At this point, it would be borderline nonsensical to inform you that cigarette smoking causes disastrous health effects. If you’re a cigarette smoker, you are undoubtedly aware of the many health hazards you present yourself each and every time you light up. However, what you may not totally be conscious of is just how bad your habit is for the health of everyone who enters your home.
Secondhand smoke is really no different than the firsthand smoke you inhale from your cigarettes. As Health24.com makes clear, “exposure to second hand smoke is never safe as it is exactly the same smoke inhaled by smokers, containing the same harmful chemicals. There are as many as 7,000 chemicals in second hand smoke and 70 of these may lead to lung cancer. Apart from cancer second hand smoke is also associated with stroke and heart disease.”
Needless to say, if you smoke inside your home, you are putting all of its inhabitants at risk. And don’t assume that just because they may not be in the same room as you, the effects of your cigarette smoking habit are minimized. Obviously, smoke travels. However, smoke also attaches itself and seeps into the various elements of your home. We’re talking about the furniture, the walls, the carpets – you name it!
“Third hand smoke can be problematic too,” Health24.com explains, “This refers to the harmful chemicals that are absorbed by upholstery and curtains and tend to linger for a long time.” On TheConversation.com, Jacqueline Hamilton reveals that a 2017 study found that mice exposed to household fabrics contaminated with thirdhand tobacco smoke showed health defects within a month.
“After six months, the mice showed evidence of liver damage and insulin resistance, symptoms which usually precede the development of type 2 diabetes,” she details, going on to mention that approximately 600,000 people die from exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke on a yearly basis.
It may not be necessary, but allow us to state the obvious. When you quit smoking, it significantly improves your overall health. However, we must also reiterate that you are doing a huge favour for everyone in your family as well. The importance of butting out cannot be understated. This is especially true if you are a new parent. The Government of Alberta highlights just how necessary it is to keep babies away from thirdhand smoke.
“Children are more sensitive to being exposed to third-hand smoke because they breathe near, crawl on, play on, touch, and even taste (because they often put their hands in their mouths) surfaces contaminated with tobacco residue,” they note on MyHealth.Alberta.ca, “Experts on third-hand smoke recommend 100% smoke-free homes and vehicles. They also suggest that replacing furniture, carpets, drapes, etc., can greatly reduce exposure to third-hand smoke residue.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to help you make the air quality in your home the purest it can be! For information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
There is a funny little stereotype that seems to be unavoidable for bathroom exhaust fans. “Make sure you turn on the fan!” is a comment often hurled at an individual who plans on using a bathroom. The idea, most often, is that the exhaust fan will help to rid the bathroom of the unpleasant odours left behind by its last user.
“One of the largest reasons for having an exhaust fan is for odour control,” confirms Stewart Unsdorfer of Ohio-based Central Heating & Air Conditioning, “If an unpleasant odour occurs in the bathroom, it can easily be drawn out with the help of an exhaust fan. As a result, the ventilation system will enable you to keep your bathroom well maintained, while offering a clean atmosphere for the next person who enters.”
It is true that exhaust fans do help for odours, air pollutants and smoke to be removed from bathroom environments. But it’s important to note that they have an arguably more importance purpose. And that is to minimize moisture as best as possible. Believe it or not, it’s wise to turn on your bathroom’s exhaust fan anytime you’re using the bathroom.
In fact, we’d argue that the main purpose for having an exhaust fan is to remove moisture and lower the humidity in a bathroom. Quite obviously, moisture and humidity levels significantly increase during hot showers. And, let’s be honest, which one of us doesn’t enjoy taking a hot shower? A hot shower without the use of an exhaust fan, however, can create health hazards in your bathroom.
“Reducing the humidity in a bathroom is vital for its upkeep,” writes Unsdorfer, “Excessive moisture can wreak havoc on bathroom walls by causing paint and wallpaper to peel. In extreme cases it can even cause doors to warp! Most importantly, the humidity can cause mould to accumulate. These spores can grow rapidly and can be difficult to get rid of. Therefore, t is crucial to have bathroom exhaust fans to prevent this from happening.”
