First Exposure

The University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health is launching a groundbreaking network dedicated to reproductive and infant health, thanks to a $5 million investment from the Vohra Miller Foundation.

First Exposure will support research, education and knowledge mobilization activities on exposures to medications, plants and environmental substances, for pregnant individuals and their families. First Exposure will offer evidence-informed recommendations on exposures and risks to pregnancy, lactation, and infant development.

Created for primary care practitioners and the public, First Exposure will provide easy-to-access, up-to-date information where and when you need it!

Announcement Video:

A Digital Information Resource for Pregnancy and Lactation Safety

First Exposure will improve digital access to crucial health information, focussed on pregnancy, lactation and infant exposures to medications, environmental substances and plant medicines.

Safe access to medication and substance information is needed on pregnancy, lactation and early infancy. It can be a difficult time for pregnant individuals and parents looking for reliable information on potential risks posed to themselves and their infants by a variety of everyday substances such as medications, household products, and pollutants in the air or water. Getting accurate information can be an even greater challenge for those with mental illness, obesity, diabetes and chronic hypertension; or who face income and housing issues; or are in remote and underserved communities with fewer available resources to help guide their decision-making.

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA)

First Exposure will begin with a bilingual FR/EN platform to serve Ontario’s 150,000 pregnant individuals, their families and health care providers. We’re working with subject matter experts including physician specialists, midwives, nurses and pharmacists to mobilize interactive knowledge generated from the First Exposure toxicology database. In accordance rigorous privacy and security protocols, First Exposure plans to provide more interactive and personalized services and to offer resources to Canadian, and eventually, international audiences.

Co-governance with academics and community leaders and an ongoing community engagement process has informed the design and implementation of First Exposure.

First Exposure will follow progressive data sovereignty principles for populations seeking governance over the way their data is collected, used, and interpreted.

First Exposure has established standards of conduct for culturally safe knowledge mobilization and team conduct to support inclusion, access, privacy, and health literacy. The First Exposure database is an asset to be maintained within an ethical and rigorous research/privacy framework
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