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3 Ways To Minimize All Of That Pesky Dust In Your Home

Dust is in all of our homes. No matter how often we clean, it always seems to return. Dust is primarily made up of our skin flakes and microscopic fibres, so there’s no real way to eliminate it from our homes for good. However, proper upkeep is integral removing dust and improving indoor air quality in order to live in a healthy environment. This is especially true for allergy and asthma sufferers.

So how can you minimize all of that pesky dust in your home? Here are three ideas:

1. Replace your bedding on a weekly basis.

You may not assume that your bed is among the dustiest areas of your home…but it is. What you may not realize is that while you’re dozing each and every night, your skin flakes. In addition to the fibres that your bedding regularly sheds, your nightly place of rest actually becomes a haven for dust – and therefore, dust mites. These microscopic creatures eat your skin flakes and leave behind microscopic droppings that only add to the list of asthma irritants already in your home.

Your best bet? Change and wash your sheets every single week. “To minimize the fallout (of dust), wash sheets and pillowcases weekly,” advises Gary Wentz of Reader’s Digest, “Items that aren’t machine washable don’t need weekly trips to the dry cleaners—just take blankets and bedspreads outside and shake them. You can smack some of the dust out of pillows, but for a thorough cleaning, wash or dry-clean them.”

2. Take your carpets outside for a beating.

Branching off of that last point, Wentz also suggests that you take things a step further with your carpeting. Firstly, the less carpet you have in your home the better. Naturally, dust gets trapped in carpet and no matter how much you vacuum, it’s hard to remove it completely. As a result, Wentz advises that you take your removable carpets and rugs outside and give them some good beatings!

“Drape them over a fence or clothesline and beat them with a broom or tennis racket,” he recommends, “Give your cushions the same treatment. Upholstery fabric not only sheds its own fibers but also absorbs dust that settles on it, so you raise puffs of dust every time you sit down. Beat cushions in the backyard or use slipcovers and give them a good shake. If you want to eliminate upholstery dust, buy leather- or vinyl-covered furniture.”

3. Use microfiber products for dusting.

Do away with dusters. Those feathery little trinkets only spread the dust around. A standard rag also won’t do the trick, even when using them with store-bought furniture polish. As FamilyHandyman.com, explains, “microfiber products attract and hold dust with an electrostatic charge, unlike dry rags and feather dusters, which just spread dust around. Machine washable microfiber products can save you money over disposable brands because you can use them over and over.”

As you can imagine, there are many other ways to minimize dust accumulation in your home. However, at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we highly recommend having the indoor air quality of your home tested. 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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Ensuring Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality Doesn’t Fall This Fall

This Friday marks the official start of the fall season. And, for most Canadians, that means the official start of the “stay at home more often” season. It’s not at all surprising that we tend to enjoy the great outdoors on a more regular basis when it’s warm and sunny outside. It’s also pretty commonplace to keep the windows open, when at home, to enjoy the warm fresh air from outside.

Come fall, these practices change. We tend to stay indoors to avoid chilly temperatures and we usually keep the windows shut to keep all of that chilliness outside.

But what does that mean for your home’s indoor air quality?

As you may have guessed, it means that the air inside your home is more prone to having its quality lowered. By virtue of the fact that we’re inside the home more often and we’re generally keeping the air inside trapped, it stands to reason that it’s going to be of a lesser quality. In other words, we’re more likely to make ourselves sick during the colder months of the year, in part, by keeping ourselves cooped up.

How can we improve indoor air quality during the fall?

One thing is for sure – it’s important to keep your home clean. This is important all year round, but during the time of year when you’re less likely to let fresh air inside the home, it’s best to become a neat freak. This will minimize the accumulation of dust and other respiratory system enemies. GetCold.net reminds us not to forget those often-overlooked areas where dust collects in abundance.

“Use a damp cloth to wipe any dust away from ceiling fans, air registers, and kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans,” the site instructs, “You should also look inside your ductwork. You will only be able to see so far, but if there is noticeable debris within the area you can see, it is likely that the rest of the ductwork is also dirty. If you see dirt, dust, cobwebs, or debris, call a professional to have the ductwork inspected and cleaned.”

You’ll also want to change your air filters.

Remember that they help to rid your home’s air of particles – and those particles build up. Without cleaning or changing them regularly, they aren’t of much use to you.

“When air filters are dirty, they aren’t as effective, which means that more particles will be in the air that you and your loved ones breathe,” says SeaCoastAir.com, “Make sure to change the air filter each month before it becomes saturated with dust and other particles.”

As you may have guessed, we’re only scratching the surface here. There are numerous other ways to ensure the high quality of the air inside your home during the fall. However, we would argue that there are none better than securing the services of DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Our Air Quality Services are made up of inspections that target areas of concern to ensure the best possible living environment for your family all year round.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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2 Important Cleaning Tips For Asthmatics

Some asthmatics have likened their respiratory conditions to having someone trapped in their chests, gripping their lungs and closing off their airways. Simply put, asthma makes it hard to breathe. Therefore, it’s wise for all asthmatics to take important precautions when it comes to keeping their airways free of irritants.