Mould spores are major culprits for triggering asthma and allergy symptoms. Anyone with respiratory issues should stay clear of mould. In fact, mould isn’t good for anyone’s health. It’s imperative that it be cleaned away immediately if detected in your bathroom or any other room of the house, for that matter. On TheConversation.com, Jeroen Douwes explains further.
“Mould accumulates in damp and poorly ventilated buildings,” he informs, “Inhaling mould fragments or spores can inflame the airways, causing nasal congestion, wheezing, chest tightness, coughing and throat irritation. Prolonged exposure to high levels of indoor dampness can reduce lung function and cause chronic health problems such as asthma. Those who already suffer from asthma and allergies are more likely to have more severe symptoms when exposed.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we provide Mould Assessment Services that include visual inspections for sources of mould, analytical sampling for source and health impact potential from spore exposure, moisture analysis and thermal scanning. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve often discussed the problems associated with mould and mildew on the DF Technical & Consulting Ltd. Blog. And each time we address the issue, we highlight some of the obvious steps towards eliminating mould and mildew in the home. They include maintaining adequate ventilation, wiping up spills and keeping an overall neat and tidy home. Mould loves to grow in dark and dank places. The cleaner and the less cluttered your home is, the less likely it will be to have a mould problem.
It goes without saying, however, that bathrooms are places where a lot of moisture exists. This is especially true for those used by lovers of hot showers. All of that condensation on the mirror after a long hot shower is the equivalent of the perfect breeding ground for mould. Not only is it wise to lower the heat of your water during showering, it’s important to run those exhaust fans while you’re in there!
“Few rooms in the home see as much moisture and humidity as the bathroom,” Better Homes & Gardens reminds us, “Be sure your bathroom stays well-ventilated. An exhaust fan will help circulate the air and remove moisture more quickly. These additional actions will help keep your bathroom fresh and mould-free.”
Their website goes on to offer some tips for keeping your bathroom as mould-free as possible. They include spreading out towels after use so that they can dry more quickly, minimizing containers left in the shower for cleaning ease and better circulations, wiping down the shower with a clean towel or squeegee after its last daily use and choosing shower curtains that dry and clean easily to help avoid residue which fosters mould.
While the bathroom is a place where wet areas are the norm, it’s important to remember that spills can happen anywhere in the home. As well, because of the warm weather during the summer, the cooler temperatures of the surfaces in your home are especially susceptible to condensation. So, here’s the bottom line: Wipe up wherever you see moisture!
“Mould can’t grow without moisture, so tackle wet areas right away,” advises Heidi Hill of the Mother Nature Network, “Seepage into the basement after a heavy rainfall, accumulation from a leaky pipe, even a spill on the carpet should be dried within 24 to 48 hours. If you’ve experienced a flood, remove water-damaged carpets, bedding, and furniture if they can’t be completely dried.”
Hill goes on to highlight the importance of drying the floors and walls after your shower but also to be mindful of your clothes during laundry time. “Don’t leave wet clothes in the washing machine, where mould can spread quickly,” she instructs, “Hang them to dry — preferably outside or in areas with good air circulation.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’re dedicated to helping our clients to keep their homes as mould-free as possible. Our Mould Assessment Services includes visual inspections for sources of mould, analytical sampling for source and health impact potential from spore exposure, moisture analysis and thermal scanning.
For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
Throughout the history of the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog, we have contributed a large number of tips for improving indoor air quality. After all, our Air Quality Services are among our specialties. Inspecting homes and office buildings for airborne health hazards is all part of our commitment to making Canadians healthier.
As mentioned, there are numerous ways to improve the quality of air in your homes and places of work. But there is one, in particular, that is cost-conscious, incredibly effective and entirely effortless to perform on a daily basis: having houseplants. There are many types of plants that are known for cleansing the air of its pollutants and offering us cleaner, breathable oxygen-enriched air in their place.
