We’re now less than a couple of days away from the beginning of June. And for people all throughout Canada, it’s a very exciting time of year. Just 21 days into June, summer will officially get underway. Most Canadians long for summer. Having to endear seemingly endless months of cold, blistery weather conditions, the summer season is one that most of us really enjoy! We stress the words “most of us”.
Especially on days when the humidity is high, the usually-simple act of breathing becomes difficult. Asthmatics know of this all too well. Not to mention, high humidity levels are often a culprit from mould growth in the home. The presence of mould, it needs to be highlighted, is a major health hazard.
As Canada.ca points out, “damp conditions and mould growth in homes increases the risk of respiratory allergy symptoms and exacerbate asthma in mould-sensitive individuals. It is important to know how to identify, address and prevent moisture and mould in your home.” The Government of Canada’s site goes on to list a number of symptoms associated with mould growth in the home.
Among them are eye, nose and throat irritation, coughing and phlegm build-up, wheezing and shortness of breath and the worsening of asthma symptoms. “The level of concern depends on the extent of mould, how long it has been present and the sensitivity and overall health of the residents,” says the site, “Some people are more susceptible than others.”
Because mould thrives in dark and damp locations, it’s best to keep a close eye on areas of the home where the build up of moisture is most likely. The kitchen and the bathroom are two places that quickly come to mind. That’s why they are both usually equipped with exhaust fans. One of the first steps to preventing mould growth in the home is to use those exhaust fans any time you are in either of those rooms.
In a special to The Toronto Star, Steve Maxwell writes that mould is mostly likely to be found in three locations: “frames on windows that get wet each winter from condensation; drywall and wooden wall frames that get wet periodically in basements and bathrooms; underneath basement carpets; and any area that stays wet because of flooding or leaks.”
In a separate article for The Ottawa Citizen, Maxwell reveals that his favourite mould killer is a Canadian product called Concrobium Mold Control. “It’s an odourless liquid that’s non-toxic,” he informs, “So how can something non-toxic kill anything? It works by mechanically crushing mould and mould spores as it dries, and that’s why it offers residual killing action that goes beyond the old standby, bleach.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we highly recommend an inspection of your home to ensure that it is mould-free. 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.
Carbon monoxide is poison. There’s no clearer way to put it. The odourless, invisible gas kills upwards of 50 Canadians and 400 Americans every year. It should go without saying that detecting the presence of carbon monoxide in the home should be a mandatory step for all households. Of course, a carbon monoxide detector is required for such a feat.
As explained by Lambeth Hochwald of Reader’s Digest, CO alarms can’t just be stuck anywhere in the home in order for them to work. They must be placed strategically throughout the home to properly detect the gas known as “the silent killer”. Firstly, one must be placed on every floor of the home.
Hochwald writes that they should be placed right outside of sleeping areas so that no one sleeps through the alarms. CO detectors should also be installed near appliances that could possibly leak carbon monoxide (but at least 15 feet way to avoid false alarms). She also notes that alarms should be kept away from drafty areas such as windows and bathrooms where high humidity could falsely set the alarms.
The importance of carbon monoxide detectors cannot be understated. Remember that the gas cannot be detected by the human senses. There is no smell to whiff and no physical appearance to gaze upon. The colourless, odourless gas is called “the silent killer” for a reason. This is why steps should be taken to prevent it from leaking into your home.
Do you own any appliances or equipment that burn natural gas, oil, coal, charcoal, propane or wood? If so, you are likely producing carbon monoxide in your home which is incredibly dangerous. Hochwald alerts us to inspect such appliances as furnaces, boilers, water heaters, ovens, ranges and wood burning stoves. It’s important to inspect the garage as well. Both gas-powered lawn mowers and our cars can emit carbon monoxide into our homes.
In a separate Reader’s Digest article, Lisa Milbrand informs us of just how toxic fireplaces can be. “Wood smoke actually contains some pretty potent toxins, including benzene, formaldhyde, acrolein, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), according to the EPA,” she writes, “It also adds particulates to the air, which can harm your lungs.”
