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Asbestos

Asbestos: The Hero Turned Villain

With Canada just one month away from celebrating its 150th anniversary, there are many Canadians taking a look back at the past 150 years to truly appreciate how far we have come as a nation. Of course, a lot has happened in the past century and a half. And due to the vast amounts of research that have been conducted, our society has learned so much about what we can do to live better – stronger and longer.

Of special note to the team, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., is the fact that asbestos has had its reputation completely dismantled. And with good reason, of course. Peter Kenter is one of those Canadians taking a look at our nation’s 150 years. On JournalOfCommerce.com, he points out that at the end of the 19th century, “asbestos had all the makings of a miracle construction material…By the beginning of the 21st century, its reputation had fallen to that of a carcinogen and toxic substance.”

Readers of our blog are well aware of how concerned we’ve been about asbestos and the impact it has had on the health of Canadians. It can never be repeated enough times – 2,000 Canadians die every year due to asbestos-related diseases. We’re happy to know that, as we embark on celebrating Canada’s 150th, asbestos is on its way out of our country for good. The federal government finally called for a comprehensive ban of the toxic substance to take full effect next year.

The problem, of course, is that asbestos has wreaked irreparable harm that won’t soon be alleviated. As Kenter reveals, “Cancer research group CAREX Canada estimates that approximately 152,000 Canadians are exposed to asbestos in the workplace…Asbestos exposure, primarily the inhalation of fibres, can cause: asbestosis and pleural thickening, diseases related to the scarring of lung tissue; lung cancer; and mesothelioma, a cancer of the tissues lining internal organs.”

The scary implications of asbestos exposure just go to show you how important medical research has been over the past 150 years. As mentioned, asbestos was once heralded as a hero in the world of building construction due, in part, to its ability to withstand extremely high temperatures. It was thought that its use as an insulator would be effective in preventing fires. So says Dr. Jessica van Horssen who is a leading researcher of the history and impact of asbestos in Canada.

During the First World War, “electricity was a very dangerous new technology that often resulted in great fires sweeping major urban centres,” she explains in Kenter’s article, “Asbestos can withstand heat of up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The mineral was suddenly an essential inclusion in home insulation, electrical wire coverings and materials used to prevent buildings from burning down.”

Kenter goes on to remind us about how much asbestos was thought to have “hero” qualities. It was used in such construction products as pipe coverings, wire coverings, fireproof boards, floor tiles, ceiling tiles, roofing shingles, cement, asphalt, paint and plaster. And while asbestos may have been quite useful, today it is known primarily for being a culprit for deadly diseases such as lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis.

We, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., would like to offer you a hearty Happy Canada Day – one month in advance! On July 1st, we will not only be celebrating our nation’s 150th, but also the last year when asbestos will be legal in our country. Now that’s worth celebrating!

For more information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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For Some, Nationwide Asbestos Ban By 2018 Isn’t Soon Enough

When it was announced, this past December, that Canada would finally be implementing a nationwide comprehensive ban on asbestos, it was met with much praise. Considered way past due, the decision to ban the hazardous material from being imported into Canada is one that will inevitably save thousands of lives. However, the ban, which is set to fully commence by the end of 2018, is one that isn’t being implemented soon enough.

On TireBusiness.com, Rob Bostelaar of Automotive News Canada reports that some people simply can’t understand why Canada isn’t insisting upon an immediate ban. Most specifically, Jim Brophy, a University of Windsor adjunct professor and former director of the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers, is voicing his displeasure over the fact that the ban hasn’t already taken effect.

Sensibly, Brophy notes that the many Canadians who will endure exposure to asbestos, between now and the end of next year, are at risk of developing serious illnesses in the years to come. Mechanics, for example, must still endure the potential of asbestos exposure from imported replacement brake pads and shoes which have been used as cheaper alternatives to synthetic fibres.

“The latency here is enormous,” Brophy is quoted as saying, “Every day we allow these products to come into the country just extends the time frame in which this disease will arrive and be experienced by people in our population.” Bostelaar points out that asbestos doesn’t just appear in automotive materials. Citing a Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) report, he notes that building products, paper and even footwear contain the substance in small amounts.

