Radon is one weird gas. But it’s not weird because of its smell – because you can’t smell it. It doesn’t look funny – because you can’t see it. However, radon can cause some serious health problems for you and your family if it is found in concentrated doses in your home.
The invisible, odourless and tasteless gas is created when the uranium in soil and rock breaks down. Now, you may be thinking, “there’s no soil or rock in my home!” But radon gets even weirder. You see, outside, the gas is practically harmless. But it doesn’t stay outside. It can seep into your home through cracks and collect in tight spaces. It’s important, therefore, to safeguard your home against radon.
It’s bad. Simply put, long-term exposure to radon can cause lung cancer. The risk of a person getting cancer from radon inhalation depends on the level of radon and how long that person is exposed to it in concentrated levels.
According to the Government of Nova Scotia, “the Canadian guideline is based on an exposure period of about 70 years spent in a dwelling that contains elevated levels of radon 75% of that time. Other than lung cancer, there is no evidence that radon exposure causes other harmful health effects such as any other form of cancer, respiratory diseases such as asthma, or symptoms such as persistent coughing or headaches.”
A year ago, we posted a blog entitled “Radon + Cigarettes = A Deadly Combination”. We’re not sure we can make it much clearer than that! While cigarette smokers are already at a high risk of getting lung cancer, exposure to radon gas can make the risk much higher.
“Exposure to radon and tobacco use together can significantly increase your risk of lung cancer,” informs the Government of Canada website, “For example, if you are a lifelong smoker your risk of getting lung cancer is 1 in 10. If you add long term exposure to a high level of radon, your risk becomes 1 in 3. On the other hand, if you are a non-smoker, your lifetime lung cancer risk at the same high radon level is 1 in 20.”
It can. However, the Government of Nova Scotia tells us that research has found radon in drinking water to be far less harmful than the radon gas we breathe in. As a result, there is no Canadian guideline for radon in drinking water.
“When the ground produces radon, it can dissolve and accumulate in water from underground sources, such as wells,” their site reports, “When water that contains radon is agitated when used for daily household requirements radon gas escapes from the water and goes into the air. The health risk is not from ingestion but from radon inhalation.”
It is highly recommended that radon tests be conducted at least every two years. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we provide Radon Services that are designed to determine the precise levels of radon in your home or office to see if they are safe or not. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are some things in life that just insist upon being repeated. “Look both ways before you cross the street” comes to mind. It didn’t matter how adamant we were on implementing this rule as kids, our parents always offered us this warning when we left the house, didn’t they?
Well, speaking of your house, it’s a location that the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team consider to be extremely important. Actually, which location in your life could be more important than the place where you sleep every night and spend the majority of your time? The way we see it, it’s vital that we remind you of some easy ways to improve your home’s indoor air quality.
Here are four reminders:
We have a number of full blogs dedicated to this very tip. And with summer on its way, it can’t be reiterated any stronger. You may have had an excuse all winter long to keep your windows shut. We get it – it was cold! But opening the windows during the year’s warmest months will help to air out pollutants and welcome in fresh air.
“Keeping your windows closed traps irritants indoors,” explains HousewifeHowTos.com, “When the temperatures are mild, open windows on opposite sides of your home to create a cross-draft to quickly freshen your indoor air.”
Traditional dusters simply move dust particles around. A microfiber cloth, on the other hand, traps dust and removes it from surfaces. As HousewifeHowTos.com explains, “feather dusters and Swiffer dusters don’t do a good job getting rid of fine particles. Use damp microfiber cloths, instead, and rinse them often. That way, you aren’t just moving the dust around — you’re getting it out of your home.”
Oh, it’s so very Canadian to remove your shoes at the door, isn’t it? But, as Canadians, we find it hard to believe this isn’t a universal rule. Outside surfaces are dirty – let’s just be honest about it. Why would you want to track in the dirt, grass, gum and whatever else is on the ground out there into the house? Nevertheless, many of our south-of-the-border counterparts tell us they keep their shoes on in the house. Trust us on this one – stay Canadian and take off your shoes at the door!
“Who knows what’s on the bottom of your shoes, so be sure everyone removes shoes when coming at the home,” says 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 provide Radon Services that are designed to determine the precise levels of the colourless and odourless gas in your home and whether or not they are safe. Radon testing can mean the difference between life and death so it is highly recommended that radon tests be conducted at least every two years.
This past Monday, most of the world celebrated Earth Day. As we pointed out in last week’s blog, the annual celebration is a reminder that we can all put more efforts into protecting our environment. Of course, it’s also wise to protect the environments within which we spend most of our time – our homes!
