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.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 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.
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.
This may sound like a weird question, but how many living beings do you believe are in your household? We imagine that it would be your first inclination to state the number of actual residents such as yourself, your spouse, your children, and/or your parents. Perhaps, you live alone. As a result, your answer to the question above would be one. You get the picture.
What if we were to tell you that the actual number of living beings in your household is probably a lot closer several million? Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? However, the fact is you have millions of dust mites living and feeding inside your bed, carpeting, soft furnishings and even your clothes. And while this sounds gross, it’s more important to highlight the fact that dust mites are an allergy’s sufferer’s nightmare.
Allergic reactions to dust mite debris and waste include difficulty breathing, coughing, nasal congestion, sneezing, wheezing, watery eyes, itching and even eczema. Especially if you have asthma, dust mites can be among your worst enemies. They tend to live in dark, warm areas of your home where your skin tends to shed. Read: your bed. This is why it’s important to “get rid of their homes”, as AllergyStore.com puts it.
“Get rid of their hiding places and their home, sweet home,” insists the website, “That means giving a heave-ho to rugs and carpets. Small throw rugs that can be washed weekly are acceptable. Get rid of all other fibre-based floor coverings. Replace them with tile, hardwood, laminate, engineered wood, vinyl, or concrete floors. Hard surfaces can be vacuumed and mopped regularly to remove all dust, dust mite feces, and dust mites.”
Your dead skin flakes provide an excellent buffet for dust mites. Not only is your bed a warm, dark and humid place (a dust mite’s dream come true), but it’s also a place where you shed most of your dead skin. Your bed (a place where you spend upwards of eight hours every night) arguably deserves the most cleaning attention. Wash the sheets every week in hot water to minimize the presence of dust mites.
“Fortunately, dust mites don’t take too kindly to hot temperatures,” explains Doc Wordinger on Dengarden.com, “Putting your bed sheets through a 140°F (60°C) wash is usually enough to kill them and remove their fecal matter and skin particles. If you have a tumble dryer, put the sheets through a spin-cycle until they are fully dry. The heat from the dryer should take care of any mites that survived the wash.”
You may be surprised to know that being a bit on the untidy side can help your dust mite problem. Wordinger reminds us that dust mites prefer moist areas. And since most people make their beds first thing in the morning, they don’t give their beds much opportunity to air out. Doing so “gives the moisture excreted from our bodies time to dry,” he informs, “By reducing moisture and humidity within the bed, we’re making life difficult for (dust mites).”
As you can imagine, there are many other ways to reduce the dust mite population in your home. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we strongly recommend having the indoor air quality of your home tested to help you along the way. For more information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
Believe it or not, spring is almost here! The frigid temperatures outside don’t make it appear as if the warming up of the weather will soon be upon us, but as of March 20th, the seasons will officially change over. There’s no promise that you’ll be able to put the winter boots and coats away in little under a month. But that’s no reason to not get into the spring spirit. And we all know what one of the most popular spring pastimes is – cleaning!
There’s never really a bad time to clean your home and improve its indoor air quality. Any chance you get to remove dust, mould, pet dander and the remnants of smoke is a chance you should take. It’s important to note that to really get a good clean, you need to take things a bit further than the standard dusting, sweeping and mopping of the floors. On Oprah.com, Lynn Andriani advises us to vacuum and wipe the walls and ceilings as well.
“If you clear them annually of the almost imperceptible grime that builds up, then you won’t have to deal with the impossible-to-remove kind that can accumulate if they’re left untouched for a few years,” she writes, “Vacuum first, using the brush attachment. Then, wipe them with all-purpose cleaner, which is fine for painted walls. Don’t forget the wall that’s behind you every morning when you do your hair and makeup; it could be coated in hairspray, perfume or other beauty products.”
Andriani makes an interesting point. All too often, we forget the areas of the home where there may be unwanted build-up. And that’s because we usually can’t see the build-up. As a result, we assume there’s nothing to clean. But our noses tell us a different story. Earlier, we mentioned the need to rid your home of the remnants of smoke. If you live with a cigarette smoker, you’re likely enduring the ramifications of thirdhand smoke.
Thirdhand smoke refers to the residual nicotine and other chemicals that are left on indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke. You are exposed to these harsh and toxic chemicals whenever you’re breathing anywhere near them. As well, when you touch the contaminated surfaces, you take on health risks. To avoid the effects of thirdhand smoke, it’s wise to wash any bedding, rugs, curtains and parts of your home’s decor that can be uninstalled and thrown in the washing machine.
Reader’s Digest lists the “curtain call” as one of its top ways to spring clean like a pro. “Don’t forget the curtains,” their website reminds us, “If you don’t clean them thoroughly at least once a year they will rot. Dry-clean velvet, tapestries, brocades, chenille, and interlined curtains. Cotton and similar textiles can be washed. Just remember to remove any hooks.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Inc., we’d love to help you get started with your spring cleaning! Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about how our Air Quality Services can assist you in vastly improving your home’s indoor air quality this spring. Call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.