Even though it’s the summertime, it stands to reason that most of us still spend the majority of our time in our homes. After all, we do have to sleep for approximately a third of our days. And while it’s always fun to enjoy the warmth and sunshine of the outdoors during this time of year, it remains important to take steps to ensure that the air we breathe inside our homes is pure. But how would you even know if your home’s indoor air quality is poor?
Here are five indications your home is suffering from poor indoor air quality:
1. You and your family members are experiencing health issues. How often do members of your household endure headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, sinus congestion, sore throats, sneezing, coughing, dizziness and nausea? While these symptoms of illness may sound common, it’s important to note that indoor air pollution is often the cause of them. This is especially true for those who already suffer from respiratory issues, allergies and asthma.
2. You’ve noticed the growth of mould in one or more areas. Mould is most commonly found in our bath tiles. This is because bathrooms are havens for excess humidity and humidity encourages mould growth. However, mould can grow in humid areas in other parts of the home including the walls, floors and furniture found in just about any room. Poor indoor air quality is often a cause for the humidity that causes mould to grow.
3. You feel that your home is too humid. As mentioned, too much humidity is a sign of poor indoor air quality and can often result in mould growth. It is recommended that indoor humidity be kept between 30 and 50 percent throughout the year. This may be particularly difficult during the warm summertime. It’s advisable to use a hygrometer to determine moisture levels in your home.
4. You see that dust accumulates quickly. All homes get dusty. But some seem to attract and develop more dust than others at much quicker paces. Dust is a sign of poor indoor air quality as it indicates a heavier presence of particles resulting from a lack of cleaning, pet dander and pollen. The more dust in your home, the tougher it will be on your respiratory system. Asthma sufferers will especially be prone to breathing problems in a dusty house.
5. You’re finding that odours are more noticeable. Every home has its own smell. And they’re not necessarily bad. The thing is, most people who dwell within a home develop sensory adaptation and don’t even notice smells within it the way visitors do. However, if you begin to notice unpleasant smells in your home, chances are you have an indoor air quality problem. If you’ve left your house for a day or two and come home to notice a foul stench, you know there’s an issue.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Air Quality Services to help combat poor indoor air quality in your home. We’re mindful that indoor air quality problems can have long-term effects on the health of you and your family. Our services incorporate inspection processes that target areas of concern in order to determine ways to eliminate causes of indoor air pollution.
For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
Back in the beginning of May, a massive wildfire raged throughout Fort McMurray, Alberta destroying thousands of homes and forcing an evacuation of the city’s residents. It was the largest wildfire evacuation in our province’s history. Now, as we approach the end of June, we’re happy to report that the Government of Alberta has already begun the re-entry process so that residents can return to their homes.
We’re thankful that the wildfires have been deemed to no longer be a threat to those who call Fort McMurray their home. As you can imagine, even with the fires no longer burning, there was a great cause for concern about poor air quality last month. As reported by Phys.org, the air quality around the entire Fort McMurray area remained very poor right up until the end of May. As a result, it wasn’t quite ready to be re-inhabited.
“The Alberta Health Services has issued warnings for the entire area with Health Quality Index of 10+ (very high risk of triggering health issues) reported in the area,” revealed the website on May 26th, “The Alberta Health Services has issued an air-quality advisory for the Fort McMurray area, as well as a precautionary air-quality advisory for Edmonton and communities in the North Zone due to wildfires.”
At the time, the wildfires were still raging out of control, covering an area estimated at 522,892 hectares or 2019 square miles. This included 2496 hectares, which is nearly 10 square miles, in Saskatchewan. “Fort McMurray, Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates, Fort McMurray First Nation and Fort McKay First Nation remain under a mandatory evacuation order,” reported Phys.org. That order, however, has since been lifted.
As Stephanie Jellett of FortMcMurrayToday.com reported last week, the air quality advisory that had been in place in Fort McMurray since May 2nd was lifted as the community was no longer being impacted by the smoke from the wildfires. “Alberta Health Services (AHS) lifted the advisory on June 14 stating that there’s no risk to the public,” she writes.
As of the afternoon of June 15th, the Air Quality Health Index was at a two, compared to a high of 10. “Last month, the wildfires created an AQHI rating as high as 51,” informs Jellett. Not only is the fire no longer out of control, but there is no indication that the air quality will worsen in the future. Even the temperatures have dropped. As a result, Fort McMurray is inhabitable again.
