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Canada Inching Closer Towards Full-Fledged Asbestos Ban

In December of last year, the Government of Canada finally followed through on its promise to announce a comprehensive nationwide ban of asbestos. The deadly substance – known for its role in causing mesothelioma and other fatal respiratory diseases – is set for a complete abolishment from the country in 2018.

Of course, “abolishment” means the ceasing of any importing or exporting of the product. What we do about the asbestos that is currently in our country is another story altogether. Thankfully, there is some good news to report coming out of Gatineau, Quebec. Earlier this month, the federal government announced that it was lowering the acceptable level of workplace exposure to airborne chrysotile asbestos to as close to zero as possible.

As reported by Jeff Cottrill on OHSCanada.com, the move took effect on July 12th, and was announced via news release from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Patty Hajdu is the federal Minister of Employment at Workforce Development and Labour. In the release, she shares her sentiments about the nation’s responsibility to keep its workers as safe from harm as possible.

“Every employee has the right to a safe workplace,” declares Hajdu, “I’m proud to be announcing these long-overdue regulatory changes on asbestos, a key element of our government’s comprehensive ban.”

Kirsty Duncan is the Federal Science Minister. She too had some words to say about the federal government’s duty to keep Canadians free from harm in the workplace. “Canadians can be confident my colleagues and I will continue to work hard to ensure that families, workers and communities will be protected from the harmful impacts of asbestos exposure, so they may lead healthy, secure lives,” Duncan shared.

“The move is part of the federal government’s ongoing strategy to ban all asbestos and asbestos-containing products by next year,” writes Cottrill, “Canada’s occupational health and safety law regulations require exposure to airborne asbestos to follow the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists Threshold Limit Values at 0.1 fibres per cubic centimetre, according to a backgrounder on the ESDC website.”

Never one to be quiet about the subject of asbestos, Canadian Labour Congress president, Hassan Yussuff, was also vocal about Canada’s recent step towards better protection against asbestos exposure in the workplace. The CLC has long lobbied for the complete ban of asbestos in Canada. Yussuff agrees that the recent move towards lowering acceptable exposure levels at work is a step in the right direction.

“We welcome the action of the government,” said Yussuff. “There’s always going to be argument on what level of threshold is acceptable for workers to be exposed, and we believe no amount of asbestos fibres is safe. So lowering the threshold certainly brings us one step closer to the inevitable situation that the government already announced, a complete ban of both import and export of asbestos.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we applaud the actions being taken by the Canadian government to reduce the potential for asbestos to cause more illnesses and deaths in our country. Of course, we’re mindful that much work still needs to be done in order to keep all Canadians safe.

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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Finding Ways To Minimize Humidity In The Home All Summer Long

Humidity represents the amount of water vapour in the air around you. And, as we all know, the summertime is generally when the air around us is the most humid. During the summer, the air holds more moisture. That’s what gives us that “sticky” feeling that the dry and cold winter air never provides. And while we shouldn’t really complain about the heat (winter is long enough, isn’t it?), it’s important for Canadians to find ways to limit the humidity in their homes.

Since humid air is filled with moisture, it is bound to cause some concerns within our households – not the least of which is mould growth. With mould present in the home, it leaves individuals who live within it susceptible to respiratory problems. This is especially true for people with asthma and other allergies. So what can you do to minimize the humidity in your home all summer long?

Crack the windows and turn on the exhaust fans.

Just last week, we blogged about the beauty of keeping the windows open in the summertime. Allow us to reiterate the importance of allowing the air from outside to circulate with the air from inside. Now, you may be wondering – “if the air from outside is hot and humid, how does letting it inside reduce humidity?”

When warm air is “trapped” within the home, it ends up attaching itself to colder surfaces creating condensation – perfect breeding grounds for mould. This is why it’s also important to always turn the exhaust fans on in your bathrooms during bathing and kitchens during cooking. Ventilation is the key to reducing moisture. In addition, believe it or not, a closed up home can become more humid simply by virtue of the people inside it breathing.

“Mathematically speaking, it only takes between four and six pints of water to raise the humidity level inside of 1,000 square feet from a mere 15% to 60%,” says CriticalCactus.com, “The amount of people within the home can affect how much humidity is in the air as well. One person breathing produces about ¼ cup of water within an hour’s time.”

Invest in some moisture-absorbing houseplants.

In keeping with the concept of bringing the outside inside in order to minimize moisture in the home, it’s a good idea to have houseplants throughout your home. But, it’s important to know which plants add moisture to the air and which ones absorb moisture.

As CriticalCactus.com points out, some houseplants are particularly adept at reducing moisture in the air. “Tropical plants called epiphytes such as English Ivy, Peace Lily, Reed Palm, Boston ferns and Tillandsia are plants that get all their water from the air instead through roots,” says the site.

Limit your laundry loads.

With all of that extra sweating in your clothes that you’re doing this summer, you’re likely to have more loads of laundry than normal. However, it’s important to only do the laundry when you have full loads to wash. That way, you can limit how often you use the washing machine and dryer. Both machines produce a lot of humidity. In fact, you may want to consider drying your clothes outdoors. This saves you money as well!

Thinking your home may be too humid?

