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For Some, Nationwide Asbestos Ban By 2018 Isn’t Soon Enough

When it was announced, this past December, that Canada would finally be implementing a nationwide comprehensive ban on asbestos, it was met with much praise. Considered way past due, the decision to ban the hazardous material from being imported into Canada is one that will inevitably save thousands of lives. However, the ban, which is set to fully commence by the end of 2018, is one that isn’t being implemented soon enough.

On TireBusiness.com, Rob Bostelaar of Automotive News Canada reports that some people simply can’t understand why Canada isn’t insisting upon an immediate ban. Most specifically, Jim Brophy, a University of Windsor adjunct professor and former director of the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers, is voicing his displeasure over the fact that the ban hasn’t already taken effect.

Sensibly, Brophy notes that the many Canadians who will endure exposure to asbestos, between now and the end of next year, are at risk of developing serious illnesses in the years to come. Mechanics, for example, must still endure the potential of asbestos exposure from imported replacement brake pads and shoes which have been used as cheaper alternatives to synthetic fibres.

“The latency here is enormous,” Brophy is quoted as saying, “Every day we allow these products to come into the country just extends the time frame in which this disease will arrive and be experienced by people in our population.” Bostelaar points out that asbestos doesn’t just appear in automotive materials. Citing a Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) report, he notes that building products, paper and even footwear contain the substance in small amounts.

Nevertheless, workers in the automotive industry appear to be at the highest risk of health issues due to asbestos exposure. “The lion’s share — nearly 75 per cent of the $8.3 million in asbestos imports in 2015, the CLC reports — is friction materials,” reveals Bostelaar, “The Automotive Industries Association (AIA), which represents aftermarket suppliers, was among those pressing for a grace period to allow the removal of existing products from vehicles and store shelves.”

But is the grace period really necessary? Bostelaar writes that suppliers of friction products such as Rayloc have stopped using asbestos over a decade ago and retailers such as Canadian Tire aren’t currently selling any asbestos-containing products. Without an immediate ban, fears Brophy, mechanics won’t know for sure if they’re being exposed to asbestos or not.

“Most garages do not have even close to the kind of protections that government regulations would say would be needed,” he insists, noting that the dangers are even higher for home mechanics who likely lack training on how to deal with asbestos, “And that’s why the only real way to effectively deal with this is to enact the ban and make sure that these products are not sold on the Canadian market.”

Sadly, asbestos is the leading cause of work-related deaths in Canada, taking 2,000 lives every year. Diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma are killers proven to be caused by asbestos exposure. “The full extent of the harm that has been caused is so under-reported and so under-recognized, that even when you say that it’s the leading cause of occupational disease and death in this country, you’re actually underestimating the full extent of it,” Brophy states.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we fully support the nationwide ban on asbestos and agree that it can’t come a moment too soon. And, as always, we are committed to helping Canadians avoid the harmful effects of asbestos exposure. For more 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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How To Eliminate The Smell Of Cigarettes From Your Home

If you’ve recently quit smoking, allow us to offer you some sincere and hearty congratulations! We don’t need to tell you how detrimental cigarette smoking is to your health. We probably also don’t need to tell you how harmful the effects of smoking are on people who don’t even smoke.

Secondhand smoke has been proven to cause just as deadly diseases as smoking itself. Having quit smoking, you’re helping to save the lives of the people you love – not just yourself. However, there is a problem that your former nasty habit has left behind.

What can you do about that nasty cigarette odour lingering in your home?

Believe it or not, thirdhand smoke (nicotine residue that sticks to surfaces) can also create numerous respiratory illnesses in addition to irritating our senses of smell. It’s important that if you or anyone else has smoked cigarettes in your home, you perform some maintenance work in order to fully eradicate the health hazards associated with the bad habit.

On TheSpruce.com, Diane Schmidt insists that you clean everything! We’re talking the walls, ceilings, carpets, floors, doors, drapes, blinds, windows and mirrors. To completely remove both the smell and harmful effects of cigarette smoke from your home, you literally can’t leave any surfaced untouched. It sounds overwhelming. However, you can get quite a jump on effectively removing the smell of cigarettes from your home simply by opening the windows.

“Fresh air is your friend so open all windows,” advises Schmidt, “Get as much fresh air into your home as possible. While this won’t get rid of the smell, it’ll help. Also, set bowls of white vinegar around your home, at least one per room (depending on the room size). Just make sure small children and pets are safe.”

