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How Often Should You Be Vacuuming Your Floors?

Allow us to tell you a little story. Earlier this week, one of our colleagues decided to regale us with stories about his vacuuming practices. He works from home and uses an old desk chair each and every day. As of late, this desk chair has been shedding. In other words, the vinyl covering that encapsulates the seat and the backing is coming undone. As a result, there are small black pieces of ripped vinyl all over his home office floor.

“I have to vacuum every single day,” our colleague informed us, “I basically just keep the vacuum in the office now. It’s so annoying. It never fails. Every single day, I have to vacuum the floor to pick up all of these ripped up pieces of chair covering. If I didn’t see the mess my chair was making, I likely wouldn’t be vacuuming that much at all.”

We generally only clean what we see as dirty.

We found our colleague’s final comment to be a very interesting one. It’s true, isn’t it? We don’t tend to clean unless we can visually see messes. However, dust accumulates on our floors and surfaces each and every day. For many people who don’t vacuum regularly, the risk of respiratory illnesses increases. An accumulation of dust generally means the presence of dust mites – miniscule creatures that feed on dead skin and leave behind asthma-inducing waste.

Now, daily vacuuming may not necessarily be mandatory. But just how often should we vacuum? Our colleague admits that his home office is carpeted and that the outside living area has hardwood flooring. As a result, he tends to vacuum the living room a lot less often than he does his office.

Vacuuming frequency depends on a few factors.

According to Tyler Mears, home experts recommend that carpets and rugs be vacuumed at least twice a week. On the U.K.’s Wales Online website, he writes that high-traffic areas (like our colleague’s home office) should be vacuumed with more frequency. Vacuuming frequency should also greatly increase if you have pets. “If pets are in the home, daily vacuum cleaning is strongly recommended to remove dirt, hair, dander, and the smaller microscopic allergens that are invisible to the naked eye,” informs Mears.

Carol J. Alexander agrees. On FamilyHandyman.com, she insists that people who love their pets love their vacuum cleaners just as much. “Pets shed and drop fleas and dander that can aggravate or cause allergies and disease,” she explains, “Not to mention what they bring in on their paws! No matter what type of floors you have, if you have dogs, cats and/or other furry friends running loose in your home, vacuum every day.”

Are vacuuming your home often enough?

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to help you get a much better understanding of how clean your home really is. Assessing its indoor air quality is a great step towards ensuring better health for everyone who lives in it. 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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Cleanliness Is Next To Healthiness

If you’re a regular reader of the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog, you’re well aware that, at the top of our priority list, is the safety and health of our clients. Naturally, the purer the air you breathe in your home, the better your health will be over the long term. This is why we’re so adamant about ensuring high indoor air quality and offering such services as our Air Quality Services to help our clients enjoy better health.

As we’ve pointed out in many blogs of past, keeping a clean home is an excellent way to better your indoor air quality. The regular removal of dust, dirt and grime via dusting, vacuuming and mopping helps to keep air pollutants at bay. Wiping up spills and regularly checking for leaks helps to prevent mould growth.

Simply put, being a neat freak is a healthy practice!

As reported by Kate Eller of Advocate Health Care, people who keep clean homes tend to be more physically fit than those who don’t clean up all that much. Is it because cleaning is actually a form of exercise? Citing a study done at Indiana University, Eller reveals that there is a correlation between a clean home and physical fitness. “Researchers found participants with cleaner homes exercised more,” she reports.

Eller goes on to note that messy homes tend to exacerbate stress and fatigue. In her article, she quotes Dr. Rian Rowles who is a psychiatrist affiliated with Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois. “When you live in a messy home, you are subconsciously reminded of work that needs to be finished and visually, your eyes do not have a place to rest,” says Rowles, “Too much clutter can cause tremendous stress and fatigue.”

A clean home reduces allergy and asthma symptoms.

How often have we highlighted the need for cleanliness in an effort to improve the health of our respiratory symptoms? People with allergies and asthma know all too well how difficult it is to breathe in unkempt homes and buildings. Eller also quotes Dr. Uma Gavani, an allergy and asthma specialist on staff at Christ Medical Center, who points out that dust mites, pet dander and mould can trigger allergic reactions and increase potential asthma problems.