Do you wish to live in a healthy environment? Who wouldn’t? Here are three easy steps to living in a healthier home:
You won’t be surprised to see this piece of advice on today’s list of tips. It’s one we’ve championed several times over. With warmer weather now here, it’s a good idea to keep your windows open more frequently. There’s likely to be a lot of stale air that has been cooped up in your home all winter long. Let it out! And be sure to have the fresh air from outside circulate with the stagnant air from inside a lot more often throughout the spring and summer.
According to BoneStructure.ca, “even if your indoor air is clean and free of irritants, your home requires a steady flow of fresh air in, stale air out. Today’s new houses are tightly sealed for energy efficiency, but while innovations like triple-pane windows are excellent at preventing drafts and lowering utility bills, they can also prevent a healthy exchange of indoor air with new air from outside.”
Radon is a colourless, odourless gas. Because of that, it can’t be detected by sight or smell. Nevertheless, when it is found in high concentrations, it can be incredibly hazardous to our health. It comes from the ground outside and can seep into your home through its various cracks. In the outdoors, radon is relatively harmless. But, as mentioned, when trapped in tight spaces, it can be dangerous.
Testing for radon is vital to protecting the health of everyone in your home. “Radon tests are important when it comes to protecting your home and improving the air,” agrees Rinkesh on the Conserve Energy Future Blog, “Certain parts of the country have more problems with radon than others. Basements are popular spaces where radon is found. Detectors can be purchased to ensure the air is safe.”
Mould is gross. Whether of the green or black variety, it is unsightly as it is bad for your health. When mould spores become airborne, they can significantly impact asthma sufferers as well as those who don’t even have respiratory issues. And as BoneStructure.ca points out, microscopic mould spores can multiply rapidly with the presence of moisture and can grow on certain building materials.
“Too much mould in indoor air can mean upper respiratory symptoms like coughing and wheezing in healthy people, and more severe respiratory symptoms, eye irritation and skin reactions for those who are sensitive or allergic to mould,” the website reveals, “If moisture gets trapped in the walls of your house it creates an inviting home for mould—and once this unwelcome guest takes root, it’s difficult to remove without structural work.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., our many health-promoting services include Radon Services and Mould Assessment Services. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
When most people hear the term “carbon monoxide”, they are immediately aware that it’s a deadly gas. Carbon monoxide detectors are growing in popularity considering the colourless, odourless gas has been responsible for the deaths of many individuals who didn’t realize their homes were being poisoned.
Radon is another colourless and odourless gas that doesn’t seem to be as well understood as a threat to our health. Perhaps, this is why the Government of Canada marked November as National Radon Action Month. Explaining on their website that radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the ground and is found in every home, they also noted radon awareness is especially important during the winter months.
“Here in Canada, our homes are well sealed to keep us warm in the winter, which can cause radon concentrations in our homes to build up to dangerous levels,” Canada.ca reveals, “Over time, exposure to elevated levels of radon can cause lung cancer. In fact, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and kills more than 3,200 Canadians each year.”
Again, it’s important to note that radon as no smell, no colour and no taste. There’s no way for anyone to detect radon unless the air is tested for it. There are inexpensive do-it-yourself test kits available on the market. However, hiring a certified radon professional to conduct a test for you is your best bet.
Radon is created by the natural breakdown of uranium in the ground outside of our homes. It escapes by seeping up through the soil and out into the fresh air. The various cracks and openings in our homes give radon passageways to enter our living spaces. In small doses and in ventilated areas, radon doesn’t pose much of a threat. However, in the wintertime, we tend to keep our homes sealed up pretty tight to keep the cold out.
As a result, radon gas is given a greater amount of time to build up to higher, more concentrated levels. As well, because most of us tend to stay indoors for longer durations of time, during the winter, we are more susceptible to being exposed to larger doses of radon for longer lengths of time.
In addition, as Baxter Group Inc. explains, “during the winter, the ground can freeze, and get covered by snow. The snow forms an insulating blanket and creates a blanket effect that traps the radon in the soil. With less radon exiting through the soil around the house, more may be pulled inside.”
As we pointed out earlier, hiring a certified radon professional is a smart choice. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we provide Radon Services that are designed to determine the precise levels of radon in your home and whether or not they are safe. Radon testing can mean the difference between life and death so it is highly recommended that radon tests be conducted at least every two years.
For more information about our Radon Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With Christmas Day now less than a week away, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Here’s hoping that this holiday season will be your most joyous one yet. As well, we hope that the new year will be your healthiest one ever! Of course, if there’s anything we can do to help with that, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
As you’re well aware, the DF Technical &Consulting Services Ltd. is committed to restoring the purity of the air in your home or office space. Through the many different services we provide, we make it our mission to provide our clients with the absolute highest of indoor air quality. The quality of the air you breathe should never be taken for granted. Naturally, we need air to live. And breathing in pollutant filled-air is no way to live.
