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Canada Set To Implement Asbestos Ban By Year’s End…Sort Of

For the first half of 2018, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog covered the story of Canada’s proposed asbestos ban quite extensively. It has been nearly two years since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that our nation would finally be joining the many others that have outlawed the toxic substance. However, things seemed to come to a standstill this year. As a result, we haven’t blogged about the asbestos ban since the beginning of May.

Originally, the ban was intended to take full effect this year.

However, it appears as if it won’t be fully implemented until the end of the year – to some degree. As The Canadian Press reported last week via Global News, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has announced that the asbestos ban will come into effect by year’s end. However, it won’t apply to residues that have been left over from mining asbestos.

While the ban will prohibit the import, sale and use of processed asbestos fibres and the products that contain them, Quebec towns, where approximately 800 million tonnes of residue exist, will receive an exemption. “As much as 40 per cent of the leftover rock still contains asbestos,” reads The Canadian Press report.

The ban has been “watered down”.

Elizabeth Thompson of CBC News elaborates on the “watered down” regulations regarding the nationwide ban on asbestos. “The final regulations include new exemptions to allow the military, nuclear facilities and chlor-alkali plants to continue using the hazardous substance for several years,” she reveals.

She also offers some insight from Kathleen Ruff, who has long campaigned against asbestos. “They seem to have, if anything, weakened their proposed regulations and succumbed to lobbying by vested interests,” Ruff is quoted as saying, “I would give them huge credit for finally moving to ban asbestos…But I’m troubled by the fact that there are these weaknesses and gaps and, if anything, they seem to have gotten worse.”

McKenna, however, has downplayed the idea that there will be health implications due to the new exemptions. Instead, she stands pat on her belief that the federal government is keeping the promise it made back in 2016. “None of these exemptions will impact on human health,” McKenna insists, “These regulations ban the import, the sale, the use and the export of asbestos and products containing asbestos in Canada, as well as the manufacture of products containing asbestos.”

The impact of asbestos should not be taken lightly.

As we’ve reported in numerous blogs of past, asbestos is the number one cause of workplace death in Canada. “Since 1996, almost 5,000 approved death claims stem from asbestos exposure, making it by far the top source of workplace death in Canada,” reveals Tavia Grant of The Globe and Mail. Thompson also highlights the far-reaching and disastrous effects of asbestos exposure on the Canadian public.

“In its regulations, the government estimates that asbestos exposure was responsible for approximately 1,900 lung cancer cases in 2011 and 430 cases of mesothelioma — a cancer that affects a layer of tissue that covers many internal organs,” she reports.

The DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team is disappointed to learn of the exceptions made to the nationwide ban of asbestos, but still can’t wait for it to officially come into effect. As always, we remain dedicated to helping Canadians remove asbestos from their homes and places of work. For information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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4 Ways To Treat Your Home To Better Indoor Air Quality

Here we are, now two weeks away from Halloween! We must admit that while we are fans of the annual celebration of all things spooky, the occasion reminds us of how important it is to improve the indoor air quality of our homes. That may sound strange, but just consider how many times the average home is opened up to trick or treaters each Halloween night. This can actually be a good thing considering the benefits of letting fresh air in the home.

The team at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. wishes to remind you that there are some important ways to treat your home all year round. Just ahead of Halloween, we thought we’d revisit the concept of improving the indoor air quality of your home.

Here are four ways to treat your home to better indoor air quality:

1. Clean out your air ducts.

As much as we have heralded the act of cracking open the windows to let fresh air in and stagnant air out, we realize that they can’t stay open all the time – nor should they. On especially cold days, it’s important to stay warm. That’s why it’s vital that you clean your air ducts. Pollutants can get trapped in your air ducts, causing the air you breathe to remain contaminated.

“Without good ventilation, the air inside your home becomes stale and contaminated with airborne particles,” explains Roger Grochmal on AtlasCare.ca, “Homeowners should schedule a professional air duct cleaning at least once every three years to keep the ventilation system clear and healthy.”

2. Pay special attention to the bathroom.

It probably goes without saying that the bathroom is a room that requires a good deal of your cleaning attention. Naturally, it’s a room where there is a lot of moisture. This makes it especially susceptible to mould development. And as Sarah D. Young explains on ConsumerAffairs.com, mould and moisture can wreak havoc on indoor air quality.