“The more stuff you have in your home, the harder it is to clean,” Gavani informs, “Messy areas increase the potential for dust, pet dander and mould to accumulate in closets, on surfaces and in crevices.”

Tidy homes limit the spread of germs.

Interestingly, Eller points to the kitchen, and not the bathroom, as the room of the home where most germs are bound to be located. Countertops are particularly known as problem areas thanks to the many different foods that are prepared upon them. Especially after raw meats and fish have come into contact with your counter, you should thoroughly sanitize the area.

“According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gastrointestinal illness can be spread by contaminated food, and food-poisoning is less likely in kitchens that have been properly cleaned and sanitized,” writes Eller.

Let’s work together on keeping your home a healthy environment! For more information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Preventing The Growth Of Mould When The Weather Gets Cold

We know. Fall hasn’t even started yet. But, as all Canadians are aware, winter will be just around the corner in no time. Some Canadians actually believe there are only two seasons in Canada and that they can flip back and forth at any time.

“One day, it’s summer and the next day, it’s winter,” commented one of our colleagues earlier this week, “It all depends on if the day is warm enough to take off your jacket. That’s how I see it!” Needless to say, we all have to prepare for chillier days. And preparation requires a lot more than layering up. The cold and snowy wintertime is time of year when we all need to be concerned about the possibilities of mould growth in our homes.

“If you live in a cold climate, kicking up the heater during winter months doesn’t just keep you warm—it also helps to create a perfect environment for winter mould and mildew,” writes Autumn Yates on Highya.com, “Mould and mildew have a lot of similarities. They’re both likely to grow in moist, warm areas and are adept at surviving on a wide variety of surfaces.”

So what can you do to prevent the growth of mould when the weather gets cold?

Be on the lookout for leaks.

With winter comes snow. And with melted snow comes water. If there are any cracks in the walls of your home, it is possible that water can leak through and pool in places that may go unnoticed. Remember that mould and mildew grow in moist and damp areas. So be sure to keep an eye out for any leaks in your home throughout the winter.

“Watch for leaks in common areas such as windows, exterior-to-interior doorways, and the surrounding areas by swamp coolers and skylights,” advises Yates, “Not only should you be on high alert for leaks coming from the outdoors, but don’t forget to check your indoor plumbing as a possible culprit for excess moisture. Check for hidden leaks in areas such as under bathroom and kitchen sinks.”

Keep the front foyer dry.

What happens when you step through the front door of your home all winter long? You bring snow, slush and sleet with you. Sure, you can take off your boots and leave them by the front door. But without regularly cleaning the area, you’re practically inviting pools of water to remain so that mould can find a cozy place to flourish. To help things, Yates suggests the removal of any carpeted areas near your front door way.

“Washable floor surfaces can be especially helpful in entryways (versus carpeting), where constantly tracking in moisture can quickly lead to mould growth,” she writes, “In instances where you do have carpet up to the door and can’t do much about it (such as when renting), take care to vacuum the area regularly, inspecting for signs of any mould near the baseboards or where your carpet meets the wall.”

Let’s work together on eliminating mould growth from your home this winter! For more information about our Mould Assessment Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Can Acupuncture Help You To Quit Smoking?

Cigarette smoking is, without question, one of the absolute worst things you can do for your health. You don’t need us to list the statistics. It’s common knowledge that the filthy habit leads to the development of fatal lung cancers. And while the understanding that smoking is bad for you – to put it mildly – is widespread, there are still many Canadians who light up each and every day.

Cigarette smoke is so deadly that it has been known to kill people who don’t even smoke! “Every year in Canada, second-hand smoke causes 800 deaths from lung cancer and heart disease in non-smokers,” reports Canada.ca, “If you are a smoker, avoid smoking around others, especially children, pregnant women and people with breathing problems.”

Acupuncture is often listed as a top quit-the-habit technique.

For many people who are unfamiliar with the treatment, acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely thin needles into different points of the body. The objective is to stimulate and improve the flow of energy to particular areas. While acupuncture may appear to be painful, it’s known as a painless technique.

“Acupuncture’s origin is embedded among traditional Chinese medicinal concepts,” explains Healthline.com, “Some of the earliest examples of metal needles have been found dating back to 113 B.C. This Eastern approach once lost credibility in the medical world. It is now more commonly accepted throughout the Western world due to improvements in acupuncture techniques, along with extensive research findings.”

