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3 Ways To Have A Healthier Home In The New Year

Teenager girl throwing pillow into the air, having funMost New Year’s Resolutions focus on self-improvement in some way. Generally, people endeavour to quit smoking, exercise or change their diets to include healthier food choices as ways to better their health. However, most neglect to make resolutions about improving the air they breathe. It goes without saying that the air we breathe is vital to our health. So why not make 2017 the year you make your home the healthiest it has ever been?

Here are three ways to have a healthier home in the new year:

1. Focus on improving indoor air quality. This newfound focus will require many tasks – but they shouldn’t be hard to do. Regular vacuuming, dusting and mopping will do away with many of the dust particles that inhibit our air from being at its purest. Buying some houseplants to improve the oxygen content of the air is also advisable. As well, making sure to take your shoes off before entering your home will prevent excess dirt and grime to come in from outside.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we specialize in Air Quality Services. We employ a number of trained individuals who all have strong understandings of the indoor environment. They maximize their inspection processes in order to target all areas of concern in your home or office. The air you breathe in your home can cause health and wellness issues that you can avoid through thorough inspections.

2. Test for asbestos. Our blog has been closely covering our nation’s campaign for a complete ban of asbestos for many months now. Last week, we proudly reported about the federal government’s plan to completely rid Canada of asbestos by 2018. While we haven’t exported asbestos in quite some time, we were still importing it through such products as brake pads. Known for causing lung cancer, mesothelioma and other deadly respiratory diseases, asbestos is definitely a material you do not want in your home.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services that involved onsite assessments as well as sampling and analysis of the materials collected. Our team will be able to locate asbestos if it is contained within such areas as your furnace, plumbing, electrical wiring, attics, cinder block walls, flooring and ceilings.

3. Limit the moisture in your home. When you shower – especially when you take those long hot showers during the winter – it’s important that you run your exhaust fan. When you’re cooking in the kitchen, running your exhaust fan is just as important. Limiting moisture in your home will help to prevent the growth of mould. When mould spores are airborne, they can present many health hazards to our respiratory systems. Asthmatics are especially aware of this.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we off Moisture Monitoring Services that evaluate buildings for moisture sources such as building envelop failures, leakage issues and occupant-based moisture sources that could be the cause of mould development. We also offer Mould Assessment Services that include inspections involving analytical sampling, moisture analysis and thermal scanning.

Let’s work together on making 2017 your healthiest year yet. For more information on any and all of the above mentioned services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

Happy New Year!

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Canada Finally Follows Through On Comprehensive Asbestos Ban!

Large yellow skip bin filled with building waste showing No Asbestos stickerAt long last, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has come through on his promise. Since his announcement to move forward on a comprehensive ban of asbestos in Canada, this past May, many Canadians have been anxiously awaiting official word of its implementation. Readers of the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog are well aware of the attention we have been paying this matter. And now, we’re so very happy to pass along the good news about what we’ve all been waiting for.

As reported by several news sources including Julie Ireton of CBC News, the federal government has made official its plans to completely ban asbestos from Canada by 2018. The ban involves a change of the rules and regulations surrounding the disease-causing material. The changes involve revisions of national building codes to prohibit the use of asbestos in new construction and renovation projects throughout Canada. As well, there will be new actions to ban the import of asbestos-containing products such as brake pads and construction materials.

For far too long, asbestos has been the culprit behind the deaths of 2,000 Canadians a year. Used predominantly as an insulator in the construction of homes and buildings, asbestos is no longer welcome in any capacity in our country. The announcement of the ban came just last week Thursday as Science Minister Kirsty Duncan conducted a news conference at the Ottawa Hospital’s General campus.

“Asbestos, a known carcinogen, has been condemned by the World Health Organization and is banned in some 50 countries around the world,” Ireton highlights, “With this announcement, Canada is committing to its own comprehensive ban — which is supposed to be fulfilled by 2018 — of a product that many Canadians believe was outlawed years ago.”

Hassan Yussuff, who is the president of the Canadian Labour Congress, has been particularly adamant about a comprehensive ban of asbestos in Canada for quite some time. With the CLC, he has tirelessly campaigned to have the hazardous substance outlawed. Understandably, Yussuff was thrilled to hear the news of the official ban, stating in Times Colonist that it represented an important win for all Canadians.

“We can all breathe more easily after last week’s announcement that the federal government is finally banning asbestos,” he writes, “It is a move that will, without question, save lives for generations to come, and make workplaces and public spaces safer for all Canadians…Asbestos is the leading cause of workplace-related death in this country. More than 2,000 Canadians die every year from asbestos-related cancers such as mesothelioma, and because it can take 20 to 50 years for cancer to develop after exposure, that number will initially continue to rise.”

It is our sincere hope, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., that Canada’s comprehensive ban will result in a significant decrease of asbestos-related diseases and deaths in our country that will be noticeable in the not-too-distant future. The immediate benefits, however, will be hard to notice considering that it can take decades for asbestos-related diseases like asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer to surface.

This means that sadly, Canadians will continue to die due to asbestos exposure long after the ban takes full effect. It is our hope, however, that we can do our part to minimize as much damage as possible. It’s the reason we continue to proudly offer our 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. Happy holidays!

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Long Awaited Nationwide Ban Of Asbestos Expected This Week

Danger Asbestos Removal Sign posted on school window.Canadians have been patiently (or perhaps impatiently) waiting for a comprehensive ban of asbestos every since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government was moving towards one this past May. As has been covered extensively by the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog, no official announcement of a ban has been made yet. However, as CBC News reports, one is expected this week.

