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Mould

3 Major Reasons Air Quality Tests Fail

Clean AirAt DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., it is our mission to ensure that the air you’re breathing is clean and pure. Our indoor air quality experts provide top-of-the-line Air Quality, Moisture Monitoring and Mould Assessment Services as just a few of the many ways that we seek to keep your breathing air as pollutant-free as possible. Testing your breathing air is obviously an important step in ensuring the health and safety of your loved ones and co-workers.

Whether it is your home or office, any property that you spend a significant amount of time in should be tested for its air quality. As you’re probably aware, air quality isn’t exactly something you can test with the naked eye – or naked nose for that matter! While odour is often a telltale sign of an unclean airspace, there a number of other factors that contribute to failed air quality tests. Here are three major ones.

1. High humidity. Moisture is one of the top factors in the development of mould and other irritants to our respiratory system. The more humidity found in an area, the greater the chances of there being negative health effects. On CubeSensors.com, Alja Isakovic explains that high humidity can create a feeling of stale air that can make your hair frizzy. “That’s because more humidity in the air means your sweat is not evaporating as fast as it usually does,” she writes.

She goes on to note, however, that a high degree of humidity can have serious side effects. Among them are sleeping problems and the aforementioned development of moulds, as well as harmful bacteria and dust mites. “And moulds are not just an eye sore,” Isakovic reminds us, “They release mould spores into the air you breathe throughout the day. Some of these spores can trigger allergies, asthma attacks, irritate your eyes, nose or throat, and bring on a whole bunch of other respiratory problems.”

2. High carbon dioxide. We all know that we breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. And there’s a reason for that. We’re expelling air that the body does not require. If there are high traces of carbon dioxide in your breathing air, it could be a sign that the area is not well ventilated. However, the small concentration that results from our breathing isn’t considered dangerous. Of course, carbon dioxide isn’t only created by the air that we expel into the atmosphere.

“There are both natural and human sources of carbon dioxide emissions,” explains the What’s Your Impact? blog, “Natural sources include decomposition, ocean release and respiration. Human sources come from activities like cement production, deforestation as well as the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas.” If you work in these fields, it is important to monitor the air quality of your working environments as carbon dioxide can be dangerous in high concentrations.

3. High carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide doesn’t need high concentrations to be dangerous. This gas can be deadly within minutes. Because it is odourless, colourless and tasteless, it is practically impossible to detect without a professional inspection. As SilentShadow.org explains it, “once carbon monoxide has been breathed in, it replaces the oxygen in the blood, thus killing off cells and starving vital organs of oxygen.”

Carbon monoxide is arguably the most alarming reason for an air quality test to fail. The presence of this gas in your home or office requires immediate attention. “The great danger of carbon monoxide is its attraction to hemoglobin in the bloodstream,” informs SilentShadow.org, “When breathed in, carbon monoxide replaces the oxygen which cells need to function.” As a result, flu-like symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizzy spells and confusion can occur.

Let’s ensure the safety of your breathing air. For more information about the Air Quality Services provided by DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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5 Important Reasons To Eliminate Mould

green dustMould is a problem. We may not always realize how damaging the effects of mould can be to our health when we see it growing on some food that has been left out for too long. But we should realize that if mould is growing in certain areas of our homes and offices, it should certainly be removed. Sometimes, mould is hard to detect. After all, if it’s hiding behind the walls or underneath heaping piles of your belongings, you may not even know it’s there.

Do you smell something musty in the air? This might be the first sign that you have a mould issue. As Dr. Edward F. Group III of GlobalHealingCenter.com points out, “most of the toxic mould floating around in our air is actually invisible to the naked eye, but still may be seriously affecting your health.” So you can’t just rely on what you see to determine whether or not you have a mould problem. You should consider how you’re feeling as well.

Are you experiencing any allergic reactions? According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, “allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis).” Enduring any of these symptoms may also be a sign that you have some mould to eliminate from your property. Here are five other important reasons to eliminate mould.

1. The body requires clean air to function. According to Dr. Group, an environment free of mould helps for us all to function normally. “Ancient oriental medicine tells us that clean, fresh air, is one of the most important components of not only physical, but also mental health,” he writes, “Simply put, without clean air, the body cannot function properly. When the body is not functioning properly, the mind cannot function with ease and clarity.”

2. It can cause depression. Who would have thought that there was a correlation between the air we breathe and the way we think? Dr. Group writes that “a groundbreaking report from 2007 stated that scientists found a direct correlation between a high presence of mould in households and depression.” He also reveals that other studies have found links between airborne mould spores and depression.

3. Mould can be anywhere. Mould isn’t exactly all that easy to avoid considering that it can attach itself to our daily-used items and belongings. Dr. Group explains that mould enjoys growing in warm and humid environments and can live off of any organic matter. This includes our clothing and food. It can also grow on bathroom walls, shower walls, carpets, doors, window sills, ceilings and wallpaper.

