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Preventing Your Allergies From Acting Up This Spring

It’s official! Spring is here! Well, technically speaking, the start of the spring season gets underway at 3:58 p.m. Mountain Time today. With a high somewhere around the 15 degrees Celsius mark in Calgary today, the signs of spring have already arrived! For most Canadians, this is amazing news. For many others, however, it’s the beginning of a nightmare.

Do you suffer from seasonal allergies? If so, you’re likely part of the latter “nightmare” group. Dust, pollen, ragweed and a myriad of other allergy irritants are known for rearing their ugly heads when the springtime rolls around. As a result, many allergy sufferers feel forced to resort to a variety of medications and changes to their daily routines. If this sounds like you, bear in mind that there are a number of ways to prevent your allergies from acting up this spring.

Add alternative remedies to your medications.

If you’re not particularly a big fan of taking meds, you’re not alone. Each and every day, more Canadians adopt natural remedies for their illnesses. Such solutions are often as simple as making dietary changes. So, while many of your prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines may be necessary to help you battle your allergies, Reader’s Digest suggests that you add some alternative remedies to your allergy-fighting routines.

As their website informs, “the following alternative remedies, when paired with your regular antihistamine, may relieve allergy symptoms: a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement that includes magnesium, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and all the B vitamins; a cup of peppermint or chamomile tea each night before bed; or a daily dose of echinacea taken two weeks on, two weeks off.”

Discover your town’s pollen count.

If you’re one of the many Canadians who suffer from allergic reactions to pollen, it’s important that you become aware of the pollen count in your area. On VeryWellHealth.com, Dr. Daniel More informs readers about pollen counts and explains how they are obtained.

“Most pollen counters are placed on the tops of buildings, where they collect air samples through various methods,” he explains, “The pollen in the air lands on some type of surface, such as a glass microscope slide that has been coated with petroleum jelly. A person trained in pollen identification examines the slide under a microscope, and the amounts of different types of pollen are counted.”

Change your air conditioning filters.

Over the course of winter, it is likely your air conditioner stayed dormant. As a result, it is also likely that it accumulated a lot of dust. Before you fire up the air conditioning on a particularly warm day, be sure to clean or change your AC’s filters. The last thing you want is to spread all of that accumulated dust throughout your home.

“It’s important to change filters every three months and use filters with a MERV rating of 8 to 12,” advises Reader’s Digest, “A MERV rating tells you how well the filter can remove pollen and mould from the air as it passes through.”

The DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team is committed to helping you prevent your allergies from acting up this spring. For 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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Do The Right Thing: Bring The Outdoors Inside This Spring!

We’re only a week away now! Wednesday, March 20th marks the official start of the spring season. Throngs of Canadians nationwide are rejoicing at the fact that the frigid temperatures and heavy snowfall of winter will soon be behind us. Not only will we be able to enjoy the outdoors more often, we’ll be able to enjoy the indoors a lot more as well!

Although we have championed the act of cracking the windows throughout the winter many times on this blog, we’re well aware that most Canadians keep their homes fully shut when it’s cold. It’s hard to blame those who simply wish to keep warm and toasty in the winter. However, the lack of ventilation, during the coldest months of the year, make for homes rife with stale and stagnant air.

Proper ventilation is a key to improved indoor air quality.

When the spring arrives, keeping the windows open will be a lot easier to tolerate. Bringing the outdoors inside by way of allowing the fresh air from outside to circulate with the stale air from inside will help everyone in your home to breathe easier. Sarasota, Florida’s Aqua Plumbing & Air reminds us that proper ventilation of the home also comes by way of always using your exhaust fans.

“Make sure your kitchen and bathrooms have exhaust fans to remove excess moisture, unpleasant odours, and pollutants,” advises their website, “An energy recovery ventilation system can also save energy by cooling warm air as it comes into your home in spring and summer. These ventilators work like heat pumps, transferring heat to the outgoing cool air. They also dilute concentrations of contaminants in your home and increase your comfort.”

Houseplants can filter out air pollutants.

Another way to bring the outdoors inside is to literally take plants from outside and bring them into your home. Purchasing houseplants is an excellent idea if you’re looking to purify the air you breathe while at home. Plants are known to rid the air of harmful pollutants. As Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, & Electrical reminds us, a NASA study confirmed that several types of houseplants have air purifying qualities.