Nevertheless, workers in the automotive industry appear to be at the highest risk of health issues due to asbestos exposure. “The lion’s share — nearly 75 per cent of the $8.3 million in asbestos imports in 2015, the CLC reports — is friction materials,” reveals Bostelaar, “The Automotive Industries Association (AIA), which represents aftermarket suppliers, was among those pressing for a grace period to allow the removal of existing products from vehicles and store shelves.”

But is the grace period really necessary? Bostelaar writes that suppliers of friction products such as Rayloc have stopped using asbestos over a decade ago and retailers such as Canadian Tire aren’t currently selling any asbestos-containing products. Without an immediate ban, fears Brophy, mechanics won’t know for sure if they’re being exposed to asbestos or not.

“Most garages do not have even close to the kind of protections that government regulations would say would be needed,” he insists, noting that the dangers are even higher for home mechanics who likely lack training on how to deal with asbestos, “And that’s why the only real way to effectively deal with this is to enact the ban and make sure that these products are not sold on the Canadian market.”

Sadly, asbestos is the leading cause of work-related deaths in Canada, taking 2,000 lives every year. Diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma are killers proven to be caused by asbestos exposure. “The full extent of the harm that has been caused is so under-reported and so under-recognized, that even when you say that it’s the leading cause of occupational disease and death in this country, you’re actually underestimating the full extent of it,” Brophy states.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we fully support the nationwide ban on asbestos and agree that it can’t come a moment too soon. And, as always, we are committed to helping Canadians avoid the harmful effects of asbestos exposure. For more information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Canada To Support Listing Of Chrysotile Asbestos To Rotterdam Convention

As 2017 began, Canadians were given an extra special reason to celebrate the new year. As we’ve covered extensively on the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog, the Canadian government finally announced their comprehensive ban of asbestos. The deadly material is expected to be completely outlawed by 2018. This, of course, came as welcome news considering that the substance is the main culprit for more than 2,000 deaths in Canada each and every year.

Last week, the news got even better. As reported on Newswire.com, the federal government will be supporting the listing of chrysotile asbestos among the hazardous substances regulated under the Rotterdam Convention. The objective of the Rotterdam Convention is to protect both human health and the environment through the promotion of informed decisions about the import and management of certain hazardous chemicals.

Asbestos has been regarded a human carcinogen for 30 years now – declared as such by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer in 1987. Canada will be advocating for the chrysotile asbestos listing during this week’s eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties in Geneva. Also known as white asbestos, it’s the most common form of the material. The news of Canada’s new position on the substance is being lauded as an excellent step towards better protecting the lives of all Canadians.

This news is especially significant considering the fact that Canada formerly denounced the dangers of asbestos – and did so for many years. As a Marketwired.com report explains, “the World Health Organization declared asbestos a human carcinogen in 1987. However, for many years, Canada continued to bolster asbestos exports by downplaying the dangers of the carcinogen internationally.”

Needless to say, the fact that the federal government has changed its position is music to the ears of health advocates such as Canadian Labour Congress President, Hassan Yussuff.

“Unions campaigned long and hard for a ban on asbestos to make workplaces and public spaces safer for all Canadians, but also people around the world who were being exposed to asbestos,” he is quoted as saying in the Marketwired.com piece, “We worked with the government last year to secure a comprehensive ban on the import and export of asbestos here in Canada, and we are encouraged to see Canada taking international leadership on this issue.”

The announcement of Canada’s new position on chrysotile was made by Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna. “By supporting the listing of chrysotile asbestos to the Rotterdam Convention, Canada is taking a concrete step to promote responsible management of this harmful substance globally,” she is quoted in the Newswire.ca article, “In Canada, we will also put in place regulatory measures to protect the health and safety of Canadians as we move forward toward a ban on asbestos.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we have long supported the nationwide ban on asbestos. We fully agree that extra measures are needed to protect people from asbestos exposure all over Canada. And, as always, we are committed to doing our part!