Milbrand goes on to note that fireplaces can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. In fact, CO is listed as one of the biggest dangers of fireplaces, especially since it’s so hard to detect. In her article, Milbrand quotes Dr. Ian Tong who is the chief medical officer for Doctors on Demand.
“Carbon monoxide is the odourless, colourless toxic byproduct of burning fuel,” he is quoted as saying, “Exposure to this gas can literally poison or suffocate you without warning, but it can also cause numerous symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and nausea.”
Evidently, protection against carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious matter for all Canadians. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Air Quality Services that detect indoor air quality problems including CO. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are about to embark on a very special time in Canada. The summer is almost here! We are just over one month away from the official start of summer. It’s a time of year that most Canadians look very much forward to. And can you blame us? We spend upwards of half of every year enduring cold temperatures. Most of us can’t wait for a long stretch of warm and sunny days.
Asthmatics, on the other hand, may disagree. Even those who much prefer the summer over the winter know that the warmest season of the month can exacerbate asthma symptoms. This is especially true when there is high humidity. Sufferers of asthma need to be on high alert during the summer months to ensure that they keep their asthma triggers at bay.
The smells of a barbeque are among the most joyous experiences of the time period between June and September. Most people enjoy a good barbeque. And that includes people with asthma. Our suggestion is not for asthmatics to avoid the events themselves, but to stay clear away from the actual barbeques at those events. Smoke is one of the worst irritants of asthma symptoms.
“Smoke from fires such as barbecues, bonfires or fire pits can also trigger asthma,” warns the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, “If you are hosting the party, consider cooking indoors. If you are attending someone else’s party, try to stay out of the path of smoke.”
Where there is heat, there is often humidity. On especially hot and muggy days, it’s important for asthmatics to find locations where they can cool off. Sometimes, this can be as simple as finding a spot in the shade. But, oftentimes, it requires an indoor space that is air conditioned. As Madeline R. Vann explains on EverydayHealth.com, inhaling hot air can create problems for asthma sufferers.
“If you have asthma, try not put yourself in situations where you would have to inhale very hot air,” she advises, “This may be tough if you have a job that requires you to be outside in the heat, but consider asking for another task assignment if it’s possible to spend the hottest days or the hottest parts of the day in an air-conditioned space.”
Who doesn’t like to smell nice? Perfumes and colognes are the norms for people who are dressing up for special occasions. Many people spray them on every day. However, for those with asthma, these scented products are the equivalent of air pollution. This summer, you’re likely to be invited to many a party. You may want to pass on the fragrances when getting ready for them.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America warns that products such as scented candles, oil in tiki torches, air fresheners and the perfumes and colognes worn by other party-goers can all trigger asthma symptoms. “If scents trigger your asthma, you may need to send a polite request to the host in advance of the party to ask that they not use these types of products,” they suggest on their site, “It’s not a fun celebration for anyone if a guest experiences breathing distress during a party.”
If you’re an asthma sufferer, it’s also wise to get a professional inspection of the air in your home. For more information about the Air Quality Services provided by DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
Most Canadians love the summertime. We can all agree that we spend far too long waiting for the cold temperatures to transition into much warmer ones. When the spring hits, most of us are ready to head outside to soak in the sunshine. This, of course, only becomes a more popular practice during summer.
It’s important to remember, however, that our homes deserve to enjoy the summer as well. And, by that, we mean that the stagnant air that has been cooped up inside for most of the winter needs to be let out. In other words, open those windows of yours and allow the fresh air from outside to circulate with the stale air from inside!
However, that’s not all you can do to improve your home’s indoor air quality this summer. Here are three more easy steps to take:
Yes, the outdoors will be much more beautiful in the summer as trees and flowers will blossom to showcase their full, natural beauty. That doesn’t mean that all plants should be kept outdoors, however. Numerous houseplants work to eliminate indoor air contaminants and release oxygen into the air. Buy some and place them throughout your home to promote cleaner air.
