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Canada Inching Closer Towards Full-Fledged Asbestos Ban

In December of last year, the Government of Canada finally followed through on its promise to announce a comprehensive nationwide ban of asbestos. The deadly substance – known for its role in causing mesothelioma and other fatal respiratory diseases – is set for a complete abolishment from the country in 2018.

Of course, “abolishment” means the ceasing of any importing or exporting of the product. What we do about the asbestos that is currently in our country is another story altogether. Thankfully, there is some good news to report coming out of Gatineau, Quebec. Earlier this month, the federal government announced that it was lowering the acceptable level of workplace exposure to airborne chrysotile asbestos to as close to zero as possible.

As reported by Jeff Cottrill on OHSCanada.com, the move took effect on July 12th, and was announced via news release from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Patty Hajdu is the federal Minister of Employment at Workforce Development and Labour. In the release, she shares her sentiments about the nation’s responsibility to keep its workers as safe from harm as possible.

“Every employee has the right to a safe workplace,” declares Hajdu, “I’m proud to be announcing these long-overdue regulatory changes on asbestos, a key element of our government’s comprehensive ban.”

Kirsty Duncan is the Federal Science Minister. She too had some words to say about the federal government’s duty to keep Canadians free from harm in the workplace. “Canadians can be confident my colleagues and I will continue to work hard to ensure that families, workers and communities will be protected from the harmful impacts of asbestos exposure, so they may lead healthy, secure lives,” Duncan shared.

“The move is part of the federal government’s ongoing strategy to ban all asbestos and asbestos-containing products by next year,” writes Cottrill, “Canada’s occupational health and safety law regulations require exposure to airborne asbestos to follow the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists Threshold Limit Values at 0.1 fibres per cubic centimetre, according to a backgrounder on the ESDC website.”

Never one to be quiet about the subject of asbestos, Canadian Labour Congress president, Hassan Yussuff, was also vocal about Canada’s recent step towards better protection against asbestos exposure in the workplace. The CLC has long lobbied for the complete ban of asbestos in Canada. Yussuff agrees that the recent move towards lowering acceptable exposure levels at work is a step in the right direction.

“We welcome the action of the government,” said Yussuff. “There’s always going to be argument on what level of threshold is acceptable for workers to be exposed, and we believe no amount of asbestos fibres is safe. So lowering the threshold certainly brings us one step closer to the inevitable situation that the government already announced, a complete ban of both import and export of asbestos.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we applaud the actions being taken by the Canadian government to reduce the potential for asbestos to cause more illnesses and deaths in our country. Of course, we’re mindful that much work still needs to be done in order to keep all Canadians safe.

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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Finding Ways To Minimize Humidity In The Home All Summer Long

Humidity represents the amount of water vapour in the air around you. And, as we all know, the summertime is generally when the air around us is the most humid. During the summer, the air holds more moisture. That’s what gives us that “sticky” feeling that the dry and cold winter air never provides. And while we shouldn’t really complain about the heat (winter is long enough, isn’t it?), it’s important for Canadians to find ways to limit the humidity in their homes.

Since humid air is filled with moisture, it is bound to cause some concerns within our households – not the least of which is mould growth. With mould present in the home, it leaves individuals who live within it susceptible to respiratory problems. This is especially true for people with asthma and other allergies. So what can you do to minimize the humidity in your home all summer long?

Crack the windows and turn on the exhaust fans.

Just last week, we blogged about the beauty of keeping the windows open in the summertime. Allow us to reiterate the importance of allowing the air from outside to circulate with the air from inside. Now, you may be wondering – “if the air from outside is hot and humid, how does letting it inside reduce humidity?”

When warm air is “trapped” within the home, it ends up attaching itself to colder surfaces creating condensation – perfect breeding grounds for mould. This is why it’s also important to always turn the exhaust fans on in your bathrooms during bathing and kitchens during cooking. Ventilation is the key to reducing moisture. In addition, believe it or not, a closed up home can become more humid simply by virtue of the people inside it breathing.

