DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd.
Indoor Air Quality and Environmental Experts

855-668-3131
questions@dftechnical.ca
"

General Posts

Canadian Imports Of Asbestos Have Doubled Since Mining Ban

Caution asbestos signCanada recognizes that asbestos is a killer. And not just any killer, mind you – it has been statistically proven that asbestos is Canada’s number one workplace killer and a known cause of mesothelioma. It takes the lives of over 2,000 Canadians each and every year. So, as a result, the nation has rightfully banned its production. But, we continue to import it at alarmingly growing rates. How does that make any sense?

As Doug Schimdt reports in the Windsor Star this past Monday, “asbestos imports nearly doubled in value between 2011 and 2015, to $8.2 million last year. Meanwhile, the numbers and cases of deaths attributed to mesothelioma — an aggressive form of cancer caused primarily by workplace asbestos exposure — has been on the rise, according to figures released this year by Statistics Canada.”

Evidently, the mining ban that was put in place five years ago has not been enough to reduce the health hazards that asbestos brings upon our population. Banning the production of asbestos in Canada, but continuing to import it, is no different than instilling a household rule that no family member is allowed to smoke – but guests are allowed to whenever they come over. How does that improve anyone’s health?

Well, the answer is simple: it doesn’t. And as Jo-Anne MacMillan pointed out at a news conference in Windsor, Ontario on Monday, it makes no sense to import a “horrific material” that is guilty of killing people. As Schmidt explains, MacMillan has lost three family members to asbestos-caused mesothelioma, including her brother Tom Dunn, who was only 35 years-old when he passed away in 1981.

Sadly, her other brother Paul and sister Rose-Marie, would suffer the same fates in 2005. They were 58 and 70 years of age respectfully. In May of this year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made what appeared to be a promise to ban asbestos from Canada completely. We have been covering this incredibly important topic in many of our blogs ever since. Still, we await word on this comprehensive nationwide ban.

If you’re wondering why Canada would even think of importing such a deadly substance, Windsor & District Labour Council president, Brian Hogan can shed some light on the reason. “It’s cheaper,” he states simply in Schmidt’s article, noting that there are safer alternative products that are made in Canada. The asbestos-laden products that are still imported include brake pads, pipes, pipe fittings, tiles, paper products and even clothing and footwear.

Dr. Deborah Hellyer, who is a Windsor-based occupational health physician and lung disease specialist, remarks that asbestos is such a potent killer because of its presence in so many of Canada’s workplaces. Used in the construction of hospitals, libraries, factories and schools, workers in such places have been regularly coming into contact with asbestos for years. “Especially when disturbed — for example when it’s removed or cut — even minute amounts, once inhaled, can lead to potentially fatal disease years or even decades later,” she tells Schmidt.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we completely agree that asbestos should be completely banned in Canada. And because the hazardous material causes deadly diseases, we believe in testing for asbestos in homes and workplaces. Contact us to learn more about our Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) Services which include several asbestos testing procedures. To learn more, give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

Leave A Comment

*

3 Holiday Gift Ideas That Can Improve Indoor Air Quality

Bouquet of red flowers of chrysanthemums isolated on white background. Flat, top viewWe’re just a few days over a month away from Christmas Day. So, this is certainly the time of year when Canadians are out in the malls shopping for holiday gifts. This will be especially true in a couple of days when the annual Black Friday festivities kick off. And by “festivities”, we mean craziness. Holiday shoppers who have participated in Black Friday shopping events know just how much havoc can occur when people are actively seeking discounts on highly-sought after items.

There are some items, however, that may not necessarily be among the most popular holiday gift ideas, but they are among the most important. Why not consider buying a loved one a gift that will speak to their health needs? There are numerous items on the market that can improve the indoor air quality of one’s home. And, as any reader of our blog knows, improving indoor air quality is incredibly important for our health.

Here are three holiday gift ideas that can improve indoor air quality:

1. HEPA air purifier. In order to remove pollutants from our air, we often have to do more than simply open the windows. And yes, it is recommended that you open the windows during the winter time – even if it’s for a few minutes at a time. This will help circulate the stale and stagnant air from inside with the fresh air from outside. However, since the winter offers weather conditions that don’t allow us to keep the windows open for very long, a HEPA air purifier is an excellent addition to the home.

