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How To Ward Off Asthma Triggers This Summer

We are about to embark on a very special time in Canada. The summer is almost here! We are just over one month away from the official start of summer. It’s a time of year that most Canadians look very much forward to. And can you blame us? We spend upwards of half of every year enduring cold temperatures. Most of us can’t wait for a long stretch of warm and sunny days.

Asthmatics, on the other hand, may disagree. Even those who much prefer the summer over the winter know that the warmest season of the month can exacerbate asthma symptoms. This is especially true when there is high humidity. Sufferers of asthma need to be on high alert during the summer months to ensure that they keep their asthma triggers at bay.

Keep away from barbeques.

The smells of a barbeque are among the most joyous experiences of the time period between June and September. Most people enjoy a good barbeque. And that includes people with asthma. Our suggestion is not for asthmatics to avoid the events themselves, but to stay clear away from the actual barbeques at those events. Smoke is one of the worst irritants of asthma symptoms.

“Smoke from fires such as barbecues, bonfires or fire pits can also trigger asthma,” warns the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, “If you are hosting the party, consider cooking indoors. If you are attending someone else’s party, try to stay out of the path of smoke.”

Locate areas where you can cool off.

Where there is heat, there is often humidity. On especially hot and muggy days, it’s important for asthmatics to find locations where they can cool off. Sometimes, this can be as simple as finding a spot in the shade. But, oftentimes, it requires an indoor space that is air conditioned. As Madeline R. Vann explains on EverydayHealth.com, inhaling hot air can create problems for asthma sufferers.

“If you have asthma, try not put yourself in situations where you would have to inhale very hot air,” she advises, “This may be tough if you have a job that requires you to be outside in the heat, but consider asking for another task assignment if it’s possible to spend the hottest days or the hottest parts of the day in an air-conditioned space.”

Do away with the perfumes.

Who doesn’t like to smell nice? Perfumes and colognes are the norms for people who are dressing up for special occasions. Many people spray them on every day. However, for those with asthma, these scented products are the equivalent of air pollution. This summer, you’re likely to be invited to many a party. You may want to pass on the fragrances when getting ready for them.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America warns that products such as scented candles, oil in tiki torches, air fresheners and the perfumes and colognes worn by other party-goers can all trigger asthma symptoms. “If scents trigger your asthma, you may need to send a polite request to the host in advance of the party to ask that they not use these types of products,” they suggest on their site, “It’s not a fun celebration for anyone if a guest experiences breathing distress during a party.”

If you’re an asthma sufferer, it’s also wise to get a professional inspection of the air in your home. For more information about the Air Quality Services provided by DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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3 Easy Steps To Improving Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality This Summer

Most Canadians love the summertime. We can all agree that we spend far too long waiting for the cold temperatures to transition into much warmer ones. When the spring hits, most of us are ready to head outside to soak in the sunshine. This, of course, only becomes a more popular practice during summer.

It’s important to remember, however, that our homes deserve to enjoy the summer as well. And, by that, we mean that the stagnant air that has been cooped up inside for most of the winter needs to be let out. In other words, open those windows of yours and allow the fresh air from outside to circulate with the stale air from inside!

However, that’s not all you can do to improve your home’s indoor air quality this summer. Here are three more easy steps to take:

1. Fill your home with houseplants.

Yes, the outdoors will be much more beautiful in the summer as trees and flowers will blossom to showcase their full, natural beauty. That doesn’t mean that all plants should be kept outdoors, however. Numerous houseplants work to eliminate indoor air contaminants and release oxygen into the air. Buy some and place them throughout your home to promote cleaner air.

“Plants absorb some of the particulates from the air at the same time that they take in carbon dioxide, which is then processed into oxygen through photosynthesis,” informs Maria Janowiak on Greatist.com, “But that’s not all—microorganisms associated with the plants are present in the potting soil, and these microbes are also responsible for much of the cleaning effect.”

2. Avoid chemical-based cleansers.

During the summer, you’ll still need to clean your home. And with the windows open more often, it will help to let out some of the volatile organic compounds found in your air fresheners and cleaning products. But here’s another idea. Stop using chemical-based air fresheners and cleansers! Instead, opt for natural products so as to not contaminate your air any further.