Jellett does note, however, that “although the Fort McMurray advisory was lifted, Kirsten Goruk, North Zone senior communications advisor with AHS said the precautionary air advisory for the entire north zone, which was issued on May 5, is still in effect.” She goes on to reveal that AHS no longer recommends delaying children who are either younger than seven years-old or have acute medical conditions to return to their Fort McMurray homes.
On behalf of the entire DF Technical Consulting Services Ltd. team, we would like to offer our best wishes to everyone who has been affected by the Fort McMurray wildfires. If you would like to donate to the Alberta Fires Appeal through the Canadian Red Cross, you can do so HERE. All donations will be matched by the Government of Canada.
For information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In our last blog, we excitedly reported the fact that Canada is inching closer towards banning asbestos throughout the country. Once widely used for insulation purposes in the construction of homes and office buildings, among other things, asbestos is a well-known killer. Once airborne, its fibres can get lodged in our lungs causing various forms of lung cancer as well as mesothelioma.
The Canadian Labour Congress is lobbying for the federal government to make its ban of asbestos official as early as this summer. On their website, they note that “Canadian imports of asbestos are growing, from $4.7 million in 2011 to $8.2 million in 2015. As a result, more and more Canadians are being put at risk.” They go on to list a number of facts about asbestos that prove it should be completely outlawed.
Here are five reasons Canada needs to ban asbestos now:
1. It is a proven killer of Canadians. The CLC reports that asbestos is the leading cause of workplace-related deaths in our country. Upwards of 2,000 Canadians die every year due to diseases associated with asbestos exposure. “Death from mesothelioma increased 60 percent between 2000 and 2012,” they reveal, “Internationally, the World Health Organization (WHO) says there are 107,000 asbestos-related deaths per year.”
2. Asbestos-related diseases are increasing. You would think that with an increase of knowledge about asbestos and its harmful effects that there would be greater precautions taken to protect Canadians from them. Not so. “In 1992, there were 276 recorded cases of mesothelioma,” informs the CLC, “Twenty years later the number of new cases of mesothelioma has more than doubled, with 560 recorded in 2012.”
3. Canada is importing asbestos at an increasing rate. Again, it’s puzzling why the nation would continue to import products made with asbestos. But, as we mentioned earlier, the imports of asbestos continues to rise. All evidence points towards this trend leading to increased deaths of Canadians. And it can all be avoided if the federal government outlaws the deadly material once and for all.
4. It puts Canadians’ jobs at risk. It’s bad enough that asbestos is bad for our health. But, as the CLC notes, it’s bad for our economy as well. Many of the asbestos-containing products that Canada is importing can be manufactured here at home. “Canada is importing replacement brake pads and linings containing asbestos, despite the fact that Canada manufactures non-asbestos replacement alternatives,” reveals the CLC.
5. 56 countries have already banned asbestos. Canada is well known for being one of the best countries in the world to live. The fact that it is lagging far behind the rest of the world when it comes to banning asbestos is nothing short of embarrassing. Industrialized nations like France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and South Korea have all banned asbestos already. It’s time we catch up!
DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. fully supports a nationwide ban of asbestos. As part of our commitment to keeping Canadians safe, we offer Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services that inspect duct work, furnaces, plumbing, electrical wiring, attics, cinder block walls, ceilings and flooring for asbestos. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
A month ago, we blogged about a CBC News article by Julie Ireton that covered the diminishing health of Ottawa-based electrician, Dennis Lapointe. Having worked at a Canada Revenue Agency building for 16 years, Lapointe was exposing himself to asbestos without knowing it throughout his tenure. Sadly, he today experiences numerous health issues surrounding his respiratory system.
Interestingly, just a week after we posted that blog, Ireton released another report revealing that “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made the federal government’s first commitment to move forward with a plan to ban asbestos.” And while much damage has already been done to workers, just like Lapointe, who have been exposed to asbestos while on the job, this comes as very positive news for Canada’s future.
Evidently, there is finally an acknowledgement that the dangers that come with using asbestos are far worse than the benefits the product is supposed to provide. Prime Minister Trudeau, in fact, aired these sentiments. “We’ve actually made the commitment that we are moving forward on a ban…here in Canada,” he responded when asked about the ban by a trade union leader, “We know that its impact on workers far outweighs any benefits that it might provide.”
