Dr. Pat E. Rasmussen

Research Scientist

As a research scientist with Health Canada, Dr. Rasmussen is the Leader of the Metals and Airborne PM Laboratory in the Exposures and Biomonitoring Division, Environmental Health Science and Research Bureau.

Current research and/or projects

Dr. Rasmussen conducts research in the field of environmental geochemistry and health, specifically field and analytical protocols for measuring human exposures to metals in urban air particulate matter (PM), and household dust. Her current research aims at understanding metal bioaccessibility and speciation in household dust and airborne particles, and improving methods for characterizing engineered nanoparticles.

Research and/or project statements

  • Principal Investigator of the "Canadian House Dust Study"; a nation-wide investigation into the chemical make-up of urban settled dust in residential environments.
  • Principal Investigator of projects on metal bioaccessibility and speciation in household dust and airborne particles.
  • Principal Investigator of research to develop methods for characterizing manufactured nanomaterials.


Professional activities / interests

  • Leader of collaborative co-location agreement between Health Canada and U of Ottawa, with goal to advance the research linkages between Earth Sciences and Health http://mysite.science.uottawa.ca/prasmuss/
  • Member of Canadian Standards Association Nanotechnology Occupational Health and Safety Technical Committee & Exposures Subcommittee/ Member of Canadian Advisory Committee for International Standards Association (ISO) Technical Committee 229 Nanotechnology
  • Supervises/Co-supervises students conducting PhD theses, MSc theses, and undergraduate theses

Education and awards

  • University of Waterloo (BSc), University of Toronto (MSc), University of Waterloo (PhD)
  • Deputy Minister Award for Excellence in Science (2012); Health Canada Science Forum 2008 Excellence in Science Award; Earth Sciences Sector Merit Award, Natural Resources Canada (2002); Innovative Science Award from Office of the Chief Scientist (2002).
  • Canadian Patent: Rasmussen, P.E., Macintyre, D.J., and Guénette, J. (2013). Buoyancy-Corrected Gravimetric Analysis System. Canadian Patent No. 2,579,774. Date January 8, 2013.
  • US Patent: Rasmussen, P.E., Macintyre, D.J., and Guénette, J. (2008). Buoyancy-Corrected Gravimetric Analysis System. United States Patent. No. US 7,357,045 B2. Date: April 15, 2008. 8 Claims, 3 Drawing Sheets. (PCT/CA05/000672; July 2005).

International experience and/or work

Member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials (WPMN) since 2011.

Key publications

Rasmussen, P.E., Gardner, H.D., Levesque, C., Chénier, M. (2017) Rare Earth Elements and Select Actinoids in the Canadian House Dust Study" Indoor Air, 27(5), pp. 965-976.

Boros, K., Fortin, D., Jayawardene, I.,  Chénier, M., Levesque, C., Rasmussen, P.E. (2017) Comparison of Gastric versus Gastrointestinal PBET Extractions for  Estimating Oral Bioaccessibility of Metals in House Dust. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(1), 92.

Avramescu, M.-L., Rasmussen, P.E., Chénier, M. , Gardner, H.D. ( 2017) Influence of pH, particle size and crystal form on dissolution behaviour of engineered nananomaterials. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 24(2), pp. 1553-1564.

Kubwabo, C.,  Fan, X.,  Rasmussen, P.E. (2016) Expanding the number of phthalates monitored in house dust. International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry. 96 (7), pp. 667-681.

Fan, X., Kubwabo, C., Rasmussen, P.E., Wu, F. (2016) Non-PBDE halogenated flame retardants in Canadian indoor house dust: sampling, analysis, and occurrence. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Volume 23, Issue 8, pp 7998-8007.

Rasmussen, P.E., Avramescu, M-L, Jayawardene, I., Gardner, H.D. (2015) Detection of Carbon Nanotubes in Indoor Workplaces Using Elemental Impurities, Environmental Science and Technology, (49): 12888-12896.

Niu, J., Rasmussen, P.E., Magee, R., Nilsson, G. (2015). Spatial and temporal variability of incidental nanoparticles in indoor workplaces: impact on the characterization of point source exposures. Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 17 (1), 98 – 109.

Beauchemin, S.,  Rasmussen, P.E., McKinnon, T, Chénier, M., Boros, K., (2014) Zinc in House Dust: Speciation, Bioaccessibility and Impact of Humidity, Environ. Sci. Technol. 2014 (48): 9022−9029.

Rasmussen, P.E., Beauchemin, S., Maclean, L.C.W., Chénier, M., Levesque, C. and Gardner, H.D. (2014) Impact of humidity on speciation and bioaccessibility of Pb, Zn, Co and Se in house dust. J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 29 (7): 1141–1308.

Rasmussen, P.E., Gardner, H.D., and Camus, M. (2014). M. “Toxins in the Rocks”, In Four Billion Years and Counting: Canada’s Geological Heritage. (Eds. A. Achab, J. Clague, D. Corrigan, R. Fensome, J. Monger, G. Nowlan, G. Williams). Geological Association of Canada. Chapter 19, pp 346-353.

Rasmussen P.E., Levesque, C., Chénier, M., Gardner, H.D.,  Jones-Otazo, H., Petrovic, S. (2013) Canadian House Dust Study: Population-based concentrations, loads and loading rates of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, nickel, lead, and zinc inside urban homes, Sci Total Environ, 443: 520–529.

Rasmussen, P.E., Woldemichael, M., Lalonde, A. et al., (2012) Dust, In Imperfect Health: The Medicalization Of Architecture (Eds.  Mirko Zardini and Giovanna Borasi), Published by Canadian Centre for Architecture and Lars Müller, Montreal, Canada. pp: 160-163.


Research facility

251 Sir Frederick Banting Driveway
Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9


Adjunct Professor, University of Ottawa (since 1999)