“Nontoxic cleaning products are available, and many of these are just as effective as their conventional counterparts,” informs NEX Wellness, You can either buy ready-made nontoxic cleaners at health food stores, or mix your own combinations using household staples.”

3. Groom your pets.

During the warmer months of the year, pets that tend to shed do so quite a bit in order to stay cool. “Pet dander can negatively impact your indoor air quality and clog your filter faster,” reports Gator Air And Energy, “Furry friends groomed regularly in the summer can help reduce the amount that they shed as well as keep them comfortable. Ask your groomer how short they can safely cut the hair, and try to keep it as short as possible in the summer months.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Inc., we’d love to help you improve your home’s indoor air quality this summer! Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our Air Quality Services. Give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at info@dftechnical.ca.

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So What Exactly Will It Take For Asbestos To Be Banned?

Readers of the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog are well aware of our stance on asbestos. For years, we’ve been utilizing our blog to expose the extreme dangers of the substance and have steadfastly stood behind our federal government’s proposal to ban asbestos this year. Our question, for quite some time and continues to be “What exactly is the hold up?”

With all of the evidence that shows that, without a shadow of a doubt, asbestos is the culprit behind numerous lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis diagnoses, its ban should have come a long time ago. Asbestos is widely known as the leading cause of workplace deaths in Canada. We understand that bans aren’t enacted overnight. But the nearly year and a half that has passed since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau proposed the ban can’t exactly be described as overnight.

At this juncture, it seems as if it’s necessary for other politicians to get in on the action.

Bob Bailey is one such politician. He’s running for MPP in Ontario’s Sarnia-Lambton riding. As reported yesterday by Melanie Irwin on BlackburnNews.com, Bailey is making his stance on the banning of asbestos part of his platform. Evidently, he isn’t pleased that the nationwide ban of the toxic material isn’t yet in place.

“We stopped mining asbestos in 2011, but asbestos imports into Canada and especially in Ontario, have nearly doubled in value between 2011 and 2016 to $8.2-million for the year,” Bailey is quoted as saying in the article. The PC member is lobbying for the Ontario government to create a public registry of all provincially owned or leased buildings that contain asbestos.

Politicians south of the border are also taking a stance.

As reported by nwLaborPress.org last month, “Oregon U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and U.S. Representative Suzanne Bonamici are sponsoring bills to ban the use of asbestos.” Merkley, who is a Democrat, insists that it’s “outrageous” that asbestos is still allowed to enter the United States in 2018. He is calling for the nation to “catch up” to the rest of the industrialized world to ban the deadly substance.

The article explains the dangers of asbestos in the most clear-cut way possible: “Each year, as many as 15,000 people die from asbestos-related diseases, and 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer typically caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos-related diseases typically take decades to develop. Mesothelioma, for example, has a latency period of 20 to 50 years.”

Seriously, what is the hold up with the ban?

With such a harrowing and scarily accurate explanation of the dangers of asbestos, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team can be forgiven for losing its collective patience. We can’t come up with a single reason why there remains a delay for the nationwide ban of asbestos to take effect in Canada. We’re equally surprised that our counterparts in the United States haven’t taken further action to ban asbestos as well.

As always, we will remain committed to assisting Canadians with the removal of asbestos from their homes and places of work. For information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Highlighting The Importance Of Keeping Your Windows Open

You would think that the concept of keeping your windows open would be a simple one. Just crack the windows and allow the fresh air from outside to circulate with the stagnant and stale air from inside. Simple enough practice, right? However, far too many Canadians prefer to keep their windows shut for the vast majority of the time.

Now, it’s hard to blame us Canucks during the winter time. Temperatures can be scarily frigid, making it seem crazy to even consider opening the windows. However, those same Canadians often continue their closed windows policies during the warmer months of the year, opting for their air conditioners to do the cooling down of their inside air instead.

Doctors prescribe open windows.

Let it be clear that opening your windows is the one of the best and easiest ways to improve your home’s indoor air quality. It’s a practice that is actually recommended by doctors. Dr. Mehmet Oz, who is famously known for “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show” before that prescribes the opening of windows to help significantly reduce pollutants that are often trapped inside our homes.

