Never let it be lost on you that mould isn’t just unsightly, it’s unhealthy. It’s also important to remember that mould doesn’t just grow in our bathroom tiles and on food that is left out too long. It’s certainly true that where there is moisture, a breeding ground for mould is available. But mould can grow in areas of our home other than our bathrooms and kitchens. So, it’s important to be reminded of how to eliminate it from your home.
Here are four reminders:
1. De-clutter your home. Being a neat freak doesn’t just help to present your home in a tidy fashion. It helps to keep its inhabitants healthy. Sure, freeing your living space of clutter will help to prevent slips and falls. That’s certainly one way to stay safe. But by eliminating clutter, you will also present fewer opportunities for moisture to accumulate and for mould to find places to develop.
As a mould prevention tip, removing clutter is highly recommended by Karin Beuerlein on HouseLogic.com. “Cast a critical eye on household clutter, and pare down your stuff,” she advsies, “Clutter blocks airflow and prevents your HVAC system from circulating air. Furniture and draperies that block supply grilles cause condensation. All this moisture creates microclimates in your home that welcome and feed mould growth.”
2. Immediately attend to any leaks. The drip, drip, dripping of your faucet is more than just an auditory nuisance. With each drop of water that falls under your sink, the more moisture accumulates in the area. This provides a perfect opportunity for mould to grow. It’s important not to just place a bucket under the drip in order to collect the water, but to repair the source of the leak as soon as possible.
“Even the smallest leak can support mould growth,” informs Tim of All Systems Mechanical, “Water is probably the biggest contributing factor to mould growth in the home so take the time to fix even the smallest leaks. A drop or two here or there under your sink might not seem like much, but after a drop per minute for an entire day, how much water would be there fuelling mould growth?…Fix all of your leaks and make no exceptions and if you don’t know how then choose a good plumber.”
3. Monitor the humidity in your home. It’s important to remember that humidity breeds moisture which breeds mould. During the winter, it’s common for Canadians to keep their windows and doors shut in an effort to keep warm. However, it’s important to ensure that the indoor environment doesn’t become too humid. Opening the windows for short periods of time helps to improve indoor air quality while lowering humidity.
Beuerlein suggests that you invest in an indoor humidity monitor. “An indoor humidity monitor will help you keep track of moisture levels that, ideally, fall between 35% and 50% relative humidity; in very humid climates, at the height of summer, you may have to live with readings closer to 55%,” she writes, “But if you reach 60% relative humidity, it’s time to look for the source of the added moisture; above 70% relative humidity, certain species of mould can begin growing.”
4. Call a professional for help. “If you can’t find the moisture problem on your own, or you aren’t sure how to correct a problem you do find, call a home inspector or indoor air quality consultant,” recommends Beuerlein. And we couldn’t agree more! At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we feel that it’s necessary to remind Canadians that mould growth in the home is more prevalent than they may think.
We also feel it necessary to help out when we can. We proudly offer Mould Assessment Services that assess, analyze and report on the findings of mould in your home, office or building. Our comprehensive assessments include visual inspections for sources of mould, analytical sampling for source and health impact potential from spore exposure, moisture analysis and thermal scanning.
For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Asbestos has killed far too many Canadians. And, unfortunately it will continue to take lives for years to come. So, of course, the recent announcement by the federal government to implement a nationwide comprehensive ban of asbestos by 2018 was welcomed by Canadians nationwide. But as environmental lawyers, Will Amos and David R. Boyd write in the Ottawa Citizen, it’s a ban that should have come a long time ago.
While the pair acknowledges that the recently-announced ban will certainly save lives, they argue that it came decades late. With asbestos being the leading occupational killer in Canada, harming both workers and their families who are exposed to asbestos at home and school, a much more aggressive approach to banning the deadly substance should have been taken in the past.
“The dangers of asbestos have been known for a long, long time,” state Amos and Boyd, “Roman historian Pliny reported that working with asbestos led to difficulty breathing and respiratory illness. A British government report published in 1898 warned that inhaling asbestos dust was killing workers. In 1918, the Prudential Life Insurance Company stated, ‘In the practice of American and Canadian life insurance companies, asbestos workers are generally declined on account of the assumed health-injurious conditions of the industry.’”
With asbestos having been recognized as a harmful material for more than a century, it begs the question: Why was it being produced all these years? You’re not likely to be surprised that the answer is simply: money. Amos and Boyd explain that as the 20th century progressed, the profits from asbestos-laden products steadily rose. Meanwhile, medical evidence was also mounting connecting “dire health consequences” to asbestos exposure.
“The industry responded with a decades-long campaign to distort, manipulate and falsify scientific evidence,” the duo explains, “Industry-funded studies that connected asbestos exposure to cancer were suppressed. Researchers were pressured to change their results, amend their conclusions or avoid discussing asbestos in public.”
Countries like Japan and Australia banned asbestos years go. Amos and Boyd applaud Canada’s decision to jump on board but stress that the proverbial dragging of our nation’s feet to reach this decision will have long-term ramifications. They also insist that Canada further its commitment to protecting its citizens by taking measures to very seriously examine the impact of other dangerous substances on the Canadian public.
“The asbestos debacle has already cost Canada dearly,” they write, “For other dangerous toxic substances and environmental contaminants, we must rigorously regulate to the highest international standards. Asbestos underscores how Canadians deserve world-class standards to protect human and ecosystem health.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we have taken the issue of Canada’s asbestos ban very seriously. We recognize the extreme importance of keeping Canadians safe from this toxic material. If you have any questions about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to contact us in order to ask them. Give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at email@example.com.