For more information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

2 Comments

  1. Michael-Reply
    June 22, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Thank you for an excellent article! I am very glad that this topic is being discussed. Many people do not even suspect that asbestos is harmful to health. Thanks to such articles people will learn about this danger! We just have to talk about it! Notify residents of our city.
    Canada is on the right track in the fight against asbestos. It is very good! More about asbestos can be found in Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asbestos
    I am a medic, and I understand very well how dangerous asbestos is. In addition to your article, I would like to talk a little more about this from a medical point of view.
    In the mechanical destruction of products that contain this mineral, asbestos dust is formed, which penetrates into the lungs. Asbestos poisoning is not immediately apparent, as dust gradually accumulates in the body. In most cases, the negative impact of the mineral is manifested in 6-10 years and even more. Most often, the harmfulness of asbestos is the development of bronchitis and asbestosis. This is due to the fact that, passing through the bronchi, dust particles settle on their walls, which leads to irritation of the mucous surface. Asbestosis is a heavier disease, which is accompanied by the deposition of dust inside the lungs, which leads to the formation of scar formation on the surface of the respiratory organs.
    When removing asbestos, we get poisonous dust particles. Asbestos removal technologies are also an important topic for all of us. This requires caution and special skills. I would like to warn the inhabitants of Calgary about the difficulties and the dangers of removing asbestos on their own.
    The Government of Canada warns of the potential dangers of asbestos and suggests ways to keep you and your children safe. They also stress the importance of not contacting this material yourself, and instead emphasize the importance of using trained professionals: “If asbestos is found, hire a qualified asbestos removal specialist to get rid of it.” (citation: https://astra-management.ca/asbestos )

    How does the Government of Canada protect you from exposure?
    The Government of Canada recognizes that breathing in asbestos fibres can cause cancer and other diseases. We help protect Canadians from asbestos exposure by regulating:

    the sale of certain high-risk consumer products made of asbestos or that contain it
    this is done through the Asbestos Products Regulations under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act
    possible releases of asbestos into the environment
    this is done through the Asbestos Mines and Mills Release Regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (citation: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/air-quality/indoor-air-contaminants/health-risks-asbestos.html )
    After reading all the information on this, we must be cautious and active in the fight against asbestos! Thanks again for the article!

    • Dennis French-Reply
      June 22, 2017 at 5:14 pm

      Hello Michael. Thank you for your feedback. As a company we try and promote awareness and overall education to the contractors, clients and general public. Thru our consulting services as well, we make sure projects are being undertaken in a safe and professional manner. You have put a link to one contracting firm in Calgary and there are many in Calgary and around Alberta but homeowners need to also do their research as not all companies are operating equally; look into references and not just the cosmetic aspect of a website.

      We upload new blogs routinely about all sorts of Air quality issues so i hope you return and read a few more articles.

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Saskatchewan And B.C. Taking Extra Steps To Limit Asbestos Exposure

Ever since the federal government announced its plans to completely ban asbestos from Canada by 2018, Canadians have been rejoicing. Proud of the fact that the deadly substance will no longer be imported into our country or used in any fashion, anti-asbestos crusaders are confident that the rates of disease and death at the hands of the material will drop in the years to come. A noticeable change, however, may take many years – far too many to not take extra action now.

Needless to say, the comprehensive nationwide asbestos ban isn’t going to miraculously rid Canada of all of the asbestos currently contained within it. Used predominantly as insulation material in the construction of homes and buildings decades ago, currently-laid asbestos still has the opportunity to wreak havoc on anyone who is exposed to its airborne fibres.

In the province of Saskatchewan, extra steps are being taken in order to prevent asbestos exposure. Jesse Todd is a member of the Saskatchewan Asbestos Disease Awareness Network. He was interviewed for a recent CBC News report to discuss the work Saskatoon is doing to keep people safe from the dangers related to asbestos. Among the measures taken by the city is the requesting of building contractors to be aware of the materials they bring to landfills.

Todd is asking the city to make the same request of its citizens. He is aware that many of the materials disposed of by residents of the city contain health hazards. The truth, he acknowledges, is that many people may not even know if what they’re throwing in the garbage contains asbestos or not.