“Mathematically speaking, it only takes between four and six pints of water to raise the humidity level inside of 1,000 square feet from a mere 15% to 60%,” says CriticalCactus.com, “The amount of people within the home can affect how much humidity is in the air as well. One person breathing produces about ¼ cup of water within an hour’s time.”

Invest in some moisture-absorbing houseplants.

In keeping with the concept of bringing the outside inside in order to minimize moisture in the home, it’s a good idea to have houseplants throughout your home. But, it’s important to know which plants add moisture to the air and which ones absorb moisture.

As CriticalCactus.com points out, some houseplants are particularly adept at reducing moisture in the air. “Tropical plants called epiphytes such as English Ivy, Peace Lily, Reed Palm, Boston ferns and Tillandsia are plants that get all their water from the air instead through roots,” says the site.

Limit your laundry loads.

With all of that extra sweating in your clothes that you’re doing this summer, you’re likely to have more loads of laundry than normal. However, it’s important to only do the laundry when you have full loads to wash. That way, you can limit how often you use the washing machine and dryer. Both machines produce a lot of humidity. In fact, you may want to consider drying your clothes outdoors. This saves you money as well!

Thinking your home may be too humid?

Contact DF Technical & Consulting Services Inc. to learn more about how our Moisture Monitoring Services can help you! Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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The Beauty Of Opening The Windows In The Summertime

Most Canadians can admit that they spend far too much time indoors. Then again, it’s hard to blame those of us who choose to stay inside for the majority of the coldest months of the year. Summertime, however, offers us many amazing opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. The warmth and sunshine make spending time outside as inviting as it gets!

Of course, there will be plenty of time spent indoors during the summer as well. After all, we do have to hit the hay at some point, right? It wise, then, to invite some of the outdoors inside by keeping the windows open. Yes, we’ve recommended this practice during the wintertime in order to get the air in your homes circulating and renewing itself with the fresh air from outside. But, opening the windows in the winter should only be done for short intervals of time.

Clearing out the “nasties”.

During the summer, however, the warm temperatures practically give us no excuse to not keep the windows wide open all day long. As you may have guessed, the health benefits are many. One of the most obvious is the release of air pollutants. On PhantomScreens.com, Esther de Wolde reminds us that much of our indoor activities can produce air pollutants. This includes the acts of dusting, cleaning and painting.

“Some paints contain VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) which can be harmful to health,” she explains, “And other delightful things like dust mites can cause asthma. So it may be a bit obvious but opening your home to the outside can clear out the nasties.”

Strengthening the “human microbiome”.

On MindBodyGreen.com, James Maskell agrees that keeping the windows open is a healthful practice. He advocates the open window policy, however, for a pretty unique reason. Maskell explains that the human microbiome (the bugs that live inside us that aid in digestion, metabolism and immunity) is important for our overall health. Opening windows, he argues, helps to build the human microbiome.

“For most of human history, the outside was always part of the inside, and at no moment during our day were we ever really separated from nature,” he explains, “Yet modern humans spend a whopping 93% of their lives indoors, inside buildings or vehicles. Opening a window and increasing natural airflow has been shown to improve the diversity and health of the microbes in your home, which in turn benefit everyone inside.”

Preventing condensation and mould growth.

Another reason to keep the windows open during the summer: the circulation of air in your home also helps to prevent condensation and mould growth. “Damp window frames, condensation on your windows and worst of all: black mould,” says De Wolde, “Without adequate ventilation your home becomes a steamy box of germs. Nasty. Open the windows and get the air flowing through your home to stop the damp.”

The team, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. supports the act of keeping windows open during the summer. We also are committed to helping improve the quality of air in your home via our Air Quality Services. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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3 Crazy Ways To Kick That Nasty Habit

When it comes to maintaining good health, everyone seems to have their own opinions. While you’re not likely to come across anyone who suggests that exercising and eating nutritious foods is a bad idea, it is not uncommon to hear people suggest that you do “everything in moderation”. It’s debatable as to whether or not certain foods are safe to eat “sometimes”. But when it comes to one bad habit, in particular, there is no question that complete abstinence is the only path to better health.