“Open your home to the outside world as frequently as you can, since the inside of a home generally has three to four times the pollutants and particles that are most dangerous to us,” Dr. Oz explains on Sharecare.com, “If you don’t air it out, you increase the chance that these pollutants will build up. Indoor air quality has plummeted because our homes are more airtight and we’re using many more products to freshen the air, sanitize the home, and treat fabrics.”

Dr. Oz goes on to mention that cleaning our homes with fragrance-enhanced products can do more damage than good. He notes that the chemicals that produce those pleasant scents are responsible for the triggering of many allergy symptoms. The bottom line is that an open window beats an air spray in the fresh air department any day.

Can it be dangerous to keep our windows shut?

Trapping stagnant air in your home certainly won’t do you any favours. The lack of ventilation and inability for pollutants to escape your living space can actually lead to some health issues. Mike Holmes of “Holmes On Homes” fame communicates this is a special article for The National Post.

“Not only can keeping openings closed cause condensation issues inside your house (i.e. weeping windows), which we know can lead to mould, it also allows toxins already inside the home to build up,” he writes, “That includes volatile organic compounds, mold spores, dust, smoke, radon, viruses and bacteria. Breathing these in over an extended period of time isn’t good for your health.”

He goes on to point out that such health issues as headaches, dizziness, nausea and eye irritation can ensue due to breathing air that is in poorly ventilated spaces.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Inc., we’d love to help you improve your home’s indoor air quality! Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our Air Quality Services. Call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at info@dftechnical.ca.

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Revisiting The Fact That Hoarding Is Hazardous For Your Health

In some strange coincidence that we cannot explain, we have only posted blogs about hoarding in the month of April. We have no idea why. Before composing today’s blog, we Googled the terms “hoarding” and “indoor air quality” only to find our previous three blogs on the subject appear at the top of the list of articles – all published in previous Aprils.

Interestingly enough, our last blog about hoarding was posted a year ago almost to the day! And in that very blog, we commented on the fact that, during a previous Google search, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. website was found to have the top three most relevant pieces on the subject of hoarding’s impact on indoor air quality.

Well, it’s the middle of April, so we obviously must be due for another blog about hoarding! But, we have to admit – it’s an issue that certainly requires more than once-a-year attention. By packing your home with loads of possessions that can only be described as an uncontrollable mess, you put yourself at great risk of health hazards.

Hoarding leads to the development of unseen mould.

Firstly, you’re unable to see more than half of your possessions when you live in a house with a hoarder. As a result, you’re unaware of any mould forming on those possessions. Mould growth is promoted by dark, dank areas – a perfect description of the many regions of a hoarder’s home. When mould is airborne, it triggers allergic reactions and asthma symptoms.

“There are three basic classifications of mould related health concerns: infectious, allergenic, and toxic,” explains Karen Robinson on behalf of Canadians For A Safe Learning Environment, “Allergic reactions are the most common and can include the following symptoms: watery eyes, runny nose, itching, rashes, hives, nasal congestion, coughing, wheezing, breathing difficulties, headache, dizziness, fatigue and in extreme cases tremors.”

Hoarding creates poor ventilation.

Clearly, a house full of trash – if we’re being quite frank here – doesn’t allow for the circulation of air. Not only is a hoarder not likely to be able to access his/her windows to open them, his/her home is void of much free space for air to even exist. The air in the home is bound to be stale, stagnant and polluted with the dust, dander and debris that hasn’t been cleaned up in ages. Once again, poor conditions for breathing are made present by the act of hoarding.

“Good ventilation removes stale indoor air and reduces the amount of indoor air pollutants,” Canada.ca reminds us, “It also helps to limit the buildup of indoor moisture, which can contribute to mould growth. Ventilation increases the amount of outdoor air that comes indoors. The level of outdoor air pollution should be considered when ventilating your house. If there are strong indoor sources and outdoor air pollution levels are low, you may need to increase the ventilation.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we know how important it is for the air in your home to be free of contaminants. If you have issues with hoarding or if you’re living with a hoarder, your health is at risk. We would highly recommend a major clean up of your home with the help of professionals. It is then wise to follow up with an indoor air quality inspection.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our Air Quality Services. Give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at info@dftechnical.ca.