“You start throwing your materials into the bin and then a big cloud of dust puffs up when your material hits the bottom,” Todd describes in the report, “And if someone else disposed of some material — maybe some drywall material that contained asbestos or anything like that — it is very brittle and that dust flies everywhere, so the individual dumping material is exposed as well as the attendants working there.”

The province of British Columbia is taking similar actions. Cos-Mag.com reports that WorkSafeBC is tag-teaming with a new cross-ministry working group established by the province to “take a broad approach and work collaboratively to identify, review and report on a range of issues, including worker safety, building renovation and abatement matters, environmental protection and public health and awareness.”

According to the site, asbestos-related diseases are responsible for the majority of workplace deaths. Many have stemmed from exposure that took place decades ago. In fact, WorkSafeBC reveals that from 2007 to 2016, there were more than 600 accepted claims for worker deaths in B.C. related to asbestos exposure. The majority of those workers passed away before the age of 65.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we agree that extra measures to protect people from asbestos exposure must be taken all over Canada. It’s great that asbestos will be completely banned by next year. However, precautions must be taken to protect Canadians from the asbestos that is currently here. And we’re certainly committed to doing our part!

For more information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Asbestos Remains A Health Threat To Canadians In Spite Of Recent Ban

When the federal government finally announced a comprehensive nationwide ban of asbestos, just before the new year, Canadians were elated to learn of this huge step towards better health. It’s widely known that asbestos is a deadly substance. Commonly used in the construction of homes and buildings prior to the 1990s, its airborne fibres are known for causing fatal diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Naturally, the announcement that, by 2018, asbestos would be completely banned from Canada was met with widespread approval considering that asbestos-related diseases take the lives of about 2,000 Canadians every year. We have closely monitored news of the asbestos ban in addition to covering the harmful effects of asbestos in our blog. We’ve regularly pointed out that the impacts of exposure to asbestos are long-lasting.

What this means is that, unfortunately, even with asbestos ultimately becoming outlawed in Canada, it still has the opportunity to wreak havoc. Buildings that already contain the substance present health risks to anyone who enters them. Just last week, CBC News reported that there was an asbestos leak in two labs at the University of Toronto. Evidently, due to the renovations taking place at the university’s Medical Sciences Building, asbestos fibres were released.

According to the report, “the fibres were found in three separate instances in February and March in dust-samples at lab-related rooms on the St. George campus — months after the university began work to remove the substance from seven locations on the 50-year-old building’s third, sixth and seventh floors as part of a $190-million project to improve labs across its three campus.”

Scott Mabury is the vice-president of university operations at U of T. In an interview with CBC News, he revealed some of the culprits for the asbestos leak. One of the individuals working on the renovation project drilled a hole in a wall causing a pile of dust containing asbestos to fall to the floor. In another incident, asbestos-laden dust escaped an area that was insufficiently sealed. And in a third, air pressure forced out dust-containing asbestos from a service shaft.

Both the CBC News report and a report from The Globe and Mail did not indicate that any students or faculty members were directly exposed to the asbestos leak. However, there is an understandable concern.

“The U of T’s Faculty Association questioned the university’s handling of the situation, saying it is ‘extremely concerned that asbestos contamination may have adversely affected our members as well as students and others at the MSB, and that their health and safety continue to be at risk,’” reports Tavia Grant of The Globe and Mail.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are well aware that, in spite of the recent ban, Canadians will continue to suffer the effects of asbestos exposure. As always, it is our sincere hope that we can do our part to minimize as much damage as possible. For more information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Nationwide Asbestos Ban To Save Many Lives In The Auto Industry

Readers of the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog are well aware of our stance on asbestos. We have long been among Canada’s many advocates for a nationwide comprehensive ban of the cancer-causing material and were thrilled to announce news of the ban just before the start of the new year. It should be a secret to no one that asbestos is unquestionably, the number one on-the-job killer in our country, taking thousands of lives a year.

And while Canada ceased the manufacturing of asbestos years ago, the recent ban will finally put a stop to its import by next year. As Bill McLauchlan reports on TireBusiness.com, “The Canadian government will ban the ‘manufacture, use, import and export’ of asbestos-containing products — including brake pads — by 2018.” And while this is clearly good news for health advocates everywhere, McLauchlan points out that the ban will especially benefit members of the auto industry.