How does acupuncture help people to quit smoking?

According to Cathy Wong on VeryWellMind.com, studies have shown that acupuncture helps for smokers to reduce their cravings. “One five-year study in Hong Kong of 5,202 smokers concluded that acupuncture was both an effective and safe method to help smokers quit,” she reveals, “The study notes that the number of cigarettes per day decreased and that the average time to relapse was 38.71 days, which was longer than 35 days in E-cigarette and 14 days in nicotine patch.”

Acupuncture treatments that are designed to help patients quit smoking are quite unique. Wong explains that the hair-thin needles are inserted into various points of the ear where they remain for about 20 minutes. In some cases, the acupuncturists will provide their patients with tiny balls, no larger than the tips of ballpoint pens. They are taped using invisible tape to the ear.

“When a craving for cigarettes hits, the smoker is instructed to press gently on the ball, which stimulates the acupuncture point,” she details, “The number of acupuncture sessions made a significant impact on success, with most people receiving eight sessions within the first month.”

Why is it so important to quit smoking?

This is a silly question. We all know why! Kicking the habit is a life-saving decision. It won’t just save your life, but it will dramatically improve the chances of living disease-free for everyone in your household. You couldn’t possibly make your indoor air quality any worse than by lighting up a cigarette. Quitting will help to vastly improve the air in your home.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to help you learn more about that! 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 Best Practices For Keeping Your Home Clean All Autumn Long

Over the past couple of weeks, our blog has been doling out summer-based cleaning ideas. Admittedly, our last two blogs were partly posted in an attempt to continue to celebrate the summer and elongate it in our own unique way. Alas, we have absolutely no control over time and here we are, in the last week of August. Sadly, summer is about to end. Next week, school will open and summer vacation will officially be over.

We suppose that today is as good a day as any to offer up some suggestions for keeping your home clean all autumn long. After all, the fall is almost here!

Here are three best practices:

1. Clean those oft-forgotten areas of the home.

How often do you move your furniture away from the wall so that you can vacuum behind it? Our desks, beds, night tables and chests of drawers are often kept in place all year round. What that means is you have dust collecting in abundance. Do yourself a favour and start cleaning the areas of your home that rarely see a vacuum, broom or mop. On QuickAndDirtyTips.com, Bruce and Jeanne Lubin remind us that chandeliers are rarely ever cleaned.

They offer a very unique cleaning strategy. “First, make sure the light switch is off,” they instruct, “Next, lay a blanket or upside-down umbrella underneath the chandelier to catch any drips or falling pieces. Now mix 1/2 cup lemon juice with 1½ cups water in a jar. The crystals clean themselves—all you have to do is bring the jar up to each one and dip it in, then let it air-dry.”

2. Start a winter wipe down.

Yes, we know that autumn hasn’t even begun yet. But your fall cleaning routine needs to incorporate methods of ensuring that the forthcoming winter is one when your home offers you the purest air to breathe. Doing that requires what HouseBeautiful.com calls a “winter wipe down”.

“To prevent winter bugs being passed via germ-ridden hands, ensure that all surfaces are properly cleaned with an anti-bacterial cleaning fluid…going further than focusing on kitchen and bathroom surfaces,” recommends the site, “For example, if a door is being regularly used it’s likely to pick up all sorts of germs that can easily pass through body contact. This is especially important if children are around.”

3. Throw orange peels in the fireplace.

We know this may sound like a weird suggestion. Firstly, we admit that it is less of a cleaning technique and more of a way to maintain high indoor air quality during the colder months of the year. In the past, we have championed the cause of ignoring your fireplace because burning firewood emits several toxic compounds into the air. As the Lubins reveal, orange peels are much healthier alternatives to firewood.

“The best thing to use as kindling in your fireplace isn’t newspaper (or printed out emails from your ex),” they write, “It’s orange peels! Orange (and lemon) peels smell delicious when they burn, and they contain oils that not only make them burn longer, but help ignite the wood around them. Finally, they produce less creosote than paper, which will help keep your chimney clean.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to offer you and your family the gift of clean air inside your home this fall. 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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Keeping Your Home Clean All Summer For Easy Breathing

We know what you’re thinking. The summer will soon be over. Well, if you’re like most Canadians, that thought is quite harrowing. So, we’d prefer to see things a little differently. We still have two more weeks to enjoy the summer! Yes, we know that the official end of the season, this year, comes on September 23rd. But, for many people, summer comes to a close the day school starts. Enjoy it while you can!