“Plants absorb some of the particulates from the air at the same time that they take in carbon dioxide, which is then processed into oxygen through photosynthesis,” informs Maria Janowiak on Greatist.com, “But that’s not all—microorganisms associated with the plants are present in the potting soil, and these microbes are also responsible for much of the cleaning effect.”
During the summer, you’ll still need to clean your home. And with the windows open more often, it will help to let out some of the volatile organic compounds found in your air fresheners and cleaning products. But here’s another idea. Stop using chemical-based air fresheners and cleansers! Instead, opt for natural products so as to not contaminate your air any further.
“Nontoxic cleaning products are available, and many of these are just as effective as their conventional counterparts,” informs NEX Wellness, You can either buy ready-made nontoxic cleaners at health food stores, or mix your own combinations using household staples.”
During the warmer months of the year, pets that tend to shed do so quite a bit in order to stay cool. “Pet dander can negatively impact your indoor air quality and clog your filter faster,” reports Gator Air And Energy, “Furry friends groomed regularly in the summer can help reduce the amount that they shed as well as keep them comfortable. Ask your groomer how short they can safely cut the hair, and try to keep it as short as possible in the summer months.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Inc., we’d love to help you improve your home’s indoor air quality this summer! Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our Air Quality Services. Give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Readers of the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog are well aware of our stance on asbestos. For years, we’ve been utilizing our blog to expose the extreme dangers of the substance and have steadfastly stood behind our federal government’s proposal to ban asbestos this year. Our question, for quite some time and continues to be “What exactly is the hold up?”
With all of the evidence that shows that, without a shadow of a doubt, asbestos is the culprit behind numerous lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis diagnoses, its ban should have come a long time ago. Asbestos is widely known as the leading cause of workplace deaths in Canada. We understand that bans aren’t enacted overnight. But the nearly year and a half that has passed since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau proposed the ban can’t exactly be described as overnight.
Bob Bailey is one such politician. He’s running for MPP in Ontario’s Sarnia-Lambton riding. As reported yesterday by Melanie Irwin on BlackburnNews.com, Bailey is making his stance on the banning of asbestos part of his platform. Evidently, he isn’t pleased that the nationwide ban of the toxic material isn’t yet in place.
“We stopped mining asbestos in 2011, but asbestos imports into Canada and especially in Ontario, have nearly doubled in value between 2011 and 2016 to $8.2-million for the year,” Bailey is quoted as saying in the article. The PC member is lobbying for the Ontario government to create a public registry of all provincially owned or leased buildings that contain asbestos.
As reported by nwLaborPress.org last month, “Oregon U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and U.S. Representative Suzanne Bonamici are sponsoring bills to ban the use of asbestos.” Merkley, who is a Democrat, insists that it’s “outrageous” that asbestos is still allowed to enter the United States in 2018. He is calling for the nation to “catch up” to the rest of the industrialized world to ban the deadly substance.
The article explains the dangers of asbestos in the most clear-cut way possible: “Each year, as many as 15,000 people die from asbestos-related diseases, and 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer typically caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos-related diseases typically take decades to develop. Mesothelioma, for example, has a latency period of 20 to 50 years.”
With such a harrowing and scarily accurate explanation of the dangers of asbestos, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team can be forgiven for losing its collective patience. We can’t come up with a single reason why there remains a delay for the nationwide ban of asbestos to take effect in Canada. We’re equally surprised that our counterparts in the United States haven’t taken further action to ban asbestos as well.
As always, we will remain committed to assisting Canadians with the removal of asbestos from their homes and places of work. For information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
You would think that the concept of keeping your windows open would be a simple one. Just crack the windows and allow the fresh air from outside to circulate with the stagnant and stale air from inside. Simple enough practice, right? However, far too many Canadians prefer to keep their windows shut for the vast majority of the time.
