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Understanding Asbestos And How To Avoid It

Asbestos warning signThese days, asbestos is commonly known as a killer. Its extremely harmful effects on our respiratory systems are well documented. It’s hard to believe that just a few short decades ago, asbestos was known as a chief insulator in the construction of our offices and homes. As well, Canada was a well known exporter of the hazardous material. If you live or work in a building that was constructed before the 1990s, you may want to better acquaint yourself with asbestos.

Now, of course, we don’t mean for you to come into contact with asbestos when we say “acquaint” yourself with it. But becoming knowledgeable about this “killer” is an important step in being able to avoid the perils that come with inhaling its airborne fibres. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, there are two main categories of asbestos. And they are often defined by their colours.

Amphibole asbestos refers to “blue or brown asbestos”. And unfortunately, it is a cancer-causing agent.  AsbestosNetwork.com informs us that two of the most common and most dangerous types of asbestos belong to this group. Amosite is described as brown or grey in colour as they contain iron and magnesium. Crocidolite or riebeckite are blue, straight fibers made up of sodium iron magnesium silicate.

Serpentine asbestos refers to “white asbestos”, says the Canadian Cancer Society. And the only type of serpentine asbestos that exists is known as chrysotile asbestos. Thankfully, this material is less harmful than all types of amphibole asbestos, although it is still known to cause cancer. The Canadian Cancer Society reveals that “chrysotile asbestos is currently the most commonly used form of asbestos in the world and is the only kind mined in Canada.”

They go on to note that chrysotile asbestos can still be found in many products that are still being used today. Brake linings, building materials, water and sewer pipes and insulation are among them. In fact, AsbestosNetwork.com reveals that “chrysotile accounts for 90% of asbestos in products”. It is noted by the Canadian Cancer Society, however, that “the use of chrysotile asbestos has been banned in many countries.”

In fact, they report that “as of 2013, over 50 countries have banned the use of all forms of asbestos. Until recently, Canada was one of the few countries that continued to mine chrysotile asbestos, but in 2012 the asbestos mines stopped operating.” It’s also important to highlight the fact that asbestos is now regulated and rarely ever used in new products and materials. So how can we avoid exposure to asbestos if it is found in older products?

It’s all about avoiding a disturbance. In other words, asbestos becomes dangerous when its fibres become airborne. So you’ll want to avoid breaking, hitting or damaging any materials that may contain asbestos. This is especially important when renovating a property. It’s important to know if the construction of your building contains asbestos before hammering into any of its walls. Testing for asbestos should be your first pre-renovation move.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services. As part of our asbestos testing services, we will assess your heating ducts, furnaces, plumbing, electrical wiring, attics, cinder walls, ceilings and flooring. For more information on this and all of our indoor air quality services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Taking Aim Against “The Silent Killer”

Carbon Monoxide concept.The phrase “out of sight, out of mind” certainly doesn’t apply when it comes to our breathing air. That’s because chances are you’re unable to see or smell the pollutants that could be causing damage to your respiratory system. This is especially true for carbon monoxide, which is known as “the silent killer”. Because it is odourless and colourless, it is near impossible to detect. Therefore, it has sadly caused many deaths without warning.

“Carbon monoxide (CO) is the leading cause of fatal poisonings in North America,” explains the Canada Safety Council, “Exposure to high concentrations can cause death in just a few minutes.” They go on to note that confusion – which is a symptom of carbon monoxide exposure – can actually interfere with an individual’s ability to realize that his or her life may be in danger. This is why immediate diagnosis is so important.

So what are the other major symptoms associated with carbon monoxide? Canada Safety Council reports that in low concentrations, people can experience a shortage of breath after just moderate activity as well as slight headaches, nausea and dizziness. In higher concentrations, people can suffer from severe headaches, mental confusion, dizziness, impaired vision and hearing and even fainting spells after exertion. Extreme concentrations have been known to cause unconsciousness, comas and death.

Who is most susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning? If you work in poorly ventilated areas where machines are regularly in use, you could be putting yourself at risk. “Any indoor workplace where engines are running presents a potential hazard. Workers must realize that fuel-powered machines can expose them to this deadly gas,” says Canada Safety Council, “Workers in confined spaces, such as mines, can be exposed to CO.”