Cigarette smoking is horrible for you. We’re not sure if there’s any simpler way to put it. Even most smokers themselves will admit that it’s a nasty habit that offers absolutely no health benefits. Most people also know that you don’t even have to be a smoker in order to be negatively impacted by cigarette smoke. Both secondhand smoke (exhaled by smokers) and thirdhand smoke (the lingering smells attached to surfaces) are known to cause poor health.

When it comes to indoor air quality, there is no enemy worse than cigarette smoke. It impacts both the smoker and the people around the smoker. Quitting, it should be no surprise to discover, is one of the best things a person can do for his/her own health and the health of his/her family and friends. Here are three crazy ways to kick that nasty habit:

1. Get hypnotized.

Not everyone believes in hypnosis. Many regard it as a cheesy form of entertainment. This might be true when it comes to certain hypnotist acts who perform live on stage. But research has shown that hypnotherapy can actually help for smokers to lose their urges to light up.

“A 2007 study, for example, found that hospitalized patients who smoked were more likely to quit when they used hypnotherapy than when they tried other methods like nicotine replacement therapy or cold turkey,” reports Kevin Gianni on RenegadeHealth.com, “Another study in 2008 combined hypnosis with nicotine replacement patches and found success.”

2. Create an “I quit smoking” money jar.

Is money a motivating factor for you? If so, you may want to visually understand just how much money you can be saving if you were to stop spending it on cigarettes. Each time you plan on buying a pack of cigarettes, put the amount of money your pack would cost you in a jar. Clearly, it will accumulate. Plan on doing something special with all of that money you save!

3. Initiate a quitting contest.

If you’re the competitive type, you may care more about showing up friends and members of your family by challenging them to a quitting contest. Who can quit first? Who can stay off cigarettes the longest? If there are other smokers who you can challenge, your path to quitting may be made easier. If there are no smokers within your circle, perhaps you can make a bet of some kind.

“If you’re the type who responds to peer pressure, get your friends involved,” suggests Gianni, “Make a bet that you can do it, with a nice, juicy reward at the end. Or agree to pay your friends a hefty amount if you fail.”

When you think about it, these nasty habit-kicking solutions aren’t so crazy at all. What is crazy is continuing to be a cigarette smoker! What is does to your lungs and the air around you is simply lethal.

The team, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. not only supports you in your quest to quit smoking, but promotes the improvement of the quality of 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 info@dftechnical.ca.

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Celebrating Canada’s 150th With Better Health

The team, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services would like to wish you an amazing Canada Day long weekend! As you’re well aware, this coming weekend isn’t going to be like any old Canada Day long weekend. It’s our nation’s 150th birthday! We’re happy to say that, as proud Canadians, we look forward to enjoying the various festivities that this forthcoming weekend will bring.

However, we’re also quite proud that Canada’s 150th birthday will mark the very last one when asbestos is legal in our country. Readers of our blog know how intensely we’ve focused on the comprehensive nationwide asbestos ban that passed by the federal government in December. Outlawing the toxic material completely by next year, Canada has taken an extremely important step in bettering the health of Canadians.

Formerly used primarily as an insulation material in the construction of homes and office buildings, asbestos is now widely known as a major cause of lung cancer. Taking the lives of 2,000 Canadians each year, asbestos is a substance that should have been banned a long time ago. It not only impacts the lungs of people performing renovations in buildings containing the substance, but it also affects members of the automobile industry.

Asbestos is often used in brake pads. And as the President of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association, Larry Lantz writes in The Toronto Star, “when asbestos brake pads wear out or disintegrate, the asbestos escapes into the air. The risk to technicians is that cleaning brake assemblies and grinding brake linings can expose them to this potentially toxic asbestos dust.”

In his recent special to the paper, Lantz also explains that brake friction products, clutch plates, hood liners and other aftermarket parts have all been made from asbestos. As a result, workers in the auto industry are among the most at-risk Canadians when it comes to asbestos exposure. Lantz notes that according to Statistics Canada, “more than $6 million in asbestos-related items are imported into Canada each year, and asbestos brake linings and pads represented the lion’s share of these items.”