“To get rid of mildew buildup, give your showers and toilets a good scrub,” she instructs, “Additionally, be sure to fix leaky sinks and faucets and keep bathrooms properly ventilated.”

3. Fill your home with houseplants.

Think of houseplants as Halloween candy for your home. The more plants you place in your home, the happier it will be. Unlike Halloween candy, however, plants are healthy choices. Many of them are well-known for removing contaminants from the air. As Grochmal explains, studies have confirmed this.

“While plants alone cannot clean your air, some species are surprisingly good at absorbing and neutralizing certain volatile organic compounds,” he writes, “NASA made this discovery back in 1989 while looking for ways to clean the air inside space stations — and it works here on Earth, too!”

4. Be a bit of a neat freak.

If only there were such thing as a “neat freak” costume that people could wear for Halloween. We suppose it would include gloves, an apron, mops and a bucket. Nevertheless, you certainly don’t have to wait for Halloween to put on such attire and give your home a good cleaning! This is a routine you should participate in no less than once a week.

“Keep dust mites in-check by vacuuming carpets and washing hard floors on a weekly basis,” advises Grochmal, “Using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter will throw fewer dust mites back into the room as you clean.”

Contact DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. to learn more about how we can better your home’s indoor air quality. For information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Treating Your Home Ahead Of Halloween

We are exactly three weeks away from Halloween! For many of us, it’s an exciting time of year. Halloween is a highlight of the fall season, bringing joy to children of all ages – especially those who partake in the annual tradition of trick or treating. And while you may be planning on opening your doors to trick or treaters in three weeks time, it’s important to remember some other treats you should be doling out – to your own home!

Give it the sock treatment.

Canadians are known for removing their shoes at the front door. When entering the home, most of us are well aware that there’s no good reason to track in the dirt on our shoes. This is a practice that doesn’t seem to be as popular south of the border. However, if you’re looking to keep your home clean and its air as pure as possible, leave the outside at the front door. As Envirovent.com recommends, remove your shoes when coming inside.

“When you enter your home, make sure you remove your shoes to avoid bringing in chemicals, pollen, dirt and dust indoors,” the website instructs, “If you have a porch it is a good idea to leave your outdoor footwear here or just inside the front door if you don’t have a porch.”

Give it some ventilation.

It can never be stressed enough that the air in your home needs to circulate with the air outside your home. That way, you can ensure that there is good air circulation as well as good heat flow. The simplest way to make sure that your home is getting the ventilation it needs is to crack open the windows for a short periods of each day.

Canada.ca also advises you to leave your interior doors open so as to not make rooms stuffy; use your bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans; keep your baseboards and heating vents clear of furniture; keep your beds, bedding and furniture away from outside walls to allow enough air and heat to flow around furnishings and use a mechanical HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system in your home with a filtration system built into the duct work.

Make it a smoke-free zone.

Arguably, the greatest treat you can give your home is air that is 100% free of cigarette smoke. As we’ve blogged about extensively in the past, cigarette smoke is as deadly as they come. Both secondhand smoke (the air emitted from smokers’ mouths and inhaled by non-smokers) and thirdhand smoke (the residue left behind on clothing, bedding and furniture) can cause major respiratory issues.

“Although fewer people are taking up smoking, it remains a primary cause of dangerous pollutants being breathed in the home,” says Envirovent.com, “If you smoke, try to ensure that you do so outside, even if you don’t have children. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including 43 known cancer-causing compounds which build up inside your home when you smoke. This is not only damaging the property, it is damaging your own health and affecting those around you.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we would be happy to treat your home to a professional inspection of its air! For more information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Safeguarding Your Home Against Excess Moisture During The Fall

The fall season is well underway. But, here in Calgary, winter weather conditions are already upon us. With heavy snowfall and below freezing temperatures already here, the month of October is already presenting conditions that will force us all to bundle up when we’re outside and turn up the heat when we’re inside.

The turning up of the heat may be great for undoing the chill in our bones that the weather provides us. But it also makes our homes susceptible to increased moisture. Increased moisture, as you’re likely aware, can be a problem as it leads to the development of mould.

How does the cold weather contribute to moisture production?

The heat in our homes can often be humid. This is especially true in homes that include various portable heaters without any particular modes of ventilation. As Allison Bailes explains on EnergyVanguard.com, condensation appears when surfaces with low temperatures (your windows, for example) are met with warm, humid air (which is found in your home when the heat is turned up).