“In Canada, 3.8 million people over the age of one are living with asthma and 2.0 million are living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), both of which can impact a person’s ability to breathe,” reports the Government of Canada, “Individuals living with asthma or COPD may experience impaired participation in daily life, school, work, and social activities.”
Quite obviously, it’s important that we all take steps to ensure the air we’re breathing is as pure as possible. This involves simple steps like cracking the windows open for a bit each day. That way, we circulate the stagnant and stale air from inside with the fresher air from outside. And yes, as we’ve pointed out in many past blogs, this is something that should be done in the wintertime.
“Tobacco smoking, including second hand or passive exposure, is the single largest threat to lung health in Canada,” the Government of Canada reveals, “However, it is one of the most modifiable risk factors…According to the Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS), smoking rates are at their lowest ever. The proportion of Canadians who are current smokers is down from 21.7% in 2001 to 14.6% in 2013.”
Unquestionably, you can vastly improve your home’s indoor air quality by completely removing any possibility of cigarette smoke existing within it. As we’ve also addressed in numerous blogs of past, cigarette smoke can have fatal consequences for anyone who is exposed to it –non-smokers included.
As mentioned, at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’re very proud to offer an array of services that all work to improve the air you breathe. They include Air Quality Services which maximize the inspection process to target areas of concern, Moisture Monitoring Services which evaluate buildings for moisture sources and Radon Services which help to detect traces of the colourless, odourless gas.
For more information about any and all of our services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com. Happy Holidays!
There was once a time (that actually wasn’t all that long ago) when Canadians could smoke in restaurants. A common question asked of patrons entering restaurants was “Smoking or non-smoking?” referring to the two separate sections of the establishment available for seating. It sounds crazy, by today’s standards. No one needs to be reminded that cigarette smoking is deadly.
Between the warnings on the cigarette cartons and the countless “no smoking” signs strewn throughout public places all over the country, it has been made abundantly clear that cigarettes are unwelcome. To put a clear stamp on it, they are cancer-causing killers – no question about it. You would think that cigarette smoking couldn’t get any worse. But, believe it or not, when paired with another culprit for lung cancer, it can. That culprit is radon.
“Radon gas is one of the most deadly and overlooked health risks today,” explains Lung Cancer Canada, “Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas created from the decay of uranium in minerals present in rock, soil and water. Radon is present in every indoor environment…Radon is extremely radioactive. It emits alpha radiation as it decays. Once inside the lungs, radon decay products can genetically damage delicate tissues – this can lead to the development of lung cancer.”
The Lung Cancer Canada website goes on to explain that radon is the leading environmental cause of lung cancer, the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer in smokers. Needless to say, it’s important to minimize exposure to radon as much as possible – whether you’re a smoker or not.
Cigarette smokers are advised to take extreme precautions. As the Government of Canada reveals, “people who smoke and are exposed to elevated levels of radon have a significantly increased risk of developing lung cancer.” In fact, the Canada.ca website reveals that “radon exposure is linked to approximately 16% of lung cancer deaths in Canada and is the second leading cause of lung cancer for smokers.”
Radon is a colourless, tasteless and odourless gas. The only way to detect it, in order to minimize exposure, is to have your home tested. Canada.ca points out that the risk from radon exposure is long term and depends on the level of radon, the length of the exposure and one’s smoking habits. The risks are not to be taken lightly. Lung Cancer Canada reports that approximately 3,200 Canadians die annually from radon exposure.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we provide Radon Services that are designed to determine the precise levels of radon in your home or office to see if they are safe or not. As explained, radon testing can mean the difference between life and death. It is highly recommended that radon tests be conducted at least every two years.
For more information about our Radon Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In all likelihood, we all breathe in a little bit of radon each day. At low levels, you’re not bound to experience any symptoms or endure any long-term health effects. However, at high levels, radon exposure can be deadly. As a result, it’s a must that we all do our part to minimize our exposure to radon as much as possible.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is produced outdoors by the breaking down of uranium, thorium and radium in soil, rock and water. However, radon exposure, at its worst, occurs indoors. When we are outside in wide open spaces, radon has little to no impact on us. However, because radon is odourless, tasteless and invisible, it’s impossible to detect it when it enters our homes.