Asbestos is good absorbing heat, Lantz points out, addressing the reason the toxic substance is so heavily used in his industry. Because of this characteristic, upwards of $100 million worth of asbestos-laden automotive parts have been imported into Canada over the past ten years. Of course, all of that is going to stop in 2018.

Lantz does express concern, however, that an increase in automotive parts containing asbestos will be shipped to Canada before the ban is officially implemented. “Since Canada has taken so long to ban auto parts made with asbestos, I hope that our country doesn’t become a dumping ground for aftermarket asbestos parts,” he writes, “There are already concerns that asbestos products imported before the ban is in place could be sold legally.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we join Lantz and all other Canadians in applauding the nationwide asbestos ban. As far as we’re concerned, it couldn’t come soon enough. Happy 150th Canada! Here’s to a nation that enjoys better health!

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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Just How Important Is It To Dust Regularly?

Dusting – it’s one of those household chores that many of us are guilty of putting off for weeks at a time. After all, it’s just dust, right? Harmless little specks that accumulate on our furniture and other belongings that do nothing more than make the place look a little bit more drab than usual.

We’ll just go ahead and stop with the misnomer there. Dust is so much more than harmless little particles!

“Dust is the collective term used to describe the wide variety of organic and inorganic particles that collect in our homes,” explains SixWise.com, “Here’s an unpleasant thought: The majority of dust is made up from shed skin cells. That’s why the areas of your home that are used most often also tend to have the most dust. (Dust mites like to eat these skin cells.) Dust on mattresses, bedding and sofas will contain a particularly large amount of skin cells.”

Why are dust mites a problem?

Although dust mites are so miniscule that they are invisible to the naked eye, these little critters live in our bed linens and mattresses along with other places in your home where you shed your skin. Your skin flakes make up their favourite meals. And when they leave behind waste, you are forced to endure a major allergen. People with allergies and respiratory illnesses such as asthma face a much greater risk of suffering from symptoms the dustier their homes are.

“When dust mite waste is inhaled, people can develop a number of nasty symptoms,” explains Jill Buchner on CanadianLiving.com, “Those with allergies might develop itchy eyes, a runny nose or sneezing, particularly when they first wake up, since the bed is a major site of exposure… Asthma sufferers might also experience wheezing or shortness of breath. About 50 percent of asthma sufferers will find they react to mites.”

What is the best way to minimize dust in the home?

One way to minimize dust, and more specifically the presence of dust mites, is to regularly wash your bed sheets in hot water. It’s advisable to keep the same sheets on your bed for no more than a week. Secondly, it’s a good idea to remove the carpeting from your home, especially if you’re an asthma sufferer. The easier you make it to remove dust that accumulates in your home, the better your health will be.

And then there’s the obvious solution. Let’s put it this way: becoming a neat freak is good for your health! Make dusting and vacuuming a regular activity in your home and try not to forget all of its nooks and crannies. “Microfiber materials collect dust much better than other dusting cloths or materials,” informs The Cleaning Blog, “Go over hard surfaces, light fixtures, shelves, books, desks, knick-knacks, everything from top to bottom until the dust is gone.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd, we strongly believe in giving people the opportunity to enjoy the best indoor air quality possible. Contact us today to learn more about our Air Quality Services. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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3 Ways To Keep Your Bathrooms Mould-Free

We’ve all encountered mould. The green or brown or sometimes black guck that accumulates in and around our kitchen and bathrooms tiles is pretty unpleasant to look at. But it’s important to note that its unsightliness should be the least of your worries. Mould presents serious health implications – many of which we may not even realize are a result of the presence of mould in our homes.

Nasal and sinus congestion, coughing, sore throat, difficulty breathing, asthma symptoms, nosebleeds, headaches and eye irritations are all potential ramifications of indoor mould exposure. Obviously, preventing mould growth in the home is an important way to minimize or prevent the abovementioned health problems. But since mould thrives on moisture, how can we stop it from developing?

