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Nationwide Asbestos Ban To Save Many Lives In The Auto Industry

Readers of the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog are well aware of our stance on asbestos. We have long been among Canada’s many advocates for a nationwide comprehensive ban of the cancer-causing material and were thrilled to announce news of the ban just before the start of the new year. It should be a secret to no one that asbestos is unquestionably, the number one on-the-job killer in our country, taking thousands of lives a year.

And while Canada ceased the manufacturing of asbestos years ago, the recent ban will finally put a stop to its import by next year. As Bill McLauchlan reports on TireBusiness.com, “The Canadian government will ban the ‘manufacture, use, import and export’ of asbestos-containing products — including brake pads — by 2018.” And while this is clearly good news for health advocates everywhere, McLauchlan points out that the ban will especially benefit members of the auto industry.

Among the various asbestos-laden products that Canada has been importing are brake pads for vehicles. As a result, members of the Canadian automotive industry have regularly been exposed to asbestos, not knowing whether or not the brake pads they’ve been handling contain the deadly substance. McLauchlan cites Rick Jamieson, who is the president and CEO of Guelph, Ontario-based brake pad manufacturer ABS Friction Inc., as an individual who is especially happy about the recently-announced ban.

“This news was most heartening to us,” Jamieson was quoted as saying, “While the ban is long overdue, we are thankful it is finally going to happen. We have twice seen ‘ban asbestos’ private-member bills reach second reading, only to stall for one reason or another.” ABS Friction Inc. has long been campaigning for the banning of asbestos in Canada as it eliminates a major health risk to employees.

“By removing asbestos from braking systems, the new legislation also addresses a health risk to employees of more than 400 vehicle-recycling companies and dismantlers who handle about 1.6 million end-of-life vehicles a year in Canada,” McLauchlan informs. Up until the announcement of the ban, Canada was importing brake pads from countries including the United States, South Korea, China, Chile and Peru.

Jamieson does point out, however, that asbestos is not the only dangerous material that members of the auto industry regularly come into contact with. With the new asbestos ban finally having been passed, he is hopeful that the federal government will take a serious look into banning others substances as well. Chromium, mercury, copper, cadmium, lead and zinc are among them, as they all have toxic properties.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we continue to support Canadians who have been affected by the deadly ramifications of asbestos exposure and we stand beside those who wish to see the government take further action. We’re also committed to helping those who may be at risk of asbestos exposure in their homes. We proudly offer Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services that include onsite assessments, sampling and testing.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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What Is ETS And How Does It Impact Indoor Air Quality?

It’s no secret that cigarette smoking is one of the absolute most harmful activities that a person can engage in. In fact, it’s surprising that cigarette smoking still exists given how dangerous it is. In Canada, cigarette packages are well known for their graphic depictions of the diseases that can be caused by smoking the product. And, as many know, cigarettes are so destructive, they even impact the health of people who don’t smoke!

Secondhand smoke is a major health concern. While it’s common knowledge that cigarettes can cause cancer and other deadly respiratory diseases like emphysema in their users, the smoke emitted from the mouths of smokers can cause the same diseases in others. It can be argued – pretty easily, actually – that secondhand smoke is the arch enemy of our air. And it’s fair to say that there is nothing worse for our indoor air quality.

What is ETS? The Lung Association explains that Environmental Tobacco Smoke (or ETS, for short) is the term used to define the smoke that is exhaled by smokers and the smoke that is emitted from the burning ends of cigarettes, cigars and pipes. They note that ETS is one of the most widespread and harmful indoor air pollutants there is, pointing out a long list of harmful toxins that are contained within it.

According to The Lung Association, “ETS contains more than 4700 chemical compounds including: arsenic (rat and ant poison), benzene (rubber cement), lead (car battery material), phenol (used in production disinfectants and plastic), and hydrogen cyanide (poison used in gas chambers). It often produces levels of carbon monoxide and other toxins well above accepted standards for human exposure.”

