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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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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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How To Eliminate The Smell Of Cigarettes From Your Home

If you’ve recently quit smoking, allow us to offer you some sincere and hearty congratulations! We don’t need to tell you how detrimental cigarette smoking is to your health. We probably also don’t need to tell you how harmful the effects of smoking are on people who don’t even smoke.

Secondhand smoke has been proven to cause just as deadly diseases as smoking itself. Having quit smoking, you’re helping to save the lives of the people you love – not just yourself. However, there is a problem that your former nasty habit has left behind.

What can you do about that nasty cigarette odour lingering in your home?

Believe it or not, thirdhand smoke (nicotine residue that sticks to surfaces) can also create numerous respiratory illnesses in addition to irritating our senses of smell. It’s important that if you or anyone else has smoked cigarettes in your home, you perform some maintenance work in order to fully eradicate the health hazards associated with the bad habit.

On TheSpruce.com, Diane Schmidt insists that you clean everything! We’re talking the walls, ceilings, carpets, floors, doors, drapes, blinds, windows and mirrors. To completely remove both the smell and harmful effects of cigarette smoke from your home, you literally can’t leave any surfaced untouched. It sounds overwhelming. However, you can get quite a jump on effectively removing the smell of cigarettes from your home simply by opening the windows.

“Fresh air is your friend so open all windows,” advises Schmidt, “Get as much fresh air into your home as possible. While this won’t get rid of the smell, it’ll help. Also, set bowls of white vinegar around your home, at least one per room (depending on the room size). Just make sure small children and pets are safe.”

How important is vinegar in the removal of the smell of cigarettes in your home?

Well, let’s put it this way. If fresh air is your friend, then vinegar is your best friend when it comes to eliminating that nasty smoky smell. A natural cleanser, vinegar can be used to clean both the surfaces in your home and all of the fabrics within it. On QuickAndDirtyTips.com, Amanda Thomas offers up a simple, yet comprehensive way to deodorize your household fabrics.

“While it might not necessarily be practical, or possible, to remove all the fabric from your home (a couch can be a beast to move to the patio!), do remove all the fabric items you can from the smelly room,” she instructs, “This includes any pillows, bedding, blankets, and curtains. If you have a large washing machine, you can throw all these through a cold wash cycle with 2 cups of vinegar added to the load.”

How can you be sure that the air in your home has been purified?

It may be necessary to get an air purifier. As Jeff Flowers tells us on AllergyAndAir.com, “these purification systems work by pulling indoor air into their them, cleaning it, and then circulating it back into the room…This is by far the most effective way to cleanse your indoor air of cigarette smoke, as well as many other airborne toxins.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we highly recommend our Air Quality Services in order to help you enjoy the highest indoor air quality possible. Our inspection processes focus on problem areas that may be presenting health hazards to your family and other visitors to the home. 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 Liquids You Can Use To Eliminate Household Mould

Mould is nasty! And we’re not just talking about the fact that it looks gross. No one likes to see those black and green clumps accumulating in their bathroom tiles or on their shower curtains. But those aren’t the only places that mould can appear in your household. Mould thrives on the warmth and moisture in your bathroom, but it can also be found in any and all areas of the house where warmth and moisture exist.

And mould isn’t just nasty because of its appearance. It’s known to trigger allergies, invoke asthmas symptoms, create sinus infections and irritate our skin. When it comes to our homes, mould is definitely a villain. So, it’s important that we all fight like superheroes in order to eradicate mould from our home bases. It just so happens that there are some effective secret weapons that can help you!

Here are three liquids you can use to eliminate household mould:

1. Tea Tree Oil.

Tea tree oil is known as a natural, yet powerful fungicide. Unlike many store-bought chemical-based solutions, this effective mould remover provides your home with a sweet scent. Using tea tree oil to eliminate mould is actually pretty easy. All that is required is about ten drops in a spray bottle filled with water. Simply spray the solution on all of the mould-ridden areas of your home and let it sit for a while. You’ll soon be able to wipe away the mould completely.

On NaturalLivingIdeas.com, Janice Taylor heralds tea tree oil as top natural mould removal solution. She offers up some advice on how to maximize its effectiveness. “You’ll still have to scrub a bit, but with repeated use this all-natural cleaner will kill the fungus and help to prevent future growth,” she explains, “Remember: You’ll have to shake this mixture well before each use as the oils will separate.”