Now, it’s hard to blame us Canucks during the winter time. Temperatures can be scarily frigid, making it seem crazy to even consider opening the windows. However, those same Canadians often continue their closed windows policies during the warmer months of the year, opting for their air conditioners to do the cooling down of their inside air instead.
Let it be clear that opening your windows is the one of the best and easiest ways to improve your home’s indoor air quality. It’s a practice that is actually recommended by doctors. Dr. Mehmet Oz, who is famously known for “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show” before that prescribes the opening of windows to help significantly reduce pollutants that are often trapped inside our homes.
“Open your home to the outside world as frequently as you can, since the inside of a home generally has three to four times the pollutants and particles that are most dangerous to us,” Dr. Oz explains on Sharecare.com, “If you don’t air it out, you increase the chance that these pollutants will build up. Indoor air quality has plummeted because our homes are more airtight and we’re using many more products to freshen the air, sanitize the home, and treat fabrics.”
Dr. Oz goes on to mention that cleaning our homes with fragrance-enhanced products can do more damage than good. He notes that the chemicals that produce those pleasant scents are responsible for the triggering of many allergy symptoms. The bottom line is that an open window beats an air spray in the fresh air department any day.
Trapping stagnant air in your home certainly won’t do you any favours. The lack of ventilation and inability for pollutants to escape your living space can actually lead to some health issues. Mike Holmes of “Holmes On Homes” fame communicates this is a special article for The National Post.
“Not only can keeping openings closed cause condensation issues inside your house (i.e. weeping windows), which we know can lead to mould, it also allows toxins already inside the home to build up,” he writes, “That includes volatile organic compounds, mold spores, dust, smoke, radon, viruses and bacteria. Breathing these in over an extended period of time isn’t good for your health.”
He goes on to point out that such health issues as headaches, dizziness, nausea and eye irritation can ensue due to breathing air that is in poorly ventilated spaces.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Inc., we’d love to help you improve your home’s indoor air quality! Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our Air Quality Services. Call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In some strange coincidence that we cannot explain, we have only posted blogs about hoarding in the month of April. We have no idea why. Before composing today’s blog, we Googled the terms “hoarding” and “indoor air quality” only to find our previous three blogs on the subject appear at the top of the list of articles – all published in previous Aprils.
Interestingly enough, our last blog about hoarding was posted a year ago almost to the day! And in that very blog, we commented on the fact that, during a previous Google search, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. website was found to have the top three most relevant pieces on the subject of hoarding’s impact on indoor air quality.
Well, it’s the middle of April, so we obviously must be due for another blog about hoarding! But, we have to admit – it’s an issue that certainly requires more than once-a-year attention. By packing your home with loads of possessions that can only be described as an uncontrollable mess, you put yourself at great risk of health hazards.
Firstly, you’re unable to see more than half of your possessions when you live in a house with a hoarder. As a result, you’re unaware of any mould forming on those possessions. Mould growth is promoted by dark, dank areas – a perfect description of the many regions of a hoarder’s home. When mould is airborne, it triggers allergic reactions and asthma symptoms.
“There are three basic classifications of mould related health concerns: infectious, allergenic, and toxic,” explains Karen Robinson on behalf of Canadians For A Safe Learning Environment, “Allergic reactions are the most common and can include the following symptoms: watery eyes, runny nose, itching, rashes, hives, nasal congestion, coughing, wheezing, breathing difficulties, headache, dizziness, fatigue and in extreme cases tremors.”
Clearly, a house full of trash – if we’re being quite frank here – doesn’t allow for the circulation of air. Not only is a hoarder not likely to be able to access his/her windows to open them, his/her home is void of much free space for air to even exist. The air in the home is bound to be stale, stagnant and polluted with the dust, dander and debris that hasn’t been cleaned up in ages. Once again, poor conditions for breathing are made present by the act of hoarding.