How exactly does carbon monoxide affect us? You would think that if a gas is odourless and colourless, that it couldn’t possibly do a whole lot to harm us. Again, the “out of sight” theory doesn’t apply here. “CO blocks the absorption of oxygen into the bloodstream from the lungs, and poisons the red blood cells so they cannot carry oxygen. If body tissues do not receive a constant supply of oxygen, they stop functioning,” explains Canada Safety Council.

They go on to note that oxygen deprivation can severely damage the brain. In addition, carbon monoxide is also known to present serious complications in the reproductive process. The council points out that pregnant women stand a greater chance of miscarriage, stillbirth and low birth weight if exposed to carbon monoxide. Men aren’t immune either. “In men, genetic damage to reproductive cells, loss of potency, and abnormal sperm have been reported,” the organization reveals.

What can be done to protect ourselves from carbon monoxide? Thankfully, all hope is not lost. While carbon monoxide is odourless and colourless, it cannot sneak its way passed CO detectors. They should be present in all work areas where hazards may be present, says Canada Safety Council. Also, fuel-operated machinery should not be used indoors, if at all possible. As well, adequate respiratory equipment should be used when working in confined spaces.

What should be done if we feel sick? “Seek medical attention immediately if anyone shows symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, such as a severe headache, dizziness and nausea,” insists the council, “Take the exposed person into the fresh air as quickly as possible. Give artificial respiration if breathing has stopped, and administer oxygen if available.” Needless to say, your home and work space should be tested for the presence of carbon monoxide.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we provide Air Quality Services that seek to eliminate any air quality problems that could lead to severe issues with your health. We maximize our inspection processes to target any and all potential areas of concern – and carbon monoxide is a major concern. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Battling The Problem-Causing Presence Of Moisture

Damp moistureThe word “moisture” doesn’t generally carry with it much of an ominous aura. In fact, we usually use the word “moist” in a pleasant way – when describing the texture of a cake, for example. But in the world of indoor air quality, moisture is definitely a villain. The cause for many a problem with our breathing air, moisture needs to be kept to a minimum. The main reason is because of its allowance of mould growth.

It’s nearly impossible for us to avoid the presence of moisture in our homes. After all, we cook, shower, bathe, do the laundry, wash dishes and clean numerous times throughout each week. But when moisture accumulates, it can not only present a danger to your home’s structure and foundation, but it can also lead to the growth of mould. This can severely impact our breathing air, creating significant health problems.

How exactly can mould affect us? “For people sensitive to mould, inhaling or touching mould spores can cause allergic reactions, including sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash,” explains WebMD.com, “People with serious mould allergies may have more severe reactions, including shortness of breath. In people with asthma who are allergic to mould, breathing in spores can also cause asthma attacks.”

So what can we do to reduce the moisture in our homes and keep mould at bay? According to Health Canada, there are a number of measures that should be taken. And they begin with addressing some of the daily activities that we all partake in. Firstly, it’s important to use our exhaust fans whenever we are showering, bathing, washing clothes or cooking. This will help for moisture to not accumulate on surfaces giving mould ideal breeding grounds.

Secondly, it’s important to look for leaks and cracks in our windows, floors and ceilings. Obviously, leaks can lead to the pooling of water which won’t help in your mould-prevention practices. It’s especially important to look for leaks during this time of year as the advent of spring often entails the melting of a lot of snow. Beware of flooding due to weather conditions, Health Canada warns us. You will also want to be mindful of the presence of condensation on cold surfaces in the home.

What else can be done to prevent moisture problems? “Ensure rain, irrigation water and snowmelt drain away from the house by sloping the grade away from the building,” advises Health Canada, “Keep eavestroughs and downspouts clean of debris and ensure that the outflow runs away from the house and not into neighbouring foundations.” They also recommend using “moisture tolerant materials” in areas that are likely to get wet, such as the kitchen and bathroom.