“Houseplants are visually uplifting, while also working to filter out air pollutants,” states the site, “According to NASA’s Clean Air Study on this matter, titled Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement, you can achieve noticeable air purification by placing greenery every 100 square feet within any given space.”

Clean green.

When dusting your furniture, mopping your floors or even spraying the bathroom to improve its smell, stay away from chemical-based cleansers. The volatile organic compounds in many cleaning products only serve as irritants to our respiratory systems. A clean smell doesn’t actually represent a clean environment. Another way to bring the outdoors in is to use natural products to clean.

“When it comes to cleaning products, fragrance = chemicals,” reports Hiller, “In fact, that pine or citrus fresh scent we’ve come to associate with a clean home is actually just a mask for the chemicals and bacterial transfer underneath. Opt for fragrance-free or unscented products. The last thing you want is to unknowingly pollute the air with the petroleum-based chemicals in the very products you’re using to clean with!”

The DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team would love to help you enjoy the best possible indoor air quality this spring. For 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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How The Transition From Winter To Spring Can Impact Indoor Air Quality

Congratulations Canada! We’re almost there. In exactly two weeks, the spring season will officially be upon us. And while it’s true that winter-like weather conditions may persist well into April, there’s no question that we’re a lot closer to experiencing a return to warmer days. When the spring finally arrives, expect there to be a lot more people venturing outdoors. But what will that mean for the air inside our homes?

Is there an impact on indoor air quality when winter transitions into spring?

According to 1Source Safety and Health, Inc., people with allergies quite often have their symptoms triggered when the spring arrives. In their report entitled “Impact of Outdoor Seasonal Changes on Indoor Air Quality”, they note that outdoor contaminants are at their lowest levels during the winter. That’s because the frozen snow-covered ground combined with relatively low humidity levels tend to keep mould spores and other air pollutants at bay.

However, “dust, mould, temperature and humidity begin to increase during the spring months (March, April,  and  May),” reads the report, “ As  pollen,  mould  and  dust  concentrations  increase,  so  do  the  associated  symptoms. Interestingly, these symptoms, which also occur outside of the workplace, carry over into  an  employee’s  work  shift  and  are  often  incorrectly  associated  with  exposure  within  the  workplace.”  

Pollen and dust are major culprits for allergy symptoms.

Chances are, the windows of your home are bound to be open a lot more often during the spring than they were in the winter. With the warmer weather enabling pollen and dust to better enter our air space, it’s inevitable that some of it will enter our homes. Cincinnati’s Hader Solutions warns that it’s best to keep windows shut or not open too wide when there is a pollen alert. Your local weather station should be able to inform you if one is in effect.

As well, their website details how winter is the season of dust accumulation in the home, while spring enables it all to become airborne. “Because of improper ventilation during the colder months, dust can settle into vents, registers, and eventually ductwork, making it close to impossible to rid your home of these irritating pollutants,” says Hader Solutions.

Watch out for all that snow melt!

What’s one of the biggest differences between winter and spring? Snowfall! All of the snow that winter brings ends up melting during the spring. And melted snow on your rooftop can lead to water leaking into your home. As you’re likely aware, water is the main culprit in the development of mould. It’s important to prevent any leak sources in your home.

“Prevent water from entering your home by making sure there are no cracks or gaps on your roof or foundation where water could easily enter,” Hader Solutions advises, “Standing water in your home can cause mould, which can be detrimental to indoor air quality. If you suspect any mould in your home, call an expert immediately to remove it.”

The DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team would love to help you ensure that your home enjoys the best possible indoor air quality this spring. For 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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How To Do Away With Bathroom Mould For Good

Mould is gross. For most people, the very sight of mould is an indication of a dirty, unkempt location. However, mould is more than just unsightly. It’s potentially hazardous to your health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “some people are sensitive to moulds. For these people, moulds can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation.”

Mould forms when heat and moisture are present. This is why mould so often rears its ugly head in the bathroom. Although the kitchen can give the bathroom a run for its money, there is no room in the house where heat and moisture appear more often. Every one of your hot showers provides an opportunity for mould to form. So, the first step to doing away with mould is to ventilate the bathroom as best as possible.

Use your bathroom’s exhaust fans.

