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Asbestos A Factor In Keeping The Prime Minister Out Of 24 Sussex Drive

The White House in Washington, D.C. is world famous for being the residence of the sitting President of the United States. Known to a lesser degree, but widely recognized throughout Canada, is 24 Sussex Drive – the Ottawa, Ontario residence of Canada’s Prime Minister. That is, of course, until now. Reports have described the 19th century structure as one that is practically uninhabitable.

24 Sussex Drive is “deteriorating, mouse-infested (and) hydro-draining”.

As Catharine Tunney of CBC reports, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was raised at 24 Sussex Drive during his father Pierre’s tenure as Prime Minister in the early 1980s, isn’t likely to return to the “deteriorating, mouse-infested, hydro-draining and oft-spoofed official residence of Canada’s head of government”.

Originally named Gorffwysfa, which is Welsh for “place of peace”, the stone mansion which sits at 24 Sussex Drive is in desperate need of renovations. However, the Prime Minister is of the mind that taxpayer money shouldn’t go to the upkeep of the home of its nation’s leader.

“There’s a real challenge in this country,” Trudeau is quoted as saying in Tunney’s article, “Anything that a prime minister decides that they can potentially benefit from — that’s one of the reasons that that house has gone into the ground since the time I lived there — is that no prime minister wants to spend a penny of taxpayer dollars on upkeeping that house.” The Trudeau family lives in a nearby Rideau Cottage instead of the traditional home of the Prime Minister.

24 Sussex Drive is in need of “urgent” repairs.

Tunney notes that an auditor’s report from ten years ago reported that a repair bill would run upwards of $10 million. The 35-room residence, in fact, hasn’t had any major renovations since 1951. “It also found the windows, plumbing, electrical systems, heating and air conditioning in poor to critical condition, and noted the home had no fire sprinklers and contained asbestos,” she reports.

As if this description of the Canadian Prime Minister’s intended home isn’t bad enough, the presence of asbestos in the mansion is yet another reason it has become so undesirable. In fact, there have been calls by former residences of 24 Sussex Drive for it to be torn down and replaced with a structure befitting the leader of a nation.

One such former resident is Maureen McTeer. The wife of former Prime Minister Joe Clark feels that the building isn’t worth saving, especially considering that its 1951 renovations stripped it of all of its original fixtures. In a separate CBC report by John Paul Tasker, McTeer also points out that the presence of asbestos at 24 Sussex Drive simply makes the residence unlivable.

24 Sussex Drive is “an old, crumbling building with asbestos”.

“This residence is much more than just a house — or even a place where prime ministers live while they’re in office — it should represent an idea of Canada,” she is quoted as saying in an interview with Rita Celli on CBC Radio’s Ontario Today, “That’s why an old, crumbling building with asbestos, which we know is poison, really is so lacking of vision, if you will, and [does not reflect] who we are as Canadians.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are definitely of the mind that our nation’s leader deserves a better home. However, we also believe that all Canadians deserve to live in asbestos-free residences. 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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Keeping Your Home Mould-Free During The Winter

Believe it or not, winter is the season when preventing mould growth in your home is most difficult. Consider the fact that it’s a very wet time of year. With all of the snow on the ground, we track wet slush into our homes on a frequent basis. However, we Canadians tend to turn up the heat in our homes during the winter. And can you blame us? The frigid outdoor temperatures are enough to keep us hidden indoors for longer periods of time than usual.

This cooped-up-in-our-homes routine is actually one of the top reasons mould becomes such an issue in the winter.

Naturally, we tend to keep our windows closed so as to avoid getting cold. However, this only causes our indoor humidity to rise. You’ll know that it’s too humid in your home when – as Steve Maxwell of the Ottawa Citizen puts it – our windows start to “sweat”.

Of course, he’s referring to the condensation that forms on our windows when the cold air from outside meets surfaces that are warmed from the inside. “Windows ‘sweat’ during winter as indoor air cools against cold window glass and loses its ability to hold moisture,” explains Maxwell, “This excess water has got to come out somewhere, and glass and window frames are excellent places for droplets of condensation to form.”

What can you do to prevent condensation during the winter?

Crack the windows. This is a tip that we’ve recommended numerous times before and we’re not likely to quit listing it. Yes, it’s cold outside. But cracking the windows helps for the stale air from inside to circulate with the fresh air from outside. It also helps to lower humidity levels so that mould-producing moisture doesn’t accumulate throughout the home. You can also reduce moisture by using your home’s exhaust fans.