How important is vinegar in the removal of the smell of cigarettes in your home?

Well, let’s put it this way. If fresh air is your friend, then vinegar is your best friend when it comes to eliminating that nasty smoky smell. A natural cleanser, vinegar can be used to clean both the surfaces in your home and all of the fabrics within it. On QuickAndDirtyTips.com, Amanda Thomas offers up a simple, yet comprehensive way to deodorize your household fabrics.

“While it might not necessarily be practical, or possible, to remove all the fabric from your home (a couch can be a beast to move to the patio!), do remove all the fabric items you can from the smelly room,” she instructs, “This includes any pillows, bedding, blankets, and curtains. If you have a large washing machine, you can throw all these through a cold wash cycle with 2 cups of vinegar added to the load.”

How can you be sure that the air in your home has been purified?

It may be necessary to get an air purifier. As Jeff Flowers tells us on AllergyAndAir.com, “these purification systems work by pulling indoor air into their them, cleaning it, and then circulating it back into the room…This is by far the most effective way to cleanse your indoor air of cigarette smoke, as well as many other airborne toxins.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we highly recommend our Air Quality Services in order to help you enjoy the highest indoor air quality possible. Our inspection processes focus on problem areas that may be presenting health hazards to your family and other visitors to the home. 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 Liquids You Can Use To Eliminate Household Mould

Mould is nasty! And we’re not just talking about the fact that it looks gross. No one likes to see those black and green clumps accumulating in their bathroom tiles or on their shower curtains. But those aren’t the only places that mould can appear in your household. Mould thrives on the warmth and moisture in your bathroom, but it can also be found in any and all areas of the house where warmth and moisture exist.

And mould isn’t just nasty because of its appearance. It’s known to trigger allergies, invoke asthmas symptoms, create sinus infections and irritate our skin. When it comes to our homes, mould is definitely a villain. So, it’s important that we all fight like superheroes in order to eradicate mould from our home bases. It just so happens that there are some effective secret weapons that can help you!

Here are three liquids you can use to eliminate household mould:

1. Tea Tree Oil.

Tea tree oil is known as a natural, yet powerful fungicide. Unlike many store-bought chemical-based solutions, this effective mould remover provides your home with a sweet scent. Using tea tree oil to eliminate mould is actually pretty easy. All that is required is about ten drops in a spray bottle filled with water. Simply spray the solution on all of the mould-ridden areas of your home and let it sit for a while. You’ll soon be able to wipe away the mould completely.

On NaturalLivingIdeas.com, Janice Taylor heralds tea tree oil as top natural mould removal solution. She offers up some advice on how to maximize its effectiveness. “You’ll still have to scrub a bit, but with repeated use this all-natural cleaner will kill the fungus and help to prevent future growth,” she explains, “Remember: You’ll have to shake this mixture well before each use as the oils will separate.”

2. Vinegar.

Not necessarily the sweetest smelling of all liquid-based mould removers, plain white vinegar is an effective solution nonetheless. Considered one of the world’s best all-natural cleaners in general, vinegar is a naturally antimicrobial solution. As a result, it’s not necessary to mix it with water or any other cleaning products. It kills and dissolves mould and fungus all on its own!

It’s also a very inexpensive solution to your mould problem, Kirsten Hudson points out on OrganicAuthority.com. She goes on to offer some vinegar-based cleaning tips. “Simply fill a spray bottle with vinegar straight up. No diluting!” she writes, “Spritz the vinegar directly on the mouldy spots in your home. Let the vinegar sit for a while and then wipe away the vinegar, mould and all. Repeat as needed.”

3. Vodka.

Yes, you read that right! The popular alcoholic drink is good for more than getting the party started. In fact, the most inexpensive versions of vodka make for the best cleaners, says Taylor. This is because they are filtered less, distilled fewer times and therefore, “contain more congeners like acetaldehyde which is exponentially more toxic (about thirty times more so) to unwanted fungus than ethanol.”

Hudson completely agrees. “Pull out that vodka from your liquor cabinet and pour it into a spray bottle,” she advises, “Don’t worry. You don’t need to grab the top-shelf stuff. The cheap kind actually works better for cleaning. Spritz the vodka straight on mold to put it into a drunken stupor. Let the vodka work for a while, and then use a rag or sponge to wipe away the mould.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we proudly offer Mould Assessment Services to help you combat the mould problem that may exist in your household. 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.