“In fall, a house in a humid climate is coming off a summer full of humidity,” Bailes elaborates, “Even with air conditioning, moisture gets into the house and many of the sorptive materials in the house will suck up a lot of water. In fall, as cooler, drier air surrounds the outside of the house and gets inside, those materials start giving up their moisture load.”

How can you reduce or eliminate window condensation?

Bailes suggests two methods in particular: Raise the window temperature and reduce the humidity of the air inside the house. She explains that humid air has moisture in it and has a “dew point”. This is the point at which the air meets a surface that is cool enough for it to release liquid. This is what causes condensation on a cold window during the fall.

“Installing more efficient windows or storm windows helps by keeping the temperature of your windows closer to the indoor temperature, making it more likely that they’re above the dew point,” she informs, “Keeping your humidity lower through the summer and fall will help also by lowering the dew point of the air. Making sure you don’t have an oversized air conditioner will help with that.”

How else can you lower humidity levels in the home?

Houseplants provide a natural and healthy resource. As DoItYourself.com explains, different plants offer year-round humidity control for homes. Among the most noteworthy of plants is the small cactus. The site notes that it is great at finding moisture in the ground or through the air to help keep humidity levels comfortable.

DoItYourself.com also heralds the act of cracking open your windows. “In the spring and in the fall, you can regulate your home humidity level by simply opening the windows a few inches,” says the site, “If you open windows that are adjacent to each other, you will have a cross breeze. This breeze not only cools off your home and brings in fresh air, but it also keeps the humidity at an acceptable level.”

Are you having moisture issues in your home?

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we proudly offer Moisture Monitoring Services that efficiently evaluate your property’s moisture sources. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Why You Should Still Crack Open The Windows When It’s Cold Outside

Here’s some advice we’ve provided before: Crack open your windows when it’s cold outside! Even though we’ve offered this piece of advice in the past, it’s worth repeating considering that much colder days are ahead. At first glance, the tip may seem like a strange one. Isn’t the whole point of keeping the windows shut when it’s cold outside to prevent it from being cold inside the home? Yes, of course. But keeping the windows shut also prevents pollutants from escaping your living space.

Open windows allow pollutants to escape.

As Mike Holmes explains in a special to National Post, there are numerous toxins inside your home. They build up over time and require open windows in order to escape. He lists volatile organic compounds (VOCs), mould spores, dust, smoke, radon, viruses and bacteria as some of the most prevalent pollutants in the home.

“Breathing these in over an extended period of time isn’t good for your health,” asserts Holmes, “It can make you feel sick, tired and drowsy, it can cause headaches, dizziness and nausea, and can irritate your eyes, nose and throat. It can even lead to building-related illness, or BRI. Symptoms of BRI include fevers, coughing, muscle aches and tightness in your chest.”

You don’t need to keep the windows open all day.

Don’t assume that you need to freeze yourself in order to freshen up the air in your home. Naturally, you’ll be inclined to keep your home as warm as possible during the coldest days of the year. No one is recommending that you slide your windows open during a blizzard. However, it needs to be reiterated that keeping windows shut 24/7 isn’t a healthy practice.

“15 to 20 minutes is enough to make a difference,” informs Holmes, “It’s also a good solution for homes that don’t have forced air. Yes, you will be losing some energy, but the health benefits you get from bringing fresh air into your home can offset this energy loss.”

MindBodyGreen.com agrees that throwing open a window is the simplest way to better indoor air quality during the colder months of the year. “Even when it’s chilly outside, you should open a window for at least five minutes a day to significantly decrease the concentrations of indoor air pollutants in your home,” the site advises, “Most home heating and cooling systems, including forced air heating systems, do not mechanically bring fresh air into the house. Manual is the way to go.”

Closed windows cause condensation.

Holmes also points out that keeping windows shut causes condensation inside the house. Condensation occurs when warm air hits cool surfaces. The problem with condensation in the home is that it appears as small droplets of water and this moisture is known for causing mould development. Mould spores in the air create major irritants for our respiratory systems.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we take the issue of indoor air quality very seriously. To ensure the healthy status of your home, we’d be happy to provide a professional inspection of its air. For more information about our Air Quality Services, Moisture Monitoring Services or Mould Assessment Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Preventing Mould Growth In Your Home Throughout The Fall Season

There are only a couple of days left in summer. But, here in Alberta, it appears as if the summer is already long gone. Unfortunately, the colder temperatures always seem to arrive early in our neck of the woods. And, as a result, we are forced to don winter clothing before the fall season even begins. In addition, Albertans have to take early precautions to prevent moisture build-up and the potential for mould growth in our homes.