Make it a habit to flick on the fan every time you’re in the bathroom. Not only does it do its part in ridding the room of foul odours, it also helps with ventilation. When all of that hot steam emanating from your shower is sucked up into the fan, it reduces the possibility of mould forming in your tiles and on other surfaces. On HouseLogic.com, Stacy Freed explains that, in addition to running your exhaust fan, you should clean your shower walls after taking a shower.

“After a shower, use a towel or squeegee to wipe down shower walls,” she advises, “Open the shower curtain to let it dry. Mop any water spills on the floor and counters. Avoid piling in too many shampoo and body wash bottles. They’re a perfect place for moisture and mould spores to hide.”

Attack mould with vinegar.

If mould does happen to appear in your bathroom, utilizing natural cleaning methods is your best bet. Vinegar, for example, is not only a health-conscious choice, but it is also known for being one of mould’s arch enemies. According to Signature Maids, the non-toxic agent has been found to kill 82 percent of mould species.

“Pour mild white vinegar into a spray bottle, do not dilute with water,” instructs their website, “Vinegar’s acidic qualities make it quite deadly to mould, that’s why you don’t want to water it down. Spray affected surface areas with straight vinegar solution and then wait one hour. If your bathroom has windows, open them up and let it air out during this time. After an hour passes, use hot water and a clean towel to wipe the area.”

There are many types of indoor moulds.

Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus and Alternaria are among them. All types of mould can create health concerns. Mould can also cause structure hazards throughout a home, office or building. Moisture sources including building envelop failures, leakage issues or occupant-based moisture problems may contribute to mould development within a building.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are intent on helping Albertans to live mould-free! We offer professional home inspections courtesy of our Mould Assessment 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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Analyzing The Many Ways In Which Asbestos Can Kill You

If you’re under the impression that the title of this week’s blog is one of our more morbid choices, you’d be right. Make no mistake about it, asbestos is a killer. The toxic substance, which Canada finally outlawed just before the new year, is the nation’s number one workplace killer and the cause of thousands of deaths annually. The importance of protecting yourself from the dangers of asbestos cannot be understated.

Formerly used as insulation in the construction of homes and buildings – among many other uses – asbestos is practically harmless when left undisturbed. However, when its fibres become airborne – a common occurrence during renovations of older facilities – they can become trapped in the lungs, leading to such deadly diseases as mesothelioma, asbestosis and many cancers.

Mesothelioma.

According to Asbestos.com, asbestos is responsible for between 70 and 80 percent of all mesothelioma cases. It is a “signature” asbestos-related cancer and one of the most deadly diseases caused by the toxic substance.

“The cancer is named after the mesothelium, the thin protective lining where the tumors develop,” the website explains, “It can appear on the lining of the lungs, stomach, heart or testicles…Each type of mesothelioma is associated with a unique set of symptoms, but chest or abdominal pain and shortness of breath affect most patients, regardless of their specific diagnosis.”

Asbestosis.

Asbestosis is an incurable lung disease that is generally caused by years of occupational asbestos exposure. As you can imagine, it makes breathing very difficult. The disease has been found to be especially prevalent in individuals who work on construction sites, on ships and at industrial facilities where asbestos-containing materials are commonly found.

“Asbestosis is a type of pulmonary fibrosis, a condition in which the lung tissue becomes scarred over time,” explains Asbestos.com, “It is not a type of cancer, but asbestosis has the same cause as mesothelioma and other asbestos-related… Because this disease is similar to other types of pulmonary fibrosis, diagnosing asbestosis requires thorough medical and occupational histories in addition to medical testing.”

Cancer.

Not surprisingly, asbestos is a known cause for many different cancers including lung cancer, ovarian cancer and laryngeal cancer. Smokers who are exposed to asbestos are especially at risk of developing lung cancer. As Asbestos.com informs us, just ten years ago, it was confirmed that there is a link between asbestos-exposed women and ovarian cancer.

“Another asbestos-related malignant disease is laryngeal cancer,” says the site, “There is a proven link between the fibers and the disease. Other risk factors, such as smoking or drinking, are more likely to cause the cancer. The risk increases with the length and intensity of a person’s exposure.”