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Canada To Support Listing Of Chrysotile Asbestos To Rotterdam Convention

As 2017 began, Canadians were given an extra special reason to celebrate the new year. As we’ve covered extensively on the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog, the Canadian government finally announced their comprehensive ban of asbestos. The deadly material is expected to be completely outlawed by 2018. This, of course, came as welcome news considering that the substance is the main culprit for more than 2,000 deaths in Canada each and every year.

Last week, the news got even better. As reported on Newswire.com, the federal government will be supporting the listing of chrysotile asbestos among the hazardous substances regulated under the Rotterdam Convention. The objective of the Rotterdam Convention is to protect both human health and the environment through the promotion of informed decisions about the import and management of certain hazardous chemicals.

Asbestos has been regarded a human carcinogen for 30 years now – declared as such by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer in 1987. Canada will be advocating for the chrysotile asbestos listing during this week’s eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties in Geneva. Also known as white asbestos, it’s the most common form of the material. The news of Canada’s new position on the substance is being lauded as an excellent step towards better protecting the lives of all Canadians.

This news is especially significant considering the fact that Canada formerly denounced the dangers of asbestos – and did so for many years. As a Marketwired.com report explains, “the World Health Organization declared asbestos a human carcinogen in 1987. However, for many years, Canada continued to bolster asbestos exports by downplaying the dangers of the carcinogen internationally.”

Needless to say, the fact that the federal government has changed its position is music to the ears of health advocates such as Canadian Labour Congress President, Hassan Yussuff.

“Unions campaigned long and hard for a ban on asbestos to make workplaces and public spaces safer for all Canadians, but also people around the world who were being exposed to asbestos,” he is quoted as saying in the Marketwired.com piece, “We worked with the government last year to secure a comprehensive ban on the import and export of asbestos here in Canada, and we are encouraged to see Canada taking international leadership on this issue.”

The announcement of Canada’s new position on chrysotile was made by Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna. “By supporting the listing of chrysotile asbestos to the Rotterdam Convention, Canada is taking a concrete step to promote responsible management of this harmful substance globally,” she is quoted in the Newswire.ca article, “In Canada, we will also put in place regulatory measures to protect the health and safety of Canadians as we move forward toward a ban on asbestos.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we have long supported the nationwide ban on asbestos. We fully agree that extra measures are needed to protect people from asbestos exposure all over Canada. And, as always, we are committed to doing our part!

For more 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.

2 Comments

  1. Michael-Reply
    June 22, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Thank you for an excellent article! I am very glad that this topic is being discussed. Many people do not even suspect that asbestos is harmful to health. Thanks to such articles people will learn about this danger! We just have to talk about it! Notify residents of our city.
    Canada is on the right track in the fight against asbestos. It is very good! More about asbestos can be found in Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asbestos
    I am a medic, and I understand very well how dangerous asbestos is. In addition to your article, I would like to talk a little more about this from a medical point of view.
    In the mechanical destruction of products that contain this mineral, asbestos dust is formed, which penetrates into the lungs. Asbestos poisoning is not immediately apparent, as dust gradually accumulates in the body. In most cases, the negative impact of the mineral is manifested in 6-10 years and even more. Most often, the harmfulness of asbestos is the development of bronchitis and asbestosis. This is due to the fact that, passing through the bronchi, dust particles settle on their walls, which leads to irritation of the mucous surface. Asbestosis is a heavier disease, which is accompanied by the deposition of dust inside the lungs, which leads to the formation of scar formation on the surface of the respiratory organs.
    When removing asbestos, we get poisonous dust particles. Asbestos removal technologies are also an important topic for all of us. This requires caution and special skills. I would like to warn the inhabitants of Calgary about the difficulties and the dangers of removing asbestos on their own.
    The Government of Canada warns of the potential dangers of asbestos and suggests ways to keep you and your children safe. They also stress the importance of not contacting this material yourself, and instead emphasize the importance of using trained professionals: “If asbestos is found, hire a qualified asbestos removal specialist to get rid of it.” (citation: https://astra-management.ca/asbestos )

    How does the Government of Canada protect you from exposure?
    The Government of Canada recognizes that breathing in asbestos fibres can cause cancer and other diseases. We help protect Canadians from asbestos exposure by regulating:

    the sale of certain high-risk consumer products made of asbestos or that contain it
    this is done through the Asbestos Products Regulations under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act
    possible releases of asbestos into the environment
    this is done through the Asbestos Mines and Mills Release Regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (citation: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/air-quality/indoor-air-contaminants/health-risks-asbestos.html )
    After reading all the information on this, we must be cautious and active in the fight against asbestos! Thanks again for the article!