“One famous NASA experiment, published in 1989, found that indoor plants can scrub the air of cancer-causing volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde and benzene,” informs Markham Heid on Time.com, “(Those NASA researchers were looking for ways to effectively detoxify the air of space station environments.) Later research has found that soil microorganisms in potted plants also play a part in cleaning indoor air.”
It should be noted that plants have natural ways of cleaning air that man-made air purifiers cannot duplicate. Plants are known for producing cleaner air within indoor spaces that mimic the fresh air from outside. This isn’t too surprising considering that houseplants effectively bring some of the outdoors inside. MatterOfTrust.org explains further.
“Plants can absorb pollutants while providing oxygen,” confirms the website, “Ventilation systems can imitate this effect by providing a constant supply of fresh air and exhausting indoor air, but strictly speaking the air in the building is not purified. Only plants are capable of restoring the air already inside a building to the state in which it is found in nature.”
The site goes on to reiterate a point we made earlier. After a plant is purchased, it costs next to nothing to maintain. All plants need in order to live are soil, water, sunlight and cleaning. Man-made filters, on the other hand, are not only costly to purchase, but they require regular cleaning, maintenance and repair.
MatterOfTrust.org lists a number of air purifying houseplants but highlights the Chrysanthemum, Dracaena, Peace Lily, Flamingo Lily and Snake Plant. The website also cites a 2008 study published by the Government of India that focused on the Areca Palm, Mother-In-Law’s Tongue and Money Plant as natural air purifying sources.
A total of 1,200 plants of the three species were planted and the findings included 34 percent less respiratory ailments, 52 percent less eye irritations and 24 percent less headaches. Among the particular respiratory ailments that were decreased, MatterOfTrust.org details, lung impairments were reduced by 12 percent and asthma by percent.
As we stated earlier, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Inc. team remains committed to helping you improve your home’s indoor air quality. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our Air Quality Services. Simply give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There was once a time (that actually wasn’t all that long ago) when Canadians could smoke in restaurants. A common question asked of patrons entering restaurants was “Smoking or non-smoking?” referring to the two separate sections of the establishment available for seating. It sounds crazy, by today’s standards. No one needs to be reminded that cigarette smoking is deadly.
Between the warnings on the cigarette cartons and the countless “no smoking” signs strewn throughout public places all over the country, it has been made abundantly clear that cigarettes are unwelcome. To put a clear stamp on it, they are cancer-causing killers – no question about it. You would think that cigarette smoking couldn’t get any worse. But, believe it or not, when paired with another culprit for lung cancer, it can. That culprit is radon.
“Radon gas is one of the most deadly and overlooked health risks today,” explains Lung Cancer Canada, “Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas created from the decay of uranium in minerals present in rock, soil and water. Radon is present in every indoor environment…Radon is extremely radioactive. It emits alpha radiation as it decays. Once inside the lungs, radon decay products can genetically damage delicate tissues – this can lead to the development of lung cancer.”
The Lung Cancer Canada website goes on to explain that radon is the leading environmental cause of lung cancer, the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer in smokers. Needless to say, it’s important to minimize exposure to radon as much as possible – whether you’re a smoker or not.
Cigarette smokers are advised to take extreme precautions. As the Government of Canada reveals, “people who smoke and are exposed to elevated levels of radon have a significantly increased risk of developing lung cancer.” In fact, the Canada.ca website reveals that “radon exposure is linked to approximately 16% of lung cancer deaths in Canada and is the second leading cause of lung cancer for smokers.”
Radon is a colourless, tasteless and odourless gas. The only way to detect it, in order to minimize exposure, is to have your home tested. Canada.ca points out that the risk from radon exposure is long term and depends on the level of radon, the length of the exposure and one’s smoking habits. The risks are not to be taken lightly. Lung Cancer Canada reports that approximately 3,200 Canadians die annually from radon exposure.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we provide Radon Services that are designed to determine the precise levels of radon in your home or office to see if they are safe or not. As explained, radon testing can mean the difference between life and death. It is highly recommended that radon tests be conducted at least every two years.