“Make sure to get an air purifier that does not produce ozone, and one that does eliminate VOCs that off-gas from paint, furniture, and cleaning chemicals,” recommends Cambria Bold on ApartmentTherapy.com. She points out that VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are a danger to our health. So while doing your holiday shopping, be sure to avoid such gifts as air fresheners and other scented cleaning products that contain VOCs.

2. Green plants and flowers. Plants and flowers are gifts that can satisfy a wide range of recipients because they add some nice decor to homes. However, they also help to purify the air. As reported by Ellen Ruoff Riley and Stuart Robbins on Healthline.com, “in 1998, NASA discovered that houseplants can absorb harmful toxins from the air, especially in enclosed spaces with little air flow…While plants have less horse power than air purifiers, they’re more natural, cost effective, and therapeutic.”

They recommend such plants as spider plants, dracaenas, golden pothos, areca palms, bamboo palms, English ivy, rubber plants, Chinese evergreen, peace lilies and chrysanthemums. “Florist’s chrysanthemums or ‘mums’ are ranked the highest for air purification,” write Riley and Robbins, “They’re shown to eliminate common toxins as well as ammonia.”

3. Pet grooming products. You’re bound to have an animal lover on your list of gift recipients this holiday season. If so, a gift certificate for grooming, non-chemical based cleaners, vacuums and mops are certainly some great ideas for helping them to keep their homes clean and air pollutant-free. On Mom.me, Sara Tan highly recommends the Swiffer Sweeper as a gift for pet owners.

“Any pet owner knows that pet hair and dander can accumulate on floors and other hard surfaces of your home,” she writes, “Stay on top of this cleaning challenge with Swiffer Sweeper. Swiffer’s trap and lock technology picks up pet hair and dander allergens on hardwood, tile and linoleum floor types.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., there is one more gift that we’d recommend you give yourself. Our Air Quality Services can 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.

4 Comments

  1. November 29, 2016 at 6:31 am

    Very concise yet detailed and it helped both of our confidence. Great work!

  2. Betty larose-Reply
    December 12, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    What is your recommendation on furnace cleaning? We have an electronic furnace filter, but are still finding the house dusty. We have both found we’ve had sinus issues since moving into this house. What should we check?
    Many thanks
    Betty

    • Dennis French-Reply
      December 12, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      Hello Betty
      I will respond directly to you on this email rather than the public forum.

  3. December 18, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Great post! I agree that a combination of fresh air, air purifier, and plants can really make a big difference. Thanks for sharing!

Leave A Comment

CLC Continues To Campaign For Nationwide Asbestos Ban

target asbestos concept illustration design over a white backgroundThe Canadian Labour Congress has made it no secret that they are vehemently opposed to the use, production, import or export of asbestos in Canada. They have long called for a comprehensive ban of the deadly substance, labelling it the most deadly cause of work-related death in Canada. Taking over 2,000 Canadian lives a year, asbestos is a substance that can no longer be tolerated as a viable commodity in our country.

The CLC’s campaign for a nationwide ban of asbestos has picked up steam ever since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared that the federal government was moving towards a ban this past spring. To date, there has still been no official word on an official date when Canadians can safely say that they have been freed from the dangers of asbestos forever. As a result, the CLC continues to champion their cause. And it has received a lot of support.

As reported by CTV News last week, many Canadians are coming out with their often-tragic stories about being affected by asbestos exposure. Donnie Taylor, a retired shipbuilder, is one such Canadian. At a recent press conference in Halifax, Taylor shared his experiences with working in asbestos for 32 years, not knowing he was being exposed to health hazards throughout his work tenure.

“Every ship before the Second World War, was all asbestos, that was the miracle material,” he recalled, “Between new construction and repair work, you were in it every day, every day, there was no getting away from it.” Medardo Azocar is another Canadian who has suffered because of asbestos exposure. Immigrating from Chile to Edmonton in 1975, Azocar worked in a machine shop where we was exposed to asbestos for years.