Can moisture be completely eliminated from the home? Certainly not. But as WebMD.com reminds us, “because mould spores can’t grow without moisture, reducing moisture in your home is the best way to prevent or eliminate mould growth. If there is already mould growing in your home, it’s important to clean up the mould and fix the problem causing dampness. If you clean up the mould but don’t fix the problem, the mould will most likely return.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Moisture Monitoring Services that include the use of moisture meters, thermal scanning, hygrometer or related humidity monitoring as well as Mould Assessment Services. We look for leakage issues, construction failures and other occupant-based moisture sources to determine exact causes of mould growth in the home. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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5 Ways To Prevent Mould Growth In Your Home

Interior decayUnfortunately, our respiratory systems have many enemies. And among all of the various pollutants of our breathing air that exist, mould is arguably the most prevalent. It’s probably safe to say that the fact that mould is dangerous to our health falls in the category of “common knowledge”. However, what is not so common is the direct attention that we all need to pay to keeping the growth of mould at bay in our homes.

This is because mould can occur just about anywhere in our homes. Obviously, we all spend a great deal of time within our respective living spaces. So if there is any location that needs to be free of mould, it’s our homes. But where exactly can mould be found? What are the most common areas for mould to begin to grow? According to Health Canada, basements, closets, window sills, roofs, and around sinks, tubs and pipes definitely require our attention.

Poor ventilation is listed as a major cause of poor indoor air quality thanks to mould. Not to mention, dampness and humidity are major factors in the growth of mould. Clearly, there are particular approaches to maintaining our homes that should be practiced in order to limit or completely eliminate mould growth. Here are five ways to prevent the growth of mould in your home.

1. Look for and repair any leaks. As mentioned, mould needs moisture to grow. Leaky pipes and leaks in your roof are major culprits in the development of mould. Many of these leaks can be occurring inside your walls, so they can be difficult to detect. Keep an eye on your walls and ceilings to detect any signs of water damage. “Repair any water leaks as soon as you notice them. Clean up immediately after any flood,” insists Health Canada.

2. Reduce humidity. When the weather is humid or it has been raining for a while, mould tends to form on surfaces in the home. Health Canada recommends that you “keep humidity low, about 50% in summer and 30% in colder weather. If needed, use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to reduce humidity levels. You can use a hygrometer (an inexpensive tool available at most hardware stores) to measure humidity.”

3. Clean up around the house. Consider mould an uninvited house guest that enjoys playing “hide and seek”. And consider yourself someone who doesn’t enjoy playing such a game. The more clutter you have in your home, the more opportunities you give mould to hide from you. Health Canada insists that you throw out your basement clutter since “cardboard boxes and old clothes are great places for mould to grow.”

4. Keep your home well ventilated. In other words, you have to allow your home to breathe. Opening up the windows allows for a circulation of air that prevents pockets of stale or moist air that mould uses to thrive in. Remember that while cooking or taking a shower, there is often steam that arises from the heat. This creates humidity that will keep surfaces wet for longer periods of time than necessary.

5. Use exhaust fans. During the colder days of the year, you’re not going to be able to open those windows, or keep them open for very long if you do. On such days, be sure to make use of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans when cooking or showering, recommends Health Canada. You should also allow the fans to keep running for, at least, a few minutes after you are done. Following each of these steps will help to stave off the growth of mould in your home.

As we pointed out, however, you won’t always be able to see the mould that exists in your living space. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Mould Assessment Services so that you can know for sure. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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5 Steps To Improving Your Indoor Air Quality

quality red word up stairs to doorThere’s a popular saying that goes “what you don’t know won’t hurt you”. But when it comes to our breathing air, that isn’t necessarily true, is it? In fact, the opposite is more accurate. If you don’t know what is in your air, you could certainly be hurting yourself. The last thing you want is to be breathing in toxic chemicals and gases. And in the case of such gases as carbon monoxide, there is nothing to see or smell – but it is definitely harmful.

“You may be having a bad air day every day,” writes Denise Mann on WebMD.com, “and we are not talking about outdoor air. The indoor air quality in your home may be affecting your health and the health of your family members.” But how can you tell if the air in your home is either pure or poor? Mann reveals that there are some telltale signs. And unfortunately, they would come by way of already being sick.

“Bad air can trigger coughing, chest tightness, sore throat, watery or itchy eyes, shortness of breath, and even a full-blown asthma attack,” she writes. Have you or anyone in your family been experiencing any of these symptoms? If so, there is definite cause for bettering your indoor air quality. Don’t worry, hope is not lost. There are few things that you can do. Mann shares a number of ways to improve the quality of air in your home. Here are five.