For more information about our Radon Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131. You can also email us at email@example.com.
Some people classify themselves as “neat freaks”. It’s important to them that they have all of their personal possessions kept in neat, organized fashions, their homes are constantly dusted and vacuumed and that their kitchens and bathrooms are kept immaculate. There’s a lot that goes into being a neat freak. Those of us who really have it bad can’t stand the sight of a speck of dust!
However, an argument can be made that those of us who “have it bad” actually have it pretty good. Keeping a neat and tidy home isn’t just pleasant on the eyes, but it’s good for your health as well. It probably goes without saying that the more dust and dirt you eliminate from your home, the lesser your chances are of contracting some sort of bacterial infection. But the benefits of cleanliness extend beyond well that.
Dust, mould and pet dander – these are common household irritants for those who have asthma and allergies. Anyone with respiratory issues knows just how dangerous these seemingly harmless examples of a dirty home can be. On ApartmentTherapy.com, Cambria Bold explains that asthma and allergy triggers are one of three categories of indoor pollutants that have the potential to cause serious health problems.
“Common household triggers include mould, dust mites, pollen, secondhand smoke, and pet dander,” she writes, “At any given time a home may have mould growing on a shower curtain, dust mites in soft textiles like pillows, blankets or stuffed animals, and cat and dog hair on the floor and upholstery.”
How exactly can you make a home dirtier by cleaning it? Well, it all depends on what you’re using to clean. Many household cleaning products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Chemical based cleaners only add further irritants to the air, making it difficult for those with asthma and allergies to breathe. A true cleaning of your home involves natural cleansers without all of the harsh chemicals.
As Bold points out, VOCs are widely found in household products, including paints and varnishes, pesticides, craft materials like glues, adhesives and permanent markers, air fresheners and other synthetic fragrances and cleaning and disinfecting supplies. “A few common VOCs are: Acetone, Benzene, Ethylene glycol, Formaldehyde, Methylene chloride, and Perchloroethylene,” she reveals.
Sometimes, a “dirty” home isn’t visibly dirty at all. The elements contained within it may be polluting the air without anyone even knowing about it. As Bold highlights, homes may contain combustion pollutants such as “gases or particles that come from burning materials, including space heaters, woodstoves, gas stoves, water heaters, dryers, and fireplaces that are either improperly vented or not vented at all.”
As we always point out, your home’s indoor air quality is extremely important to your overall health. And the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team would like to ensure that you’re breathing the best air possible! 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.
Over the past few years, The DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog has dedicated many of its posts to the ever-important topic of indoor air quality. In our opinion, it is something that deserves more attention in the mainstream media. Is there anything more important to our health than our ability to breathe clean air? Obviously, we can’t survive without breathing. This is why it’s imperative that we all take measures to improve the quality of the air we breathe.
With that said, it’s still important to acknowledge the fact that not everyone breathes easy. Many of our blogs have been dedicated to asthmatics and sufferers of other allergies that impact the respiratory system. For them, important steps must be taken to ensure that they are giving themselves the best opportunities to enjoy optimum health. Avoiding cigarette smoke at all costs is one of the most obvious pieces of advice.
It may sound like a silly question, but it’s an important one to ask, nonetheless. The majority of us take breathing for granted. For the most part, it’s something we don’t even think about. Our lungs take care of the job for us day in and day out. We breathe whether we’re asleep or awake, so there’s no real thought that needs to go into breathing. Or is there? Robert Ronald of Reader’s Digest highly encourages people to change their breathing habits.
“Breathe from your abdomen for at least 5 minutes every day,” he recommends, “This kind of breathing, called diaphragmatic breathing, involves training and strengthening your diaphragm so that it requires less effort to take in each breath. To do it, inhale deeply through your nose, filling your lungs from the bottom up. If you’re doing it right, your stomach will push out. Exhale and repeat.”