Among the various asbestos-laden products that Canada has been importing are brake pads for vehicles. As a result, members of the Canadian automotive industry have regularly been exposed to asbestos, not knowing whether or not the brake pads they’ve been handling contain the deadly substance. McLauchlan cites Rick Jamieson, who is the president and CEO of Guelph, Ontario-based brake pad manufacturer ABS Friction Inc., as an individual who is especially happy about the recently-announced ban.

“This news was most heartening to us,” Jamieson was quoted as saying, “While the ban is long overdue, we are thankful it is finally going to happen. We have twice seen ‘ban asbestos’ private-member bills reach second reading, only to stall for one reason or another.” ABS Friction Inc. has long been campaigning for the banning of asbestos in Canada as it eliminates a major health risk to employees.

“By removing asbestos from braking systems, the new legislation also addresses a health risk to employees of more than 400 vehicle-recycling companies and dismantlers who handle about 1.6 million end-of-life vehicles a year in Canada,” McLauchlan informs. Up until the announcement of the ban, Canada was importing brake pads from countries including the United States, South Korea, China, Chile and Peru.

Jamieson does point out, however, that asbestos is not the only dangerous material that members of the auto industry regularly come into contact with. With the new asbestos ban finally having been passed, he is hopeful that the federal government will take a serious look into banning others substances as well. Chromium, mercury, copper, cadmium, lead and zinc are among them, as they all have toxic properties.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we continue to support Canadians who have been affected by the deadly ramifications of asbestos exposure and we stand beside those who wish to see the government take further action. We’re also committed to helping those who may be at risk of asbestos exposure in their homes. We proudly offer Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services that include onsite assessments, sampling and testing.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Environmental Lawyers See Asbestos Ban As Big Step In Protecting Canadians

Asbestos has killed far too many Canadians. And, unfortunately it will continue to take lives for years to come. So, of course, the recent announcement by the federal government to implement a nationwide comprehensive ban of asbestos by 2018 was welcomed by Canadians nationwide. But as environmental lawyers, Will Amos and David R. Boyd write in the Ottawa Citizen, it’s a ban that should have come a long time ago.

While the pair acknowledges that the recently-announced ban will certainly save lives, they argue that it came decades late. With asbestos being the leading occupational killer in Canada, harming both workers and their families who are exposed to asbestos at home and school, a much more aggressive approach to banning the deadly substance should have been taken in the past.

“The dangers of asbestos have been known for a long, long time,” state Amos and Boyd, “Roman historian Pliny reported that working with asbestos led to difficulty breathing and respiratory illness. A British government report published in 1898 warned that inhaling asbestos dust was killing workers. In 1918, the Prudential Life Insurance Company stated, ‘In the practice of American and Canadian life insurance companies, asbestos workers are generally declined on account of the assumed health-injurious conditions of the industry.’”

With asbestos having been recognized as a harmful material for more than a century, it begs the question: Why was it being produced all these years? You’re not likely to be surprised that the answer is simply: money. Amos and Boyd explain that as the 20th century progressed, the profits from asbestos-laden products steadily rose. Meanwhile, medical evidence was also mounting connecting “dire health consequences” to asbestos exposure.

“The industry responded with a decades-long campaign to distort, manipulate and falsify scientific evidence,” the duo explains, “Industry-funded studies that connected asbestos exposure to cancer were suppressed. Researchers were pressured to change their results, amend their conclusions or avoid discussing asbestos in public.”

Countries like Japan and Australia banned asbestos years go. Amos and Boyd applaud Canada’s decision to jump on board but stress that the proverbial dragging of our nation’s feet to reach this decision will have long-term ramifications. They also insist that Canada further its commitment to protecting its citizens by taking measures to very seriously examine the impact of other dangerous substances on the Canadian public.

“The asbestos debacle has already cost Canada dearly,” they write, “For other dangerous toxic substances and environmental contaminants, we must rigorously regulate to the highest international standards. Asbestos underscores how Canadians deserve world-class standards to protect human and ecosystem health.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we have taken the issue of Canada’s asbestos ban very seriously. We recognize the extreme importance of keeping Canadians safe from this toxic material. If you have any questions about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to contact us in order to ask them. Give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at info@dftechnical.ca.