1. Increase ventilation in your house. Keeping the windows open on a regular basis is not necessarily the answer, by the way. Mann points out there are plenty of pollutants in outdoor air as well. Gas emissions from vehicles, industrial pollution as well as dirt and mould can all impact the quality of the air outside. With the help of Dr. E. Neil Schachter, Mann recommends using “trickle ventilation” which involves a “10-inch high screen with extra filters” on your windows.

2. Use your air conditioner. During the summer months, we tend to want to let in fresh air from the outdoors. It’s often a source of cooling off but also a good way to keep our homes ventilated. However, as mentioned, you shouldn’t keep windows open all the time. Mann writes that according to Dr. Schachter, “many pollutants are water-soluble, and as air conditioners remove water from the atmosphere, they remove these pollutants. Air conditioners also remove pollen and particulate matter.”

3. Install a HEPA filter. HEPA stands for “high-efficiency particulate air”. And according to Dr. Schachter, this will make your air conditioner more effective. The HEPA filters are disposable, so once they’ve accumulated enough air quality-reducing particles, feel free to throw them away. “Stand-alone HEPA air cleaners are another option for cleaning the air in a single room,” writes Mann, “If they use a fan to draw in the air, they can be noisy, however.”

4. Ventilate during cooking. If there was ever a time to ensure that your home has proper ventilation, it would be during the times when you are cooking. This is especially true for those who use gas stoves. Dr. Schachter reveals that gas-run stoves emit nitrogen dioxide which can be very irritating to those with respiratory issues. He suggests keeping kitchen windows open or turning on fans to avoid build up of this gas when cooking.

5. Be choosy with your cleaning products. Earlier this week, we blogged about the fact that chemicals in our household cleaning products can contribute to the decline of the air quality in our homes. “Some cleaning products, including those with chlorine and ammonia, contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs),” informs Mann, “Some paints, shellacs, and floor polishes may also contain VOCs. The compounds then go into the air as gases.” It’s important to buy products with either low or no VOCs.

At the end of the day, the best possible way to ensure the safety of your indoor air quality is to have the professionals inspect it. For more information on the Air Quality Services provided by DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Detecting The Signs Of Poor Air Quality In The Workplace

Depositphotos_19067037_xsAs a business owner, you have a lot of on your plate each day. It’s your job to run the business in an efficient manner, working to make as much money as possible while not overspending on necessities. In addition to managing staff, hiring new employees and even coming up with advertising strategies, you also have to be on top of the conditions of your working environment. After all, the health and safety of your staff is of paramount importance.

But what steps need to be taken in order to make sure that your staff members are kept safe each day? Many people first think of ensuring the presence of fire extinguishers and having a well-understood fire escape route. We also often consider specific safety precautions that can sometimes involve the wearing of protective clothing. Naturally, health and safety regulations vary between businesses and often depend on the nature of the tasks being performed.

One thing is for sure though. No matter what industry you are a part of, the quality of your breathing air is a top priority. It is interesting, however, to note that our breathing air sometimes gets overlooked as a concern. Of course, clean breathing air is a necessity. But because it is literally out of sight, sometimes it is left “out of mind”. The truth is that indoor air problems in the workplace can be the causes of significant health issues.

According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, indoor air quality problems often “result from interactions between building materials and furnishing, activities within the building, climate, and building occupants.” And they may arise from a number of causes. They include the nature of the working environment such as inadequate temperature, humidity, lighting and even excessive noise.

You have to imagine that the more people working in the same workspace, the higher the chances are of the indoor air quality being impacted. As well contaminants such as chemicals, dusts, moulds or fungi, bacteria, gases, vapours and odours can lead to health issues. Improper ventilation is another contributing factor to poor indoor air quality.

But how can one tell if indoor air quality is affected by the above mentioned factors? CCOHS points out the symptoms that can occur. They include dryness and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin, headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, hypersensitivity and allergies, sinus congestion, coughing and sneezing, dizziness and nausea. But let’s suppose members of your staff are experiencing such symptoms.

Are there telltale signs that these symptoms could be a direct result of the indoor air quality of your office space? CCOHS advises us to look out for the following. “People generally notice their symptoms after several hours at work and feel better after they have left the building or when they have been away from the building for a weekend or a vacation,” says the website. Therefore, it’s important for both you and your staff to make note of any differences in health or the presence of the above mentioned symptoms when at work and outside of the office.