“The easiest way to boost indoor air quality and reduce window condensation in a tight home is by opening windows a little and running exhaust fans more often in the bathroom and kitchen,” advises Maxwell, “For every cubic foot of stale air pushed outside by fans, another cubic foot of fresh air is drawn in through windows opened a little here and there.”

You’ll also want to be on the lookout for areas of the home that receive little ventilation.

Some rooms have no windows or exhaust fans. We’re thinking of basements and attics here – two places where mould is most likely to form. Make sure that these areas are clean and dry. It’s the best way to prevent mould from forming when increased ventilation isn’t possible.

“Look for areas in the home where air can become trapped,” recommends MouldDog.ca, “A common issue could be lack of ventilation in attics and near roofs. Hot air rises and if it gets trapped it can turn into condensation, which can lead to water and mould issues.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we know how important it is to keep your home mould-free, not just during the winter, but all year long. 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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Canada Apparently Has To Wait Another Year For Asbestos Ban

A couple of weeks ago, we blogged about the new rules and regulations regarding asbestos in Canada. Of course, that blog entry was one in a long line of articles covering the proposed comprehensive ban set forth by the federal government back in December of 2016. For all intents and purposes, we have been made to believe that the ban would officially be launched this year.

For the past year, new reports have claimed that asbestos will be banned in Canada in 2018.

However, a report released by TireBusiness.com earlier this week, reveals that we will all have to wait until next year to celebrate the asbestos ban. Perhaps, we missed something. To be sure, we checked back and re-read The Canadian Press article published by CanadianBusiness.com cited in our blog from two weeks ago. The article informs us that the government is accepting feedback on its proposed changes between now and March 22nd. No word of the ban not coming into full effect until 2019.

The recent report, compiled by The Canadian Press and Rob Bostelaar of Automotive News Canada, provides much of the same information as the report from earlier this month. It, too, notes that “the government is asking the public and industry for feedback during a comment period, which ends March 22.”

Were we missing something the last time around?

We searched the internet for other news sources, attempting to confirm a date for the nationwide asbestos ban. There is no other article claiming it will take another entire year. You can rest assure that we will remain on top of this issue. Perhaps, a call to the federal government is in order. Needless to say, at this point, asbestos is deadly. Delaying its ban any further is nonsensical.

As TireBusiness.com explains, “asbestos is a carcinogen that has been condemned by the World Health Organization and is banned in about 50 countries around the world…Asbestos was mined in Canada until 2011 and was used mainly for insulating buildings and homes, as well as for fireproofing. Many uses have been phased out, but asbestos still may be found in a variety of products, including cement pipes, industrial furnaces and heating systems, building insulation, automotive brake pads and clutches.”

Brake pads remain among the top sources of asbestos exposure in Canada.

The nation continues to import asbestos-laden brake pads to the tune of 333,000 units each year. The proposed regulations are attempting to get automotive stakeholders to switch to asbestos-free ceramic brake pads or ones that use synthetic fibres.

“Assuming that there is a $5 incremental difference in price between brake pads containing asbestos and asbestos-free brake pads, it is expected that the automotive industry would carry operating costs of approximately $21 million over the time frame of analysis,” says a government report, as quoted in the TireBusiness.com article.

If it seems like we’re growing impatient, you’re right!

Quite frankly, there really is no reason for Canada to delay its asbestos ban any further. In the meantime, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. 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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3 Winter Cleaning Tips That Help Maximize Indoor Air Quality

Keeping your home clean, tidy and pollutant-free all winter long isn’t the easiest thing to do. Most of us keep our windows closed to avoid having the frigid temperatures outside impact the comfort of our indoor living quarters. Furthermore, we regularly track snow, slush and dirt into our homes, especially on those blistery, snowy days. Winter is the season when maintaining high-quality indoor air is most difficult.

As a result, it’s important that we all take extra measures to ensure that our indoor air quality is the highest it can be. In other words, we need to put added efforts into cleaning up around the house. Here are three winter cleaning tips:

1. Leave winter at the door.

As mentioned, the snowy days make for dirty homes. And that’s because we can’t help but enter our homes with wet boots. In addition to the creation of soggy entranceways is the bringing in of contaminants from the ground. Outside surfaces continue to be rampant with dirt, mud and other pollutants that get stuck to our footwear in the winter. As a result, it’s best to winterize your entry.