This can be especially tough in the bathroom – a place where we constantly use water. So, here are three ways to keep your bathrooms mould-free:

1. Clean up after you clean up!

Most of us probably just get out of the shower and get ourselves ready for the day each morning. Because we are now clean, we assume that no other cleaning needs to be done. You’re not likely to clean your bathtub right after a shower, however, it’s wise to remember that it does require regular cleaning. On Care2.com, Diane MacEachern suggests that, at the very least, you give your shower and tub a wipe down right after you’ve used them.

“Keep a small squeegee in the shower so it’s convenient; you can get a squeegee very cheaply at a hardware store, home goods retailer, or online,” she recommends, “Or use a hand towel or washcloth to do the job. A cloth is particularly good at getting to the tile grout and in the corners where mould has a tendency to start.”

2. Use a mould-resistant shower curtain.

Those shower curtains of ours endure a lot of moisture on a regular basis. They are practically doused in water on a daily basis. However, unlike our bodies, we don’t dry our shower curtains off after a shower. Water is left to provide mould with the perfect breeding ground. You’ve likely seen your shower curtain become sticky and filmy. Be sure to clean it regularly so that mould doesn’t form. Or, do yourself one better and simply buy a shower curtain that is mould-resistant.

3. Make sure your bathrooms are well-ventilated.

With so much water use in your bathroom, you’re bound to have more than just wet surfaces. With heat comes a lot of steam, as well. Water droplets can form on your ceilings, walls and counters, giving mould ideal spots to grow and develop. By cracking the windows and using the exhaust fans found in your bathrooms, you can promote ventilation to keep excess moisture at bay.

“Crack open a window and start your ceiling fan when you turn on the shower so excess moisture moves out of the room, rather than condenses on the walls and tile,” advises MacEachern, “Keep the fan running and the window cracked open at least 15 minutes after you turn the shower off to let as much moist air escape as possible.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Mould Assessment Services to help you eliminate the mould problem that may exist in your bathrooms. Our comprehensive assessments include visual inspections for sources of mould, analytical sampling for source and health impact potential from spore exposure, moisture analysis and thermal scanning. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Just How Much Is Lung Disease Costing Canada?

Readers of the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog are no strangers to posts about asbestos. We’ve both extensively covered the impact that the toxic substance has had on Canadians and heralded the federal government’s decision to ban the material completely by next year. Of course, the health hazards caused by asbestos continue to affect Canadians to the tune of 2,000 deaths per year.

Among those health hazards are asbestosis and mesothelioma – two fatal lung diseases.

It goes without saying that our nation still has a long way to go to reduce lung diseases as they continue to be costly for Canadians in more ways than one. Just yesterday, Wendy Henderson of Pulmonary Fibrosis News reported that lung cancer remains Canada’s leading cause of death from cancer for both genders.

Lung cancer, in fact, is taking more Canadian lives than prostate cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer combined. As you may have expected, it’s wreaking havoc on our economy as well. “According to the Canadian Lung Association, the three leading lung diseases — asthma, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), and lung cancer — cost the Canadian economy a staggering $12 billion in 2010,” reports Henderson, “More than 6 percent of Canada’s welfare bill is taken up by chronic lung disease care.”

Lung diseases are sending Canadians to the hospital in record numbers.

Henderson reveals that COPD produces more hospitalizations than any other illness and notes that many Canadians who likely suffer from the condition haven’t even been diagnosed yet. She calls for “drastic steps” to be taken by our nation in order to prevent chronic lung disease cases to double by the year 2030.

The nation’s asbestos ban can be considered a big step in the right direction. But, of course, there are many other causes of lung cancer. Cigarette smoke is one of the most obvious ones. The fact that people are still addicted to cigarettes, with all of the information about its deadly effects, is staggering. Henderson admits that measures have been put in place to reduce smoking and secondhand smoke in our country, but more still needs to be done.

André Picard of The Globe and Mail believes that if a threat to one’s life isn’t enough to get a person to quit smoking, he/she should be hit in the other place “where it hurts” – the pocket. “The single most effective way to reduce smoking – along with the millions of deaths it causes – is to dramatically increase the price of cigarettes,” he writes, citing a study that calls for the tripling of tobacco taxes and a doubling of the prices for cigarette packs.