One way to ensure that you enjoy the rest of summer is to take steps in maintaining your health. No one likes being sick. And being sick during the summertime is the absolute worst! Believe it or not, you are taking great steps towards living illness-free during the warmest month of the year when you keep your home clean. Adhering to simple, everyday cleanup routines is an excellent way to rid your home of pollutants and other respiratory system irritants.

For example, in last week’s blog, we highlighted the need to stop using chemical-based cleansers. Doing so will help you to avoid eye and nose irritation, headaches, dizziness, vomiting and the worsening of asthma symptoms. So what are the best ways to keep your home clean all summer?

Vacuum regularly.

The summertime encourages us all to go outside more often. And that’s great! We all need fresh air and the vitamin D provided to us by the sun. However, the more we go outside, the more dirt that accumulates on our shoes to bring home with us. Naturally, it’s important to stick to the Canadian tradition of removing your shoes before entering the living spaces of your home. However, there is still bound to be dirt on your floor. Be sure to vacuum it regularly.

According to New Jersey’s Air Group, “a vacuum is your friend. You can use a vacuum to suck up a lot of the dirt, debris, and dust that builds in and around your appliances before it blows out into the air. Also remember to change all filters regularly. You can also schedule to have your ducts cleaned. This doesn’t need to be done very often, but if you haven’t had it done since you’ve been in your home, it’s a good idea to check into it.”

Change your air filters.

We understand if you like to use your air conditioner. Some people just aren’t into the heat and humidity that summer brings along. If so, remember that you are utilizing a system that blows air throughout your home. That systems needs to be maintained so as to minimize that amount of dust and other pollutants that are being blown around your residence. Check on your air filters and change them whenever necessary.

According to Lorry on EBlogin.com, air filters should be changed every month. “Your air filter is an effective tool that protects your home from indoor air pollutants and allergens,” she explains, “In addition, proper ventilation in your home can maintain optimal air quality. Check the vent fans in your bathroom and kitchen areas to ensure that they are working at optimal levels.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’re committed to helping you enjoy high indoor air quality in your home all summer. 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 Keep Indoor Air Quality As High As Possible All Summer

For most people, enjoying the summer means spending as much time out and about in the sun as possible. And, for others, it means taking the opportunity to relax and unwind at home. For those who enjoy the comforts of their own homes, it’s important to note that the quality of the air you breathe should be kept at the highest level possible all summer.

Here are three ways to do that:

1. Keep the windows cracked.

Canadians have an interesting problem and an even more interesting way of dealing with it. The winters are too cold. So we shut the windows and turn up the heat. Our summers tend to get pretty hot. So we shut the windows and turn on the air conditioner. No matter the season, to better your indoor air quality, it’s best to crack open those windows and allow the air from outside to circulate with the air from inside.

New Jersey’s Air Group explains just how important it is to ventilate your home. “Most HVAC systems do not automatically bring fresh air in, so remember to crack a window or invest in a filtration systems,” advises their website, “Try to never use any chemical household products in spaces without ventilation. For instance, if you’re cleaning the bathroom, if you can’t open a window, at least turn on the fan.” 

2. Pay close attention to humidity levels.

When it gets hot and humid, it can certainly make for uncomfortable conditions. However, humidity can also present your home with some mould and mildew issues. Remember that the presence of humidity involves the presence of moisture. When moisture accumulates on the surfaces within your home, it can create breeding grounds for mould and mildew. Be sure to check the humidity levels in your area each day.

“The most humid parts of most homes are the basements, attics, crawlspaces, and closets,” warns Minnesota’s Blue Ox Heating & Air, “Check these parts of your home for signs of humidity like condensation, mould growth, dust accumulation, and wet air. The best way to quickly protect against humidity is by fixing cracks and gaps in your home’s insulation and investing in a dehumidifier.”

