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What Happens When You Smoke Inside Your Home?

The vast majority of Canadians get it. Cigarette smoking provides an almost guaranteed ticket to the hospital, at some point. This cancer-causing habit is a known killer to the tune of nearly a quarter million Canadians every year! Each day, 100 Canadians die of a smoking-related illness, says Canada.ca. Does there really need to be a discussion about why everyone should quit smoking? We think not.

Nevertheless, there are still many people who simply cannot kick the habit. For smokers who live with their families, taking the nasty habit outdoors is usually the norm. It cannot be stressed enough that smoking cigarettes inside the home is one of the absolute worst things a person can do for his/her health and the health of everyone else living in the home.

Secondhand smoke is a killer too.

It’s no secret that you don’t have to be a cigarette smoker to have your health dramatically harmed by cigarette smoke. The smoke emitted from the cigarettes as well as the smoke exhaled from smoker’s mouths contain all of the harmful chemicals and toxins necessary to create life threatening diseases in those who come into contact with it.

“Children and non-smoking adults exposed to secondhand smoke have an increased risk of lung cancer, and possibly cancers of the breast, lymphatic system, blood, larynx, throat, sinuses, brain, bladder, rectum and stomach,” details Laurel Heidtman on Livestrong.com, “Dust samples taken from the homes of smokers contain tobacco-specific carcinogens, making thirdhand smoke a possible risk factor for cancer as well.”

What is thirdhand smoke and what are its health implications?

Once the smoke clears, the health risks are gone, right? Wrong. Thirdhand smoke refers to the nicotine residue left behind on our furniture, drapes, walls, carpets and other surfaces of the home. It can even attach itself to toys making young children particularly susceptible to its harmful effects.

Children exposed to thirdhand smoke at home are more likely to have asthma, ear infections, frequent illnesses and even pneumonia, points out Kristeen Cherney on Healthline.com. “Additionally, children who grow up with parents who smoke are at an increased risk of smoking themselves,” she notes.

Take your smoking habit outdoors.

Other than quitting smoking completely, the only other solution to preventing both secondhand smoke and thirdhand smoke from impacting the health of your family is to avoid smoking in the home. It should be mentioned, as well, that you’ll also diminish the risk of starting a fire in the home when you insist on lighting up outside only.

Heidtman explains that “the U.S. Fire Administration, a division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, says home fires caused by smoking materials kill almost 1,000 smokers and non-smokers annually in the U.S. One in 4 killed was not the smoker, and more than one-third of those were children of the smoker.”

In addition, it’s pretty obvious that quitting smoking will vastly improve your home’s indoor air quality. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to help you take your commitment to your family’s health one step further. For 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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Making Your Home Healthier For The Holidays

Now that we’re a week into November, it’s pretty safe to say that the holiday shopping season is here. Many Canadians have already filled out their holiday shopping lists and are making plans to hit the malls in order to locate specially selected items. Of course, the official start of the holidays is still many weeks away. But you can never start your holiday shopping too early.

Be sure to include a special someone on your list. To be more accurate, it’s a special “something”. Your home deserves all the love you can give it! The more you take care of your home, the happier and healthier your family will be. This forthcoming holiday season, be sure to pick up some gifts that will make your home healthier.

Soy candles.

Who doesn’t love a pleasant smelling home? The problem, for most of us, is that keeping our homes smelling sweet often involves the spraying of air fresheners. These products commonly contain volatile organic compounds (or VOCs) which are detrimental to our health. To prevent wreaking havoc on our respiratory systems, opt for natural products that emit sweet smells. On Bustle.com, Carina Wolff recommends soy candles.

“Scented candles can make your home smell nice, but they come at a risk,” she explains, “Petroleum-based paraffin wax candles emit potentially hazardous chemicals that can lead to health risks such as cancer, common allergies, and asthma, according to a study from South Carolina State University. Vegetable-based options such as 100 percent soy candles don’t produce those harmful chemicals, so opt for those instead.”

Moisture meter.

Keeping your home’s humidity at a safe level is also imperative to its overall health. High levels of humidity promote breeding grounds for mould. And when mould spores become airborne, they turn into major irritants to our respiratory systems, especially for those of us with asthma and allergies. Best Health Magazine highly recommends that you buy a moisture meter for your home.

“Nothing helps mould to flourish like high humidity, so do all you can to get household moisture under control,” notes their website, “Obviously, that means keeping an eye out for roof leaks and drip-drip-dripping faucets…You might want to pick up a moisture meter (hygrometer) at a hardware store. If the indoor humidity in your home regularly exceeds 50 percent, a dehumidifier should solve your problem.”

New bedding.

Do you find you’re using the same sheets and pillowcases over and over again? Do you get lazy and just leave the same ones on your bed for weeks on end? To prevent an onslaught of dust mites, which provide major triggers of our asthma symptoms and other allergies, it’s important to remove your bed sheets and wash them in hot water at least once a week. To help with the bedding rotation, you may want to pick up a new bed set.

“Chronic exposure of dust mites can cause allergies and asthma, according to the American Lung Association, so be sure to vacuum frequently, change your bedding and pillowcases often, and reduce the humidity in your house,” advises Wolff.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d argue that an inspection of your home’s indoor air quality is the best holiday gift you could give it! For information about our Air Quality Services and/or our Mould Assessment Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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