The quality of your breathing air always has been and always will be a very important part of your overall health. For both yourself and your staff members, it’s important to ensure that the breathing air of your office is pure. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer top-of-the-line professional Air Quality Services to ensure just that! For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Is Cleaning Your Home Polluting Your Air?

Colorful unlabeleled cleaning productsIt’s probably safe to say that most people prefer the crisp, fresh scent of a just-cleaned home over the musty, dank odour of a living environment in desperate need of tidying. This is why we tend to purchase so many scented cleaning products. We not only want our homes to be clean, but we want them to smell that way too. But is this necessity causing harm to our health? Just how important is it for our cleaning products to contain these pleasant smells?

According to David Suzuki, we apparently place too much emphasis on the need for cleaning products. “Canadians spend more than $275 million on household cleaning products in a year,” he reveals on his website, “We buy these products to fight germs, streaks, stains and odours to keep our homes sparkling clean. Cleaning is supposed to be about maintaining a healthy home, yet some common household cleaning products contain chemicals that can harm human health and the environment.”

But just how damaging to our health are the chemicals in cleaning products? Apparently, the answer to this question lies firstly in ventilation. The more ventilated our homes are, the less the fumes from cleaning products will affect us. But, as we all know, the Canadian winters don’t exactly allow for an open window policy. And, as a result, we’re often forced to lock in a lot of pollutants and irritants to our respiratory systems for months on end.

It’s important to be mindful of this. Gary Fuller of The Guardian writes that “the World Health Organization estimates that we spend around 90% of our time indoors but relatively little attention is paid to indoor air quality.” He echoes Suzuki’s sentiments by noting that, in developed countries, our cleaning products can sometimes do more harm than good. Proper ventilation is important when making use of such chemical-containing products.

“The lemon and pine scents that we use to make our homes smell fresh can also react chemically to generate air pollutants and ozone based air fresheners can cause serious indoor air pollution problems,” Fuller writes, “The US Environmental Protection Agency underlines that the best way to clean indoor air is ventilation with clean outdoor air, but this can be difficult due to weather conditions and outdoor air pollution.”

While our cleaning products almost always smell really nice, it can be pretty scary to know exactly what agents they are composed of. Suzuki reveals that many of them can be quite harmful, hence the warning labels attached to many cleaners. “Researchers in the U.S. identified 133 unique volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from a small sample of consumer products, including six cleaning products,” he reports, “Each product tested emitted between one and eight chemicals classified as toxic or hazardous under U.S. federal laws.”

Surely, it’s not advisable to leave your home in a mess. Cleaning up is an essential part of healthy living. Especially when you consider how many dirt-riddled irritants exist when your home goes without cleaning for too long, it’s important to maintain a steady cleaning routine. However, it’s important to find products that aren’t chemical-heavy. Not only can these chemicals linger in our air and affect our breathing, but they can harm us in other ways.

“Chemicals in cleaning products can also enter our bodies by absorption through the skin or through ingestion of household dust and chemical residues left on dishes and cutlery,” informs Suzuki. So how can we ensure that our air is always as clean as possible? How can we maximize our chances for healthy living? At DF Technical & Consulting Serviced Ltd., we suggest you contact the experts!

For more information on our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Analyzing The Facts About Asbestosis

Asbestos Alert Indicates Hazmat Warning And DangerIn today’s world, asbestos is commonly associated with lung cancer and other severe respiratory issues – as it should. It’s hard to imagine then that just a few decades ago, asbestos was considered a principal insulation material in the construction of homes, offices and other buildings. Discovering its extremely harmful impacts on our breathing by the time the 1990s rolled around has practically outlawed its use since then. However, the harmful effects remain.

There are, of course, many structures still standing that were built prior to the 90s that still contain asbestos. And when renovations are needed, it’s important to have the asbestos removed. Sadly, this presents a danger to anyone who isn’t protecting themselves from breathing in asbestos fibres. As we explained in our last blog, the worst possible result of doing so is developing a cancer known as mesothelioma. Of course, that isn’t the only health problem associated with asbestos.