“Keep winter’s slush and gunk at bay by making your entryway a dirt guardian,” recommends John Riha on Houselogic.com, “Get a boot scraper…Add a chair or bench for taking off boots, and have a boot rack for wet footwear. Put down a tough coir outdoor doormat…for cleaning footwear.”

2. Clean your furnace and replace your air filters.

Let’s revisit the all-too-common practice of keeping our windows shut all winter long. Doing so insists upon you breathing in stale air throughout the season. Without cracking the windows, you don’t allow for the fresh air from outside to circulate with the stagnant air from inside. We can’t say we blame you for wanting to keep warm. So, if you’re not one for cracking the windows in winter, be sure to replace your air filters and clean your furnace to ensure that the air in your home is as pollutant-free as possible.

“According to the EPA, you should change your HVAC filters at least every three months to ensure your air stays clean,” informs Clair Jones on ImproveNet.com, “After replacing the filters, soak dusty ventilation covers in a hot water and soap solution. Filters work to pull dust particles out of the air and create cleaner, healthier air for you to breathe. They also keep your floors and furniture from gathering dust, helping keep your home looking its best.”

3. Dust and clean in oft-forgotten places.

Most of us dust our furniture and vacuum our floors. However, what most of us don’t do is turn our furniture upside down or on the side to clean areas that often don’t get any attention. As well, it’s wise to pull out your fridge and stove to vacuum up the many crumbs and food particles that have likely accumulated unnoticed for months. Riha also reminds us to clean our ceiling fan blades. Imagine how much dust accumulates on untouched fan blades throughout the winter. Now imagine how much dust you’re spreading around once you turn the fan on in the summer!

“Those big blades on your ceiling fan are great at moving air, but when they’re idle they’re big dust magnets — dust settles on the top surfaces where you can’t see it,” Riha writes, “Out of sight maybe, but not out of mind.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Inc., we’d love to help you live in a healthy home all winter long. 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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Federal Government Announces New Rules And Regulations Regarding Asbestos

It should come as no surprise to readers of the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog to know that we are paying pretty close attention to the forthcoming nationwide ban of asbestos. Announced by the federal government, back in December of 2016, the comprehensive ban of the toxic material has been a long time coming. Scheduled for 2018, the ban is yet to be announced as having taken full effect.

Late last week, The Canadian Press offered some insight as to when Canadians can expect the ban to officially and finally come to pass. An article courtesy of CanadianBusiness.com revealed that “the federal government has laid out a tough set of proposed new regulations to prohibit the use, sale, import and export of asbestos and products that contain it, as well as the manufacture of products containing the cancer-causing mineral.”

The rules and regulations are currently undergoing an examination period which is to last until March 22nd.

During this time, which is being called a “comment period”, the federal government is asking the public and the industry for feedback. According to the article, the proposed amendments are designed to ensure that there is no market for asbestos and its related products in Canada.

“Asbestos is a carcinogen that has been condemned by the World Health Organization and is banned in about 50 countries around the world,” The Canadian Press reminds us, “Asbestos was mined in Canada until 2011 and was used mainly for insulating buildings and homes, as well as for fireproofing. Many uses have been phased out, but asbestos may still be found in a variety of products, including cement pipes, industrial furnaces and heating systems, building insulation, automotive brake pads and clutches.”

Under the new set of rules, the use or sale of any asbestos-containing products that currently exist in inventories across Canada, but have not yet been installed, would be prohibited. The regulations also stipulate that any asbestos-related materials that are currently stockpiled would have to be disposed of or destroyed.

There are exceptions to the new rules.

The Canadian Press article does note, however, that there are some exceptions to the new rules and regulations regarding asbestos. The material happens to be used in the chlor-alkali industry as part of cell diaphragms that are used as filters in the manufacture of chlorine and caustic soda. That application will be exempted from the ban until 2025. The idea is that it will give the industry time to phase out the existing systems.

“The clean-up of millions of tonnes of asbestos residue around former mine sites will also be exempt from the regulations, to allow for the use of the material in redevelopment of the areas,” the article also informs, “Scientists would still be allowed to study asbestos under another exemption and asbestos or objects containing asbestos could still be imported for display in a museum.”