According to Julie Ireton, the federal government finally plans to announce a comprehensive ban on asbestos in Canada. “The country currently allows imports of construction products and automotive parts that contain the toxic fibre, even though Canada no longer exports the material,” she writes, “Asbestos is known to cause deadly cancers and lung diseases, and has already been banned in Europe, Australia and Japan. The World Health Organization recommends replacing asbestos with safer substitutes.”

Organizations such as the Canadian Labour Congress have been front and centre in the call for the nationwide ban of the hazardous substance. Formerly used in the construction of homes, office buildings and schools, primarily for the purposes of insulation, asbestos is known for having its airborne fibres cause lung cancer and other deadly diseases such as mesothelioma. All in all, it’s responsible for the deaths of about 2,000 Canadians per year.

And even though the production of asbestos came to a halt in Canada years ago, the nation has continued to import products, such as brake pads, that contain asbestos. As Ireton points out, asbestos, when undisturbed, isn’t particularly dangerous. However, once fibres are disturbed, they can become airborne. This causes major complications for the respiratory systems of anyone who inhales the fibres.

Such instances have occurred far too often in Canadian workplaces. “From time to time contractors, electricians, plumbers, custodians, firefighters and cable installers unknowingly disrupt pipes, walls, ceilings and other materials that contain the toxic fibre,” Ireton explains, “Public Services and Procurement Canada announced in April that it planned to ban the use of asbestos in that department’s construction projects.”

She goes on to report that “the department has also developed an inventory of its buildings that contain asbestos, and several other departments are expected to follow that lead.” Those who have been keeping up with the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog know all too well the deadly ramifications endured by far too many Canadians at the hands of inhaled asbestos fibres. And while the call for a comprehensive ban is expected this week, it still can’t come soon enough.

To be honest, we still can’t figure out what the hold-up is. Ireton’s CBC News report was published this past Friday. As of this writing, the ban has not yet been announced. You can expect for us to report on the announcement once it is made. Of course, we’re also continuing to do our part to help those who may have asbestos present in their homes and workplaces.

Our Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) Services include a number of asbestos testing procedures such as an onsite assessment and sampling and analysis of materials collected from various parts of your home or office. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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3 Easy Ways To Improve Indoor Air Quality During The Winter

Cozy winter composition in a room, with snowy landscape seen through the window.During the warm and sunny summertime, many Canadians keep their windows open in order to circulate the air from outside with the air from inside. Then again, maybe less Canadians do that than we think. Far too many of us are prone to turning on the air conditioning. As a result, the air inside our homes gets stale and stagnant during the summer. Who complains about the heat in Canada anyway? Don’t people remember what winter is like?

Well, it seems like most Canadians have excellent memories when the winter comes. Recalling just how cold it can get, they go ahead and seal their homes up again. This time, they keep the heat going inside. We can never be satisfied, can we? Here’s the problem: with our homes sealed up during the winter, we continue to promote stale and stagnant air inside. So, it’s important that we take measures to improve the indoor air quality in our homes throughout the winter.

How do we do that? Here are three simple ideas:

1. Fill your home with plants. It’s a win-win situation to have plants in your home. Not only do they beautify your living spaces, but they help to clean the air. As we’ve pointed out in past blogs, certain plants such as spider plants, dracaenas, golden pothos, areca palms, bamboo palms, English ivy, rubber plants, Chinese evergreen, peace lilies and chrysanthemums are highly recommended.

“Houseplants can clean and purify the air in a home, helping to remove formaldehyde, benzene and other toxins that can make indoor air unhealthy to breathe,” reminds TheReflector.com, “Benzene is an irritant that can cause dizziness, headache, nausea, and blurred vision, among other side effects. Formaldehyde, which is often found in homes thanks to its widespread use in a range of products, can cause watery eyes, nausea and wheezing.”

2. Use cleaning products with natural ingredients. There are a number of cleaning products on the market that don’t contain harmful chemicals. Be sure to look for them when you go grocery shopping. They not only make your home pleasant smelling and cleaner overall, but they help you to avoid the toxic chemicals that can negatively impact your home’s indoor air quality. Don’t be fooled by sweet fragrances!

“It’s ideal to avoid heavy chemical usage inside a home throughout the year, but it’s especially important to do so during winter,” says MyValleyNews.com, “Solvent-based cleaners or cleaning products with strong fragrances can negatively affect indoor air quality and potentially trigger allergic reactions. In lieu of chemically-enhanced cleaning products, use natural products that get the job done without sacrificing indoor air quality.”

3. Absolutely insist on a no smoking policy. By today’s standards, smoking cigarettes indoors is considered bizarre. With laws protecting Canadians from secondhand smoke in nearly all indoor environments, it’s not uncommon to see people huddled outside on their smoke breaks from work. Insist upon this policy for your home. It’s hard to argue that cigarette smoke is among the worst possible ways to ruin the air you breathe.

“Many homeowners know that smoking indoors drastically reduces indoor air quality, putting even nonsmokers at heightened risk of developing various respiratory ailments,” notes TheReflector.com, “Homeowners concerned about the indoor air quality in their homes should ban smoking inside, no matter how low temperatures dip outside.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Air Quality Services to help target any problems areas of your home to ensure that you are enjoying the best indoor air quality possible. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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