    • Dennis French-Reply
      June 22, 2017 at 5:14 pm

      Hello Michael. Thank you for your feedback. As a company we try and promote awareness and overall education to the contractors, clients and general public. Thru our consulting services as well, we make sure projects are being undertaken in a safe and professional manner. You have put a link to one contracting firm in Calgary and there are many in Calgary and around Alberta but homeowners need to also do their research as not all companies are operating equally; look into references and not just the cosmetic aspect of a website.

      We upload new blogs routinely about all sorts of Air quality issues so i hope you return and read a few more articles.

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How Does Hoarding Impact Indoor Air Quality?

For the past couple of years, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog has made it no secret that one of the easiest ways to improve the indoor air quality of your home is to keep it clean. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Dust, vacuum, mop and sweep – these simple tasks can do a lot to ward off allergens that significantly impact our respiratory systems. However, not everyone is a neat freak.

In fact, there are those who are the polar opposite of neat freaks. Hoarders are individuals who pack their homes with so many items that there is barely enough space to move around. And, as you can imagine, these items can get piled up in ways that create near-impossible-to-clean messes. Naturally, this only promotes poor indoor air quality in a variety of ways. And, interestingly, we’ve found that not enough is being said about it.

We were surprised to find that when typing in “hoarding” and “indoor air quality” into a Google search, the first three articles to appear belonged to our website! Admittedly, we’re pretty proud of that. But even we must admit that it’s been couple of years since we’ve revisited this topic. Naturally, we felt it was the right time to shed some light on how dangerous hoarding can be. It negatively impacts indoor air quality in a number of ways.

It promotes mould growth.

Hoarders tend to toss their belongings into random piles that never seem to stop growing. Everything from clothing to food to electronics can be found in various stacks throughout the home, creating nearly no space for walking, eating or sleeping. What this does is give mould countless opportunities to develop and grow. Mould, you see, requires warmth and moisture.

In addition to the various hidden pockets throughout a hoarder’s home that provide warmth and moisture, mould is also never cleaned when hidden from plain sight. With the presence of mould in the home, it enables mould spores to be released into the air. “Mould is associated with some untoward health effects in humans, including allergies and infections,” says clinical toxicologist, Rose Ann Gould Soloway on Poison.org, “Some health effects attributed to mould may in fact be caused by bacteria, dust mites, etc., found in mould-colonized environments.”

It diminishes ventilation.

It probably goes without saying that when you hoard, you limit or eliminate the ability to get any ventilation going in your home. Many hoarders have so many items piled on top of each other that they cover windows disallowing any air from the outside to enter. Without allowing air to circulate throughout the home, it enables pollutants to accumulate. Simply put, a hoarder’s home is full of stale and contaminated air.

As outlined by Manitoba Hydro’s handbook on indoor air quality and ventilation: “Ventilation of a home and the exchange of ‘stale’ indoor air with ‘fresh’ outdoor air are essential to keep pollutants from accumulating to levels that pose health and comfort problems.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are committed to helping hoarders reverse the effects of their habits on the air they breathe in their homes. We know that the compulsion to hoard is a complicated one. But it’s important that the quality of air in one’s home isn’t causing any further complications. If you have an issue with hoarding or know a loved one who hoards, you’ll want to contact a professional for help.

You’ll also want to learn more about our Air Quality Services so that we can accurately assess the indoor air quality of your home. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Saskatchewan And B.C. Taking Extra Steps To Limit Asbestos Exposure

Ever since the federal government announced its plans to completely ban asbestos from Canada by 2018, Canadians have been rejoicing. Proud of the fact that the deadly substance will no longer be imported into our country or used in any fashion, anti-asbestos crusaders are confident that the rates of disease and death at the hands of the material will drop in the years to come. A noticeable change, however, may take many years – far too many to not take extra action now.