As mentioned, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team has made it no secret that it very much looks forward to the official launch of Canada’s asbestos ban. It also remains very dedicated to helping Canadians to eradicate the presence 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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Asbestos Found In Claire’s Makeup Products

Happy New Year everyone! It’s officially 2018! And for those of you who have been following the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog for the past year, you know how excited we are about the changing of the calendar. 2018 marks the year when Canada finally bans asbestos for good! We have extensively covered the news of our nation’s ban since it was first announced a little over a year ago. We now patiently wait for the day when the ban becomes official.

Make no mistake about it. Asbestos is deadly.

It is a known cause of mesothelioma and other forms of lung cancer and is the culprit behind thousands of workplace-related deaths in Canada each and every year. Formerly used as an insulation material in the construction of homes and office buildings, asbestos is still imported as parts of such products as brake pads for cars.

However, in a story that was published shortly before the new year, makeup users learned that the products they’re using on their faces may also contain the toxic material. According to Kate Sheridan on Newsweek.com, some makeup products that are sold at Claire’s are tainted with asbestos. This news stemmed from a report from WJAR which is an NBC affiliate station based in Rhode Island.

“The issue was discovered after a woman sent the makeup away for tests before her 6-year-old daughter used it,” reports Sheridan, “The woman, Kristi Warner, works at a law firm that specializes in asbestos lawsuits. Nine potentially affected products are currently listed on Claire’s website…The company states on its website that it will offer refunds to customers who return the products while the investigation is ongoing.”

She goes on to inform that testing found millions of asbestos pieces in the Claire’s makeup samples. With more than 1,600 stores in North America, one can only imagine how many individuals have been impacted by the company’s hazardous makeup products. Sean Fitzgerald of the Scientific Analytical Institute in North Carolina tested 24 samples from 17 products purchased in nine different cities.

“Every time we tested, in every Claire’s product that contains a talc-based cosmetic, we found tremolite asbestos,” he is quoted as saying in Sheridan’s article. He points out that talc-based products are particularly susceptible to being contaminated with asbestos because of the way talc and asbestos form in the earth. “Talc minerals and asbestos-forming minerals are related. They’re both magnesium silicates,” he adds.

The article doesn’t make mention of any customer complaints related to Claire’s products.

One can only imagine the impact of asbestos-laden makeup used on a person’s face. As Sheridan mentions, “Asbestos-related diseases usually affect people who are exposed to it through their job; the risk is especially high if a person is exposed over a long period of time.” As of her article’s writing, an investigation is ongoing.

As we’ve made no secret, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team takes the issue of asbestos very seriously. If you have any concerns about the possibility of asbestos being present in your home, please don’t hesitate to contact us and ask us about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services. Call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Helping You To Make 2018 Your Healthiest Year Yet!

We’re only five days away from Christmas! It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year already. From everyone here, at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. we’d like to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas! We’d also like to wish everyone a very Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa as well! Our great nation of Canada is home to many different people all celebrating various special occasions at this time of year. We hope they are all joyous for everyone.

Our team would also like to thank each and every one of our clients. With your help, we enjoyed a great 2017 and we look forward to an even better 2018. In order to make that happen, we need to work on getting you all healthier! In other words, our business simply isn’t successful if our clients aren’t enjoying better lives thanks to improved indoor air quality in their homes and places of business.

How can DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. help you to have a healthier 2018?

We offer numerous services that work to detect air pollutants in the places where you live and work so that you can breathe cleaner air. Just one of those services is our Mould Assessment Services. They include visual inspections for sources of mould, analytical sampling for source and health impact potential from spore exposure, moisture analysis and thermal scanning.

It’s important to be on the lookout for signs that you may have a mould problem. They include the onset of such symptoms as runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, watery eyes, skin rash or itching, flu-like symptoms, asthma attacks, memory problems, constant headaches and possible fever. To prevent mould from growing in your home or place of business, it’s important to limit the amount of moisture and humidity contained within.

“Look for damp spots in your house,” advises Canada.ca on its list of prevention tips, “Check basements, closets, window sills, roofs, and around sinks, tubs and pipes. Fix damp spots right away. Repair any water leaks as soon as you notice them. Clean up immediately after any flood. Use fans. Use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans when cooking or showering. Let the fan run for a few minutes after you are done.”

We’re also working on making asbestos a thing of the past!

In 2018, Canada will finally implement its nationwide ban on the toxic material. However, a lot of work will still need to be done to protect Canadians from its harmful effects. Properties built before 1990 used asbestos for insulation purposes in walls, ceilings, floors and attics. It was also used for wrapping materials for ducts, furnaces, pipes and electrical wiring.