Asbestos.com goes on to note that esophageal cancer, gallbladder cancer, kidney cancer and throat cancer are also loosely associated with asbestos although studies have reported various degrees of success linking these cancers to asbestos exposure. “Until research indicates otherwise, asbestos may be able to increase a person’s risk for these cancers, but it is not a proven risk factor,” the website states.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we take asbestos exposure very seriously. For 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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The Importance Of Avoiding Secondhand Smoke At All Costs

In a recent conversation with a colleague, we received some insight into what it’s like to live with asthma. This isn’t to say we weren’t already aware of the dangers of smoking for asthmatics. After all, cigarettes are deadly for all of us. But after hearing our friend speak of his experiences with breathing issues related to cigarette smoke, we felt it necessary to communicate how important it is for us all to avoid secondhand smoke at all costs.

“I can’t even smell it,” our colleague informed us, “If you go outside to smoke and come back in and I smell it on you, I’ll start coughing. It’s unbearable. I literally don’t know how people do it. You couldn’t get me to smoke a cigarette for a million dollars. I’d literally die before I finished it.”

What can non-smokers do to avoid secondhand smoke?

“Put all of your friends who are smokers on alert,” says our colleague, “If my friends plan on lighting up, they make sure to do so away from me. To be honest, I don’t ever have them over to my home because I just can’t have smoke anywhere around me. And when I visit them, they always go outside. Believe me, I appreciate it.”

It’s important to point out that our asthmatic friend doesn’t have the breathing issues he had when he as a child. As a kid, he experienced wheezing and coughing fits due to such irritants as pollen and ragweed. His last major asthma attack took place during a camping trip in Grade 4. However, as an adult, his asthma is all but gone. That is, of course, unless he smells smoke.

You don’t have to be asthmatic for secondhand smoke to impact you.

“Secondhand smoke exposure contributes to approximately 41,000 deaths among nonsmoking adults and 400 deaths in infants each year,” reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Secondhand smoke causes stroke, lung cancer, and coronary heart disease in adults. Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, middle ear disease, more severe asthma, respiratory symptoms, and slowed lung growth.”

The Monday Campaigns is a global movement backed by leading public health schools that dedicates the first day of every week to health. On their website, they point out that secondhand smoke releases more than 7,000 harmful chemicals into the air. To reiterate, cigarette smoke is dangerous for all us, not just those with respiratory issues.

Keep your home strictly smoke-free.

If you’re a non-smoker trying to avoid secondhand smoke, there is no simpler advice. Keep cigarette smoke out of your home. As our colleague mentioned, he won’t even let someone who has recently smoked a cigarette to enter his home. While this may seem harsh for some people, it’s a necessity if you wish to completely avoid the health hazards associated with cigarette smoking.

Kentucky’s St. Elizabeth Healthcare encourages people to ask their friends not to smoke around them. “It may be an awkward conversation at first, but it’s important to help your friend understand that while you love spending time together, you can’t be around him when he smokes,” they say on their website, “Be caring and understanding, but be firm.”

Unquestionably, a smoke-free home will vastly improve its indoor air quality. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to help you take things a step further. For 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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3 Ways To Improve Indoor Air Quality Throughout The Winter Months

February is here. And while there are claims that the recent Groundhog Day forecast an early spring, most Canadians are well aware that we still have a ways to go before we’ll be enjoying hot and sunny weather. As a result, most will keep their doors and windows firmly shut in order to keep the cold from entering their homes. But, as we pointed out in our last blog, ensuring a high quality of air in the home requires the cracking of the windows every now and again.

There are, of course, a number of other ways to improve your home’s indoor air quality throughout the winter months. Here are three:

1. Vacuum with vigour.

Keeping your floors clean is an especially important winter task. Especially when your windows are closed for most of the day, there is little to no escape for dust and other air pollutants. By vacuuming your carpets and keeping them as dust-free as possible, you’ll help to alleviate some of the irritants to your lungs that may be in the air. As Florida’s The Alternative Daily reminds us, carpets notoriously trap indoor pollutants of all types.

“To keep them clean, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter once a week, and consider steam cleaning every couple of months,” reads their website, “Investing in your own steam cleaner is wise, as professional carpet cleaning services often use harsh chemicals which can make your air even more toxic. If you steam clean yourself, you can choose to use a mixture of white vinegar and hot water to get the job done.”

2. Freshen up your filters.

To reiterate, most homes are kept shut all winter long. As a result, they depend more on their air filters to purify the air than they do the circulation of fresh air from outside. It’s important to remember that air filters can quickly get clogged up with dust and other air pollutants. Not cleaning them or changing them regularly can result in having those pollutants circulate back into the home.

