The team, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services would like to wish you an amazing Canada Day long weekend! As you’re well aware, this coming weekend isn’t going to be like any old Canada Day long weekend. It’s our nation’s 150th birthday! We’re happy to say that, as proud Canadians, we look forward to enjoying the various festivities that this forthcoming weekend will bring.
However, we’re also quite proud that Canada’s 150th birthday will mark the very last one when asbestos is legal in our country. Readers of our blog know how intensely we’ve focused on the comprehensive nationwide asbestos ban that passed by the federal government in December. Outlawing the toxic material completely by next year, Canada has taken an extremely important step in bettering the health of Canadians.
Formerly used primarily as an insulation material in the construction of homes and office buildings, asbestos is now widely known as a major cause of lung cancer. Taking the lives of 2,000 Canadians each year, asbestos is a substance that should have been banned a long time ago. It not only impacts the lungs of people performing renovations in buildings containing the substance, but it also affects members of the automobile industry.
Asbestos is often used in brake pads. And as the President of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association, Larry Lantz writes in The Toronto Star, “when asbestos brake pads wear out or disintegrate, the asbestos escapes into the air. The risk to technicians is that cleaning brake assemblies and grinding brake linings can expose them to this potentially toxic asbestos dust.”
In his recent special to the paper, Lantz also explains that brake friction products, clutch plates, hood liners and other aftermarket parts have all been made from asbestos. As a result, workers in the auto industry are among the most at-risk Canadians when it comes to asbestos exposure. Lantz notes that according to Statistics Canada, “more than $6 million in asbestos-related items are imported into Canada each year, and asbestos brake linings and pads represented the lion’s share of these items.”
Asbestos is good absorbing heat, Lantz points out, addressing the reason the toxic substance is so heavily used in his industry. Because of this characteristic, upwards of $100 million worth of asbestos-laden automotive parts have been imported into Canada over the past ten years. Of course, all of that is going to stop in 2018.
Lantz does express concern, however, that an increase in automotive parts containing asbestos will be shipped to Canada before the ban is officially implemented. “Since Canada has taken so long to ban auto parts made with asbestos, I hope that our country doesn’t become a dumping ground for aftermarket asbestos parts,” he writes, “There are already concerns that asbestos products imported before the ban is in place could be sold legally.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we join Lantz and all other Canadians in applauding the nationwide asbestos ban. As far as we’re concerned, it couldn’t come soon enough. Happy 150th Canada! Here’s to a nation that enjoys better health!
For more information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
Dusting – it’s one of those household chores that many of us are guilty of putting off for weeks at a time. After all, it’s just dust, right? Harmless little specks that accumulate on our furniture and other belongings that do nothing more than make the place look a little bit more drab than usual.
We’ll just go ahead and stop with the misnomer there. Dust is so much more than harmless little particles!
“Dust is the collective term used to describe the wide variety of organic and inorganic particles that collect in our homes,” explains SixWise.com, “Here’s an unpleasant thought: The majority of dust is made up from shed skin cells. That’s why the areas of your home that are used most often also tend to have the most dust. (Dust mites like to eat these skin cells.) Dust on mattresses, bedding and sofas will contain a particularly large amount of skin cells.”
Although dust mites are so miniscule that they are invisible to the naked eye, these little critters live in our bed linens and mattresses along with other places in your home where you shed your skin. Your skin flakes make up their favourite meals. And when they leave behind waste, you are forced to endure a major allergen. People with allergies and respiratory illnesses such as asthma face a much greater risk of suffering from symptoms the dustier their homes are.
“When dust mite waste is inhaled, people can develop a number of nasty symptoms,” explains Jill Buchner on CanadianLiving.com, “Those with allergies might develop itchy eyes, a runny nose or sneezing, particularly when they first wake up, since the bed is a major site of exposure… Asthma sufferers might also experience wheezing or shortness of breath. About 50 percent of asthma sufferers will find they react to mites.”
One way to minimize dust, and more specifically the presence of dust mites, is to regularly wash your bed sheets in hot water. It’s advisable to keep the same sheets on your bed for no more than a week. Secondly, it’s a good idea to remove the carpeting from your home, especially if you’re an asthma sufferer. The easier you make it to remove dust that accumulates in your home, the better your health will be.
And then there’s the obvious solution. Let’s put it this way: becoming a neat freak is good for your health! Make dusting and vacuuming a regular activity in your home and try not to forget all of its nooks and crannies. “Microfiber materials collect dust much better than other dusting cloths or materials,” informs The Cleaning Blog, “Go over hard surfaces, light fixtures, shelves, books, desks, knick-knacks, everything from top to bottom until the dust is gone.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd, we strongly believe in giving people the opportunity to enjoy the best indoor air quality possible. Contact us today to learn more about our Air Quality Services. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve all encountered mould. The green or brown or sometimes black guck that accumulates in and around our kitchen and bathrooms tiles is pretty unpleasant to look at. But it’s important to note that its unsightliness should be the least of your worries. Mould presents serious health implications – many of which we may not even realize are a result of the presence of mould in our homes.