Sadly, asbestos is a known killer, causing the most occupational deaths in Canada each year. No province is immune. As Jeff Cottrill informs us on OHSCanada.com, “asbestos-related disease remains the top cause of occupational fatalities in British Columbia, with 584 workers in the province having lost their lives to asbestos-related illness from 2006 to 2015, according to WorkSafeBC, which launched an asbestos awareness campaign last fall.”

Let’s work together on making 2018 your healthiest year yet!

For more information about any and all of our services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca. Happy holidays!

One Comment

  1. Michael LaFrance-Reply
    January 7, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    Wanting a quote for services. Our house has had water entering through the basement floor boards by way of cracks in the foundation / weeping tile. Air quality testing and inspection for mold is required

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Brazil Joins Canada In Implementing Ban Of Asbestos

2018 is right around the corner. And it’s set to be a wonderful year for Canadians. It will be the year when our nation finally bans asbestos completely. According to Matt Mauney on Asbestos.com, Canada was once considered a world leader in asbestos production. However, the toxic material is the leading cause of occupational deaths in our country. Thankfully, other nations are catching on. Canada is now joined by Ukraine, Moldova and most recently Brazil as countries who have declared a ban asbestos for good.

“The world’s third-largest producer of chrysotile asbestos, also known as white asbestos, ruled last week to ban the production, distribution and use of the toxic mineral,” Mauney reports in a December 4th article, “Brazil’s Supreme Court on Nov. 29 voted 7 to 2 on the measure to ban the substance responsible for deadly mesothelioma and other diseases.”

Brazil’s asbestos ban is quite the monumental one.

It officially makes the nation the most populous one in the world to ban the hazardous material. According to the International Ban Asbestos Secretariat (IBAS), informs Mauney, China, India and the United States – nations with populations larger than Brazil – still use chrysotile in some capacity.

The Brazilian ban, however, is huge for entirely different reason. The South American nation stands to lose a major revenue stream considering that approximately 95 percent of the raw chrysotile asbestos that is imported into the United States comes from Brazil. According to a 2017 study from the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. imported 340 metric tons of the toxic material last year.

Fernanda Giannasi is the advisor to Brazil’s Association of the Asbestos-Exposed. In a statement to BBC Brazil, she communicated a hope for seeing other countries following suit. “This decision will have a global impact on the market. It will create a domino effect,” she is quoted as saying, “If an asbestos-producing country like Brazil is capable of making such a decision, why wouldn’t it be followed by those countries that buy asbestos?”

The U.S. is yet to be on board.

As it stands, Brazil and Canada are now two out of 62 countries that have banned asbestos. For some reason, the United States continues to not be one of them. “The U.S. remains one of the few industrialized countries without a ban or phase-out plan in place,” writes Mauney, “Of the 10 most populous countries in the world, only Brazil and Japan have passed comprehensive legislation to ban asbestos. Roughly 10,000 Americans die each year from preventable asbestos-related diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.”

It is assumed, however, that instead of joining the 62 other nations in banning asbestos, the United States will turn to Russia to import the material. Russia, explains Mauney, has long been a world leader in asbestos mine production – to the tune of 1.1 million metric tons each year. That’s more than half of the world total! It trails only China in being the world’s top consumer of asbestos products as well.

The team, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. applauds Brazil’s wise decision to ban asbestos. And as far as we’re concerned, the new year can’t come soon enough. We look forward to an asbestos-free Canada. We know, however, that many in our nation are still impacted by asbestos. 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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Cracking The Windows In The Winter Isn’t So Crazy After All!

In many of our past blogs, we’ve championed the act of cracking the windows in the winter. What may, at first, seem like a crazy idea isn’t all that crazy when you think about it. Yes, for most of our Canadian winter days, the temperatures outside will be below zero. However, by keeping ourselves cooped up in our homes, we only work to make ourselves sicker. It’s important for the fresh air from outside to circulate with the stale air from inside.

“Leaving a home completely shut up for the entirety of winter allows any toxins that already exist in your home to build up to dangerous levels,” explains Canadian Choice Windows & Doors, “Common toxins found within the home include dust, smoke, mold, radon, and viruses. Breathing any of these toxics in regularly for a long period of time can be detrimental to your health. They can cause dizziness, nausea, headaches, or eye irritation.”

Cleaning isn’t enough.