ETS is so harmful, it even causes something that has been referred to as “thirdhand smoke”. The chemicals from secondhand smoke can get trapped in the fabric of our clothing or the drapes, linens and furniture in our homes. Have you ever entered a room and smelled cigarette smoke even after the smoke had already disappeared? That remaining stench is the thirdhand smoke that can still impact your health.

How can ETS be avoided? Unfortunately, no one is immune to ETS. It’s important for non-smokers to learn that they shouldn’t even be around those who smoke because they can still be exposed to the deadly toxins contained in cigarettes. However, sufferers of asthma are especially cautioned to keep away from cigarette smoke in any form. ETS is known to worsen asthma symptoms such as wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath.

Pregnant women are also advised to avoid ETS at all costs. When exposed to it, they run the risk of having miscarriages, giving birth prematurely or enduring stillbirths. Babies born to mothers who were exposed to ETS generally have lower birth weights and shorter lengths, says The Lung Association.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we recommend that you insist upon a smoke-free home. Even those who smoke outside of your home should not be permitted inside after smoking as they will be bringing harmful chemicals indoors. It’s important, of course, to maintain a living environment that is free of harmful chemicals. So, we offer Air Quality Services to help you enjoy the best indoor air quality possible!

For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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4 Reminders Of How To Eliminate Mould From Your Home

Never let it be lost on you that mould isn’t just unsightly, it’s unhealthy. It’s also important to remember that mould doesn’t just grow in our bathroom tiles and on food that is left out too long. It’s certainly true that where there is moisture, a breeding ground for mould is available. But mould can grow in areas of our home other than our bathrooms and kitchens. So, it’s important to be reminded of how to eliminate it from your home.

Here are four reminders:

1. De-clutter your home. Being a neat freak doesn’t just help to present your home in a tidy fashion. It helps to keep its inhabitants healthy. Sure, freeing your living space of clutter will help to prevent slips and falls. That’s certainly one way to stay safe. But by eliminating clutter, you will also present fewer opportunities for moisture to accumulate and for mould to find places to develop.

As a mould prevention tip, removing clutter is highly recommended by Karin Beuerlein on HouseLogic.com. “Cast a critical eye on household clutter, and pare down your stuff,” she advsies, “Clutter blocks airflow and prevents your HVAC system from circulating air. Furniture and draperies that block supply grilles cause condensation. All this moisture creates microclimates in your home that welcome and feed mould growth.”

2. Immediately attend to any leaks. The drip, drip, dripping of your faucet is more than just an auditory nuisance. With each drop of water that falls under your sink, the more moisture accumulates in the area. This provides a perfect opportunity for mould to grow. It’s important not to just place a bucket under the drip in order to collect the water, but to repair the source of the leak as soon as possible.

“Even the smallest leak can support mould growth,” informs Tim of All Systems Mechanical, “Water is probably the biggest contributing factor to mould growth in the home so take the time to fix even the smallest leaks. A drop or two here or there under your sink might not seem like much, but after a drop per minute for an entire day, how much water would be there fuelling mould growth?…Fix all of your leaks and make no exceptions and if you don’t know how then choose a good plumber.”

3. Monitor the humidity in your home. It’s important to remember that humidity breeds moisture which breeds mould. During the winter, it’s common for Canadians to keep their windows and doors shut in an effort to keep warm. However, it’s important to ensure that the indoor environment doesn’t become too humid. Opening the windows for short periods of time helps to improve indoor air quality while lowering humidity.

Beuerlein suggests that you invest in an indoor humidity monitor. “An indoor humidity monitor will help you keep track of moisture levels that, ideally, fall between 35% and 50% relative humidity; in very humid climates, at the height of summer, you may have to live with readings closer to 55%,” she writes, “But if you reach 60% relative humidity, it’s time to look for the source of the added moisture; above 70% relative humidity, certain species of mould can begin growing.”

4. Call a professional for help. “If you can’t find the moisture problem on your own, or you aren’t sure how to correct a problem you do find, call a home inspector or indoor air quality consultant,” recommends Beuerlein. And we couldn’t agree more! At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we feel that it’s necessary to remind Canadians that mould growth in the home is more prevalent than they may think.