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Proposed Asbestos Ban Facing Some Criticism

Since December of 2016, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would finally implement a comprehensive nationwide ban of asbestos, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog has been following the story quite closely. Originally, the plan was to have the toxic substance completely outlawed by 2018. Well, here we are in 2018 and we’re still awaiting word of the official passing of the long-promised ban.

In one of our several blogs covering the topic, we revealed that a “consultation period” was being requested to ask both the public and industry for feedback about the new policy regarding asbestos. This period concluded on March 22nd. Now, nearly three weeks removed from that consultation period, Canadians are left wondering what the holdup is.

What are the issues surrounding the asbestos ban?

According to Muller & Green – an organization that specializes in research, analysis, consulting and PR activity for local and global brands – the new asbestos policy may not be what it’s cracked up to be. In a recent report published by Newswire.ca, Muller & Green revealed that the Canadian government’s proposed ban of asbestos is facing some criticism. Although $114 million has been committed to implement a new policy, there are some holes in the specifics.

As Muller & Green report, there is apparently “no distinction between harmful asbestos such as the various amphibole asbestos and chrysotile, and ‘white asbestos’, still used in various products today. This omission is critical for numerous businesses and industries in Canada, which rely on products containing the non-harmful form of the mineral.”

Because of the lack of distinction between the different forms of asbestos, the proposed ban is likely to force a number of Canadian businesses to shut down. And while the health of Canadians is clearly far more important, the plan is also being criticized for not taking into consideration the work already being done to prevent asbestos-related diseases.

“One of the rationales for the proposal is economic, in terms of savings that will be made in health services from reduced cases of asbestos-related diseases,” reads the report, “However, regulations and prevention of asbestos-related diseases have been established, contradicting the health argument.”

What other concerns have arisen from the new proposal?

By not distinguishing the differences between the various forms of asbestos, there is a concern that billions of dollars will end up being wasted on removing “safe asbestos” from public buildings. The financial figures for the implementation of the plan, says the report, appear to be understated.

As well, the planned proposal for the ban has apparently exempted mining activities and the use of asbestos in the chlor-alkali industry. It has been reported that the use of asbestos in the chlor-alkali industry will remain acceptable until 2025.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’re not convinced that there is a reasonable and safe way to continue to use any asbestos in this country. The damage that it has caused has been well documented. We need not another Canadian death that is asbestos-related. The time for the ban to take effect has come. In fact, it is well past due.

Of course, in the meantime, our team remains dedicated to helping Canadians to remove asbestos from their homes and places of work. For information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Are You A Cigarette Smoker Looking For Ways To Quit?

By today’s standards, the warning “smoking is bad for you” is a mundane statement of the obvious. However, it’s as important as it ever was to stress the importance of eliminating all cigarette smoking from your life. By that we mean that even if you aren’t a smoker yourself, you should take all measures to avoid cigarette smoke at all costs. Simply put, it’s deadly. And it should have no place in your home – ever!

Secondhand smoke is as hazardous to the health of a non-smoker as firsthand smoke is to a smoker. As Statistics Canada explains, secondhand smoke is a combination of smoke exhaled by smokers and the smoke that is released into the air from burning cigarettes, pipes and cigars. Exposure to such smoke can result in a long list of fatal diseases. Among them are lung cancer, heart disease, asthma, bronchitis, middle-ear infections and pneumonia.

If you’re still a cigarette smoker looking for ways to quit, don’t worry – help is certainly available to you.

Nicotine replacement therapy is an option.

Understandably, quitting smoking is easier said than done. It is an addiction. And beating an addiction takes a lot of hard work and dedication. There are, however, some scientifically-proven ways to help smokers quit their nasty habits. Among them is nicotine replacement therapy. As explained by Joe Brownstein on LiveScience.com, this can come in the form of a nicotine patch or nicotine gum.

Glen Morgan is the program director in the Behavioral Research Program at the Tobacco Control Research Branch of the National Cancer Institute. He contributes to Brownstein’s article by noting that some people may not like the taste of the gum and instead, consider the patch more convenient. Others don’t like the continuous delivery of the patch and instead, prefer chewing the gum. Some, however, combine the two to combat intense urges.

Will power is essential.

