Mould is gross. For most people, the very sight of mould is an indication of a dirty, unkempt location. However, mould is more than just unsightly. It’s potentially hazardous to your health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “some people are sensitive to moulds. For these people, moulds can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation.”
Mould forms when heat and moisture are present. This is why mould so often rears its ugly head in the bathroom. Although the kitchen can give the bathroom a run for its money, there is no room in the house where heat and moisture appear more often. Every one of your hot showers provides an opportunity for mould to form. So, the first step to doing away with mould is to ventilate the bathroom as best as possible.
Make it a habit to flick on the fan every time you’re in the bathroom. Not only does it do its part in ridding the room of foul odours, it also helps with ventilation. When all of that hot steam emanating from your shower is sucked up into the fan, it reduces the possibility of mould forming in your tiles and on other surfaces. On HouseLogic.com, Stacy Freed explains that, in addition to running your exhaust fan, you should clean your shower walls after taking a shower.
“After a shower, use a towel or squeegee to wipe down shower walls,” she advises, “Open the shower curtain to let it dry. Mop any water spills on the floor and counters. Avoid piling in too many shampoo and body wash bottles. They’re a perfect place for moisture and mould spores to hide.”
If mould does happen to appear in your bathroom, utilizing natural cleaning methods is your best bet. Vinegar, for example, is not only a health-conscious choice, but it is also known for being one of mould’s arch enemies. According to Signature Maids, the non-toxic agent has been found to kill 82 percent of mould species.
“Pour mild white vinegar into a spray bottle, do not dilute with water,” instructs their website, “Vinegar’s acidic qualities make it quite deadly to mould, that’s why you don’t want to water it down. Spray affected surface areas with straight vinegar solution and then wait one hour. If your bathroom has windows, open them up and let it air out during this time. After an hour passes, use hot water and a clean towel to wipe the area.”
Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus and Alternaria are among them. All types of mould can create health concerns. Mould can also cause structure hazards throughout a home, office or building. Moisture sources including building envelop failures, leakage issues or occupant-based moisture problems may contribute to mould development within a building.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are intent on helping Albertans to live mould-free! We offer professional home inspections courtesy of our Mould Assessment Services. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
If you’re under the impression that the title of this week’s blog is one of our more morbid choices, you’d be right. Make no mistake about it, asbestos is a killer. The toxic substance, which Canada finally outlawed just before the new year, is the nation’s number one workplace killer and the cause of thousands of deaths annually. The importance of protecting yourself from the dangers of asbestos cannot be understated.
Formerly used as insulation in the construction of homes and buildings – among many other uses – asbestos is practically harmless when left undisturbed. However, when its fibres become airborne – a common occurrence during renovations of older facilities – they can become trapped in the lungs, leading to such deadly diseases as mesothelioma, asbestosis and many cancers.
According to Asbestos.com, asbestos is responsible for between 70 and 80 percent of all mesothelioma cases. It is a “signature” asbestos-related cancer and one of the most deadly diseases caused by the toxic substance.
“The cancer is named after the mesothelium, the thin protective lining where the tumors develop,” the website explains, “It can appear on the lining of the lungs, stomach, heart or testicles…Each type of mesothelioma is associated with a unique set of symptoms, but chest or abdominal pain and shortness of breath affect most patients, regardless of their specific diagnosis.”
Asbestosis is an incurable lung disease that is generally caused by years of occupational asbestos exposure. As you can imagine, it makes breathing very difficult. The disease has been found to be especially prevalent in individuals who work on construction sites, on ships and at industrial facilities where asbestos-containing materials are commonly found.
“Asbestosis is a type of pulmonary fibrosis, a condition in which the lung tissue becomes scarred over time,” explains Asbestos.com, “It is not a type of cancer, but asbestosis has the same cause as mesothelioma and other asbestos-related… Because this disease is similar to other types of pulmonary fibrosis, diagnosing asbestosis requires thorough medical and occupational histories in addition to medical testing.”
Not surprisingly, asbestos is a known cause for many different cancers including lung cancer, ovarian cancer and laryngeal cancer. Smokers who are exposed to asbestos are especially at risk of developing lung cancer. As Asbestos.com informs us, just ten years ago, it was confirmed that there is a link between asbestos-exposed women and ovarian cancer.
“Another asbestos-related malignant disease is laryngeal cancer,” says the site, “There is a proven link between the fibers and the disease. Other risk factors, such as smoking or drinking, are more likely to cause the cancer. The risk increases with the length and intensity of a person’s exposure.”
Asbestos.com goes on to note that esophageal cancer, gallbladder cancer, kidney cancer and throat cancer are also loosely associated with asbestos although studies have reported various degrees of success linking these cancers to asbestos exposure. “Until research indicates otherwise, asbestos may be able to increase a person’s risk for these cancers, but it is not a proven risk factor,” the website states.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we take asbestos exposure very seriously. For information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a recent conversation with a colleague, we received some insight into what it’s like to live with asthma. This isn’t to say we weren’t already aware of the dangers of smoking for asthmatics. After all, cigarettes are deadly for all of us. But after hearing our friend speak of his experiences with breathing issues related to cigarette smoke, we felt it necessary to communicate how important it is for us all to avoid secondhand smoke at all costs.