For many asthmatics, smoke is a major trigger for symptoms. Some have described the presence of smoke in their vicinities as “poison” that has a “severe choking effect”. Naturally, asthmatics generally stay clear away from smoke as well as other irritants such as dust, pollen and pet dander. And this makes many an asthmatic a neat freak.

But did you know that the very act of cleaning the home can present problems for asthmatics? Here are two important cleaning tips that will help:

1. Do away with harsh cleaning products.

Most of us are pretty used to opening up scented bottles of cleaning products so that our homes smell clean and fresh once we’ve completely our housecleaning chores. Those smells, however, are actually signs that there are harmful chemicals lingering in the air. Volatile organic compounds do favours for no one’s respiratory system. Asthmatics should stay away from them. On AllergicLiving.com, Jennifer Van Evra refers to such products as “chemical soups”.

“With their cheerful advertisements and colorful bottles, it’s easy to forget that many household cleaners are chemical soups that may set off respiratory and skin reactions in people who are sensitive,” she writes, “But not only are they triggers, Massachusetts research scientist Anila Bello says they can actually cause new sensitivities to form.”

Evra goes on to point out that Bello has even helped Boston-area hospitals to use safer cleaning products after their nurses complained of respiratory issues after entering rooms that had just been cleaned.

2. Make cleaning up after your pet a non-existent chore.

Sometimes the best way to clean is not to have to clean at all. And, in the case of pet dander, that’s especially true. It can be hard for an asthma sufferer who is also an animal lover. But the fact that dog and cat fur can trigger breathing trouble makes it so that being a pet owner isn’t always a good idea. On EverydayHealth.com, Elizabeth Shimer Bowers suggests that asthmatics think twice before bringing a dog or cat home.

“Pet dander is one of the most problematic triggers when it comes to allergic asthma symptoms,” she informs, “it’s the proteins in a pet’s dander, saliva, and urine that aggravate asthma symptoms.”

She goes on to quote Ohio-based allergist, Dr. Princess Ogbogu, who notes that “When people with asthma inhale (pet dander) particles, this can really set off an asthma attack… If you do choose to have a pet…limit your exposure to the animal by keeping it out of your bedroom.”

Of course, there are many other cleaning tips that asthmatics should consider. De-cluttering the home to minimize dust accumulation and keeping smokers out of the home are just two more. However, at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we highly recommend having the indoor air quality of your home tested.

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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Edmonton Hotel Worker Quits Job To Avoid Further Asbestos Exposure

As we’ve covered extensively on our blog, Canada will be implementing a comprehensive nationwide ban on asbestos next year. Lobbyists all over the country have long petitioned for the toxic substance to be outlawed. For reasons that not many know, short of economic gain (read: greed at the expense of the nation’s health), asbestos continues to be imported into Canada in such products such as brake pads.

Prior to the 1990s, however, asbestos was a staple in the construction of homes and office building, primarily for its insulating abilities. Renovations of any such buildings threaten to send asbestos fibres airborne. These fibres are well known for getting trapped in the lungs of anyone who is exposed to them. Thus, deadly lung diseases such as mesothelioma and asbestosis have taken the lives of thousands of Canadians.

Yes, a ban is coming. But that doesn’t prevent the numerous buildings across Canada that are already asbestos-laden from threatening the health of those who enter them. Such is the case in northwest Edmonton where the New West Hotel is currently undergoing an investigation due to the mishandling of asbestos removal during recent renovations.

Not one, but two stop-work orders have been issued.

According to a recent CBC News report by Scott Stevenson, the hotel’s employees have reported the potential of asbestos exposure since no asbestos testing was done prior to the construction work. Stevenson notes that in spite of a stop-work order issued by Occupational Health and Safety, construction at the hotel continues. The hotel, in fact, has received two stop-work orders.

Stevenson reveals that Alberta Labour has confirmed that a stop-work order was issued to the hotel on July 5th. The order was lifted August 18th after tests confirmed the presence of asbestos, however, another stop-work order was issued on the 23rd because of ventilation issues. Clearly, there are unsafe working conditions at the New West Hotel – a business that has been operational since 1954.

Working conditions were disorganized, unhealthy, and unsafe.

Rebecca Grant, a 31 year-old mother of two, used to work there as a housekeeper. She spoke to CBC News and admitted that she became concerned for her health and quit her job, as a result. “They kept busting drywall after the stop-work order was in place,” she is quoted as saying, “It was my job to clean the rooms they had renovated.” Grant goes on to describe the hotel as “disorganized, unhealthy, and unsafe” during the renovation process.

She didn’t just quit her job on suspicion of asbestos exposure. She was beginning to feel the symptoms. An asthma sufferer, Grant felt her job was not worth the risk to her health. “It was making me sick,” she told CBC News, “I’d go into work and I’d have a really hard time breathing as soon as I hit the upstairs. I have asthma. So I decided I had to quit because of the work conditions. I mean, you could see the shiny, crystallized dust particles in the air.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we strongly advocate for safe working environments for all Canadians. 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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