No matter what scientific methods of assistance you may employ, it’s important to be dedicated to your mission to quit smoking. In some cases, that entails significantly limiting your access to cigarettes. Do you tend to buy cartons? If so, start buying cigarettes in smaller quantities. This will hopefully help you to use them a lot less. At least, this is what is believed by Debra L. Gordon and Dr. David L. Katz.

On the Reader’s Digest website, they suggest that you change your cigarette buying habits. “As you’re getting ready to quit, stop buying cartons of cigarettes,” Gordon and Katz advise, “Instead, only buy a pack at a time, and only carry two or three with you at a time (try putting them in an Altoids tin). Eventually you’ll find that when you want a smoke, you won’t have any immediately available. That will slowly wean you down to fewer cigarettes.”

Cigarette smoke in the home makes for a very hazardous living environment.

Even if no one smokes inside its four walls, the remnants of cigarette smoke on the clothes, skin and hair of the smokers in your household can create some ill health effects. Perhaps, it’s time for a home inspection. For more information about the Air Quality Services offered by DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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3 Methods Of Improving Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality This Spring

Ah, the springtime! Now that we’re a little over a week into the new spring season, it’s probably time to start thinking about a new approach to improving your home’s indoor air quality. Although the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog has been advocating the opening of windows all winter long, we’re sure that most Canadians kept them shut for the majority of these past frigid months.

Now that spring is here, there are some new methods of improving our indoor air quality that we should all practice. Here are just three:

1. Keeping the windows open.

Okay, now we’re not just recommending that you crack the windows open the way we did during the winter. During some of the milder forthcoming days of spring, we recommend that you open the windows and keep them open for the majority of the day. Consider how much stale and stagnant the air in your home became over the winter. It’s time to let it all out of the house in exchange for fresher, cleaner air.

“Open a window to air out harmful chemicals and let cleaner, healthier air in!” advises NaturallySavvy.com, “Even if it’s for a few minutes a day, it’s one of the simplest (and most affordable) things you can do to improve your home air quality. You can also turn on a ceiling or portable fan while windows are open to recirculate household air and push out stale air.”

2. Getting your air conditioner cleaned.

Sure, we’re not experiencing any hot temperatures yet. But the days of summer will be here before you know it. Chances are that you’ll be cranking up the A/C on hot days. But without having your air conditioners properly cleaned, you’ll likely be circulating a lot of accumulated dust and other pollutants throughout your home.

“One of the best things you can do is to clean your air conditioner inside and out on a regular basis,” insists R&R Heating and Air Conditioning, “A properly maintained AC will not only help keep your air clean (and you healthy), but the system will also function more efficiently and last longer, thus saving you money.”

3. Doing a thorough spring cleaning – without harmful products!

Naturally, it’s the time of year when most Canadians engage in spring cleaning activities. However, far too many of us use products that contain toxic chemicals that only serve to irritate our respiratory systems. Many household cleaning products contain volatile organic compounds which only worsen our homes’ indoor air quality. This year, do your spring cleaning with natural cleansers.

“Your home is not a science experiment,” insists NaturallySavvy.com, “Rather than spend money on household cleaning products, look no further than your pantry for ingredients that possess natural cleaning prowess. Ingredients such as baking soda, white distilled vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, tea tree oil, hot water, coarse salt, and castile soap all do a bang-up job without spewing harmful chemicals in your home.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Inc., we’d love to help you improve your home’s indoor air quality this spring! Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our Air Quality Services. Call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at info@dftechnical.ca.

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Is It Possible You May Have A Radon Problem?

In all likelihood, we all breathe in a little bit of radon each day. At low levels, you’re not bound to experience any symptoms or endure any long-term health effects. However, at high levels, radon exposure can be deadly. As a result, it’s a must that we all do our part to minimize our exposure to radon as much as possible.

What exactly is radon?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is produced outdoors by the breaking down of uranium, thorium and radium in soil, rock and water. However, radon exposure, at its worst, occurs indoors. When we are outside in wide open spaces, radon has little to no impact on us. However, because radon is odourless, tasteless and invisible, it’s impossible to detect it when it enters our homes.

Radon tends to seep through the cracks of the foundations of our homes. When it builds up in poorly ventilated areas, it can be very dangerous to our health. The problem is that without testing for radon, you’re not likely to ever be aware that it is in your home. The importance of radon testing cannot be understated. When people are exposed to high concentrations of radon, it can have disastrous effects.