As reported by Ameya Charnalia for Metro News, Azocar’s daughter Sandra was recently featured in a new CLC video calling for Canada’s official nationwide ban of asbestos. “My father was placed in a concentration camp for being in a union after the 1973 military coup in Chile,” she is quoted as saying, “You come from that and you try and look for a safer place to live in, and yet 20 years later – or however long it was – you get diagnosed with something that could’ve been prevented.”

According to the CLC, a comprehensive ban of asbestos is absolutely necessary because, for some reason, Canada continues to import such products as brake pads for automobiles, which still contain asbestos. Canada has stopped exporting the material, but for so many people who have been diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases, this isn’t good enough. Azocar is insistent that asbestos be “actually banned, from either import or export.”

Hassan Yussuff, is the president of the CLC. He is adamant that without a nationwide ban of asbestos, Canadians will continue to suffer the unnecessary consequences. “For every day we delay bringing in a comprehensive ban, there are so many workers who are exposed to asbestos-made products in our country, and we know that if they are exposed it to it without proper protection, it’s likely to do harm to their health,” Charnalia quotes him as saying.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are just as adamant that asbestos needs to be completely banned in Canada. Because we are well aware that the material causes life-threatening illnesses, we believe that testing for asbestos is absolutely necessary. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) Services. They 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.

Leave A Comment

Preventing Mould Growth In The Home During The Winter

The damp is attacking the wall next to windowMould growth in the home can take place at any time of the year. But during the winter time, our homes are a bit more susceptible to mould infestations. Naturally, with the colder weather, we tend to keep our homes closed up – with the heat on. The warmer we keep our homes, the greater the chances are that we increase its humidity. Mould loves humidity. Dark, damp, warm places throughout your home make for ideal breeding grounds.

As IndoorMould.ca explains, mould “thrives in environments between 60 and 80 degrees and grows wherever there’s humidity or moisture. Mould can be problematic during winter since it can grow in your attic, walls, and other hard-to-reach places.” And because we tend to trap moisture in our homes throughout the winter time, the levels of humidity tend to steadily increase.

“By closing everything and insulating yourself, you actually produce a suitable environment for the fungus,” says IndoorMould.ca, “It’s also likely that you turn the thermostat up, creating a warmer air to combat the winter air. The downside to having your home too encapsulated with insulation is that it prevents warm air from escaping. Moreover, the insulation traps in the humidity and condensation for a longer period during this season because people don’t open their homes to the external environment as much.”

What can be done to prevent mould growth in our homes throughout the winter? Well, firstly, it pays to monitor your humidity levels. According to Luke Armstrong on RestorationMasterFinder.com, indoor humidity levels should be kept below 40 percent. He also advises those who use humidifiers to ensure that they don’t produce excessive amounts of humidity.

Armstrong also recommends that you increase your neat freak tendencies during the winter time. It certainly pays to keep a clean house. He notes that vacuuming and other forms of cleaning can help to remove possible sources of mould growth. The rooms of your home that generate the most moisture should especially be concentrated on. Think your bathroom and your kitchen. One great way to help reduce moisture is to always use the exhaust fans in both rooms.

“Use area rugs or washable floor surfaces rather than wall-to-wall carpeting in areas or rooms that have a moisture issue,” suggests Armstrong, “It’s not usually a great idea to have carpeting in your entryway, for instance, if you live in a cooler, wet climate…Paper, books and clothing are sources of food for mould, so don’t store them in humid parts of your home, such as your basement, especially close to the floor or walls.”

Can maintenance performed outside of the home prevent mould growth within it? It certainly can. Armstrong reminds us to make sure that our gutters and downspouts are clean. The areas underneath the downspouts may need to be extended in order to have water flow away from the foundation. And, if you have a crawl space under the house, you’ll want to cover the soil in that space with waterproof polyethylene plastic.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we 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.

Leave A Comment

Are Fireplaces Hazardous To Our Health?