2. Vinegar.

Not necessarily the sweetest smelling of all liquid-based mould removers, plain white vinegar is an effective solution nonetheless. Considered one of the world’s best all-natural cleaners in general, vinegar is a naturally antimicrobial solution. As a result, it’s not necessary to mix it with water or any other cleaning products. It kills and dissolves mould and fungus all on its own!

It’s also a very inexpensive solution to your mould problem, Kirsten Hudson points out on OrganicAuthority.com. She goes on to offer some vinegar-based cleaning tips. “Simply fill a spray bottle with vinegar straight up. No diluting!” she writes, “Spritz the vinegar directly on the mouldy spots in your home. Let the vinegar sit for a while and then wipe away the vinegar, mould and all. Repeat as needed.”

3. Vodka.

Yes, you read that right! The popular alcoholic drink is good for more than getting the party started. In fact, the most inexpensive versions of vodka make for the best cleaners, says Taylor. This is because they are filtered less, distilled fewer times and therefore, “contain more congeners like acetaldehyde which is exponentially more toxic (about thirty times more so) to unwanted fungus than ethanol.”

Hudson completely agrees. “Pull out that vodka from your liquor cabinet and pour it into a spray bottle,” she advises, “Don’t worry. You don’t need to grab the top-shelf stuff. The cheap kind actually works better for cleaning. Spritz the vodka straight on mold to put it into a drunken stupor. Let the vodka work for a while, and then use a rag or sponge to wipe away the mould.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we proudly offer Mould Assessment Services to help you combat the mould problem that may exist in your household. 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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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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How Does Hoarding Impact Indoor Air Quality?

For the past couple of years, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog has made it no secret that one of the easiest ways to improve the indoor air quality of your home is to keep it clean. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Dust, vacuum, mop and sweep – these simple tasks can do a lot to ward off allergens that significantly impact our respiratory systems. However, not everyone is a neat freak.

In fact, there are those who are the polar opposite of neat freaks. Hoarders are individuals who pack their homes with so many items that there is barely enough space to move around. And, as you can imagine, these items can get piled up in ways that create near-impossible-to-clean messes. Naturally, this only promotes poor indoor air quality in a variety of ways. And, interestingly, we’ve found that not enough is being said about it.

We were surprised to find that when typing in “hoarding” and “indoor air quality” into a Google search, the first three articles to appear belonged to our website! Admittedly, we’re pretty proud of that. But even we must admit that it’s been couple of years since we’ve revisited this topic. Naturally, we felt it was the right time to shed some light on how dangerous hoarding can be. It negatively impacts indoor air quality in a number of ways.

It promotes mould growth.

Hoarders tend to toss their belongings into random piles that never seem to stop growing. Everything from clothing to food to electronics can be found in various stacks throughout the home, creating nearly no space for walking, eating or sleeping. What this does is give mould countless opportunities to develop and grow. Mould, you see, requires warmth and moisture.

In addition to the various hidden pockets throughout a hoarder’s home that provide warmth and moisture, mould is also never cleaned when hidden from plain sight. With the presence of mould in the home, it enables mould spores to be released into the air. “Mould is associated with some untoward health effects in humans, including allergies and infections,” says clinical toxicologist, Rose Ann Gould Soloway on Poison.org, “Some health effects attributed to mould may in fact be caused by bacteria, dust mites, etc., found in mould-colonized environments.”

It diminishes ventilation.

It probably goes without saying that when you hoard, you limit or eliminate the ability to get any ventilation going in your home. Many hoarders have so many items piled on top of each other that they cover windows disallowing any air from the outside to enter. Without allowing air to circulate throughout the home, it enables pollutants to accumulate. Simply put, a hoarder’s home is full of stale and contaminated air.

As outlined by Manitoba Hydro’s handbook on indoor air quality and ventilation: “Ventilation of a home and the exchange of ‘stale’ indoor air with ‘fresh’ outdoor air are essential to keep pollutants from accumulating to levels that pose health and comfort problems.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are committed to helping hoarders reverse the effects of their habits on the air they breathe in their homes. We know that the compulsion to hoard is a complicated one. But it’s important that the quality of air in one’s home isn’t causing any further complications. If you have an issue with hoarding or know a loved one who hoards, you’ll want to contact a professional for help.

You’ll also want to learn more about our Air Quality Services so that we can accurately assess the indoor air quality of your home. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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