3. Avoid chemical-based cleansers.

This is a tip we’ve provided on numerous occasions throughout the history of our blog. We’re willing to bet this won’t be the last time we offer it, as well. Cleaning products with fresh scents are all the rage. But they shouldn’t be. We know that a pleasant smell usually connotes cleanliness. But it doesn’t. Such products are riddled with volatile organic compounds, also known as VOCs. They can cause numerous health issues including headaches and nausea.

“Keep in mind; those lemon or pine scented sprays that we use to clean the kitchen and bathroom smell nice but they are spraying chemicals into the air,” informs Lorry on EBlogin.com, “Examples of these products are fabric softeners, laundry detergents, dryer sheets and air fresheners. Chemicals in these products have been known to cause a variety of health concerns in humans when they are inhaled.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’re committed to helping you enjoy high indoor air quality in your home all summer. 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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What Other Diseases Are Directly Caused By Asbestos Exposure?

In last week’s blog, we revisited the scary, but necessary-to-address topic of asbestos and highlighted some of the types of cancer the toxic substance is known to cause. Among them are lung cancer, ovarian cancer and laryngeal cancer.

Banned from Canada back in December of 2018, asbestos is still present in many homes, offices, schools and other buildings across the country. Avoiding exposure to its fibres is absolutely mandatory for preserving optimum health. Once inhaled, they can cause serious damage.

In addition to the cancers listed in last week’s blog, there are many other diseases that are directly caused by asbestos exposure. We feel it’s important to expose you to this information this week.

Asbestosis.

As its name clearly gives away, asbestosis is a disease that is directly caused by asbestos exposure. Sufferers often require both oxygen tanks and pain medication in order to control their symptoms. Sadly, as Michelle Whitmer explains on Asbestos.com, there is no cure for asbestosis and its progression can’t be halted.

“Asbestosis is a progressive pulmonary disease that inhibits lung health and function,” she writes, “It develops when inhaled asbestos fibres accumulate in the lungs and cause scar tissue to form. Over time the scar tissue hardens the lungs, limiting elasticity. Breathing becomes difficult and painful as the condition progresses. Scarring impairs the lungs’ ability to supply oxygen to the blood stream.”

Mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a deadly form of lung cancer that takes the form of a malignant tumour in the lining of the lungs, abdomen or heart. It is directly caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibres. Symptoms include shortness of breath and chest pain, and tragically, those diagnosed with mesothelioma are often given up to one more year to live.

As explained by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, “Mesothelioma, is a rare cancer of the membrane that covers the lungs and chest cavity (pleura), the membrane lining the abdominal cavity (peritoneum), or membranes surrounding other internal organs. Signs of mesothelioma may not appear until 30 to 40 years after exposure to asbestos.”

Clubbed fingers.

This one may come as a surprise to you. Apparently, asbestos-related diseases can cause clubbed fingers to form. Sufferers of asbestosis are especially at risk of getting clubbed fingers. According to Whitmer, they develop early and don’t go away once they are developed. Clubbed fingers are often signs that a person has a particularly severe case of asbestosis.

“About half of all people with severe asbestosis develop a condition known as clubbed fingers,” Whitmer informs us, “The tips of fingers become misshapen, swollen and may take on a box-like appearance. The condition appears to be caused by the biological effects of asbestosis rather than directly by asbestos fibres.”

As we pointed out in last week’s blog, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team remains dedicated to helping Canadians avoid the tragic outcomes that asbestos is known to cause. 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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Taking A Look At Asbestos-Related Cancers

Back on December 30, 2018, the toxic substance known as asbestos was finally outlawed in Canada. To be specific, the federal government introduced The Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulations which prohibits the import, sale and use of asbestos as well as the manufacture, import, sale and use of products containing asbestos in Canada. There are, however, a limited number of exclusions.

In the months leading up to the official asbestos ban, we blogged pretty extensively about asbestos and the many health hazards that result due to exposure. As you’re surely aware, asbestos is a known cause of many different types of cancer.

Lung cancer.

It probably makes sense to begin with the obvious. We’re all aware of the irreversible damage that cigarette smoking can cause to our lungs. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada. No less than 21,100 Canadians died from lung cancer in 2017, representing 26 percent of all cancer-related deaths that year.

Inhaling asbestos fibres can be as deadly as cigarette smoking. And when the two are combined, the end result is almost sure to be lethal. “Lung cancer is a malignant tumour that invades and blocks the lung’s air passages,” explains the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, “Smoking tobacco combined with asbestos exposure greatly increases the chance of developing lung cancer.”