We also feel it necessary to help out when we can. We proudly offer Mould Assessment Services that assess, analyze and report on the findings of mould in your home, office or building. Our comprehensive assessments include visual inspections for sources of mould, analytical sampling for source and health impact potential from spore exposure, moisture analysis and thermal scanning.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

2 Comments

  1. April 23, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    Hi, what is the process when calling a health inspector to come detect my apartment for mold? I am certain there’s is mold I’m just not sure how much mold is too much mold when it comes to your health while pregnant?

    • Dennis French-Reply
      April 24, 2017 at 3:38 pm

      Hello Jessica

      Depending on where you live you simply have to call the local health inspector and they can talk to you about it and whether they will attend your apartment. If they wont, contact me via email to discuss your situation further. dennisf@dftechnical.ca

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Environmental Lawyers See Asbestos Ban As Big Step In Protecting Canadians

Asbestos has killed far too many Canadians. And, unfortunately it will continue to take lives for years to come. So, of course, the recent announcement by the federal government to implement a nationwide comprehensive ban of asbestos by 2018 was welcomed by Canadians nationwide. But as environmental lawyers, Will Amos and David R. Boyd write in the Ottawa Citizen, it’s a ban that should have come a long time ago.

While the pair acknowledges that the recently-announced ban will certainly save lives, they argue that it came decades late. With asbestos being the leading occupational killer in Canada, harming both workers and their families who are exposed to asbestos at home and school, a much more aggressive approach to banning the deadly substance should have been taken in the past.

“The dangers of asbestos have been known for a long, long time,” state Amos and Boyd, “Roman historian Pliny reported that working with asbestos led to difficulty breathing and respiratory illness. A British government report published in 1898 warned that inhaling asbestos dust was killing workers. In 1918, the Prudential Life Insurance Company stated, ‘In the practice of American and Canadian life insurance companies, asbestos workers are generally declined on account of the assumed health-injurious conditions of the industry.’”

With asbestos having been recognized as a harmful material for more than a century, it begs the question: Why was it being produced all these years? You’re not likely to be surprised that the answer is simply: money. Amos and Boyd explain that as the 20th century progressed, the profits from asbestos-laden products steadily rose. Meanwhile, medical evidence was also mounting connecting “dire health consequences” to asbestos exposure.

“The industry responded with a decades-long campaign to distort, manipulate and falsify scientific evidence,” the duo explains, “Industry-funded studies that connected asbestos exposure to cancer were suppressed. Researchers were pressured to change their results, amend their conclusions or avoid discussing asbestos in public.”

Countries like Japan and Australia banned asbestos years go. Amos and Boyd applaud Canada’s decision to jump on board but stress that the proverbial dragging of our nation’s feet to reach this decision will have long-term ramifications. They also insist that Canada further its commitment to protecting its citizens by taking measures to very seriously examine the impact of other dangerous substances on the Canadian public.

“The asbestos debacle has already cost Canada dearly,” they write, “For other dangerous toxic substances and environmental contaminants, we must rigorously regulate to the highest international standards. Asbestos underscores how Canadians deserve world-class standards to protect human and ecosystem health.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we have taken the issue of Canada’s asbestos ban very seriously. We recognize the extreme importance of keeping Canadians safe from this toxic material. If you have any questions about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to contact us in order to ask them. Give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at info@dftechnical.ca.

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Are Air Fresheners Really That Bad For Our Health?

Do you use air fresheners in your home or your car? If so, you’re a lot like most people. It’s natural to want your environment to smell fresh and pleasant, especially considering that there are numerous products on the market that offer up a wide variety of sweet scents. However, if you’re one of the many individuals who use aerosol sprays and other air freshening mechanisms, you are creating an unhealthy living space.