Radon poisoning is known to cause lung cancer.

According to Statistics Canada, radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in Canada, after cigarette smoking. It accounts for 16 percent of lung cancer deaths, or 3,200 deaths every year. Healthline.com reports that radon gas is responsible for approximately 21,000 annual lung cancer deaths in the United States.

As mentioned, detecting radon can only be done through tests. But there are early signs and symptoms of lung cancer to watch for that may have been caused by radon exposure. Healthline.com lists them as persistent coughing, coughing up blood, wheezing, shortness of breath, hoarseness, chest pain (especially when coughing or even laughing) and frequent infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Loss of appetite, weight loss and fatigue may also occur over time.

Canada requires greater radon awareness.

“In 2015, the Households and the Environment Survey found that 55% of all Canadian households indicated that they had heard of radon, up from 45% in 2013,” reports Statistics Canada. While it is promising that the percentage of knowledgeable Canadians is rising, it’s clear that more awareness is necessary.

By today’s standards, everyone knows how deadly cigarette smoking is. With radon being the second leading cause of lung cancer, it should be considered unacceptable that only 59 percent of Canadians surveyed could correctly identify what radon was when presented with a list of possible descriptions.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Radon Services that are designed to determine the exact levels of radon in your homes and offices and whether or not they are safe. Testing for radon can literally mean the difference between life and death. It is 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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24 Sussex Drive Becoming Known As An Asbestos Haven

Last month, our blog reported on the fact that Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau is one of the few leaders of our country to avoid living at 24 Sussex Drive. Traditionally known as the home of the sitting Prime Minister, the Ottawa-based mansion appears to be in ruins. Requiring millions of dollars in renovations, the property is now becoming known as a very high health hazard.

There is more asbestos inside 24 Sussex Drive than originally thought.

As Catharine Tunney reports today for CBC News, 24 Sussex Drive has more asbestos contained within it than previously thought. Who can blame Trudeau for ditching the residence for nearby Rideau Cottage? Of course, as the son of Pierre Trudeau, our current Prime Minister spent time living at 24 Sussex Drive as a child. He is unlikely to ever return thanks to the presence of asbestos.

“Asbestos has been condemned by the World Health Organization as a health threat and the once-common fireproofing material is now banned in some 50 countries around the world,” Tunney explains, “Canada was once a leading world supplier of the carcinogenic mineral. It’s linked to mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer that can develop in the lining of the lungs as a result of inhaling asbestos dust and fibres.”

She goes on to reveal that in 2015, an engineering firm called Exp Services Inc. investigated the main building, the pool house and the neighbouring RCMP building at 24 Sussex. They surveyed for hazardous materials including asbestos and lead paint. Previously, they had received reports that the plaster contained within the walls was asbestos-free. However, their investigation discovered that wasn’t the case.

CBC News obtained a report through the Access to Information Act that revealed that the grey coarse plaster within the property was indeed asbestos-containing. The report notes that should the plaster go undisturbed, 24 Sussex would be safe for its inhabitants. Any renovations, however, would send asbestos fibres airborne. And, as we pointed out last month, the property is in serious need of renovations.

The asbestos-containing plaster at 24 Sussex can be easily disturbed.

Laura Lozanski is an occupational health and safety officer with the Canadian Association of University Teachers and one of Canada’s most active asbestos educators. In Tunney’s article, she reveals that just rubbing up against the plaster or drilling into it will release toxic asbestos fibres. “Once the fibres are disturbed they go into the air and that’s how we either breathe them in or ingest them,” she is quoted as saying, “So we always have quite serious concerns.”

Since 2011, no asbestos has been removed from 24 Sussex Drive. Of course, should there be any renovations made to the property, construction workers will be placed at risk. Staffers who have already been inside the mansion may already be at risk. “That’s why the Public Service Alliance of Canada has been pushing the federal government to create a national registry of public buildings that contain asbestos,” Tunney writes.

As you’re very likely aware, the team at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. takes the matter of asbestos exposure very seriously. As we patiently await the nation’s official implementation of the comprehensive asbestos ban, we continue to work with Canadian home and business owners to keep their properties as safe as possible.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services. Give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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