Feets of a family wearing woolen socks warming near the fireplaceNow that November is here, we’re willing to bet that the majority of Canadians already have images of the holiday season on their minds. It would be hard to avoid them as the shopping malls are already decorated with festive colours to commemorate this exciting time of the year. Of course, cold weather is also commonplace during the year’s final months and, as a result, most of us seek ways to warm up all winter long.

How do many Canadians warm up their homes during the winter? You guessed it – the good old fireplace! The crackling of burning wood in a fireplace is as much part of the holiday season as Christmas trees. The only difference is that we tend to keep fires burning in our fireplaces long after the holidays are over. That, however, can present major problems for our health. Fireplaces, you see, are actually pretty bad for our indoor air quality.

How do fireplaces impact our indoor air quality? Well, let’s consider the obvious. With the burning of wood comes smoke. And with smoke comes contaminants in our air. As you can imagine, this can make it a lot harder to breathe. As explained by Cleveland Clinic, numerous scientific studies have found that breathing in smoke from fireplaces has “serious adverse health effects”.

“That’s because smoke from these fires contains small particles that can get into your eyes and respiratory system,” their website explains, “The result can be burning eyes, a runny nose and illnesses such as bronchitis. Small particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest health problems, because they can get deep into the lungs, and some may even get into the bloodstream.”

Cleveland Clinic also quotes Dr. Sheila Armogida as saying that wood smoke contains a number of toxic substances including benzene, formaldehyde, acrolein and methane. She highly recommends that fireplace users significantly limit their exposure to the smoke that emanates from their fireplaces. This is especially important for people who have a history of lung disease and asthma.

However, one doesn’t need to have a history of respiratory system issues in order to be negatively affected by wood smoke in the home. Cheryl Katz of Environmental Health News reports that a University of Copenhagen study found that air pollution from wood stoves is also quite hazardous to the health of all who are exposed to it. Researcher, Steffen Loft found that wood burning stoves release a lot of particulate matter into the air.

“The tiny airborne specks of pollution known as particulate matter, or PM, produced by wood-burning stoves appear to be especially harmful to human health,” writes Katz of the study’s findings, “Small enough to penetrate deep into the lungs, they carry high levels of chemicals linked to cardiopulmonary diseases and cancer, and they can damage DNA and activate genes in hazardous ways comparable to cigarette smoke and car exhaust.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’re very well aware that many Canadians enjoy their fireplaces during the winter – and for good reason. Who doesn’t like being warm and toasty and when it’s frigid outside? But since there are health implications to fireplace use, we would highly recommend our Air Quality Services to ensure that your home is a safe living environment for your family all winter long.

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

Leave A Comment

5 Ways To Treat Yourself To Improved Indoor Air Quality

depositphotos_2428997_s-2015Halloween is almost here! So the idea getting treats, by way of candy, is a hot topic this week. Believe it or not, participating in the annual trick-or-treating festivities can actually good for your indoor air quality. Sort of. You see, during the chillier months of the year, we Canadians tend to keep our doors and windows firmly closed in order to keep the cold out. This promotes the stagnation of our air and the keeping in of indoor air pollutants.

When we open our doors to trick-or-treaters, we allow for some of that stagnant air to circulate with the fresher air from outside. It is recommended that we open the doors and windows for even just a five minute period every day – even when it’s cold outside. This is just one of the things you can do to treat yourself to improved indoor air quality.

Here are five more:

1. Keep your home as neat and tidy as possible. It’s important to take on the habits of a neat freak as often as possible. This will be especially true over the course of the winter when you will be a lot less likely to keep the doors and windows open for long periods of time. Get used to vacuuming, mopping and dusting at least once a week. As well, place door mats at the entrance ways to your home to prevent dirt from entering it. And be sure to ask people to take their shoes off when they come inside – it’s a great Canadian tradition!

2. Monitor your humidity levels. It’s normal for Canadians to turn up the heat in their homes during the winter. But it’s important to remember that with excess heat comes excess humidity. Too much humidity is bad for your indoor air quality because it can produce mould and mildew. On Withings.com, Jonathan Choquel recommends that you keep your home’s humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent.

