steel Algoma grounds, and breathing filtered air at the Essar/Bayview site. NORDIK Institute still awaits the final analysis and
interpretation from Health Canada.

Not only did the study provide employment to twenty-five health care professionals throughout the May – August period, it also provided honoraria to all participants, many of whom were students,
saving funds for another school year. On June 23rd 2011, NORDIK received the Innovation Research Project of the Year award from the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre for the Air Quality Study.