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The Importance Of Avoiding Secondhand Smoke At All Costs

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.”

What can non-smokers do to avoid secondhand smoke?

“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.

You don’t have to be asthmatic for secondhand smoke to impact you.

“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.

Keep your home strictly smoke-free.

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 info@dftechnical.ca.

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3 Ways To Improve Indoor Air Quality Throughout The Winter Months

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:

1. Vacuum with vigour.

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.”

2. Freshen up your filters.

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.”

3. Hook up some houseplants.

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 info@dftechnical.ca.

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