“Good ventilation removes stale indoor air and reduces the amount of indoor air pollutants,” Canada.ca reminds us, “It also helps to limit the buildup of indoor moisture, which can contribute to mould growth. Ventilation increases the amount of outdoor air that comes indoors. The level of outdoor air pollution should be considered when ventilating your house. If there are strong indoor sources and outdoor air pollution levels are low, you may need to increase the ventilation.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we know how important it is for the air in your home to be free of contaminants. If you have issues with hoarding or if you’re living with a hoarder, your health is at risk. We would highly recommend a major clean up of your home with the help of professionals. It is then wise to follow up with an indoor air quality inspection.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our Air Quality Services. Give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at email@example.com.
Since December of 2016, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would finally implement a comprehensive nationwide ban of asbestos, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog has been following the story quite closely. Originally, the plan was to have the toxic substance completely outlawed by 2018. Well, here we are in 2018 and we’re still awaiting word of the official passing of the long-promised ban.
In one of our several blogs covering the topic, we revealed that a “consultation period” was being requested to ask both the public and industry for feedback about the new policy regarding asbestos. This period concluded on March 22nd. Now, nearly three weeks removed from that consultation period, Canadians are left wondering what the holdup is.
According to Muller & Green – an organization that specializes in research, analysis, consulting and PR activity for local and global brands – the new asbestos policy may not be what it’s cracked up to be. In a recent report published by Newswire.ca, Muller & Green revealed that the Canadian government’s proposed ban of asbestos is facing some criticism. Although $114 million has been committed to implement a new policy, there are some holes in the specifics.
As Muller & Green report, there is apparently “no distinction between harmful asbestos such as the various amphibole asbestos and chrysotile, and ‘white asbestos’, still used in various products today. This omission is critical for numerous businesses and industries in Canada, which rely on products containing the non-harmful form of the mineral.”
Because of the lack of distinction between the different forms of asbestos, the proposed ban is likely to force a number of Canadian businesses to shut down. And while the health of Canadians is clearly far more important, the plan is also being criticized for not taking into consideration the work already being done to prevent asbestos-related diseases.
“One of the rationales for the proposal is economic, in terms of savings that will be made in health services from reduced cases of asbestos-related diseases,” reads the report, “However, regulations and prevention of asbestos-related diseases have been established, contradicting the health argument.”
By not distinguishing the differences between the various forms of asbestos, there is a concern that billions of dollars will end up being wasted on removing “safe asbestos” from public buildings. The financial figures for the implementation of the plan, says the report, appear to be understated.
As well, the planned proposal for the ban has apparently exempted mining activities and the use of asbestos in the chlor-alkali industry. It has been reported that the use of asbestos in the chlor-alkali industry will remain acceptable until 2025.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’re not convinced that there is a reasonable and safe way to continue to use any asbestos in this country. The damage that it has caused has been well documented. We need not another Canadian death that is asbestos-related. The time for the ban to take effect has come. In fact, it is well past due.
Of course, in the meantime, our team remains dedicated to helping Canadians to remove asbestos from their homes and places of work. For information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By today’s standards, the warning “smoking is bad for you” is a mundane statement of the obvious. However, it’s as important as it ever was to stress the importance of eliminating all cigarette smoking from your life. By that we mean that even if you aren’t a smoker yourself, you should take all measures to avoid cigarette smoke at all costs. Simply put, it’s deadly. And it should have no place in your home – ever!
Secondhand smoke is as hazardous to the health of a non-smoker as firsthand smoke is to a smoker. As Statistics Canada explains, secondhand smoke is a combination of smoke exhaled by smokers and the smoke that is released into the air from burning cigarettes, pipes and cigars. Exposure to such smoke can result in a long list of fatal diseases. Among them are lung cancer, heart disease, asthma, bronchitis, middle-ear infections and pneumonia.
If you’re still a cigarette smoker looking for ways to quit, don’t worry – help is certainly available to you.