4. It can be hard to detect. To reiterate a point made earlier, we can’t assume that there is no mould growing in our homes and offices simply because we don’t see it. Mould needs only moisture to find a home. As the EPA explains, “moulds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mould may begin growing indoors when mould spores land on surfaces that are wet.”

5. The more mould there is, the more dangerous it gets. “Although a small amount of mould and mildew won’t hurt most of us, it begins to become a big problem when the mould spores get out of hand,” writes Dr. Group, “When quantity does get out of hand, or when individuals who are highly sensitive to toxic mould, breathe it in, it can present a serious health hazard.” Therefore, to avoid health issues caused by mould, it’s important to professionally inspect your property.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer top-quality Mould Assessment Services. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Making Mould Removal A Top Priority

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen most people think of mould, they conjure up images of a sandwich that has been left out for too long and has begun to grow that “green stuff”. Recognizing mould as a sign that food has gone bad, generally causes us to do no more than throw out the expired eats. There are, however, several types of moulds. And, as you may have guessed, they’re not exactly good for your health. So preventing exposure is an important practice.

So how many types of moulds are there? Well, there are several. But as MedicineNet.com explains it, the one to most watch out for are those that are commonly found in our households. The common types of household moulds, says the site, are known as Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria and Aspergillus. There not exactly all that easy to pronounce, are they? And often, they’re not all that easy to detect.

MedicineNet.com explains, however, that “Stachybotrys chartarum” is the greenish-black mould that often grows on household surfaces that have a high cellulose content. This includes materials such as wood, fibreboard, gypsum board, paper, dust and lint. And while you may not realize that you are being affected by mould, any bouts of wheezing, sneezing, sniffling, coughing, watery eyes, itchy eyes, runny nose or rash could be signs that you have a mould problem.

And while everyone is at risk, there are some of us who are more susceptible to these symptoms of mould exposure than others. Infants and children are more at risk than most adults. However, pregnant women and those who suffer from respiratory problems, allergies and asthma will also have quite difficult times if they are exposed to mould. In addition to potential asthma attacks, such individuals may also encounter flu-like symptoms, headaches and even memory loss.

Unfortunately, mould exposure can cause us all a lot more harm than that. The previously-mentioned Stachybotrys has been known to create compounds with toxic properties known as mycotoxins. On his website, Dr. Joseph Mercola explains that “Mycotoxins are chemical toxins present within or on the surface of the mould spore, which you then unwittingly inhale, ingest, or touch. These mould toxins are extremely potent and often affect nearly every organ system in your body.”

Needless to say, this is some pretty scary stuff. In fact, these facts suggest that many of our common health problems could potentially be a result of mould exposure. But Dr. Mercola reveals that mycotoxins can actually cause damage to our brains. “Some are neurotoxic and produce central nervous system effects, including cognitive and behavioral changes, ataxia, and convulsions,” he explains, “Approximately 70 percent of the people with confirmed exposure to toxigenic moulds exhibit significant neurotoxicity.”

So what can be done about mould? Clearly, it’s a big enough problem that a solid solution is necessary. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we confidently provide that solution through our Mould Assessment Services. As part of our commitment to you, our expert staff will assess, analyze and report on your home, office or building. During our comprehensive assessments, we perform a number of important duties.

They include visual inspections for sources of mould, an analytical sampling for source and health impact potential from spore exposure, moisture analysis and thermal scanning. We guarantee top-of-the-line service to ensure upon the safety of your home or place of business. We make ridding your property of mould a top priority. For more information on 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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Getting to the Bottom of Mould in your Building

Moulds, from the Kingdom Fungi, are microscopic organisms that can be found virtually everywhere, indoors and outdoors.  They are a natural part of the decay and decomposition cycle of all organic materials.  Organic materials refer to those materials that are or were once living, such as leaves, grass, wood, papers and foods.  There are reportedly more than 100,000 species of mould and some estimates of 1,000,000 species of mould present on the earth today.  Also contained within the Fungi Kingdom are Mildews and Yeasts.

Some of these moulds or fungi are favorable to us as we eat them with our salads and steaks, however other varieties are not quite so enjoyable.  Most moulds are regarded as allergen reaction producing or asthma triggers given the right conditions to most if not all humans.  In fact some mould species produce toxins in an effort to protect themselves and the areas in which they live. Unfortunately, some times these areas are in our homes making for an unwanted tenant in your home.

So what does mould look like to the average person! Mould as it grows will take on a wide variety of different colors depending on when you look at it during its life cycle, the material that it is growing on and finally the type or species of mould.  In fact during the early growth phases of many moulds there is no visible color and it is not until later on in the life cycle that the colors become present in the spore production phase.  Many resources talk about black mould and to be aware of this type of mould.  Not all black mould is the toxin producing mould, typically thought to be Stachybotrys.

Discoloration on a surface may be an indication of a mould problem within your home along with a musty or earthy odour.  If an odour exists with no visible indication the mould may be hidden from view, for example below a raised sub-floor, within a wall cavity or some other concealed area.  Just because you cannot see the growth does not mean that there is not a problem.

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