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CLC President Calls Asbestos Ban A Victory For All Canadians

Happy new year Canada! On behalf of the entire DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. staff, we would like to wish you a very happy and healthy 2017. And thanks to the recent announcement that asbestos will officially be banned in Canada, we can all breathe a little easier – literally. It’s no secret to readers of our blog that we have been big proponents of the ban on the hazardous material that is known for killing upwards of 2,000 Canadians a year.

We join people like Canadian Labour Congress president, Hassan Yussuff in celebrating the federal government’s decision to ban asbestos, which finally came on December 15th. Right before ringing in the new year, Yussuff took to writing a letter about the asbestos ban, declaring it a “victory for all Canadians”. He was and continues to be one of the hardest-working protestors of asbestos in Canada. As he points out in his letter, which was published on TheTelegram.com, the ban is bound to save thousands of lives.

“Banning asbestos will lead to better occupational health and safety protections for workers,” he writes, “Experts estimate that 150,000 Canadians are exposed to asbestos at work, particularly in industries like construction, automobile maintenance, shipbuilding, trade contractors and waste management. Internationally, the World Health Organization reports more than 100,000 asbestos-related deaths per year.”

Yussuff admits to having a very personal attachment to his convictions. Asbestos has taken the lives of many people he has met throughout the years. In the many years he has been working towards a ban, he has been introduced to numerous families of workers who have unknowingly brought home deadly asbestos fibres. This exposed their children and spouses to the hazardous material. Today, many of them battle mesothelioma and other respiratory illnesses.

However, Yussuff himself has also been exposed to asbestos. In his letter, he recalls his days working as a mechanic, exposing himself to asbestos-containing brake pads and clutches. “Because asbestos-related cancers have such a long latency period, I don’t know yet if I’ll be one of the unlucky ones,” he admits, “What I do know is that there are far too many workers who, unlike me, may have been exposed to this killer for years without even knowing it.”

The comprehensive nationwide ban of asbestos in Canada was a mandatory measure, as far as Yussuff is concerned. Although Canada stopped mining asbestos years ago, the nation still inexplicably imported products that contained the deadly substance. In fact, there became an increase in the imports of products such as brake pads and construction materials after Canada no longer produced asbestos itself.

Naturally, this only worked to increase asbestos exposure in our country. As a result, deaths from mesothelioma increased 60 percent between 2000 and 2012, Yussuff informs. “A ban on asbestos is about protecting workers, their families, and communities,” he insists, “It is about saving lives, here in Canada and internationally. I commend the federal government for its leadership, and I urge the provinces and territories to work diligently to help implement the ban.”

The team, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., would also like to commend the federal government for banning asbestos. We know, however, that there is still a lot of work to be done to protect Canadians from the material that already exists here. If you have any questions about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to contact us in order to ask them.

Give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at info@dftechnical.ca.

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3 Ways To Have A Healthier Home In The New Year

Teenager girl throwing pillow into the air, having funMost New Year’s Resolutions focus on self-improvement in some way. Generally, people endeavour to quit smoking, exercise or change their diets to include healthier food choices as ways to better their health. However, most neglect to make resolutions about improving the air they breathe. It goes without saying that the air we breathe is vital to our health. So why not make 2017 the year you make your home the healthiest it has ever been?

Here are three ways to have a healthier home in the new year:

1. Focus on improving indoor air quality. This newfound focus will require many tasks – but they shouldn’t be hard to do. Regular vacuuming, dusting and mopping will do away with many of the dust particles that inhibit our air from being at its purest. Buying some houseplants to improve the oxygen content of the air is also advisable. As well, making sure to take your shoes off before entering your home will prevent excess dirt and grime to come in from outside.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we specialize in Air Quality Services. We employ a number of trained individuals who all have strong understandings of the indoor environment. They maximize their inspection processes in order to target all areas of concern in your home or office. The air you breathe in your home can cause health and wellness issues that you can avoid through thorough inspections.

