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The 2008 Sunrise Propane explosion in Toronto led to the emergency evacuation of over 10,000 people. Once the fire was under control, people were allowed back into their homes only for those closest to the explosion to discover that pieces of material containing asbestos littered their streets and yards. What risk did this material pose, how would this be determined, and who would clean it up? This presentation will discuss how Toronto Public Health sought to answer these questions in a manner appropriate to the affected community as part of the overall emergency response to the disaster.
Presenter: Dr. Howard Shapiro
Dr. Howard Shapiro is a public health physician in Environmental and Occupational Health, Public Health Ontario, and an adjunct professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Prior to joining PHO, from 2001 on, Dr. Shapiro was an associate medical officer of health at both the Region of Peel and the City of Toronto public health units. He has helped guide the response of these local health departments to the consequences of emergencies such as floods, fires, blackouts, and infectious disease outbreaks as well as planning for the recent G20 summit.
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