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Canada To Support Listing Of Chrysotile Asbestos To Rotterdam Convention

As 2017 began, Canadians were given an extra special reason to celebrate the new year. As we’ve covered extensively on the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog, the Canadian government finally announced their comprehensive ban of asbestos. The deadly material is expected to be completely outlawed by 2018. This, of course, came as welcome news considering that the substance is the main culprit for more than 2,000 deaths in Canada each and every year.

Last week, the news got even better. As reported on Newswire.com, the federal government will be supporting the listing of chrysotile asbestos among the hazardous substances regulated under the Rotterdam Convention. The objective of the Rotterdam Convention is to protect both human health and the environment through the promotion of informed decisions about the import and management of certain hazardous chemicals.

Asbestos has been regarded a human carcinogen for 30 years now – declared as such by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer in 1987. Canada will be advocating for the chrysotile asbestos listing during this week’s eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties in Geneva. Also known as white asbestos, it’s the most common form of the material. The news of Canada’s new position on the substance is being lauded as an excellent step towards better protecting the lives of all Canadians.

This news is especially significant considering the fact that Canada formerly denounced the dangers of asbestos – and did so for many years. As a Marketwired.com report explains, “the World Health Organization declared asbestos a human carcinogen in 1987. However, for many years, Canada continued to bolster asbestos exports by downplaying the dangers of the carcinogen internationally.”

Needless to say, the fact that the federal government has changed its position is music to the ears of health advocates such as Canadian Labour Congress President, Hassan Yussuff.

“Unions campaigned long and hard for a ban on asbestos to make workplaces and public spaces safer for all Canadians, but also people around the world who were being exposed to asbestos,” he is quoted as saying in the Marketwired.com piece, “We worked with the government last year to secure a comprehensive ban on the import and export of asbestos here in Canada, and we are encouraged to see Canada taking international leadership on this issue.”

The announcement of Canada’s new position on chrysotile was made by Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna. “By supporting the listing of chrysotile asbestos to the Rotterdam Convention, Canada is taking a concrete step to promote responsible management of this harmful substance globally,” she is quoted in the Newswire.ca article, “In Canada, we will also put in place regulatory measures to protect the health and safety of Canadians as we move forward toward a ban on asbestos.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we have long supported the nationwide ban on asbestos. We fully agree that extra measures are needed to protect people from asbestos exposure all over Canada. And, as always, we are committed to doing our part!

For more information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

2 Comments

  1. Michael-Reply
    June 22, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Thank you for an excellent article! I am very glad that this topic is being discussed. Many people do not even suspect that asbestos is harmful to health. Thanks to such articles people will learn about this danger! We just have to talk about it! Notify residents of our city.
    Canada is on the right track in the fight against asbestos. It is very good! More about asbestos can be found in Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asbestos
    I am a medic, and I understand very well how dangerous asbestos is. In addition to your article, I would like to talk a little more about this from a medical point of view.
    In the mechanical destruction of products that contain this mineral, asbestos dust is formed, which penetrates into the lungs. Asbestos poisoning is not immediately apparent, as dust gradually accumulates in the body. In most cases, the negative impact of the mineral is manifested in 6-10 years and even more. Most often, the harmfulness of asbestos is the development of bronchitis and asbestosis. This is due to the fact that, passing through the bronchi, dust particles settle on their walls, which leads to irritation of the mucous surface. Asbestosis is a heavier disease, which is accompanied by the deposition of dust inside the lungs, which leads to the formation of scar formation on the surface of the respiratory organs.
    When removing asbestos, we get poisonous dust particles. Asbestos removal technologies are also an important topic for all of us. This requires caution and special skills. I would like to warn the inhabitants of Calgary about the difficulties and the dangers of removing asbestos on their own.
    The Government of Canada warns of the potential dangers of asbestos and suggests ways to keep you and your children safe. They also stress the importance of not contacting this material yourself, and instead emphasize the importance of using trained professionals: “If asbestos is found, hire a qualified asbestos removal specialist to get rid of it.” (citation: https://astra-management.ca/asbestos )

    How does the Government of Canada protect you from exposure?
    The Government of Canada recognizes that breathing in asbestos fibres can cause cancer and other diseases. We help protect Canadians from asbestos exposure by regulating:

    the sale of certain high-risk consumer products made of asbestos or that contain it
    this is done through the Asbestos Products Regulations under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act
    possible releases of asbestos into the environment
    this is done through the Asbestos Mines and Mills Release Regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (citation: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/air-quality/indoor-air-contaminants/health-risks-asbestos.html )
    After reading all the information on this, we must be cautious and active in the fight against asbestos! Thanks again for the article!