We also mentioned a chronic lung disease known as asbestosis. As you can tell by its name, it is directly attributed to the inhalation of asbestos fibres. And very sadly, it is incurable. Perhaps, even scarier is the fact that, according to Asbestos.com, the disease may not even be diagnosed until decades after exposure occurs. The site goes on to clearly explain how asbestosis is caused and what the long-term effects may be.

“Asbestosis is linked to the straight, thin amphibole fibers that are found in five of the six known types of asbestos,” reports Asbestos.com, “Exposure occurs when someone breathes in the dangerous fibers. Extended exposure can lead to an accumulation of the fibers in lung tissues, setting the stage for long-term fibrosis (scarring). Over time, lung tissues thicken, causing pain and restricting breathing.”

So if asbestosis can be difficult to diagnose, how can one tell if he or she may be suffering from it? Canoe.ca reveals that because asbestosis causes our lungs to lose their elasticity, it makes it harder for them to fill with oxygen. Obviously, this impacts breathing. The first symptom, therefore, is a shortness of breath, especially when exercising. The more the disease progresses, the harder breathing will be for the sufferer.

Chest pain and coughing practically become the norm. Canoe.ca goes on to reveal a less obvious and even strange symptom associated with asbestosis. “You may display what is known as clubbing of the fingertips (they thicken and enlarge), or develop a blue colour under your nails and a bluish tinge around your mouth,” reports the website. As bad as this all sounds though, hope should not necessarily be lost. There is somewhat of a silver lining when it comes to asbestosis.

“The prognosis is often positive,” assures Canoe.ca, “Because asbestosis is not a form of lung cancer or mesothelioma, people can live many years, even decades, with the disease. However, because the condition gets worse over time, patients will require increased treatment as they age.” With that said, it still goes without saying that contracting the disease should be avoided at all costs. And, of course, this involves avoiding exposure to asbestos.

At DF Technical & Consulting Ltd., there is nothing more important to us than ensuring the safety of your breathing air. As a result, we offer a number of important air quality services including our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services. If you are renovating or looking to buy a new property, it’s important we check for asbestos. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Uncovering The Truth About Mesothelioma

Depositphotos_62809183_xsConsidering just how dangerous asbestos is to our health, it’s bewildering to think that the material was used in the construction of buildings up until the 1980s. It was commonly used for insulation and often came in the form of blankets or paper tape. Used to cover pipes, boilers and furnace ducts among other elements of a home, asbestos is now a target of eradication in the renovation of buildings that were built pre-90s.

And this is because the inhalation of asbestos fibres is deadly. There’s no over exaggerating about it either. Exposure to asbestos creates a type of lung cancer that is directly attributed to the material. Known as asbestosis, the disease is brought on by a scarring of the lungs at the hands of asbestos fibres. Sadly, the product’s deadliness doesn’t stop there. Asbestos inhalation is also known to cause mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the abdominal linings and the chest.

This is considered the most dangerous ramification of asbestos inhalation. “Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious of all asbestos-related diseases,” explains Dr. Howard West on Mesothelioma.com, “Exposure to asbestos is the primary cause and risk factor for mesothelioma…There is currently no known cure for mesothelioma, but treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy can help to improve the typical mesothelioma prognosis.”

Considering that asbestos is no longer used in the construction of buildings in Canada, you could consider it fair to assume that mesothelioma cases aren’t all that prevalent anymore. However, you would be wrong to make such an assumption. Research has shown that diagnoses have increased in recent years. In fact, Asbestos.com reveals that “Canada’s mesothelioma cancer rate is now one of the highest in the world.”

“About 2.1 of 100,000 Canadians are diagnosed every year with the aggressive disease,” reports the website, “For context, consider that in 1984, 153 Canadian men were diagnosed with mesothelioma throughout all the country’s provinces. By 2003, 344 cases were reported among men, and 78 among women. Deaths from mesothelioma totaled 404 in 2008.” And, sadly, it does not appear as if the death total is bound to taper off any time soon.

Former convention centre manager, John Nolan knows this all too well. In an exclusive exposé on the disease, Tavia Grant of The Globe and Mail reveals how quickly-damaging asbestos inhalation can be. Today, Nolan suffers from mesothelioma. And he contracted the disease by doing nothing more than working in his Windor-based Cleary Auditorium and Convention Centre office in the late 1980s.