Needless to say, the comprehensive nationwide asbestos ban isn’t going to miraculously rid Canada of all of the asbestos currently contained within it. Used predominantly as insulation material in the construction of homes and buildings decades ago, currently-laid asbestos still has the opportunity to wreak havoc on anyone who is exposed to its airborne fibres.

In the province of Saskatchewan, extra steps are being taken in order to prevent asbestos exposure. Jesse Todd is a member of the Saskatchewan Asbestos Disease Awareness Network. He was interviewed for a recent CBC News report to discuss the work Saskatoon is doing to keep people safe from the dangers related to asbestos. Among the measures taken by the city is the requesting of building contractors to be aware of the materials they bring to landfills.

Todd is asking the city to make the same request of its citizens. He is aware that many of the materials disposed of by residents of the city contain health hazards. The truth, he acknowledges, is that many people may not even know if what they’re throwing in the garbage contains asbestos or not.

“You start throwing your materials into the bin and then a big cloud of dust puffs up when your material hits the bottom,” Todd describes in the report, “And if someone else disposed of some material — maybe some drywall material that contained asbestos or anything like that — it is very brittle and that dust flies everywhere, so the individual dumping material is exposed as well as the attendants working there.”

The province of British Columbia is taking similar actions. Cos-Mag.com reports that WorkSafeBC is tag-teaming with a new cross-ministry working group established by the province to “take a broad approach and work collaboratively to identify, review and report on a range of issues, including worker safety, building renovation and abatement matters, environmental protection and public health and awareness.”

According to the site, asbestos-related diseases are responsible for the majority of workplace deaths. Many have stemmed from exposure that took place decades ago. In fact, WorkSafeBC reveals that from 2007 to 2016, there were more than 600 accepted claims for worker deaths in B.C. related to asbestos exposure. The majority of those workers passed away before the age of 65.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we agree that extra measures to protect people from asbestos exposure must be taken all over Canada. It’s great that asbestos will be completely banned by next year. However, precautions must be taken to protect Canadians from the asbestos that is currently here. And we’re certainly committed to doing our part!

For more 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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4 Important Reminders Of How To Keep Air Pollutants Out Of Your Home

With the spring now in full swing, many Canadians are undergoing their annual spring cleaning routines. And while the act of cleaning our homes is clearly something we all should do on a regular basis, there is a special feeling of “out with the old” that comes with the cleaning that is done at this time of year.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we recommend you take extra measures to clean your home in ways that will eliminate air pollutants. Readers of our blog are well aware of the major culprits of poor indoor air quality.

Allow us to offer you a few important reminders of how to keep air pollutants out of your home. Here are four:

1. Dust and vacuum regularly.

There are a variety of allergens that exist in our carpets and on our furniture. For those of you with pets, pet dander is certainly a concern. Regular vacuuming will help to you eliminate the fur, dead skin cells and dander left by your pets. Of course, dust is also a problem you’ll want to regularly eliminate. What may appear harmless is actually an indication of the presence of dust mites – microscopic insects that thrive in warm, humid environments and are known for triggering asthma attacks.

How do you minimize dust mites? “First, try to keep the humidity inside your home to less than 50 percent,” advises Reynard Loki on Alternet.org, “Air conditioners and dehumidifiers can help. Protect your bed by covering it with allergen-resistant covers. Make sure you wash your sheets and blankets regularly in hot water…And don’t give mites a place to hide and breed: keep your home as dust-, dander- and clutter-free as possible. Regular vacuuming is a must.”

2. Do away with scented cleaning products.

Air fresheners, laundry detergent, hand soap, perfumes – they all smell really nice, don’t they? The sad fact is that those smells are actually harmful to our health. Synthetic fragrances represent the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They are known for causing skin irritation and respiratory problems. If you’re looking to keep your home smelling sweet without imposing health risks on its inhabitants, try a few natural methods.

On Withings.com, Angela Chieh lists a number of great ideas. “Arrange slices of lemon on a plate to delicately perfume the air in a room,” she suggests, “Use baking soda in a small bowl to eliminate odours (it works particularly well in fridges). Choose fragrance-free products, or products with scents of natural origin for your laundry and cleaning needs. Stop using aerosol spray products that create a mist of liquid particles (hair sprays, air fresheners…).”