“I can’t even smell it,” our colleague informed us, “If you go outside to smoke and come back in and I smell it on you, I’ll start coughing. It’s unbearable. I literally don’t know how people do it. You couldn’t get me to smoke a cigarette for a million dollars. I’d literally die before I finished it.”
“Put all of your friends who are smokers on alert,” says our colleague, “If my friends plan on lighting up, they make sure to do so away from me. To be honest, I don’t ever have them over to my home because I just can’t have smoke anywhere around me. And when I visit them, they always go outside. Believe me, I appreciate it.”
It’s important to point out that our asthmatic friend doesn’t have the breathing issues he had when he as a child. As a kid, he experienced wheezing and coughing fits due to such irritants as pollen and ragweed. His last major asthma attack took place during a camping trip in Grade 4. However, as an adult, his asthma is all but gone. That is, of course, unless he smells smoke.
“Secondhand smoke exposure contributes to approximately 41,000 deaths among nonsmoking adults and 400 deaths in infants each year,” reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Secondhand smoke causes stroke, lung cancer, and coronary heart disease in adults. Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, middle ear disease, more severe asthma, respiratory symptoms, and slowed lung growth.”
The Monday Campaigns is a global movement backed by leading public health schools that dedicates the first day of every week to health. On their website, they point out that secondhand smoke releases more than 7,000 harmful chemicals into the air. To reiterate, cigarette smoke is dangerous for all us, not just those with respiratory issues.
If you’re a non-smoker trying to avoid secondhand smoke, there is no simpler advice. Keep cigarette smoke out of your home. As our colleague mentioned, he won’t even let someone who has recently smoked a cigarette to enter his home. While this may seem harsh for some people, it’s a necessity if you wish to completely avoid the health hazards associated with cigarette smoking.
Kentucky’s St. Elizabeth Healthcare encourages people to ask their friends not to smoke around them. “It may be an awkward conversation at first, but it’s important to help your friend understand that while you love spending time together, you can’t be around him when he smokes,” they say on their website, “Be caring and understanding, but be firm.”
Unquestionably, a smoke-free home will vastly improve its indoor air quality. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to help you take things a step further. For information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
February is here. And while there are claims that the recent Groundhog Day forecast an early spring, most Canadians are well aware that we still have a ways to go before we’ll be enjoying hot and sunny weather. As a result, most will keep their doors and windows firmly shut in order to keep the cold from entering their homes. But, as we pointed out in our last blog, ensuring a high quality of air in the home requires the cracking of the windows every now and again.
There are, of course, a number of other ways to improve your home’s indoor air quality throughout the winter months. Here are three:
Keeping your floors clean is an especially important winter task. Especially when your windows are closed for most of the day, there is little to no escape for dust and other air pollutants. By vacuuming your carpets and keeping them as dust-free as possible, you’ll help to alleviate some of the irritants to your lungs that may be in the air. As Florida’s The Alternative Daily reminds us, carpets notoriously trap indoor pollutants of all types.
“To keep them clean, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter once a week, and consider steam cleaning every couple of months,” reads their website, “Investing in your own steam cleaner is wise, as professional carpet cleaning services often use harsh chemicals which can make your air even more toxic. If you steam clean yourself, you can choose to use a mixture of white vinegar and hot water to get the job done.”
To reiterate, most homes are kept shut all winter long. As a result, they depend more on their air filters to purify the air than they do the circulation of fresh air from outside. It’s important to remember that air filters can quickly get clogged up with dust and other air pollutants. Not cleaning them or changing them regularly can result in having those pollutants circulate back into the home.
“Dirty air filters are a major contributor to poor indoor air quality,” informs Wisconsin’s Titan Air, “Check your filters regularly and change them as needed. Make sure that when they are installed, filters are secured tightly to avoid gaps between the filter frame and rack. This reduces bypass air, which can harm indoor air quality by allowing breathable particles to pass through without being filtered.”
Back in December, we blogged about what great holiday gifts houseplants make. Their air-purifying ways make up some of the easiest ways to reduce air pollutants in your home. Houseplants provide such effortless solutions to poor indoor air quality. Just plop them down or hang them up and your job is done! As The Alternative Daily confirms, houseplants are known to filter air pollutants from our living environments.
“Azaleas and English ivy do well in cooler temperatures, and Chinese evergreens and bamboo palms thrive in the shade,” notes the site, “Aloe vera and chrysanthemums are two other great choices, however they require direct sunlight. Spider plants are a resilient and popular choice for first-time plant owners.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we don’t sell houseplants, but we do still offer you ways to ensure the purity of the air inside your home. For information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.