“This will limit the growth of mould and the presence of dust mites that pollute the air,” he explains, “Some moulds produce allergens and mycotoxins – they can have adverse health effects, ranging from allergic reactions (like a stuffy or runny nose, or eye and skin irritations) to asthma attacks, depending on the exact type and amount of mould, and the sensitivity of those exposed. This is true even in non-allergic people.”

3. Filter your air. While it remains important to ventilate your home, extra measures should be taken to remove the air pollutants that can contaminate the air within it. “Portable air cleaners, particularly HEPA filters and electrostatic precipitators, can reduce some air contaminants,” informs the Healthy Canadians website, “HEPA filters collect particle pollutants with a fine filter. But electrostatic precipitators collect pollutants with electrostatic energy, which causes pollution to stick to the filter.”

4. Avoid synthetic fragrances. Most of us associate sweet and fresh smells with cleanliness. However, those air fresheners and laundry soaps that are infused with scents are actually pretty bad for our living environments. Containing harmful volatile organic compounds, these products can do a lot to irritate our eyes, skin and respiratory systems. “Choose fragrance-free products, or products with scents of natural origin for your laundry and cleaning needs,” advises Choquel.

5. Get a professional inspection of your home’s air quality. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Air Quality Services that target areas of concern in your home. Our team of trained professionals has a strong understanding of the indoor environment and is therefore able to maximize their inspection processes to ensure all of our clients’ questions about their homes’ indoor air quality are answered.

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

Leave A Comment

How Does Cold Weather Worsen Indoor Air Quality?

Beautiful young woman sitting by the window having hot drinkAlthough we’re still in the middle of October, the cold weather has definitely returned. At least, here, in Calgary, the days have certainly gotten a lot chillier. As a result, most of us are turning up the heat in our homes, preparing for another long winter when staying indoors is more commonplace. It is our tendencies to stay inside more often that makes winter a season that wreaks havoc on our indoor air quality.

How does staying inside more often worsen indoor air quality? Considering that most of us prefer to keep warm and toasty during the winter, there is a desire to keep all of our doors and windows shut, even going so far as sealing any cracks in our insulation. And while this helps to eliminate cold drafts from entering our homes, it also seals out any fresh air. As a result, the pollutants in our homes become more concentrated.

What pollutants exist in our homes? Well, there’s certainly a bunch! Household cleaning products produce some of the most common indoor pollutants. Those disinfectants, personal care products and air fresheners that give off “fresh” scents are especially known for containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are hazardous air pollutants. VOCs are also commonly found in paints, varnishes and glues.

If you use any household appliances that use oil, kerosene, gas, coal or wood, you’ve got combustion sources that can produce dangerous levels of pollution. They are especially hazardous if not regularly cleaned and maintained. And those of us with pets are also susceptible to increased levels of indoor air pollution thanks to animal dander and other particles that often cause allergic reactions and asthma triggers.

What are the symptoms associated with poor indoor air quality? If you notice that you’re experiencing headaches, dizziness, fatigue or itchiness of the eyes, nose and/or throat, it could be due to the air pollutants in your home. Asthma sufferers will be especially aware of poor indoor air quality as respiratory issues often result. Naturally, it’s wise to take measures to improve indoor air quality during the coldest months of the year.

How do you improve indoor air quality when it’s cold outside? Sensibly, you should simply rid the home of pollution sources. Reduce gas emissions from the afore mentioned household appliances as much as possible by limiting their use and/or making sure that are very regularly cleaned and maintained. You’ll also want to promote ventilation throughout the home. And yes, this does mean opening the windows every now and again.

You’ll also want to clean very regularly. Stepping up your dedication to vacuuming, dusting and mopping throughout the winter will go a long way in improving the air quality in your home. This is especially true if you have pets, but will also aid in the prevention of mould and mildew growth. Mould can become a problem when the air in the home is too humid. A sign may be the condensation that appears on your windows.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we focus pretty strongly on keeping the indoor air quality of your home at the highest levels possible. If you have any concerns about the quality of the air you’re breathing in your home this winter, please don’t hesitate to contact us to ask about our Air Quality Services. For more information, give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

Leave A Comment

4 Scary Statistics About Asbestos In Canada

asbestos, red stamp on a grunge paper textureFor the past several months, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog has kept a close eye on the asbestos situation in Canada. And by “situation”, we’re referring to the fact that, in May, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government was “moving forward on a ban” of the deadly material. To date, there has been no confirmation as to when the nationwide ban on asbestos will take place.