3. Tell smokers to practice their nasty habits outdoors.

When you have visitors to your home who are prone to lighting up, insist that they do so outside. In fact, you’d be doing yourself a big favour if you asked them not to smoke at all during their visits. Both secondhand smoke (exhaled from smokers) and thirdhand smoke (embedded in the clothes and hair of smokers) can be deadly. If one of the inhabitants of your home is a smoker, enforce the same strict rule.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control, tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds of toxins, about 70 of which can cause cancer,” Loki reminds us, “Secondhand smoke is very harmful to children, who can experience ear infections, more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections like bronchitis and pneumonia and a greater risk of sudden infant death syndrome.”

4. Get a thorough inspection of your home.

Want to guarantee that the indoor air quality of your home is excellent? Contact DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. to learn more about our Air Quality Services! We offer solutions to the health hazards that may be present in your living environment. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Asbestos Remains A Health Threat To Canadians In Spite Of Recent Ban

When the federal government finally announced a comprehensive nationwide ban of asbestos, just before the new year, Canadians were elated to learn of this huge step towards better health. It’s widely known that asbestos is a deadly substance. Commonly used in the construction of homes and buildings prior to the 1990s, its airborne fibres are known for causing fatal diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Naturally, the announcement that, by 2018, asbestos would be completely banned from Canada was met with widespread approval considering that asbestos-related diseases take the lives of about 2,000 Canadians every year. We have closely monitored news of the asbestos ban in addition to covering the harmful effects of asbestos in our blog. We’ve regularly pointed out that the impacts of exposure to asbestos are long-lasting.

What this means is that, unfortunately, even with asbestos ultimately becoming outlawed in Canada, it still has the opportunity to wreak havoc. Buildings that already contain the substance present health risks to anyone who enters them. Just last week, CBC News reported that there was an asbestos leak in two labs at the University of Toronto. Evidently, due to the renovations taking place at the university’s Medical Sciences Building, asbestos fibres were released.

According to the report, “the fibres were found in three separate instances in February and March in dust-samples at lab-related rooms on the St. George campus — months after the university began work to remove the substance from seven locations on the 50-year-old building’s third, sixth and seventh floors as part of a $190-million project to improve labs across its three campus.”

Scott Mabury is the vice-president of university operations at U of T. In an interview with CBC News, he revealed some of the culprits for the asbestos leak. One of the individuals working on the renovation project drilled a hole in a wall causing a pile of dust containing asbestos to fall to the floor. In another incident, asbestos-laden dust escaped an area that was insufficiently sealed. And in a third, air pressure forced out dust-containing asbestos from a service shaft.

Both the CBC News report and a report from The Globe and Mail did not indicate that any students or faculty members were directly exposed to the asbestos leak. However, there is an understandable concern.

“The U of T’s Faculty Association questioned the university’s handling of the situation, saying it is ‘extremely concerned that asbestos contamination may have adversely affected our members as well as students and others at the MSB, and that their health and safety continue to be at risk,’” reports Tavia Grant of The Globe and Mail.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are well aware that, in spite of the recent ban, Canadians will continue to suffer the effects of asbestos exposure. As always, it is our sincere hope that we can do our part to minimize as much damage as possible. For more information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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The Importance Of Vacuuming To Promote Optimum Health

There is a growing trend emerging in homes all across Canada. And that is to rip up carpets and have them replaced with hardwood floors. The commonplace thinking behind this trend is that hardwood floors provide more desirable and even sophisticated appearances to living spaces. Further to that, homeowners feel that hardwood floors increase the value of their homes.

And there are those who believe that hardwood floors are easier to keep clean than carpets. This is especially true in the event of spills. These people wouldn’t be wrong. In fact, the concept of cleanliness is one that speaks to a larger issue: the health of Canadians nationwide. It can be stated with confidence that the less carpet you have in your home, the more likely you will be to avoid numerous health concerns. Sufferers of asthma and other allergies know this all too well. Simply put, carpet is a breeding ground for allergens and other allergy-triggering irritants.

“When you vacuum, you’re not simply cleaning your house or apartment for appearance’s sake, you’re also safeguarding the health of yourself and your family,” insists Jason Roberts on VacuumsGuide.com, “There are dozens of tiny microbes constantly floating around, which can cause a lot of problems for people with asthma and inhalant-related allergies such as hay fever. Dust mites, bacteria, and mould attack an asthma sufferer’s respiratory system, making them wheeze, have difficulty breathing, and cough violently at night.”