As April McCarthy informs us on PreventDisease.com, artificial fragrance sales exceed $8 billion a year although they emit “toxic fumes”. Among the health ramifications of spraying your air with such products are headaches, earaches, depression, allergies, irregular heartbeat and even diarrhea, she notes. “Fragrance can be made up of more than 100 chemicals, most of which are synthetic, and most of these chemicals are harming our health,” writes McCarthy.

What chemicals in air fresheners are causing the most damage? McCarthy reveals that phthalates are regularly used in common household air fresheners in order to prolong the length of time that the scented products maintain their fragrances. Phthalates, in fact, are also used as plastic softeners, anti-foaming agents in aerosols, in vinyl found in children’s toys, automobiles, paints, pesticides and in cosmetics and fragrances.

According to a 2007 Natural Resources Defense Council report, 12 of 14 brands of common household air fresheners contained phthalates, reports McCarthy. “Regular exposure to phthalates can increase your risk of experiencing endocrine, reproductive, and developmental problems,” she reveals, “Amazingly, some of the brands that tested positive for phthalates did not include phthalates on their lists of ingredients; some of these brands were even labeled as being ‘all-natural’ and ‘unscented.’”

The NRDC also points out that exposure to phthalates can interfere with the production of the male hormone testosterone which can be linked to reproductive abnormalities. However, phthalates are far from the only chemical found in air fresheners that can be hazardous to our health.

What other dangerous chemicals are found in air fresheners? On Grandparents.com, Sara Schwartz reminds us that air fresheners also contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They include such toxic chemicals as acetone, ethanol, d-limonene, pinene, and acetate. “Depending on your exposure and sensitivity, toxic VOCs can produce a range of health effects, including eye, nose, and throat irritation, nausea and headaches, and even damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system,” she explains.

What chemical-free ways can we freshen the air in our homes? According to Dr. Anne Steinemann, who is a professor of civil engineering at the University of Melbourne, the best smell is no smell at all. In Schwartz’s article, she advises opening up the windows even for a short period each day. And yes, this includes the wintertime. “Why use an air freshener at all? It’s not designed to clean and disinfect the air; it’s a chemical mixture that masks odor,” she is quoted as saying.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we agree that having fresh air in the home is of major importance. However, maintaining a living environment that is free of harmful chemicals is most ideal. We offer Air Quality Services to help target any problems areas of your home to ensure that you are enjoying the best indoor air quality possible. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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CLC President Calls Asbestos Ban A Victory For All Canadians

Happy new year Canada! On behalf of the entire DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. staff, we would like to wish you a very happy and healthy 2017. And thanks to the recent announcement that asbestos will officially be banned in Canada, we can all breathe a little easier – literally. It’s no secret to readers of our blog that we have been big proponents of the ban on the hazardous material that is known for killing upwards of 2,000 Canadians a year.

We join people like Canadian Labour Congress president, Hassan Yussuff in celebrating the federal government’s decision to ban asbestos, which finally came on December 15th. Right before ringing in the new year, Yussuff took to writing a letter about the asbestos ban, declaring it a “victory for all Canadians”. He was and continues to be one of the hardest-working protestors of asbestos in Canada. As he points out in his letter, which was published on TheTelegram.com, the ban is bound to save thousands of lives.

“Banning asbestos will lead to better occupational health and safety protections for workers,” he writes, “Experts estimate that 150,000 Canadians are exposed to asbestos at work, particularly in industries like construction, automobile maintenance, shipbuilding, trade contractors and waste management. Internationally, the World Health Organization reports more than 100,000 asbestos-related deaths per year.”

Yussuff admits to having a very personal attachment to his convictions. Asbestos has taken the lives of many people he has met throughout the years. In the many years he has been working towards a ban, he has been introduced to numerous families of workers who have unknowingly brought home deadly asbestos fibres. This exposed their children and spouses to the hazardous material. Today, many of them battle mesothelioma and other respiratory illnesses.

However, Yussuff himself has also been exposed to asbestos. In his letter, he recalls his days working as a mechanic, exposing himself to asbestos-containing brake pads and clutches. “Because asbestos-related cancers have such a long latency period, I don’t know yet if I’ll be one of the unlucky ones,” he admits, “What I do know is that there are far too many workers who, unlike me, may have been exposed to this killer for years without even knowing it.”