    • Dennis French-Reply
      June 22, 2017 at 5:14 pm

      Hello Michael. Thank you for your feedback. As a company we try and promote awareness and overall education to the contractors, clients and general public. Thru our consulting services as well, we make sure projects are being undertaken in a safe and professional manner. You have put a link to one contracting firm in Calgary and there are many in Calgary and around Alberta but homeowners need to also do their research as not all companies are operating equally; look into references and not just the cosmetic aspect of a website.

      We upload new blogs routinely about all sorts of Air quality issues so i hope you return and read a few more articles.

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How Does Hoarding Impact Indoor Air Quality?

For the past couple of years, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog has made it no secret that one of the easiest ways to improve the indoor air quality of your home is to keep it clean. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Dust, vacuum, mop and sweep – these simple tasks can do a lot to ward off allergens that significantly impact our respiratory systems. However, not everyone is a neat freak.

In fact, there are those who are the polar opposite of neat freaks. Hoarders are individuals who pack their homes with so many items that there is barely enough space to move around. And, as you can imagine, these items can get piled up in ways that create near-impossible-to-clean messes. Naturally, this only promotes poor indoor air quality in a variety of ways. And, interestingly, we’ve found that not enough is being said about it.

We were surprised to find that when typing in “hoarding” and “indoor air quality” into a Google search, the first three articles to appear belonged to our website! Admittedly, we’re pretty proud of that. But even we must admit that it’s been couple of years since we’ve revisited this topic. Naturally, we felt it was the right time to shed some light on how dangerous hoarding can be. It negatively impacts indoor air quality in a number of ways.

It promotes mould growth.

Hoarders tend to toss their belongings into random piles that never seem to stop growing. Everything from clothing to food to electronics can be found in various stacks throughout the home, creating nearly no space for walking, eating or sleeping. What this does is give mould countless opportunities to develop and grow. Mould, you see, requires warmth and moisture.

In addition to the various hidden pockets throughout a hoarder’s home that provide warmth and moisture, mould is also never cleaned when hidden from plain sight. With the presence of mould in the home, it enables mould spores to be released into the air. “Mould is associated with some untoward health effects in humans, including allergies and infections,” says clinical toxicologist, Rose Ann Gould Soloway on Poison.org, “Some health effects attributed to mould may in fact be caused by bacteria, dust mites, etc., found in mould-colonized environments.”

It diminishes ventilation.

It probably goes without saying that when you hoard, you limit or eliminate the ability to get any ventilation going in your home. Many hoarders have so many items piled on top of each other that they cover windows disallowing any air from the outside to enter. Without allowing air to circulate throughout the home, it enables pollutants to accumulate. Simply put, a hoarder’s home is full of stale and contaminated air.

As outlined by Manitoba Hydro’s handbook on indoor air quality and ventilation: “Ventilation of a home and the exchange of ‘stale’ indoor air with ‘fresh’ outdoor air are essential to keep pollutants from accumulating to levels that pose health and comfort problems.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are committed to helping hoarders reverse the effects of their habits on the air they breathe in their homes. We know that the compulsion to hoard is a complicated one. But it’s important that the quality of air in one’s home isn’t causing any further complications. If you have an issue with hoarding or know a loved one who hoards, you’ll want to contact a professional for help.

You’ll also want to learn more about our Air Quality Services so that we can accurately assess the indoor air quality of your 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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Saskatchewan And B.C. Taking Extra Steps To Limit Asbestos Exposure

Ever since the federal government announced its plans to completely ban asbestos from Canada by 2018, Canadians have been rejoicing. Proud of the fact that the deadly substance will no longer be imported into our country or used in any fashion, anti-asbestos crusaders are confident that the rates of disease and death at the hands of the material will drop in the years to come. A noticeable change, however, may take many years – far too many to not take extra action now.

Needless to say, the comprehensive nationwide asbestos ban isn’t going to miraculously rid Canada of all of the asbestos currently contained within it. Used predominantly as insulation material in the construction of homes and buildings decades ago, currently-laid asbestos still has the opportunity to wreak havoc on anyone who is exposed to its airborne fibres.

In the province of Saskatchewan, extra steps are being taken in order to prevent asbestos exposure. Jesse Todd is a member of the Saskatchewan Asbestos Disease Awareness Network. He was interviewed for a recent CBC News report to discuss the work Saskatoon is doing to keep people safe from the dangers related to asbestos. Among the measures taken by the city is the requesting of building contractors to be aware of the materials they bring to landfills.