Many health specialists agree that we shouldn’t take breathing for granted. On EverydayHealth.com, Dr. Brian W. Carlin, a pulmonologist in Pittsburgh and chair of the National Lung Health Education Program, recommends a pursed-lip breathing technique. He advises that you practice breathing out with your lips closed. He also suggests a diaphragmatic breathing technique which involves controlling your breaths in by allowing your diaphragm to move downward and your stomach outward.
Ronald agrees, submitting his method of helping your chest to expand and boost your lung capacity. “Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor,” he instructs, “Place your hands behind your head and bring your elbows together so they’re nearly touching. As you inhale, let your elbows drop to the sides slowly so your arms are flat on the floor when your lungs are full. As you exhale, raise your elbows again.”
As mentioned, the quality of the air inside your home should not be underestimated. It’s important to ensure that it is as free of pollutants as possible. Of course, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. is here to help you with that! For information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
The time has finally come! Tomorrow, we get to celebrate the official start of summer! It’s a great time of year for Canadians as most of us spend a good portion of our days complaining about cold weather. During the summertime, however, Canucks enjoy being outside. But that doesn’t mean that an attention to the indoor air quality of our homes should be taken away. In fact, it’s vital to increase our commitment to improving the air in our homes.
High humidity usually creates condensation on the cool surfaces of our home. When this takes place, it’s not uncommon to see pools of water in places where they usually don’t occur. Left alone, these little pools of water can generate the growth of mould which is certainly hazardous to our health.
“How do you know when ozone is high?” asks the Reliance Home Comfort website, “Environment Canada has a real-time map of the ozone levels across Canada on any given day. They also provide a UV Index Forecast for each major Canadian city so you can get an idea of what the levels will be tomorrow or the day after. If it’s raining or it feels very humid outside, those are other times to keep your windows closed.”
Naturally, the summer also produces warmer temperatures. And, as a result, many of us tend to crank up the air conditioning. While this may help to cool things down inside the home, it also stands to spread around the dust particles and other debris that may have been accumulating throughout the year’s colder months. It’s vital that before you start using the A/C you clean its filters.
“Air-conditioning systems are always working to give your home that perfect temperature all year round,” acknowledges Petro.com, “But while they’re cycling through all that air, they’re filtering out some of those common air pollutants. Eventually, their air filters fill up and stop doing their job. Not only does that cause trouble for your indoor air quality, it also wears down your AC system, which can lead to costly repairs down the road.”
This is an important question to answer when considering the quality of the air inside of it. As we’ve pointed out in numerous blogs before, homes that were built prior to the 1990s often contain asbestos materials for the purpose of insulation. Any disturbance of these materials can release asbestos fibres in the air presenting a major health hazard.
Canadian Living also reminds us that homes built before 1960 were often painted with lead paint, which is found in household dust. “Remove a paint chip to have it tested,” insists their website, “If you have lead, keep your home dust-free to protect against lead poisoning and hire an experienced contractor to sand or remove wall and ceiling materials contaminated with lead.”
It’s no secret that at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we take the issue of indoor air quality very seriously. We’d recommend a professional inspection of the air in your home this summer. For more information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quit smoking. These are two words that are uttered on a regular basis by people all over Canada. They serve as instructions to friends and family members who are still trying to drop their cigarette smoking habits. These days, it absolutely goes without saying that smoking is bad for you. That’s old news. Heart disease and various cancers are known to be the result of habitual cigarette smoking. And still, it’s hard for many smokers to quit.
Here’s hoping the following information will serve as inspiration to all smokers out there. Did you know that you immediately begin reaping health benefits once you stop smoking? On the Government of Canada website, it is revealed that 20 minutes after smoking your last cigarette, your blood pressure will drop to a level similar to what it was before that last cigarette. Eight hours later, the carbon monoxide in your blood drops to a normal level. And, only 24 hours later, you will have already lowered your risk of having a heart attack.
