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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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Winning The Battle Against Dust Mites With Regular Bed Sheet Washing

How often do you think you should wash your bed sheets?

Some people wash their bed sheets once a week. Some decide to throw them in the washer every other week. And some even think that once a month will suffice. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we highly recommend the weekly routine. As Marisa Ramiccio puts it on SymptomFind.com, “if you’re washing your sheets only once a month, that’s not going to cut it. Your sheets need to be washed at least every other week, but weekly is ideal.”

Why is it so important to wash your bed sheets at least once a week?

Let’s consider how often you sleep and what you leave behind when you sleep. On average, you’re in your bed approximately eight hours each night – that is, of course, if you’re getting the recommended amount of sleep for optimum health. Let’s suppose that you’re in your clothes for approximately the same amount of time each day. Usually, you’ll put them in the wash after one wear, right?

When you sleep, you leave behind hair, oil, sweat, bodily fluids and even food crumbs (for those in-the-bed snackers). We also leave behind a bunch of dead skin cells. And, as far as dust mites are concerned, this means you’ve left behind a scrumptious buffet meal! Your body sheds about a million skin cells a day. So, as you can imagine, this attracts a lot of dust mites who practically live in your bed.

What are dust mites?

Dust mites are microscopic bugs that aren’t visible to the naked eye. As Ramiccio explains, “these little things live, die and reproduce in the same bed sheets that you sleep in. The only way to keep these creatures under control is to wash your bed sheets on a regular basis. Otherwise, you may develop an allergy, or even a lowered immune system.”

On AllergicLiving.com, Dory Cerny goes into greater detail about these “cousins to the spider”. She explains that “they spend their two to four months of life eating, creating waste and reproducing. A female will lay 100 eggs in her lifetime, and each mite produces about 10 to 20 waste pellets a day…Mites eat minuscule flakes of human skin and animal dander. They can’t drink, but absorb moisture from the atmosphere.”

So how do dust mites impact our health?

The waste produced by dust mites is a known allergen that triggers asthma attacks. Because dust mites thrive on warmth and moisture, your mattress and bed sheets are often sought out as their ideal homes. The skin flakes and other above mentioned things that we all leave in our beds are consumed by dust mites, giving them more opportunities to leave behind allergy-triggering waste products.

“An average mattress contains between 100,000 and 10 million bugs,” informs Cerny, “A study in 2000 found that more than 45 per cent of American homes had detectable dust mite levels associated with the development of allergies, and 23 per cent had bedding with concentrations of allergen high enough to trigger asthma attacks.” This is why regular bed sheet washing is so important. Washing your sheets in hot water on a weekly basis is the best way to win the battle against dust mites.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we strongly promote the need for Canadians to live in healthy homes. This is why we’re so proud to offer Air Quality Services that work to eliminate health hazards from the air we breathe. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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How To Minimize The Risk Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

What is carbon monoxide?

Also known as CO, carbon monoxide is an odourless, tasteless and colourless gas that is made when substances such as oil, coal, wood, gasoline, propane and natural gas are burned. It is also found in second-hand smoke from cigarettes. CO is known as the “silent killer” because of our inabilities to detect it without the help of carbon monoxide detectors. Its nickname is apt. CO is known to cause illness and death.

What puts us at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Many of our homes contain appliances that run on fuel. They include furnaces, wood stoves, water heaters and boilers. Especially during the winter months, when our homes require heating from within, these appliances are put to greater use. As a result, the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning increases.

There are also a number of items that we tend to keep in our garages that can also be sources of carbon monoxide. When kept in such an unventilated area as a garage, generators, charcoal grills and vehicle exhausts can create concentrated amounts of CO that may seep into our homes. Chimneys are also known for housing carbon monoxide.

On NewsCanada.com, a tragic story about retired Ontario firefighter, John Gignac’s family highlights all too well the dangers of having a blocked chimney vent. In late 2008, Gignac lost his niece, her husband and their two children due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Their chimney vent was blocked and the family didn’t have a carbon monoxide alarm. A national charitable foundation was set up by Gignac in the family’s memory.

He has made it his mission to protect other families from suffering the same fate. Gignac highlights the fact that you don’t need a chimney or a fireplace to be at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. As mentioned, there are a number of gas-burning appliances that are known culprits for emitting the deadly and undetectable gas into our homes.

“People need to take this threat seriously and realize that it comes from sources beyond just furnaces and fireplaces,” Gignac is quoted as saying, “Year-round we use gas stoves and water heaters and park vehicles in garages and attached carports. Never let down your guard…People think they don’t need a carbon monoxide alarm because they have electric heat and no fireplace. But when I ask them if they have a gas stove or water heater, or attached garage or carport, they realize their families have been at risk for years.”

How do you know if your home has put you at risk for CO poisoning?

It’s important to look out for the symptoms. When we breathe in carbon monoxide, it reduces our bodies’ abilities to carry oxygen in the blood. Shortness of breath, therefore, is an obvious symptom to watch for. At low levels, the symptoms of CO poisoning also include fatigue, headaches and muscle weakness. At higher levels, symptoms include dizziness, chest pain and problems with vision and concentrating.

What can be done to minimize the risk of CO poisoning?

Getting a carbon monoxide detector is highly recommended. Smoke alarms only alert you to the presence of smoke, not CO. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we know how important it is to take measures to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. We offer Air Quality Services that detect any indoor air quality problems including CO.

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

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