Todd is asking the city to make the same request of its citizens. He is aware that many of the materials disposed of by residents of the city contain health hazards. The truth, he acknowledges, is that many people may not even know if what they’re throwing in the garbage contains asbestos or not.

“You start throwing your materials into the bin and then a big cloud of dust puffs up when your material hits the bottom,” Todd describes in the report, “And if someone else disposed of some material — maybe some drywall material that contained asbestos or anything like that — it is very brittle and that dust flies everywhere, so the individual dumping material is exposed as well as the attendants working there.”

The province of British Columbia is taking similar actions. Cos-Mag.com reports that WorkSafeBC is tag-teaming with a new cross-ministry working group established by the province to “take a broad approach and work collaboratively to identify, review and report on a range of issues, including worker safety, building renovation and abatement matters, environmental protection and public health and awareness.”

According to the site, asbestos-related diseases are responsible for the majority of workplace deaths. Many have stemmed from exposure that took place decades ago. In fact, WorkSafeBC reveals that from 2007 to 2016, there were more than 600 accepted claims for worker deaths in B.C. related to asbestos exposure. The majority of those workers passed away before the age of 65.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we agree that extra measures to protect people from asbestos exposure must be taken all over Canada. It’s great that asbestos will be completely banned by next year. However, precautions must be taken to protect Canadians from the asbestos that is currently here. And we’re certainly committed to doing our part!

For more information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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4 Important Reminders Of How To Keep Air Pollutants Out Of Your Home

With the spring now in full swing, many Canadians are undergoing their annual spring cleaning routines. And while the act of cleaning our homes is clearly something we all should do on a regular basis, there is a special feeling of “out with the old” that comes with the cleaning that is done at this time of year.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we recommend you take extra measures to clean your home in ways that will eliminate air pollutants. Readers of our blog are well aware of the major culprits of poor indoor air quality.

Allow us to offer you a few important reminders of how to keep air pollutants out of your home. Here are four:

1. Dust and vacuum regularly.

There are a variety of allergens that exist in our carpets and on our furniture. For those of you with pets, pet dander is certainly a concern. Regular vacuuming will help to you eliminate the fur, dead skin cells and dander left by your pets. Of course, dust is also a problem you’ll want to regularly eliminate. What may appear harmless is actually an indication of the presence of dust mites – microscopic insects that thrive in warm, humid environments and are known for triggering asthma attacks.

How do you minimize dust mites? “First, try to keep the humidity inside your home to less than 50 percent,” advises Reynard Loki on Alternet.org, “Air conditioners and dehumidifiers can help. Protect your bed by covering it with allergen-resistant covers. Make sure you wash your sheets and blankets regularly in hot water…And don’t give mites a place to hide and breed: keep your home as dust-, dander- and clutter-free as possible. Regular vacuuming is a must.”

2. Do away with scented cleaning products.

Air fresheners, laundry detergent, hand soap, perfumes – they all smell really nice, don’t they? The sad fact is that those smells are actually harmful to our health. Synthetic fragrances represent the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They are known for causing skin irritation and respiratory problems. If you’re looking to keep your home smelling sweet without imposing health risks on its inhabitants, try a few natural methods.

On Withings.com, Angela Chieh lists a number of great ideas. “Arrange slices of lemon on a plate to delicately perfume the air in a room,” she suggests, “Use baking soda in a small bowl to eliminate odours (it works particularly well in fridges). Choose fragrance-free products, or products with scents of natural origin for your laundry and cleaning needs. Stop using aerosol spray products that create a mist of liquid particles (hair sprays, air fresheners…).”

3. Tell smokers to practice their nasty habits outdoors.

When you have visitors to your home who are prone to lighting up, insist that they do so outside. In fact, you’d be doing yourself a big favour if you asked them not to smoke at all during their visits. Both secondhand smoke (exhaled from smokers) and thirdhand smoke (embedded in the clothes and hair of smokers) can be deadly. If one of the inhabitants of your home is a smoker, enforce the same strict rule.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control, tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds of toxins, about 70 of which can cause cancer,” Loki reminds us, “Secondhand smoke is very harmful to children, who can experience ear infections, more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections like bronchitis and pneumonia and a greater risk of sudden infant death syndrome.”

4. Get a thorough inspection of your home.

Want to guarantee that the indoor air quality of your home is excellent? Contact DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. to learn more about our Air Quality Services! We offer solutions to the health hazards that may be present in your living environment. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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