Roberts also provides an infographic that offers up ten different reasons why we should all be vacuuming our homes at least once a week. Topping the list is the fact that we all shed millions of skin cells by the hour. They accumulate in our carpets and rugs, creating environments that are rife with dangerous microorganisms.

Because of this, experts often recommend taking vacuuming practices a step further. On FullHouseCS.ca, A.J. Pipkin discusses the importance of installing a quality HEPA filter in your vacuum cleaner. “Dirt, hair and dust particles can trigger the onset of allergy symptoms if there is a large amount of dust mites in your home carpets or in the air,” he points out, “Not vacuum cleaning regularly will cause those in your home to be unprotected from allergies and asthma symptoms.”

Regular vacuuming is an even more essential requirement for smokers. It’s important to note that the reality of “thirdhand smoke” can impact the health of non-smokers who enter environments where a smoker had previously lit up. Roberts’ infographic reveals that carcinogens and other substances from cigarettes can “impregnate” carpets, rugs and upholstery. This has the ability to increase the risk of cancer in both children and pets.

And, by the way, it’s time to do away with the so-called “five second rule” that many people practice towards dropped food. When people drop food on the floor, it should be recognized as immediately contaminated. The infographic explains that our floors carry Salmonella, E-coli and other viruses that have the potential to wreak havoc on our digestive systems. This provides all the more reason to regularly vacuum our floors, regardless if they are carpeted or not.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we know the importance of keeping a clean home. Our Air Quality Services focus on problem areas that may be presenting health hazards to your family and other visitors to the home. For more information on how we can help you to live in a healthier environment, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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3 Reasons Why Ventilation In The Home Is So Important

By this time next week, we will all be able to say that wintertime is over. Or will we? We Canadians know better. The calendar may indicate the beginning of spring next Monday, but we understand that when frigid temperatures persist and there’s still snow on the ground – it is still winter. As a result, the time for opening our windows to let the fresh air come inside is still several weeks away. Here’s the thing though – it shouldn’t be.

In fact, it’s recommended that we all keep our windows open all winter long. No, we’re not saying that your windows should remain open all the time. Instead, we’re saying that it’s wise to let the fresh air from outside circulate with the stagnant air from inside for, at least, a few minutes every day – no matter how cold it is. The reason for this, quite obviously, is to promote ventilation. And ventilation in your home is incredibly important.

Here are three reasons why:

1. Ventilation helps to lower VOC concentrations.

Our homes are filled with harmful VOCs. Volatile organic compounds are found in many of our household cleaning products, furnishings, paints and carpets. If you can smell the scents that emanate from these household items, you can pretty much guarantee that you’re in the presence of VOCs. In high concentrations, VOCs are toxic.

However, as Dustin DeTorres explains on ZehnderAmerica.com, VOC concentrations can be decreased with ventilation. “Maintaining adequate ventilation can help to control concentrations of existing VOCs within a home, as it is nearly impossible to eliminate VOCs from indoor air,” he writes.

2. Ventilation helps to reduce condensation.

Those droplets of water that often form on our windows are created when warm air hits cool surfaces. Because the warm air is no longer able to hold its moisture when it is cooled, it ends up forming water droplets in various parts of our homes. Windows, walls, furniture – these are all locations where condensation may be present in the home. The problem is that these collections of moisture promote the development of mould.

“Condensation is the most common form of dampness and will eventually lead to mould growth,” explains Envirovent.com, “If it is left to develop over time then damp patches may start to appear on walls, which means that wallpaper may peel and ultimately black mould will grow. This leads to musty smells, damage to the fabric of the house and it can even result in health problems.”

3. Ventilation helps to filter our allergens.

In last week’s blog, we highlighted some of the issues presented by dust mites. Known allergens, the waste products left behind by dust mites are often triggers for asthma attacks. When we ventilate our homes, we give ourselves better opportunities to filter out such allergens as dust, pet dander, pollen and other irritants that can become trapped and concentrated inside our homes.

“Proper ventilation will help to remove large particles and dust from the air,” says DeTorres, “This can effectively help to reduce allergy symptoms, making the indoor air much more comfortable for allergy sufferers.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we strongly advocate ventilation of the home all year round. As part of our commitment to helping Canadians live healthy lives, we offer Air Quality Services that work to eliminate health hazards from the air in their homes. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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