Understandably, quitting smoking is easier said than done. It is an addiction. And beating an addiction takes a lot of hard work and dedication. There are, however, some scientifically-proven ways to help smokers quit their nasty habits. Among them is nicotine replacement therapy. As explained by Joe Brownstein on LiveScience.com, this can come in the form of a nicotine patch or nicotine gum.
Glen Morgan is the program director in the Behavioral Research Program at the Tobacco Control Research Branch of the National Cancer Institute. He contributes to Brownstein’s article by noting that some people may not like the taste of the gum and instead, consider the patch more convenient. Others don’t like the continuous delivery of the patch and instead, prefer chewing the gum. Some, however, combine the two to combat intense urges.
No matter what scientific methods of assistance you may employ, it’s important to be dedicated to your mission to quit smoking. In some cases, that entails significantly limiting your access to cigarettes. Do you tend to buy cartons? If so, start buying cigarettes in smaller quantities. This will hopefully help you to use them a lot less. At least, this is what is believed by Debra L. Gordon and Dr. David L. Katz.
On the Reader’s Digest website, they suggest that you change your cigarette buying habits. “As you’re getting ready to quit, stop buying cartons of cigarettes,” Gordon and Katz advise, “Instead, only buy a pack at a time, and only carry two or three with you at a time (try putting them in an Altoids tin). Eventually you’ll find that when you want a smoke, you won’t have any immediately available. That will slowly wean you down to fewer cigarettes.”
Even if no one smokes inside its four walls, the remnants of cigarette smoke on the clothes, skin and hair of the smokers in your household can create some ill health effects. Perhaps, it’s time for a home inspection. For more information about the Air Quality Services offered by DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
Ah, the springtime! Now that we’re a little over a week into the new spring season, it’s probably time to start thinking about a new approach to improving your home’s indoor air quality. Although the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog has been advocating the opening of windows all winter long, we’re sure that most Canadians kept them shut for the majority of these past frigid months.
Now that spring is here, there are some new methods of improving our indoor air quality that we should all practice. Here are just three:
Okay, now we’re not just recommending that you crack the windows open the way we did during the winter. During some of the milder forthcoming days of spring, we recommend that you open the windows and keep them open for the majority of the day. Consider how much stale and stagnant the air in your home became over the winter. It’s time to let it all out of the house in exchange for fresher, cleaner air.
“Open a window to air out harmful chemicals and let cleaner, healthier air in!” advises NaturallySavvy.com, “Even if it’s for a few minutes a day, it’s one of the simplest (and most affordable) things you can do to improve your home air quality. You can also turn on a ceiling or portable fan while windows are open to recirculate household air and push out stale air.”
Sure, we’re not experiencing any hot temperatures yet. But the days of summer will be here before you know it. Chances are that you’ll be cranking up the A/C on hot days. But without having your air conditioners properly cleaned, you’ll likely be circulating a lot of accumulated dust and other pollutants throughout your home.
“One of the best things you can do is to clean your air conditioner inside and out on a regular basis,” insists R&R Heating and Air Conditioning, “A properly maintained AC will not only help keep your air clean (and you healthy), but the system will also function more efficiently and last longer, thus saving you money.”
Naturally, it’s the time of year when most Canadians engage in spring cleaning activities. However, far too many of us use products that contain toxic chemicals that only serve to irritate our respiratory systems. Many household cleaning products contain volatile organic compounds which only worsen our homes’ indoor air quality. This year, do your spring cleaning with natural cleansers.
“Your home is not a science experiment,” insists NaturallySavvy.com, “Rather than spend money on household cleaning products, look no further than your pantry for ingredients that possess natural cleaning prowess. Ingredients such as baking soda, white distilled vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, tea tree oil, hot water, coarse salt, and castile soap all do a bang-up job without spewing harmful chemicals in your home.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Inc., we’d love to help you improve your home’s indoor air quality this spring! Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our Air Quality Services. Call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.