2. Test for asbestos. Our blog has been closely covering our nation’s campaign for a complete ban of asbestos for many months now. Last week, we proudly reported about the federal government’s plan to completely rid Canada of asbestos by 2018. While we haven’t exported asbestos in quite some time, we were still importing it through such products as brake pads. Known for causing lung cancer, mesothelioma and other deadly respiratory diseases, asbestos is definitely a material you do not want in your home.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services that involved onsite assessments as well as sampling and analysis of the materials collected. Our team will be able to locate asbestos if it is contained within such areas as your furnace, plumbing, electrical wiring, attics, cinder block walls, flooring and ceilings.

3. Limit the moisture in your home. When you shower – especially when you take those long hot showers during the winter – it’s important that you run your exhaust fan. When you’re cooking in the kitchen, running your exhaust fan is just as important. Limiting moisture in your home will help to prevent the growth of mould. When mould spores are airborne, they can present many health hazards to our respiratory systems. Asthmatics are especially aware of this.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we off Moisture Monitoring Services that evaluate buildings for moisture sources such as building envelop failures, leakage issues and occupant-based moisture sources that could be the cause of mould development. We also offer Mould Assessment Services that include inspections involving analytical sampling, moisture analysis and thermal scanning.

Let’s work together on making 2017 your healthiest year yet. For more information on any and all of the above mentioned services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

Happy New Year!

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Canada Finally Follows Through On Comprehensive Asbestos Ban!

Large yellow skip bin filled with building waste showing No Asbestos stickerAt long last, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has come through on his promise. Since his announcement to move forward on a comprehensive ban of asbestos in Canada, this past May, many Canadians have been anxiously awaiting official word of its implementation. Readers of the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog are well aware of the attention we have been paying this matter. And now, we’re so very happy to pass along the good news about what we’ve all been waiting for.

As reported by several news sources including Julie Ireton of CBC News, the federal government has made official its plans to completely ban asbestos from Canada by 2018. The ban involves a change of the rules and regulations surrounding the disease-causing material. The changes involve revisions of national building codes to prohibit the use of asbestos in new construction and renovation projects throughout Canada. As well, there will be new actions to ban the import of asbestos-containing products such as brake pads and construction materials.

For far too long, asbestos has been the culprit behind the deaths of 2,000 Canadians a year. Used predominantly as an insulator in the construction of homes and buildings, asbestos is no longer welcome in any capacity in our country. The announcement of the ban came just last week Thursday as Science Minister Kirsty Duncan conducted a news conference at the Ottawa Hospital’s General campus.

“Asbestos, a known carcinogen, has been condemned by the World Health Organization and is banned in some 50 countries around the world,” Ireton highlights, “With this announcement, Canada is committing to its own comprehensive ban — which is supposed to be fulfilled by 2018 — of a product that many Canadians believe was outlawed years ago.”

Hassan Yussuff, who is the president of the Canadian Labour Congress, has been particularly adamant about a comprehensive ban of asbestos in Canada for quite some time. With the CLC, he has tirelessly campaigned to have the hazardous substance outlawed. Understandably, Yussuff was thrilled to hear the news of the official ban, stating in Times Colonist that it represented an important win for all Canadians.

“We can all breathe more easily after last week’s announcement that the federal government is finally banning asbestos,” he writes, “It is a move that will, without question, save lives for generations to come, and make workplaces and public spaces safer for all Canadians…Asbestos is the leading cause of workplace-related death in this country. More than 2,000 Canadians die every year from asbestos-related cancers such as mesothelioma, and because it can take 20 to 50 years for cancer to develop after exposure, that number will initially continue to rise.”

It is our sincere hope, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., that Canada’s comprehensive ban will result in a significant decrease of asbestos-related diseases and deaths in our country that will be noticeable in the not-too-distant future. The immediate benefits, however, will be hard to notice considering that it can take decades for asbestos-related diseases like asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer to surface.

This means that sadly, Canadians will continue to die due to asbestos exposure long after the ban takes full effect. It is our hope, however, that we can do our part to minimize as much damage as possible. It’s the reason we continue to proudly offer our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca. Happy holidays!

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