Nasal and sinus congestion, coughing, sore throat, difficulty breathing, asthma symptoms, nosebleeds, headaches and eye irritations are all potential ramifications of indoor mould exposure. Obviously, preventing mould growth in the home is an important way to minimize or prevent the abovementioned health problems. But since mould thrives on moisture, how can we stop it from developing?
This can be especially tough in the bathroom – a place where we constantly use water. So, here are three ways to keep your bathrooms mould-free:
Most of us probably just get out of the shower and get ourselves ready for the day each morning. Because we are now clean, we assume that no other cleaning needs to be done. You’re not likely to clean your bathtub right after a shower, however, it’s wise to remember that it does require regular cleaning. On Care2.com, Diane MacEachern suggests that, at the very least, you give your shower and tub a wipe down right after you’ve used them.
“Keep a small squeegee in the shower so it’s convenient; you can get a squeegee very cheaply at a hardware store, home goods retailer, or online,” she recommends, “Or use a hand towel or washcloth to do the job. A cloth is particularly good at getting to the tile grout and in the corners where mould has a tendency to start.”
Those shower curtains of ours endure a lot of moisture on a regular basis. They are practically doused in water on a daily basis. However, unlike our bodies, we don’t dry our shower curtains off after a shower. Water is left to provide mould with the perfect breeding ground. You’ve likely seen your shower curtain become sticky and filmy. Be sure to clean it regularly so that mould doesn’t form. Or, do yourself one better and simply buy a shower curtain that is mould-resistant.
With so much water use in your bathroom, you’re bound to have more than just wet surfaces. With heat comes a lot of steam, as well. Water droplets can form on your ceilings, walls and counters, giving mould ideal spots to grow and develop. By cracking the windows and using the exhaust fans found in your bathrooms, you can promote ventilation to keep excess moisture at bay.
“Crack open a window and start your ceiling fan when you turn on the shower so excess moisture moves out of the room, rather than condenses on the walls and tile,” advises MacEachern, “Keep the fan running and the window cracked open at least 15 minutes after you turn the shower off to let as much moist air escape as possible.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Mould Assessment Services to help you eliminate the mould problem that may exist in your bathrooms. 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 email@example.com.
Readers of the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog are no strangers to posts about asbestos. We’ve both extensively covered the impact that the toxic substance has had on Canadians and heralded the federal government’s decision to ban the material completely by next year. Of course, the health hazards caused by asbestos continue to affect Canadians to the tune of 2,000 deaths per year.
It goes without saying that our nation still has a long way to go to reduce lung diseases as they continue to be costly for Canadians in more ways than one. Just yesterday, Wendy Henderson of Pulmonary Fibrosis News reported that lung cancer remains Canada’s leading cause of death from cancer for both genders.
Lung cancer, in fact, is taking more Canadian lives than prostate cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer combined. As you may have expected, it’s wreaking havoc on our economy as well. “According to the Canadian Lung Association, the three leading lung diseases — asthma, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), and lung cancer — cost the Canadian economy a staggering $12 billion in 2010,” reports Henderson, “More than 6 percent of Canada’s welfare bill is taken up by chronic lung disease care.”
Henderson reveals that COPD produces more hospitalizations than any other illness and notes that many Canadians who likely suffer from the condition haven’t even been diagnosed yet. She calls for “drastic steps” to be taken by our nation in order to prevent chronic lung disease cases to double by the year 2030.
The nation’s asbestos ban can be considered a big step in the right direction. But, of course, there are many other causes of lung cancer. Cigarette smoke is one of the most obvious ones. The fact that people are still addicted to cigarettes, with all of the information about its deadly effects, is staggering. Henderson admits that measures have been put in place to reduce smoking and secondhand smoke in our country, but more still needs to be done.
André Picard of The Globe and Mail believes that if a threat to one’s life isn’t enough to get a person to quit smoking, he/she should be hit in the other place “where it hurts” – the pocket. “The single most effective way to reduce smoking – along with the millions of deaths it causes – is to dramatically increase the price of cigarettes,” he writes, citing a study that calls for the tripling of tobacco taxes and a doubling of the prices for cigarette packs.
Dr. Prabhat Jah is the director of the Centre for Global Health Research at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and one of the researchers of the study which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. “If the world is serious about knocking down consumption by one-third, the only way to get there is significant increases in taxes,” he is quoted as saying in an interview, “With higher taxes, you will see health benefits in both the short-term and the long-term.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are certainly on board with any measure that will work to improve the health of Canadians nationwide. And, as such, we remain committed to doing our part. For more information about any and all of our services including our Air Quality Services and Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.