Mould develops in areas where there is an abundance of moisture and warmth.

If you’re like most Albertans, you likely have already cranked up the heat in your home. And who can blame you? Saying that “it’s been a little chilly as of late” is an understatement! The problem with heating our homes is that condensation can occur when the warm air inside your home makes contact with cold surfaces such as your windows.

“If you live in a climate where you need to heat your home frequently, mould can start growing in the winter on your home’s inside walls, especially on the surfaces closest to the outside of your home,” explains RestorationMasterFinder.com, “Moisture that travels through the air from your basement, bathrooms, or kitchen may condense when it comes in contact with a cold wall. One thing you can do to prevent mould growth is make sure your walls are well-insulated.”

In addition to having well-insulated walls, it’s important to manage the humidity levels inside your home. The website recommends that you keep your indoor humidity level below 40 percent. You’ll also want to limit the amount of humidity caused by any of your humidifiers.

Use your home’s exhaust fans.

Humidity is most commonly found in our kitchens and bathrooms. There is a reason that both rooms are equipped with exhaust fans. The heat produced by cooking and the steam produced by hot showers often create easily visible condensation. Always turning the exhaust fans on when either room is in use is an important mould prevention technique.

“In the bathroom and kitchen, use exhaust fans or open windows when producing moisture, such as taking a hot shower,” advises RestorationMasterFinder.com, “Exhaust fans should be vented to the outdoors and not to an attic or crawl space.”

Even on cold days, it’s important to crack the windows.

Letting the fresh air from outside circulate with the stale air from inside is an important way to purify your home’s indoor air quality. But the ventilation technique will also help to lower humidity levels in the home, lowering your chances of having mould develop throughout.

“Ventilation is key for proper mould prevention,” writes John Ward on BustMold.com, “Each morning when you get up, open all the windows in your bedroom and leave them open for at least five minutes. Not only will that decrease the level of humidity, but it will ensure that fresh air replaces the stale ‘night air’.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’re pretty keen on helping Albertans to improve the indoor air quality of their homes. And we’d be happy to provide a professional inspection of the air in your home! For information about our Moisture Monitoring Services or our Mould Assessment Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Using Nicotine Replacement Therapy To Help You Quit Smoking

It’s not at all far-fetched to suggest that cigarette smoke is the worst thing that can happen to the air inside your home. Firstly, it can be avoided. By having a cigarette smoker strictly keep his/her habit to an outdoor activity, you can significantly improve the quality of the air inside your home.

Secondly, it should go without saying that cigarette smoking produces deadly effects. Lung cancer, mesothelioma and other fatal respiratory diseases are caused by the seemingly countless toxins found in cigarette smoke. In addition, as we’ve pointed out in past blogs, you don’t even need to be a smoker to be impacted by cigarette smoke. Secondhand smoke is every bit as deadly as the firsthand smoke inhaled by smokers.

The bottom line: Eliminate cigarette smoke from your life completely!

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’re well aware that cigarette smoking is not an easy habit to break. As the vast majority of smokers will attest to, it’s an addiction. Cravings for nicotine are often placed at the top of the list of reasons why cigarette smokers can’t butt out for good. This is why there are numerous Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products on the market.

“NRT can reduce the cravings and withdrawal symptoms you experience that may hinder your attempt to give up smoking,” explains Hannah Nichols of Medical News Today, “NRTs are designed to wean your body off cigarettes and supply you with a controlled dose of nicotine while sparing you from exposure to other chemicals found in tobacco.”

Nicotine Replacement Therapy comes in many different forms.

Skin patches, chewing gum, lozenges, nasal sprays and inhalers are among the most commonly used NRTs. Many of them are available over-the-counter while some others require prescriptions. Naturally, the objective of NRTs is to help cigarette smokers overcome their intense cravings for nicotine. As a result, e-cigarettes have risen in popularity over the past several years. Because they are less addictive than traditional cigarettes, many smokers use them to get closer to quitting the habit altogether.