Dr. Prabhat Jah is the director of the Centre for Global Health Research at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and one of the researchers of the study which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. “If the world is serious about knocking down consumption by one-third, the only way to get there is significant increases in taxes,” he is quoted as saying in an interview, “With higher taxes, you will see health benefits in both the short-term and the long-term.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are certainly on board with any measure that will work to improve the health of Canadians nationwide. And, as such, we remain committed to doing our part. For more information about any and all of our services including our Air Quality Services and 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: 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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3 Easy Ways To Improve Indoor Air Quality During The Summer

Most Canadians are counting down the days until the official start of summer. With under a month left, most of us are looking forward to the time of year when we can enjoy regular warmth and sunshine. We also anticipate the ability to keep our windows open more often to allow for the fresh air from outside to circulate with the stagnant air from inside – a practice much harder to do during the winter, for obvious reasons.

However, keeping the windows open isn’t the only thing we should do to improve indoor air quality this summer. In fact, keeping the windows open isn’t even recommended on particularly hot days when it is humid. This is especially true for allergy sufferers. So if keeping an open window isn’t the only answer to cleaner indoor air, what else can we do to improve indoor air quality this summer?

Here are three simple ideas:

1. Service your air filters.

Yes, there will be days when the heat may just be too unbearable to keep your windows open. And while air conditioners can work wonders in helping us to beat the heat, it’s important to remember that a lot of debris can get trapped within them. Checking your air filters and ridding it of build up will help to ensure that the cool air circulating in your home isn’t polluted.

“Air conditioner filters (whether in a central-air system or a window unit) trap a lot of the junk that comes in from the outside—pollen, smoke, smog, and dirt—but they also filter out dust, dust mites, and pet dander that builds up in recirculated indoor air,” explains Emily Main of Rodale’s Organic Life, “Check your system’s filter once a month and either change it or clean it, depending on the type.”

2. Insist upon a no smoking rule.

If this rule hasn’t been fully implemented already, allow us to firmly reiterate that cigarette smoking should be outlawed in your home – all year round. Just a couple of weeks ago, we blogged about the fact that the harmful effects of cigarettes can remain in your home long after the smoker is done with his/her nasty habit. If you have smokers in your home, remind them that the summertime is the perfect time of year to smoke outdoors!

3. Practice pest control…safely.

When we think of summer, we often think of bugs. And yes, they’re bound to creep into our homes. Generally speaking, bug sprays are considered the answers to pest control. But, it should come as no surprise to you that such products contain harmful chemicals that can negatively impact our health. Main highly recommends that you control bugs with boric acid.

“Rather than reach for that smelly ant spray, which likely contains pyrethrins that have been found to trigger headaches, nausea, and asthma attacks, use a less-toxic product like boric acid, which isn’t harmful unless eaten or directly inhaled,” she advises, “Better still, use ‘integrated pest management’ techniques, such as caulking cracks where bugs enter, keeping trash bins tightly covered, and storing food in the pantry in airtight containers rather than the box or bag in which it was sold.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we strongly recommend our Air Quality Services to help you enjoy the highest indoor air quality possible this summer. They focus on problem areas in your home that may be presenting health hazards to your family and its visitors. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

2 Comments

  1. Dautti Legault-Reply
    June 5, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    Hi, this may be a long shot but I am wondering if you can do air quality testing in a vehicle? I have a terrible smell coming from my vents in a 3 year old car and the smell has been there from day 1. There are no mice behind any of the filters but the mechanic said there may have been something in the dash directly in the vents. Removing the dash to see if something is there would be very costly. And insurance would not cover it if there is found to be nothing there. Would it be possible to test the air coming from the vents to determine if it needs to be looked into further ? Or if it is safe for me and my children to breathe in.

    • Dennis French-Reply
      June 6, 2017 at 7:07 pm

      The testing could possibly be performed but usually we would have to look at the vehicle to see what the issue may be as each type of air quality test requires a somewhat different approach. I have seen in the past where there has been bacteria and mould growth deep inside the air ducts of a vehicle before and it required a complete dismantling of the dash to access the areas for cleaning.

      I suspect the testing would cost as much as pulling the dash.

      This is probably not the answer you were looking for however.

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