The comprehensive nationwide ban of asbestos in Canada was a mandatory measure, as far as Yussuff is concerned. Although Canada stopped mining asbestos years ago, the nation still inexplicably imported products that contained the deadly substance. In fact, there became an increase in the imports of products such as brake pads and construction materials after Canada no longer produced asbestos itself.

Naturally, this only worked to increase asbestos exposure in our country. As a result, deaths from mesothelioma increased 60 percent between 2000 and 2012, Yussuff informs. “A ban on asbestos is about protecting workers, their families, and communities,” he insists, “It is about saving lives, here in Canada and internationally. I commend the federal government for its leadership, and I urge the provinces and territories to work diligently to help implement the ban.”

The team, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., would also like to commend the federal government for banning asbestos. We know, however, that there is still a lot of work to be done to protect Canadians from the material that already exists here. If you have any questions about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to contact us in order to ask them.

Give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at info@dftechnical.ca.

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3 Ways To Have A Healthier Home In The New Year

Teenager girl throwing pillow into the air, having funMost New Year’s Resolutions focus on self-improvement in some way. Generally, people endeavour to quit smoking, exercise or change their diets to include healthier food choices as ways to better their health. However, most neglect to make resolutions about improving the air they breathe. It goes without saying that the air we breathe is vital to our health. So why not make 2017 the year you make your home the healthiest it has ever been?

Here are three ways to have a healthier home in the new year:

1. Focus on improving indoor air quality. This newfound focus will require many tasks – but they shouldn’t be hard to do. Regular vacuuming, dusting and mopping will do away with many of the dust particles that inhibit our air from being at its purest. Buying some houseplants to improve the oxygen content of the air is also advisable. As well, making sure to take your shoes off before entering your home will prevent excess dirt and grime to come in from outside.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we specialize in Air Quality Services. We employ a number of trained individuals who all have strong understandings of the indoor environment. They maximize their inspection processes in order to target all areas of concern in your home or office. The air you breathe in your home can cause health and wellness issues that you can avoid through thorough inspections.

2. Test for asbestos. Our blog has been closely covering our nation’s campaign for a complete ban of asbestos for many months now. Last week, we proudly reported about the federal government’s plan to completely rid Canada of asbestos by 2018. While we haven’t exported asbestos in quite some time, we were still importing it through such products as brake pads. Known for causing lung cancer, mesothelioma and other deadly respiratory diseases, asbestos is definitely a material you do not want in your home.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services that involved onsite assessments as well as sampling and analysis of the materials collected. Our team will be able to locate asbestos if it is contained within such areas as your furnace, plumbing, electrical wiring, attics, cinder block walls, flooring and ceilings.

3. Limit the moisture in your home. When you shower – especially when you take those long hot showers during the winter – it’s important that you run your exhaust fan. When you’re cooking in the kitchen, running your exhaust fan is just as important. Limiting moisture in your home will help to prevent the growth of mould. When mould spores are airborne, they can present many health hazards to our respiratory systems. Asthmatics are especially aware of this.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we off Moisture Monitoring Services that evaluate buildings for moisture sources such as building envelop failures, leakage issues and occupant-based moisture sources that could be the cause of mould development. We also offer Mould Assessment Services that include inspections involving analytical sampling, moisture analysis and thermal scanning.

Let’s work together on making 2017 your healthiest year yet. For more information on any and all of the above mentioned services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

Happy New Year!

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Canada Finally Follows Through On Comprehensive Asbestos Ban!

Large yellow skip bin filled with building waste showing No Asbestos stickerAt long last, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has come through on his promise. Since his announcement to move forward on a comprehensive ban of asbestos in Canada, this past May, many Canadians have been anxiously awaiting official word of its implementation. Readers of the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog are well aware of the attention we have been paying this matter. And now, we’re so very happy to pass along the good news about what we’ve all been waiting for.