“E-cigarettes are a hot research topic at the moment,” writes Nichols, “Studies have found that e-cigarettes are less addictive than cigarettes, that the rise in e-cigarette use has been linked with a significant increase in smoking cessation, and that established smokers who use e-cigarettes daily are more likely to quit smoking than people who have not tried e-cigarettes.”

Will power plays a big role in quitting smoking.

It’s important to remember that NRTs can’t do all the work for you. If you’re serious about butting out, you’ll need to busy yourself with other activities that can help you to take your mind off of smoking. The Mayo Clinic highly recommends that smokers engage in more physical activity to help distract them from their cravings for nicotine and tobacco.

“Even short burst of physical activity — such as running up and down the stairs a few times — can make a tobacco craving go away,” they note on their website, “Get out for a walk or jog. If you’re stuck at home or the office, try squats, deep knee bends, pushups, running in place, or walking up and down a set of stairs.”

As mentioned, doing away with cigarette smoking will significantly improve the quality of air in your home. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to help you improve your home’s indoor air quality! For information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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What Are The Easiest Ways To Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality?

We could all breathe a lot easier if we took certain steps to ensure the air in our homes was free of pollutants. However, there are numerous simple actions that many of us neglect to take each day. Take opening the windows, for example. Far too many Canadians keep them shut throughout the summer, opting to blast their air conditioners instead. In the winter, those same windows stay shut in order to keep the cold out. A bit ironic, isn’t it?

Crack the windows.

“Even in the cold months, open windows from time to time to allow fresh air to move into the house,” advises Harvard Health Publishing, “Also, move potential air contaminants out by using fans in the kitchen to remove cooking fumes.”

Cracking the windows, even for short portions of the day, helps the stale air inside your home to circulate with the fresher air from outside. Opening the windows – yes, even in the winter time – can do a lot to improve your home’s indoor air quality. But it’s not the only easy way to do so!

Keep every room clean and tidy.

Simple enough advice, isn’t it? It’s important to remember that regular dusting, mopping and vacuuming won’t just make your home look and smell pleasant, it will also help you breathe better. Harvard Health Publishing highlights the fact that vacuuming carpets and area rugs with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter is needed as least once or twice a week. Removing carpet altogether, however, can significantly reduce the number of allergens in your home.

They also advise that you regularly clean bedding, drapes and other items that tend to attract allergens, especially if you have pets. “The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology recommends washing in water that is at least 130° F,” informs the Harvard Health Publishing website, “Also consider using dust mite–proof covers on pillows, as well as mattresses and box springs, whenever possible.”

Keep it Canadian!

Three years ago, we posted a blog entitled “Is Being Canadian Good For Your Indoor Air Quality?” In the blog, we discussed the apparently typical Canadian practice of always removing footwear at the front door of the home. Most of us consider it a no-brainer to not wear your shoes or boots in the house. However, many of our American counterparts tend to consider footwear a part of the in-house wardrobe.

Here’s the bottom line: take off your shoes if you want to breathe clean air! “Who knows what’s on the bottom of your shoes, so be sure everyone removes shoes when coming (in) the home,” insists Rachel Brougham on FamilyHandyman.com, “Use a boot tray or shoe rack to collect dirt, pesticides and other pollutants from making their way into your home.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to help you improve your home’s indoor air quality. We’d be happy to provide a professional inspection of the air in your home. For information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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3 Important Fall Cleaning Tips

We hate to have to remind you, but the summertime will soon be coming to a close. With the start of school just around the corner, we only have a few days left of what we officially refer to as “summer vacation”. And while the fall season doesn’t officially get underway until September 22nd, we all know that the temperatures are about to cool off.

With the approaching of each new season, it’s always a good idea to have somewhat of a fresh start. Spring isn’t the only time of year when a cleaning is necessary! We’d argue that fall cleaning is an equally important annual event.

Here are three important fall cleaning tips:

1. Wash all of your bedding.

Most people wash their bed sheets on a weekly basis. This, of course, is a wise idea as it helps to keep dust mites at bay. Making sure to regularly change the sheets and washing them in hot water is a great way to cleanse your bedding of the dead skin, sweat and hair left behind when you sleep. In addition, it rids you of the dust mites that love to eat that dead skin and leave their respiratory system-affecting waste behind.