Do you use air fresheners in your home or your car? If so, you’re a lot like most people. It’s natural to want your environment to smell fresh and pleasant, especially considering that there are numerous products on the market that offer up a wide variety of sweet scents. However, if you’re one of the many individuals who use aerosol sprays and other air freshening mechanisms, you are creating an unhealthy living space.
As April McCarthy informs us on PreventDisease.com, artificial fragrance sales exceed $8 billion a year although they emit “toxic fumes”. Among the health ramifications of spraying your air with such products are headaches, earaches, depression, allergies, irregular heartbeat and even diarrhea, she notes. “Fragrance can be made up of more than 100 chemicals, most of which are synthetic, and most of these chemicals are harming our health,” writes McCarthy.
What chemicals in air fresheners are causing the most damage? McCarthy reveals that phthalates are regularly used in common household air fresheners in order to prolong the length of time that the scented products maintain their fragrances. Phthalates, in fact, are also used as plastic softeners, anti-foaming agents in aerosols, in vinyl found in children’s toys, automobiles, paints, pesticides and in cosmetics and fragrances.
According to a 2007 Natural Resources Defense Council report, 12 of 14 brands of common household air fresheners contained phthalates, reports McCarthy. “Regular exposure to phthalates can increase your risk of experiencing endocrine, reproductive, and developmental problems,” she reveals, “Amazingly, some of the brands that tested positive for phthalates did not include phthalates on their lists of ingredients; some of these brands were even labeled as being ‘all-natural’ and ‘unscented.’”
The NRDC also points out that exposure to phthalates can interfere with the production of the male hormone testosterone which can be linked to reproductive abnormalities. However, phthalates are far from the only chemical found in air fresheners that can be hazardous to our health.
What other dangerous chemicals are found in air fresheners? On Grandparents.com, Sara Schwartz reminds us that air fresheners also contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They include such toxic chemicals as acetone, ethanol, d-limonene, pinene, and acetate. “Depending on your exposure and sensitivity, toxic VOCs can produce a range of health effects, including eye, nose, and throat irritation, nausea and headaches, and even damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system,” she explains.
What chemical-free ways can we freshen the air in our homes? According to Dr. Anne Steinemann, who is a professor of civil engineering at the University of Melbourne, the best smell is no smell at all. In Schwartz’s article, she advises opening up the windows even for a short period each day. And yes, this includes the wintertime. “Why use an air freshener at all? It’s not designed to clean and disinfect the air; it’s a chemical mixture that masks odor,” she is quoted as saying.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we agree that having fresh air in the home is of major importance. However, maintaining a living environment that is free of harmful chemicals is most ideal. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy new year Canada! On behalf of the entire DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. staff, we would like to wish you a very happy and healthy 2017. And thanks to the recent announcement that asbestos will officially be banned in Canada, we can all breathe a little easier – literally. It’s no secret to readers of our blog that we have been big proponents of the ban on the hazardous material that is known for killing upwards of 2,000 Canadians a year.
We join people like Canadian Labour Congress president, Hassan Yussuff in celebrating the federal government’s decision to ban asbestos, which finally came on December 15th. Right before ringing in the new year, Yussuff took to writing a letter about the asbestos ban, declaring it a “victory for all Canadians”. He was and continues to be one of the hardest-working protestors of asbestos in Canada. As he points out in his letter, which was published on TheTelegram.com, the ban is bound to save thousands of lives.
“Banning asbestos will lead to better occupational health and safety protections for workers,” he writes, “Experts estimate that 150,000 Canadians are exposed to asbestos at work, particularly in industries like construction, automobile maintenance, shipbuilding, trade contractors and waste management. Internationally, the World Health Organization reports more than 100,000 asbestos-related deaths per year.”
Yussuff admits to having a very personal attachment to his convictions. Asbestos has taken the lives of many people he has met throughout the years. In the many years he has been working towards a ban, he has been introduced to numerous families of workers who have unknowingly brought home deadly asbestos fibres. This exposed their children and spouses to the hazardous material. Today, many of them battle mesothelioma and other respiratory illnesses.
However, Yussuff himself has also been exposed to asbestos. In his letter, he recalls his days working as a mechanic, exposing himself to asbestos-containing brake pads and clutches. “Because asbestos-related cancers have such a long latency period, I don’t know yet if I’ll be one of the unlucky ones,” he admits, “What I do know is that there are far too many workers who, unlike me, may have been exposed to this killer for years without even knowing it.”
The comprehensive nationwide ban of asbestos in Canada was a mandatory measure, as far as Yussuff is concerned. Although Canada stopped mining asbestos years ago, the nation still inexplicably imported products that contained the deadly substance. In fact, there became an increase in the imports of products such as brake pads and construction materials after Canada no longer produced asbestos itself.
Naturally, this only worked to increase asbestos exposure in our country. As a result, deaths from mesothelioma increased 60 percent between 2000 and 2012, Yussuff informs. “A ban on asbestos is about protecting workers, their families, and communities,” he insists, “It is about saving lives, here in Canada and internationally. I commend the federal government for its leadership, and I urge the provinces and territories to work diligently to help implement the ban.”
The team, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., would also like to commend the federal government for banning asbestos. We know, however, that there is still a lot of work to be done to protect Canadians from the material that already exists here. If you have any questions about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to contact us in order to ask them.
Give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at email@example.com.