As reported by several news sources including Julie Ireton of CBC News, the federal government has made official its plans to completely ban asbestos from Canada by 2018. The ban involves a change of the rules and regulations surrounding the disease-causing material. The changes involve revisions of national building codes to prohibit the use of asbestos in new construction and renovation projects throughout Canada. As well, there will be new actions to ban the import of asbestos-containing products such as brake pads and construction materials.

For far too long, asbestos has been the culprit behind the deaths of 2,000 Canadians a year. Used predominantly as an insulator in the construction of homes and buildings, asbestos is no longer welcome in any capacity in our country. The announcement of the ban came just last week Thursday as Science Minister Kirsty Duncan conducted a news conference at the Ottawa Hospital’s General campus.

“Asbestos, a known carcinogen, has been condemned by the World Health Organization and is banned in some 50 countries around the world,” Ireton highlights, “With this announcement, Canada is committing to its own comprehensive ban — which is supposed to be fulfilled by 2018 — of a product that many Canadians believe was outlawed years ago.”

Hassan Yussuff, who is the president of the Canadian Labour Congress, has been particularly adamant about a comprehensive ban of asbestos in Canada for quite some time. With the CLC, he has tirelessly campaigned to have the hazardous substance outlawed. Understandably, Yussuff was thrilled to hear the news of the official ban, stating in Times Colonist that it represented an important win for all Canadians.

“We can all breathe more easily after last week’s announcement that the federal government is finally banning asbestos,” he writes, “It is a move that will, without question, save lives for generations to come, and make workplaces and public spaces safer for all Canadians…Asbestos is the leading cause of workplace-related death in this country. More than 2,000 Canadians die every year from asbestos-related cancers such as mesothelioma, and because it can take 20 to 50 years for cancer to develop after exposure, that number will initially continue to rise.”

It is our sincere hope, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., that Canada’s comprehensive ban will result in a significant decrease of asbestos-related diseases and deaths in our country that will be noticeable in the not-too-distant future. The immediate benefits, however, will be hard to notice considering that it can take decades for asbestos-related diseases like asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer to surface.

This means that sadly, Canadians will continue to die due to asbestos exposure long after the ban takes full effect. It is our hope, however, that we can do our part to minimize as much damage as possible. It’s the reason we continue to proudly offer our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca. Happy holidays!

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Long Awaited Nationwide Ban Of Asbestos Expected This Week

Danger Asbestos Removal Sign posted on school window.Canadians have been patiently (or perhaps impatiently) waiting for a comprehensive ban of asbestos every since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government was moving towards one this past May. As has been covered extensively by the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog, no official announcement of a ban has been made yet. However, as CBC News reports, one is expected this week.

According to Julie Ireton, the federal government finally plans to announce a comprehensive ban on asbestos in Canada. “The country currently allows imports of construction products and automotive parts that contain the toxic fibre, even though Canada no longer exports the material,” she writes, “Asbestos is known to cause deadly cancers and lung diseases, and has already been banned in Europe, Australia and Japan. The World Health Organization recommends replacing asbestos with safer substitutes.”

Organizations such as the Canadian Labour Congress have been front and centre in the call for the nationwide ban of the hazardous substance. Formerly used in the construction of homes, office buildings and schools, primarily for the purposes of insulation, asbestos is known for having its airborne fibres cause lung cancer and other deadly diseases such as mesothelioma. All in all, it’s responsible for the deaths of about 2,000 Canadians per year.

And even though the production of asbestos came to a halt in Canada years ago, the nation has continued to import products, such as brake pads, that contain asbestos. As Ireton points out, asbestos, when undisturbed, isn’t particularly dangerous. However, once fibres are disturbed, they can become airborne. This causes major complications for the respiratory systems of anyone who inhales the fibres.

Such instances have occurred far too often in Canadian workplaces. “From time to time contractors, electricians, plumbers, custodians, firefighters and cable installers unknowingly disrupt pipes, walls, ceilings and other materials that contain the toxic fibre,” Ireton explains, “Public Services and Procurement Canada announced in April that it planned to ban the use of asbestos in that department’s construction projects.”