Even when we work to keep our homes clean, we aren’t necessarily making the air within them safe to breathe. This is especially true if the cleaning products we’re using contain harmful chemicals. Many household cleaning products include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are pretty bad for our respiratory systems. The simple cracking open of a window during the winter can help to eliminate some of those toxins from our homes.

“Sealing your home against drafts and air leaks is really counterproductive and a further cause for stale and germy air,” reports HealthStatus.com, “There is little circulation in a home that is totally sealed and heated. Indoor air quality plunges your family into agonizing chapped lips, sinus infections, sore throats, flu, irritating flaky and itchy skin and colds. Gain your indoor air quality back and get health under control.”

Believe it or not, it’s healthy to let “germs” into your home.

That may sound like a weird statement. But it begins to make sense after you realize that not all “germs” are bad for you. As Canadian Choice Windows & Doors reminds us, many natural germs that we carry in our bodies actually help us with our immunity, metabolism and digestion. By keeping the windows of our homes shut all winter long, we decrease the diversity of those good germs in our air.

“Humans typically spend 93% of their time indoors, limiting exposure to good germs, which can cause weaker immune systems,” notes their website, “Cracking some windows in winter for a short time to give your home some natural air flow is the best way to ensure that good microbes find their way into your home so that you can have a healthier winter.”

Ready to crack those windows yet?

We’re not necessarily recommending that you keep your windows open all day long, each day throughout the winter. Of course, that will serve to make the indoor temperature a lot cooler than you’d like. Even a few minutes out of each day should be enough. You can also try opening a window in one room for a while, keeping the door closed, and then opening that door to allow the fresh air to circulate throughout the home.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Air Quality Services that will help you to ensure that your home is 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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The Importance Of Keeping Your Home Smoke-Free This Holiday Season

We’re less than a month away from Christmas! There is a lot of excitement in the air and, naturally, a lot of shoppers in the malls. The end-of-year holiday season is a joyous time for most. It’s especially enjoyable when family members and friends – some who haven’t seen each other in a long time – gather for holiday get-togethers.

Holiday parties are hard to beat. The incredible eats, the warm and friendly reunions between loved ones, the festive music and the giving of gifts all make for a wonderful time. However, those holiday get-togethers can also make for a less-than-stellar situation for your home’s indoor air quality. As you can imagine, the more people that gather in one space, the worse the air quality is bound to be. That’s especially true if there are smokers in the home.

Say no to cigarettes.

The first step to ensuring that the air quality in your home doesn’t dwindle too far down is to insist upon keeping it smoke-free. Cigarette smoking, it should go without saying, is hazardous to the health of everyone who comes into contact with the emitted smoke.

“Winter is not a welcoming season to cigarette smokers, and the cold weather can be enough to prevent some people from venturing outdoors to satisfy a craving,” RelianceHomeComfort.com reminds us, “Second-hand cigarette smoke can be a very harmful source of indoor air pollution, and therefore it is recommended to keep your home and office a smoke-free zone.”

Say no to candles.

Believe it or not, candles are also not recommended during the holiday season. And that’s a bit ironic, isn’t it? The burning of candles is usually a popular practice during the holidays. Many festive candles are sold each year. They bring senses of both peace and warmth within a household, which seems to be very much in keeping with the holiday spirit.

“Unfortunately, candles can also be good at polluting your air,” informs Alja Isakovic on CubeSensors.com, “The worst offenders, according to research presented at a meeting of American Chemical Society, are candles made from paraffin wax. Most of the candles on the market are made out of paraffin wax and scented with synthetic fragrances, which are both derived from petroleum. Petroleum-based candles emit a mix of VOCs such as toluene and benzene that might even cause cancer during prolonged exposure.”

Say no to the fireplace.

As mentioned, lighting candles is a popular holiday pastime. But, arguably, lighting up the fireplace is even more popular. Especially when you consider the frigid temperatures that come along with every Canadian winter, a lit fireplace sounds like a welcome idea. However, the smoke emitted from your fireplace doesn’t make the pastime worth it. Isakovic notes, however, that you can keep your air cleaner by burning the right type of wood.

“You can do a lot by choosing the right wood to burn,” she writes, “For instance, hardwood burns more slowly and evenly, producing less smoke and more heat. Small and hot fires will cause less pollution. Don’t forget to keep your chimney in good condition, and keep an eye on the air quality in your home when burning wood.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we certainly hope you enjoy this holiday season. And we’d like to help with that! For more information about how our Air Quality Services can help to improve your home’s indoor air quality, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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