“His office was located within 25 feet of renovations, where workers in protective suits removed asbestos from the ceiling and walls,” Grant explains, “The room was covered in plastic sheeting — but the ventilation pumped air right from the dusty renovation into his windowless office. (He also recalls asbestos was present in the basement’s pipes.)” Nolan’s tragic story highlights just how important it is to take the issue of asbestos seriously.

It is imperative that your breathing air is considered safe. If you are planning any renovations or are looking to purchase a new property, you should consider it mandatory to check for asbestos. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer top-of-the-line Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

2 Comments

  1. April 4, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    Howdy! I realize this is sort of off-topic but I had to ask.
    Does building a well-established website such as
    yours require a lot of work? I’m brand new to writing a blog however I do write in my journal on a daily basis.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my own experience and feelings online.
    Please let me know if you have any kind of recommendations or tips for new aspiring bloggers.
    Thankyou!

    • Dennis French-Reply
      April 6, 2015 at 2:23 pm

      Hello. Blogging in our case relates to the work we do but can take the form really of any items of interest to start a dialogue. We have a writer for our blog with varied topics of discussion. The building of a website can be time consuming but also makes you think about what you want to say and how you may want to be received so put some thought to it first.

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Examining Air Quality Problems Due To Moisture

Blue Tiles in Swimming PoolWhen looking for a new home or office space, there are a number of obvious things that we often consider. Ample space, good lighting and a sense of overall comfort generally come to mind as necessities. But it’s also incredibly important to be mindful of the air quality of your new property. Is there anything truly more important than the quality of the air we breathe? Perhaps, we sometimes forget about this, considering we don’t generally see air.

It’s the whole “out of sight, out of mind” thing when it comes to our breathing air, isn’t it? And that’s why it’s so important to get professionals to test your property’s breathing air before settling on it. This is especially true considering that there are factors that are often difficult to detect with the naked eye. Take moisture, for example. You may be surprised to know just how damaging the presence of moisture can be on air quality.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, “moisture is continually being released inside your home: 10 to 50 litres (2 to 10 gallons) every day…A cord of wood stored in your home, for example, can release more than 270 litres of moisture. Excess moisture can result in moisture problems, which can lead to air quality problems.” So what are some of the biggest air quality problems caused by moisture?

The development of mould. The growth of mould in your home or office is often a direct result of there being too much moisture. Mould simply thrives in environments where humidity is high. This is often a result of there being little to no exchange of air between the outdoors and the indoors. As the CMHC points out, “mould growing in your home can release mould spores, toxins from mould, and mouldy odours.” And this can lead to severe health problems.

According to Health Canada, there are number of health issues that can result from breathing in mould spores. Among them are eye, nose and throat irritation, coughing and phlegm build-up and wheezing and shortness of breath. They also reveal that those with asthma, severe allergies and sensitive immune systems are most deeply affected by the presence of mould in their breathing air.

Structural damage due to condensation. “Condensation” is a term most often associated with the wetness found on the outside of a glass when cold liquid is poured into it. This is because “when warm, moist air comes into contact with a surface that is too cold, moisture condenses,” explains the CMHC. But when condensation occurs in your property, it can lead to a fair bit of damage. The structure of the building itself can become weaker.

In addition, the possessions contained within the property can experience damage. The CMHC reveals that excess condensation can be formed due to inappropriate use of humidifiers as well as evaporation from showers, washing dishes and clothes, cooking, aquariums, standing water, people, pets and plants. One solution is to “discontinue use of humidifiers and use a dehumidifier in the basement during fall, spring and summer.”

To reduce the amount of condensation in your home or place of business, it is recommended that you keep the surfaces inside your property warm. To do this, the CMHC suggests that you upgrade your windows so that they are more energy-efficient, install adequate insulation so as to keep your walls and ceilings warm and provide sufficient heat to all of the indoor areas of your property.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we take the air quality of your home or office very seriously. Our Moisture Monitoring Services evaluate your building for moisture sources including building envelop failures, leakage issues or occupant-based moisture sources. Locating and eliminating such sources will help to prevent mould and other air quality problems. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

One Comment

  1. John M.-Reply
    March 10, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    These articles are great! Keep up the good work. It’s nice to know that the Mould fighters are on our side!

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