With that said, it’s important to also wash your comforters and heavy blankets. As Sara Elliot advises on HowStuffWorks.com, washing all of your bedding is an important fall cleaning ritual. “Wash all bedding in preparation for cooler temperatures and use very hot water, 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54.4 Celsius) or higher to kill dust mites and bacteria,” she instructs, “Over the winter season, be sure to wash bedding weekly.”

2. Test and clean your smoke detectors.

This is a tip that cannot be stressed enough. Cleaning your smoke detectors will help to ensure that they are perfectly operational. Protecting your family from a potential fire is obviously a life-saving action.

“You already know to put fresh batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors,” writes Christina Peterson on GoodHousekeeping.com, “But you also need to clean your units, since dust that accumulates can cause them to underperform. Using your vacuum cleaner’s soft brush attachment, clean in and around the dectectors’ openings. If any are more than 10 years old, replace them.”

3. Give your pets a scrub.

The many pet owners across Canada put themselves in somewhat tougher positions to keep their homes clean. Between all of the pet dander, fur, saliva and tracked-in dirt, pets are known for keeping homes messy. Taking your pet to a groomer or giving it a good scrub yourself is an important way of maintaining a clean home and improving its overall air quality.

Pets “can be a handful, particularly if someone in the family has allergies,” says Elliot, “Whenever possible, bathe cats and dogs regularly to keep dander to a minimum. A weekly bath may seem unrealistic, but even a monthly wet or dry bath is better than nothing. If you teach them young, you may be able to train pets to tolerate the vacuum cleaner for a weekly vacuuming.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we work tirelessly to ensure that our clients always enjoy the best indoor air quality possible. We’d be happy to provide a professional inspection of the air in your home. For more information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Finding Safe And Natural Ways To Purify The Air In Your Home

We’d all love it if our homes smelled fresh 100 percent of the time. But we know that’s not entirely possible. Cleaning, of course, is mandatory. We can’t expect the dirt, dust, pet dander, and hair in our homes to sweep themselves away. And we certainly can’t expect the spills to wipe themselves up.

Can cleaning be bad for us?

Unfortunately, many of us tend to create more problems than we are fixing during our cleaning routines. And that’s because of the prevalence of chemical-based cleaners that we so easily find in the stores. Most of them contain volatile organic compounds, which are also known as VOCs, for short. And here is their short story: they’re bad for your health!

As reported by Ian Sample on TheGuardian.com, “Household cleaners, paints and perfumes have become substantial sources of urban air pollution as strict controls on vehicles have reduced road traffic emissions, scientists say. Researchers in the US looked at levels of synthetic ‘volatile organic compounds’, or VOCs, in roadside air in Los Angeles and found that as much came from industrial and household products refined from petroleum as from vehicle exhaust pipes.”

What are the health implications of VOCs?

As the Government of Canada explains on Canada.ca, short-term exposure to high levels of some VOCs can cause breathing problems as well as irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. Exposure to VOCs is also known to cause headaches.

“Some people may be more sensitive, such as people with asthma,” the site elaborates, “Most people are not affected by short-term exposure to the low levels of VOCs typically found in homes. For long-term exposure to low levels of VOCs, research is ongoing to better understand any health effects from these exposures. Long-term exposure to high levels of some VOCs, however, may result in health effects.”

What natural air purifiers are recommended?

Firstly, it’s important to point out that ventilation is a top way to rid your household of pollutants. Keeping the windows open will help for the stale and stagnant air from inside to circulate with the fresher air from outside. On NDTV.com, Aashna Ahuja lists ventilation as a top way to purify the air in your home. She also lists a number of natural and safe-to-use air purifiers. They include beeswax candles, salt lamps, activated charcoal, essential oils and, as you may have expected, houseplants.

“It’s the best way to counter the impact of pollution indoors, particularly if you have a family member with some respiratory illness,” Ahuja informs, “It’s suggested that you have at least one plant per 100 square feet of home for efficient air cleaning to be accomplished. The best plants to filter toxins from the air are Peace Lily which prefers moderate sunlight, Lady Palm or Broadleaf Lady Palm which is adaptable but prefers bright, indirect light.”

As you’re likely aware, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team takes the issue of indoor air quality very seriously. We’d be happy to provide a professional inspection of the air in your home. For more information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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