“Dirty air filters are a major contributor to poor indoor air quality,” informs Wisconsin’s Titan Air, “Check your filters regularly and change them as needed. Make sure that when they are installed, filters are secured tightly to avoid gaps between the filter frame and rack. This reduces bypass air, which can harm indoor air quality by allowing breathable particles to pass through without being filtered.”

3. Hook up some houseplants.

Back in December, we blogged about what great holiday gifts houseplants make. Their air-purifying ways make up some of the easiest ways to reduce air pollutants in your home. Houseplants provide such effortless solutions to poor indoor air quality. Just plop them down or hang them up and your job is done! As The Alternative Daily confirms, houseplants are known to filter air pollutants from our living environments.

“Azaleas and English ivy do well in cooler temperatures, and Chinese evergreens and bamboo palms thrive in the shade,” notes the site, “Aloe vera and chrysanthemums are two other great choices, however they require direct sunlight. Spider plants are a resilient and popular choice for first-time plant owners.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we don’t sell houseplants, but we do still offer you ways to ensure the purity of the air inside your home. For 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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The Wonderful Act Of Cracking Open The Windows In Winter

As a Canadian, you’re most likely quite used to a few annual winter traditions. They include shovelling your driveway, scraping ice from your car windows and cranking up the heat of your home. And while every Canadian expects a fairly chilly winter each and every year, it doesn’t stop most of us from complaining about it when it arrives.

Complaining about the cold is as much part of the Canadian winter tradition as all of the above mentioned activities. That’s why the suggestion to crack open the windows, during the winter, is usually met with raised eyebrows. Maintaining top-of-the-line indoor air quality is a year-round requirement. And with the cold air outside encouraging us to keep our homes sealed shut, we leave ourselves susceptible to breathing stagnant, stale and polluted air more often.

Why should you crack open the windows?

Indoor air pollution is created in a number of ways and without ventilating the air in your home, it can actually lead to a number of health problems. On Glamour.com, Sarah Jio explains that opening your windows during the winter is a great way to both enjoy fresh air and avoid ill health.

“Health experts have longed warned of the dangers of ‘indoor air pollution,’ and for good reason,” she writes, “From mould spores to chemical off-gassing from paint, carpet, new furniture and cleaning products, sometimes the air in our homes and offices is many times more polluted than the air circulating outside.”

When should you crack open the windows?

Consider some of the actions you may be taking that lead to the pollution of the air in your home. Cleaning products that contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds) may leave behind fresh scents, but they can wreak havoc on your respiratory system. Cracking the windows during your cleaning routines is one way to promote high indoor air quality during the winter.

Jio reveals that her favourite time to crack open the windows on chilly days is when she is cleaning and tidying up. “I feel warmer anyway, since I’m moving around, and I don’t mind a cool breeze flowing in,” she notes, “Plus, when I’m cleaning my house, I love the feeling of cleaning the air a bit too. Try it!”

How long should you keep the windows cracked open?

As you may have guessed, keeping the windows open for prolonged periods of time will end up being counterproductive. Not only will it make your home cold, but it will waste a lot of the energy (and money) being used to keep your home warm. Crack open different windows in the home during different portions of the day for short periods of time. That way, each room will get its own special dose of freshness.

“You don’t have to leave windows open for hours on end,” WindowsCanada.com assures us, “Just cracking them for 15-20 minutes a day can vastly improve the air quality inside your home. Even though it’s cold outside, your health and the health of your family will be in much better shape with some fresh air.”

The DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team would love to work with you on keeping the air inside your home as pure as possible this winter. Please don’t hesitate to contact us in order to learn more about such services as our Air Quality Services and Mould Assessment Services. Call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Radon Can Pose A Dangerous Threat During The Winter

When most people hear the term “carbon monoxide”, they are immediately aware that it’s a deadly gas. Carbon monoxide detectors are growing in popularity considering the colourless, odourless gas has been responsible for the deaths of many individuals who didn’t realize their homes were being poisoned.

Radon is another colourless and odourless gas that doesn’t seem to be as well understood as a threat to our health. Perhaps, this is why the Government of Canada marked November as National Radon Action Month. Explaining on their website that radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the ground and is found in every home, they also noted radon awareness is especially important during the winter months.

Radon concentration in homes can reach dangerous levels in winter.