Ovarian cancer.

This one may not be as obvious as lung cancer. According to Michelle Whitmer on Asbestos.com, researchers are still debating about how asbestos fibres reach the ovaries. However, they theorize that the fibres are transported by the lymphatic system.

“Though it only represents 3 percent of female cancer diagnoses, ovarian cancer causes more deaths than any other female reproductive cancer,” she reports, “In 2012, a study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) confirmed that asbestos exposure causes ovarian cancer. Many cases were documented in women whose father or husband worked with asbestos.”

Ovarian Cancer Canada tells us that approximately 2,800 Canadian women are diagnosed with the disease each year. Ovarian cancer is the 5th most common cancer for women and is the most serious of all women’s cancer.

Laryngeal cancer.

Before asbestos gets to the lungs, it must pass through the esophagus. Whitmer writes that researchers believe inhaled asbestos fibres get lodged in the voice box before getting to the lungs. If caught early enough, radiation therapy can help cure and preserve a patient’s voice.

“Laryngeal cancer is rare and most often caused by smoking in combination with alcohol consumption,” informs Whitmer, “Yet a 2006 report sponsored by the National Institutes of Health proved that asbestos exposure causes cancer of the larynx, known as the voice box. In 2012 the IRAC confirmed the connection in a scientific review of all evidence to date.”

The DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team remains dedicated to helping Canadians remove asbestos from their homes and places of work. 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.

And be sure to check out next week’s blog as we take a look at some other diseases that our caused by asbestos exposure!

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The Ever-Important Practice Of Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, tasteless and odourless gas. So why all the attention for something you can’t see, taste or smell? It’s lethal. Because it can’t be detected by our senses, carbon monoxide is a highly dangerous gas that has the ability to take lives. CO poisoning is definitely not an issue that should be taken lightly.

Rebecca Joseph of Global News reveals that, according to the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs, more than 50 people die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning in Canada. The United States has a similar problem. “Unintentional carbon monoxide poisonings account for approximately 400 to 500 deaths (all ages) and more than 15,000 emergency department visits in the United States annually,” says HealthyChildren.org.

How can carbon monoxide poisoning be prevented?

The first step is the understanding of where carbon monoxide comes from. The poisonous gas is a by-product of appliances, heaters and automobiles that burn gasoline, natural gas, wood, oil, kerosene or propane. So it’s vital that all of the above mentioned contraptions are both used and maintained intelligently.

Francis Lavoie is a biologist at the Water and Air Quality Bureau department at Health Canada. “Whenever you burn something whether it’s wood, natural gas, oil, paper or propane, there’s CO produced,” he explains in Joseph’s article.

If you have fuel-burning appliances in your home, it’s vital that they are kept in good working order and checked by a professional regularly. Such appliances include gas water heaters, gas stoves and gas clothes dryers. “Gas cooking stove tops and ovens should not be used for supplemental heat,” insists HealthyChildren.org.

Be wary of fireplace use.

With the summer currently in full swing, this shouldn’t be a problem. But come winter, many Canadians greatly enjoy firing up their fireplaces in order to keep their homes warm and toasty. In truth, this can be a very hazardous practice, especially if the ventilation in your home is poor.

“Check to ensure the flue is open during operation,” says HealthyChildren.org, “Proper use, inspection, and maintenance of vent-free fireplaces (and space heaters) are recommended.” It’s also very important to clean your chimney. If it is blocked, you stand the chance of trapping CO gas in your home every time you light up the fireplace.

Warm up the car only when it’s outdoors.

Naturally, automobiles are kept outside…most of the time. Have you ever warmed your car up while it was still in the garage? This is a common wintertime practice for many Canadians – and it’s a dangerous one. Not only is it recommended that you regularly inspect and maintain your vehicle’s exhaust system, you should never leave your car running in the garage or any other enclosed space. As HealthyChildren.org warns us, “CO can accumulate even when a garage door is open.”

Preventing carbon monoxide poisoning is of major importance for all Canadians. Getting a CO detector should definitely be on your to-do list if you don’t have one already. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Air Quality Services that detect indoor air quality problems including CO. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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