Contact DF Technical & Consulting Services Inc. to learn more about how our Moisture Monitoring Services can help you! Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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The Beauty Of Opening The Windows In The Summertime

Most Canadians can admit that they spend far too much time indoors. Then again, it’s hard to blame those of us who choose to stay inside for the majority of the coldest months of the year. Summertime, however, offers us many amazing opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. The warmth and sunshine make spending time outside as inviting as it gets!

Of course, there will be plenty of time spent indoors during the summer as well. After all, we do have to hit the hay at some point, right? It wise, then, to invite some of the outdoors inside by keeping the windows open. Yes, we’ve recommended this practice during the wintertime in order to get the air in your homes circulating and renewing itself with the fresh air from outside. But, opening the windows in the winter should only be done for short intervals of time.

Clearing out the “nasties”.

During the summer, however, the warm temperatures practically give us no excuse to not keep the windows wide open all day long. As you may have guessed, the health benefits are many. One of the most obvious is the release of air pollutants. On PhantomScreens.com, Esther de Wolde reminds us that much of our indoor activities can produce air pollutants. This includes the acts of dusting, cleaning and painting.

“Some paints contain VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) which can be harmful to health,” she explains, “And other delightful things like dust mites can cause asthma. So it may be a bit obvious but opening your home to the outside can clear out the nasties.”

Strengthening the “human microbiome”.

On MindBodyGreen.com, James Maskell agrees that keeping the windows open is a healthful practice. He advocates the open window policy, however, for a pretty unique reason. Maskell explains that the human microbiome (the bugs that live inside us that aid in digestion, metabolism and immunity) is important for our overall health. Opening windows, he argues, helps to build the human microbiome.

“For most of human history, the outside was always part of the inside, and at no moment during our day were we ever really separated from nature,” he explains, “Yet modern humans spend a whopping 93% of their lives indoors, inside buildings or vehicles. Opening a window and increasing natural airflow has been shown to improve the diversity and health of the microbes in your home, which in turn benefit everyone inside.”

Preventing condensation and mould growth.

Another reason to keep the windows open during the summer: the circulation of air in your home also helps to prevent condensation and mould growth. “Damp window frames, condensation on your windows and worst of all: black mould,” says De Wolde, “Without adequate ventilation your home becomes a steamy box of germs. Nasty. Open the windows and get the air flowing through your home to stop the damp.”

The team, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. supports the act of keeping windows open during the summer. We also are committed to helping improve the quality of air in your home via our Air Quality Services. 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 Crazy Ways To Kick That Nasty Habit

When it comes to maintaining good health, everyone seems to have their own opinions. While you’re not likely to come across anyone who suggests that exercising and eating nutritious foods is a bad idea, it is not uncommon to hear people suggest that you do “everything in moderation”. It’s debatable as to whether or not certain foods are safe to eat “sometimes”. But when it comes to one bad habit, in particular, there is no question that complete abstinence is the only path to better health.

Cigarette smoking is horrible for you. We’re not sure if there’s any simpler way to put it. Even most smokers themselves will admit that it’s a nasty habit that offers absolutely no health benefits. Most people also know that you don’t even have to be a smoker in order to be negatively impacted by cigarette smoke. Both secondhand smoke (exhaled by smokers) and thirdhand smoke (the lingering smells attached to surfaces) are known to cause poor health.

When it comes to indoor air quality, there is no enemy worse than cigarette smoke. It impacts both the smoker and the people around the smoker. Quitting, it should be no surprise to discover, is one of the best things a person can do for his/her own health and the health of his/her family and friends. Here are three crazy ways to kick that nasty habit:

1. Get hypnotized.

Not everyone believes in hypnosis. Many regard it as a cheesy form of entertainment. This might be true when it comes to certain hypnotist acts who perform live on stage. But research has shown that hypnotherapy can actually help for smokers to lose their urges to light up.

“A 2007 study, for example, found that hospitalized patients who smoked were more likely to quit when they used hypnotherapy than when they tried other methods like nicotine replacement therapy or cold turkey,” reports Kevin Gianni on RenegadeHealth.com, “Another study in 2008 combined hypnosis with nicotine replacement patches and found success.”

2. Create an “I quit smoking” money jar.

Is money a motivating factor for you? If so, you may want to visually understand just how much money you can be saving if you were to stop spending it on cigarettes. Each time you plan on buying a pack of cigarettes, put the amount of money your pack would cost you in a jar. Clearly, it will accumulate. Plan on doing something special with all of that money you save!

3. Initiate a quitting contest.

If you’re the competitive type, you may care more about showing up friends and members of your family by challenging them to a quitting contest. Who can quit first? Who can stay off cigarettes the longest? If there are other smokers who you can challenge, your path to quitting may be made easier. If there are no smokers within your circle, perhaps you can make a bet of some kind.

“If you’re the type who responds to peer pressure, get your friends involved,” suggests Gianni, “Make a bet that you can do it, with a nice, juicy reward at the end. Or agree to pay your friends a hefty amount if you fail.”

When you think about it, these nasty habit-kicking solutions aren’t so crazy at all. What is crazy is continuing to be a cigarette smoker! What is does to your lungs and the air around you is simply lethal.

The team, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. not only supports you in your quest to quit smoking, but promotes the improvement of the quality of air in your home. For more information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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