“Here in Canada, our homes are well sealed to keep us warm in the winter, which can cause radon concentrations in our homes to build up to dangerous levels,” Canada.ca reveals, “Over time, exposure to elevated levels of radon can cause lung cancer. In fact, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and kills more than 3,200 Canadians each year.”

Again, it’s important to note that radon as no smell, no colour and no taste. There’s no way for anyone to detect radon unless the air is tested for it. There are inexpensive do-it-yourself test kits available on the market. However, hiring a certified radon professional to conduct a test for you is your best bet.

How does radon even get into our homes?

Radon is created by the natural breakdown of uranium in the ground outside of our homes. It escapes by seeping up through the soil and out into the fresh air. The various cracks and openings in our homes give radon passageways to enter our living spaces. In small doses and in ventilated areas, radon doesn’t pose much of a threat. However, in the wintertime, we tend to keep our homes sealed up pretty tight to keep the cold out.

As a result, radon gas is given a greater amount of time to build up to higher, more concentrated levels. As well, because most of us tend to stay indoors for longer durations of time, during the winter, we are more susceptible to being exposed to larger doses of radon for longer lengths of time.

In addition, as Baxter Group Inc. explains, “during the winter, the ground can freeze, and get covered by snow. The snow forms an insulating blanket and creates a blanket effect that traps the radon in the soil. With less radon exiting through the soil around the house, more may be pulled inside.”

What is the best way to protect our homes from radon poisoning?

As we pointed out earlier, hiring a certified radon professional is a smart choice. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we provide Radon Services that are designed to determine the precise levels of radon in your home and whether or not they are safe. Radon testing can mean the difference between life and death so it is highly recommended that radon tests be conducted at least every two years.

For more information about our Radon Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131. You can also email us at info@dftechnical.ca.

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Canada-Wide Asbestos Ban Is Now In Full Effect

It’s a moment that the nation of Canada has been waiting for a long time. Announced back in December of 2016 by the federal government, the country’s comprehensive ban of asbestos is finally in full effect. As of December 30, 2018, asbestos is outlawed in Canada. We were remiss to not mention it in last week’s blog given how much extensive coverage of the subject has appeared in our blogs over the past couple of years.

The Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulations now prohibit the import, sale and use of asbestos and the manufacture, import, sale and use of products containing asbestos, in Canada, with a limited number of exclusions. In a recently released fact sheet, which can be downloaded from a link on JobberNation.ca, full details of the new ban are given.

What is prohibited under the new regulations?

To be clear, the new regulations stipulate that any products that contain processed asbestos fibres at any level as well as consumer products that contain naturally-occurring asbestos in greater than trace amounts are prohibited.

“The Regulations also prohibit the sale, for use in construction or landscaping, of asbestos mining residues that are located at an asbestos mining site or accumulation area, unless authorized by the province in which the activity construction or landscaping is to occur,” reads the fact sheet, “In addition, the Regulations prohibit the use of asbestos mining residues to manufacture a product containing asbestos.”

What are the exclusions under the new regulations?

As the fact sheet details, there is a limited number of exclusions to what is prohibited. They include disposal, roads, importing military equipment, servicing military equipment, servicing equipment of nuclear facilities, museum display, laboratory use and Chlor-Alkali facilities. With the exception of disposal and roads, reporting is required for each of these exclusions.

“Permits are available for limited and specific circumstances when no technically or economically asbestos-free alternative is available,” the fact sheet informs, “Reports for excluded activities must be submitted before March 31 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the activities occurred. For permit holders, the reports must be submitted within 90 days after the day on which their permit expires.”

Asbestos is a known killer.

As we’ve noted on many occasions, in our blogs, the asbestos ban truly couldn’t have come soon enough. The toxic substance, which was once a staple in the construction of office buildings and homes, is a known killer. Breathing in its fibres is a proven cause of lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma – all deadly diseases.

“Between 2000 and 2016 the number of Canadians dying from mesothelioma increased from 292 deaths in 2000 to 510 in 2016 – an increase of 70 per cent,” reports Kathleen Ruff on RightOnCanada.ca, “In total, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada, almost seven thousand Canadians died from mesothelioma during this period.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are aware that this ban won’t automatically protect Canadians from exposure to the asbestos that already exists in their homes and places of work. So we’d like to help out where we can. For 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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