She goes on to report that “the department has also developed an inventory of its buildings that contain asbestos, and several other departments are expected to follow that lead.” Those who have been keeping up with the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog know all too well the deadly ramifications endured by far too many Canadians at the hands of inhaled asbestos fibres. And while the call for a comprehensive ban is expected this week, it still can’t come soon enough.

To be honest, we still can’t figure out what the hold-up is. Ireton’s CBC News report was published this past Friday. As of this writing, the ban has not yet been announced. You can expect for us to report on the announcement once it is made. Of course, we’re also continuing to do our part to help those who may have asbestos present in their homes and workplaces.

Our Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) Services include a number of asbestos testing procedures such as an onsite assessment and sampling and analysis of materials collected from various parts of your home or office. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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3 Easy Ways To Improve Indoor Air Quality During The Winter

Cozy winter composition in a room, with snowy landscape seen through the window.During the warm and sunny summertime, many Canadians keep their windows open in order to circulate the air from outside with the air from inside. Then again, maybe less Canadians do that than we think. Far too many of us are prone to turning on the air conditioning. As a result, the air inside our homes gets stale and stagnant during the summer. Who complains about the heat in Canada anyway? Don’t people remember what winter is like?

Well, it seems like most Canadians have excellent memories when the winter comes. Recalling just how cold it can get, they go ahead and seal their homes up again. This time, they keep the heat going inside. We can never be satisfied, can we? Here’s the problem: with our homes sealed up during the winter, we continue to promote stale and stagnant air inside. So, it’s important that we take measures to improve the indoor air quality in our homes throughout the winter.

How do we do that? Here are three simple ideas:

1. Fill your home with plants. It’s a win-win situation to have plants in your home. Not only do they beautify your living spaces, but they help to clean the air. As we’ve pointed out in past blogs, certain plants such as spider plants, dracaenas, golden pothos, areca palms, bamboo palms, English ivy, rubber plants, Chinese evergreen, peace lilies and chrysanthemums are highly recommended.

“Houseplants can clean and purify the air in a home, helping to remove formaldehyde, benzene and other toxins that can make indoor air unhealthy to breathe,” reminds TheReflector.com, “Benzene is an irritant that can cause dizziness, headache, nausea, and blurred vision, among other side effects. Formaldehyde, which is often found in homes thanks to its widespread use in a range of products, can cause watery eyes, nausea and wheezing.”

2. Use cleaning products with natural ingredients. There are a number of cleaning products on the market that don’t contain harmful chemicals. Be sure to look for them when you go grocery shopping. They not only make your home pleasant smelling and cleaner overall, but they help you to avoid the toxic chemicals that can negatively impact your home’s indoor air quality. Don’t be fooled by sweet fragrances!

“It’s ideal to avoid heavy chemical usage inside a home throughout the year, but it’s especially important to do so during winter,” says MyValleyNews.com, “Solvent-based cleaners or cleaning products with strong fragrances can negatively affect indoor air quality and potentially trigger allergic reactions. In lieu of chemically-enhanced cleaning products, use natural products that get the job done without sacrificing indoor air quality.”

3. Absolutely insist on a no smoking policy. By today’s standards, smoking cigarettes indoors is considered bizarre. With laws protecting Canadians from secondhand smoke in nearly all indoor environments, it’s not uncommon to see people huddled outside on their smoke breaks from work. Insist upon this policy for your home. It’s hard to argue that cigarette smoke is among the worst possible ways to ruin the air you breathe.

“Many homeowners know that smoking indoors drastically reduces indoor air quality, putting even nonsmokers at heightened risk of developing various respiratory ailments,” notes TheReflector.com, “Homeowners concerned about the indoor air quality in their homes should ban smoking inside, no matter how low temperatures dip outside.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Air Quality Services to help target any problems areas of your home to ensure that you are enjoying the best indoor air quality possible. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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