We, along with the rest of Canada, continue to wonder exactly what is taking so long. As Tavia Grant reported in The Globe and Mail yesterday, the government is still “examining” a ban, but is providing few details as to why it hasn’t yet been implemented. Gabriel Miller is the director of public issues at the Canadian Cancer Society. “Our position, and the evidence, is as clear as it can be: that asbestos is a carcinogen that is a major cause of cancer, including lung cancers, that kill many Canadians,” he is quoted as saying.

Asbestos is a killer. The statistics make it clear. Grant, in fact, provides several scary ones. Here are four:

1. It is estimated that there are 2,331 newly diagnosed cancers caused by asbestos exposure in Canada each year. This stat, based on 2011 cases studied by the Institute for Work and Health, underlines the fact that far too many Canadians have been exposed to asbestos fibres while on the job. The majority (90 percent) of lung cancer and mesothelioma cases brought on by asbestos exposure impact men.

2. More than a third of workplace-related deaths in Canada are caused by mesothelioma. This startling statistic comes courtesy of the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. Over the past decade, reports Grant, 34.5 percent of all fatality claims filed involve the asbestos-induced cancer. Between the years 2006 and 2015, mesothelioma became “the most common occupational disease” in our country.

3. Inexplicably, Canada continues to import millions of dollars worth of asbestos every year. According to Statistics Canada, in the first eight months of 2016, our nation imported a whopping $4.3 million in imports of asbestos and asbestos-containing products. Meanwhile, the Institute for Work and Health notes that asbestos-related cancers cost Canadians an estimated $1.7 billion per year to fight.

4. There are 716 federal buildings with known presences of asbestos. There are 2,186 properties listed in Public Services and Procurement Canada’s new national asbestos inventory. This statistic shows that approximately one-third of them are unsafe for Canadians to work in. It’s no wonder that mesothelioma cases are dramatically increasing each year. According to Statscan, there were 467 deaths related to the disease in 2012 – a 60 percent increase from 2000.

“This year and every year, 150,000 Canadian workers will be exposed to asbestos, and thousands will be diagnosed with asbestos-related cancers in years to come,” vented Howard Elliot in The Hamilton Spectator yesterday, “We don’t need more study and review. We need national leadership to ban asbestos. Period.” We second that, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd.

We are adamant that even one more Canadian to suffer a life-threatening illness because of asbestos exposure is one too many. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) Services. They 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.

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

Leave A Comment

A Nationwide Ban Of Asbestos Is Imminent, Says Minister Of Health

asbestos medical warning sign illustration design over a white backgroundReaders of the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog are well aware that we’ve been covering the topic of banning asbestos in Canada for quite a while now. Going as far back as May, we have been monitoring the status of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise to eradicate the harmful material from our country. It’s a secret to no one that asbestos fibres are the cause of mesothelioma, lung cancer and other fatal respiratory diseases.

Meanwhile, in spite of ending its production in Canada, we continue to import products that contain asbestos. We join countless other Canadians in looking forward to the official banning of asbestos in our country once and for all. To date, there is still no word from the federal government about an exact date when this proposed ban is to take full effect. And to be perfectly honest, we can’t imagine what the holdup is.

However, earlier this week, Kathleen Ruff reported on RightOnCanada.ca, that Canadians can expect a comprehensive ban on asbestos very shortly. And to continue to be perfectly honest, “very shortly” are our words. Ruff reveals that Jane Philpott, who is Canada’s Minister of Health, has announced that an official ban of asbestos in Canada is imminent. This was confirmed in a message sent to RightOnCanada.