Canada.ca goes on to list the health benefits that quitters experience over the course of the next 15 years of their lives. Within a year, a former smoker will have cut his/her risk of coronary heart disease to half that of a current cigarette smoker. Within five years, the risk of stroke is the same as a non-smoker and within fifteen years, the risk of coronary heart disease is similar to a non-smoker.
The Canadian Cancer Society acknowledges that those who quit smoking will enjoy benefits that extend beyond health. Smoking is expensive, they point out on their website. With money no longer being spent on cigarettes, a former smoker puts him/herself in a much better financial position. The costs of those packs add up! In addition, the Canadian Cancer Society highlights how much easier life can be when cigarette smoking is no longer an issue.
“Being a smoker is hard work,” they say on their site, “With so many restrictions on smoking in public places, you have to plan ahead and sneak away to have a cigarette. Not being able to have a cigarette when you want one can make you irritable, taking the fun out of everyday events. And sneaking out of social and family activities can put a strain on relationships. You’ll be surprised how freeing it is to be smoke-free!”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we look at the issue of secondhand smoke as a huge deal. Quite obviously, cigarette smokers don’t just bring harm to themselves but they endanger the health of everyone around them. Secondhand smoke is known to cause cancer. Cigarette smoking is unquestionably one of the worst things a person can do for the air quality around him/her.
The Canadian Cancer Society points out that your family and friends will also benefit when you kick the habit. “If your loved ones worry about your health because you smoke, they’ll be happy when you quit,” they write, “You’ll be helping them be healthier too – by not exposing them to second-hand smoke.”
Be sure to make the air quality in your home the best it can be! For information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
Yesterday was World Environment Day. Started 44 years ago by the United Nations, WED encourages awareness and action for the protection of our environment. The campaign addresses such environmental issues as marine pollution, human overpopulation, global warming, sustainable consumption and wildlife crime. World Environment Day is recognized with a new theme by over 143 countries each year.
However, it’s important to note that when we think about protecting our environment, it’s not just the great outdoors that we should be concerned with. Most of us spend the majority of our time indoors. So it stands to reason that protecting the environments within which we live is of paramount importance.
“The term ‘air pollution’ usually brings to mind the images of vehicles and factories with fumes and gases,” writes Vinay Pathak for The Economic Times, “But often, people don’t think of their own homes and offices. But according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air can be two to five times worse than outside air. Since we spend nearly 90% of our times indoors, improving the air quality at home and work is very important.”
Pathak first addresses some of the obvious measures such as eliminating cigarette smoking in the home. He also strongly suggests the avoidance of products that contain volatile organic compounds. What many people don’t realize is that many of their cleaning products – the same products they believe are improving their home environments – contain VOC’s and are, therefore, hazardous to our health.
“Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are gases emitted from certain solids or liquids,” Pathak explains, “They can have both short and long-term adverse health effects. Some of the most commonly found VOCs at home include paints, solvents, aerosol sprays, cleansers, disinfectants, hobby supplies, pesticides, etc. In offices, common VOCs include building materials, furnishings, copiers, printers and even correction fluids.”
Most people are fully aware that smoking is deadly and that chemical-rich products only worsen air quality. However, there are some methods of improving the air in our homes that you may never have thought about. Salt lamps, for example, have been picking up in popularity, as of late. As Jessica Miley of Interesting Engineering explains, salt lamps can help asthmatics to breathe easier.
“If burning candles in your home isn’t your thing, you can achieve the same effect by having a salt lamp,” she reveals, “These lamps, which are created by putting a light source into a large mass of Himalayan salt, emit negative ions when lit. These negative ions will help fight against the positively charged particles and contaminants that cause allergies.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we take the issue of indoor air quality very seriously. Especially if you suffer from asthma and allergies, we’d recommend a professional inspection of the 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.