While a nationwide asbestos ban would come as good news, there are many who may feel that it would be too much too late. After all, Ireton reports that although Canada hasn’t exported any asbestos in some time, it has strangely accepted imports of construction products and automotive parts that contain the toxic material. One may wonder why an official ban on all asbestos-containing products hasn’t already been made.
Hassan Yussuff is one such person. He is the president of the Canadian Labour Congress. Ireton reports that he hopes that an official ban of asbestos in Canada is announced before the beginning of summer. The ban, he hopes, will be a complete and extensive one. For Yussuff, an asbestos ban would provide a sense of personal gratification. He, himself, was exposed to asbestos during his time spent working as a mechanic.
As Ireton reports, the Canadian Labour Congress is calling for legislation that bans the use, import and export of anything containing asbestos. As well, they are calling for a national registry of all public buildings that contain asbestos in addition to a national registry of all workers diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases that is to be tracked by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.
An asbestos ban this comprehensive would finally bring Canada to the respectable levels of Europe, Australia and Japan where such bans already exist. To make perfectly clear, asbestos is a proven cause of deadly cancers and lung diseases such mesothelioma. “About 2,000 Canadians die of asbestos-related diseases every year — many of those deaths have been linked to asbestos exposure in the workplace,” Ireton reports.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we take the issue of asbestos exposure very seriously. We offer Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services that inspect duct work, furnaces, plumbing, electrical wiring, attics, cinder block walls, ceilings and flooring to ensure that our clients aren’t in any danger of being exposed its harmful fibres. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even though we are beginning to experience the beautiful weather that is associated with summer, most Canadians still spend most of their time indoors. This isn’t to say that we don’t love being outside during the summertime. But we still do have to sleep, after all! It’s not like we’re any different from most other people in the world. We spend a lot of time in our homes and, as a result, must work to keep it as healthy an environment as possible.
Most people believe that if they keep a clean home, it’s a healthy one. And, for the most part, that would be true. However, “clean” doesn’t always necessarily guarantee air purity. You see, the air we breathe in our homes can be polluted by many different things. So, it’s up to us all not to just dust and vacuum, but to practice various air purifying techniques. The more we do to purify the air in our homes, the healthier we will be!
Here are five ways to naturally purify the air in your home:
1. Increase ventilation. This simple piece of advice is one that is easier to follow during the warmer months of the year. Cracking open those windows will help circulate the stagnant air from inside with the fresh air from outside. However, as NaturalLivingIdeas.com reminds us, “outdoor air may still contain pollution that you don’t want in your living spaces. Instead, consider installing trickle vents to purify and cycle the air you breathe indoors.”
2. Try salt lamps. Salt lamps are often hailed as natural ionic air purifiers. Apparently, they work whether they are turned on or off! So says Aashna Ahuja of NDTV.com. “Simply adding a Himalayan pink salt lamp in your room or near your desk at the office does the trick, in terms of functionality and decor,” she reveals, “You can leave it on at night as well, since the natural orange glow doesn’t disrupt sleep hormones.”
3. Use beeswax candles. If you enjoy eating by candlelight, taking relaxing baths or simply saving on electricity, you may be prone to lighting candles in your home. If so, be sure to use beeswax candles over paraffin candles which release petroleum byproducts into the air. “Beeswax burns clean and offers the added benefit of ionizing air to neutralize toxic compounds and other contaminants,” reports NaturalLivingIdeas.com.
4. Make use of essential oils. Ahuja reports that a Weber State University study found that Thieves Oil has a 99.96% kill rate against airborne bacteria. “It is an antiseptic blend of pure essential oils including pine needle, cinnamon, thyme, eucalyptus, lemon and grapefruit which helps keep the home free from germs and purifies the air,” she explains, “You can add it to soaps and detergents to breathe fresher, cleaner air.”
5. Invest in houseplants. Having plants in your home may be the most simple and sensible act to take in your mission to purify the air you and your family breathes. As NaturalLivingIdeas.com puts it, “plants are Mother Nature’s air purifiers.” The site goes on to recommend all of the following plants for your home: Butterfly Palm, Lady Palm, Rubber Tree, Cornstalk Dracaena, Peace Lily, Chrysanthemum, Golden Pothos, English Ivy and Chinese Evergreen.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we provide Air Quality Services that result in homes with much cleaner air to breathe. Our inspection processes are second to none! For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.