“I don’t have the precise date for a full announcement, but I can say that health and safety of Canadians is a priority for this Government and that we are committed to moving forward with a ban on asbestos in Canada and will announce an updated government strategy in the coming months,” Philpott wrote in her message. Kent Hehr, a Member of Parliament and Minister for Veterans Affairs, has confirmed this declaration.

In a letter to a worker who was recently diagnosed with mesothelioma, Hehr writes that “the Government of Canada has committed to moving forward on a ban on asbestos. Our government is currently reviewing its strategy on asbestos, including actions that can be taken using a government-wide approach.” This approach, notes Ruff, involves Health Canada officials consulting with officials in other governments that have already banned asbestos.

The objective, it would appear, is to gain a greater understanding of the measures that have been taken to protect different populations from the asbestos that has already been placed in their buildings and infrastructure. The idea, we suppose, isn’t simply to eliminate asbestos from being imported into Canada, but also to learn of how to protect Canadians from any further harm that may be caused by the asbestos that is already here.

“Issues concerning health, occupational safety, workers compensation, building standards, waste disposal, etc. come under provincial jurisdiction in Canada,” Ruff informs, “It is thus extremely important that, in addition to banning asbestos, the federal government show leadership to initiate, along with the provincial governments, national standards and a national program to protect Canadians from asbestos harm.”

As you’re likely aware, DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. fully supports a nationwide ban of asbestos. We are very much aware of its harmful effects. It’s the reason we offer Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) Services which 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.

Leave A Comment

The Importance Of Monitoring Temperature And Humidity In The Home

Mold and moisture buildup on wall of a modern houseIt’s official. Summer is over. We’re now approximately one week into the autumn season. And that means that Canadians can be guaranteed one thing: much colder days are ahead! And while most of us enjoyed the warmth and sunshine that traditionally came along with the summer season, the time has finally come to admit that those warm and sunny days won’t be back for a while. The sun may shine over the next few months…but it will be chilly out there!

So what do Canadians do when it’s cold outside? Well, they stay inside more often, of course. And, naturally, they turn up the thermostats. And while it’s generally quite enjoyable to stay warm and toasty during our lengthy winters, the heat that we’re inviting into our homes has the potential to bring about legitimate health concerns. With heat often comes humidity which involves added moisture in the air. Moisture, as you’re likely aware, invites mould into your home.

It’s important, therefore, for us all to be mindful of just how much moisture is in the air when we are heating our homes. Preventing mould growth begins with being able to adequately measure air moisture. You see, the warmer the air, the more moisture the air can hold. And the more moisture in the air, the more likely your home will be to develop mould. Mould spores, once airborne, can significantly impact our breathing.

How does mould impact our breathing? When a person is exposed to indoor mould, his/her allergies really begin acting up. This is especially true for sufferers of asthma or other respiratory issues. Mould can irritate our eyes, our skin and our lungs even if we don’t have any allergies. And that’s because mould spores can very easily find themselves living throughout our indoor environments making us all susceptible to coming into contact with them.

How does the heating of our homes promote mould growth? When warm, moist air comes into contact with cold surfaces – say, for example, windows, furniture or walls – it can create condensation. This is because the cooler air isn’t able to hold as much moisture as warmer air. So it forms as liquid on those surfaces. Because liquid is present, it provides the perfect conditions for mould to grow. This is why it’s so important to monitor the humidity in your home.

How is humidity measured? Humidity can be measured with a device called a hygrometer. There is a wide variety of hygrometers which ranges from simplistic instruments to multi-functional devices that can measure both temperature and humidity levels. Temperature readings are available in either Fahrenheit or Celsius and humidity scales range from 1% to 100% relative humidity.

What is an ideal indoor relative humidity level in the winter? “Experts have developed rules of thumb to help homeowners make decisions regarding humidity levels in their houses,” informs Mark Salerno in The Toronto Sun, “For example, during the winter, relative humidity in your home should be between 30% and 50%, or even lower to avoid condensation on windows. High relative humidity promotes the growth of mould and dust mites.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Moisture Monitoring Services that evaluate your home for moisture sources. They may include building envelop failures, leakage issues or occupant-based sources. Our assessments may involve moisture meters, thermal scanning and hygrometer readings. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

Leave A Comment