Radon tends to seep through the cracks of the foundations of our homes. When it builds up in poorly ventilated areas, it can be very dangerous to our health. The problem is that without testing for radon, you’re not likely to ever be aware that it is in your home. The importance of radon testing cannot be understated. When people are exposed to high concentrations of radon, it can have disastrous effects.
According to Statistics Canada, radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in Canada, after cigarette smoking. It accounts for 16 percent of lung cancer deaths, or 3,200 deaths every year. Healthline.com reports that radon gas is responsible for approximately 21,000 annual lung cancer deaths in the United States.
As mentioned, detecting radon can only be done through tests. But there are early signs and symptoms of lung cancer to watch for that may have been caused by radon exposure. Healthline.com lists them as persistent coughing, coughing up blood, wheezing, shortness of breath, hoarseness, chest pain (especially when coughing or even laughing) and frequent infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Loss of appetite, weight loss and fatigue may also occur over time.
“In 2015, the Households and the Environment Survey found that 55% of all Canadian households indicated that they had heard of radon, up from 45% in 2013,” reports Statistics Canada. While it is promising that the percentage of knowledgeable Canadians is rising, it’s clear that more awareness is necessary.
By today’s standards, everyone knows how deadly cigarette smoking is. With radon being the second leading cause of lung cancer, it should be considered unacceptable that only 59 percent of Canadians surveyed could correctly identify what radon was when presented with a list of possible descriptions.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Radon Services that are designed to determine the exact levels of radon in your homes and offices and whether or not they are safe. Testing for radon can literally mean the difference between life and death. It is recommended that radon tests be conducted at least every two years.
For more information about our Radon Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131. You can also email us at email@example.com.
Let’s be honest. We all take the air we breathe for granted, don’t we? We know that it’s there, but we rarely ever pay attention to it. It’s safe to say that that is because we usually can’t see it or smell it. But that can actually be a problem. Just because nothing out of the ordinary is detectable, it doesn’t mean that the air we breathe is free of contaminants. Air pollution, unfortunately, is all around us.
And this is certainly true in our homes. Even for the most meticulous of “neat freaks”, poor indoor air quality is a factual concern. Everything from contaminated air from outside seeping in to pet dander to the growth of mould and mildew due to humidity can make our homes susceptible to housing air that is bad for our health. This is why an indoor air quality inspection is so important. Most often, poor indoor air quality is undetectable without one.
Here are three important reasons to test your home’s indoor air quality:
1. Undetectable gases. Not all gases have colours or odours. Carbon monoxide and radon are among them. And they often find themselves in our homes. CO, for example, is often emitted from such household items as furnaces, gas stoves, fireplaces and water heaters. “CO causes an array of symptoms — from headaches and nausea to confusion and unconsciousness,” explains Russell McLendon of Mother Nature Network.
Radon enters our homes by seeping in through cracks and other openings. It is emitted from nearby soil that contains low levels of decaying uranium. While generally harmless in the outdoor air, it can become a health hazard when concentrated. As Joseph Loiero of CBC News reports, “radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada after smoking.”
2. Volatile organic compounds. Also known as VOCs, these are the types of air pollutants that we actually invite into our homes. We may not have done so purposely, but if you’ve ever installed new carpeting, painted your furniture, hung a new shower curtain or used cleaning products, you have subjected yourself to VOCs. You’ll know because of the smells that are emitted from these items and tasks.
“Countless products in your home emit VOCs, from cleaners to paint to furniture,” explains Michael Rosone on Aristair.com, “Even through you can’t smell all of them, they’re present in most homes at least at “background” levels, and can cause short-term health symptoms including headaches and nausea. Longer term (and scarier) health effects are also possible with repeated exposure.”
3. Asbestos. Over the past few months, we have been paying particular attention to a controversy in Canada over its intention to propose a complete nationwide ban on asbestos. Although the federal government made promises to do so a few months back, we continue to await any official word on an official ban. By now, it should be needless to say that asbestos in an incredibly hazardous material.
Especially if you live in an older home, there may be asbestos in your insulation materials. When disturbed by renovations, for example, asbestos can release airborne fibres that are known to cause deadly diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. “Given the risks involved, DIY asbestos remediation is rarely a good idea,” advises McLendon, “Even taking your own samples for testing isn’t recommended.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer expert services to detect and inevitably do away with the causes of poor indoor air quality. Please don’t hesitate to contact us in order to learn more about our Air Quality Services, Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services and Radon Services among many others. Give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Warmer temperatures are often causes for celebration in Canada. And with signs of summer slowly appearing, many of us are already planning all of the outdoor activities that will help us to enjoy the heat and sunshine. It’s also very likely that most of us will also be opening our windows a lot more often. Being able to circulate the stagnant and stale air in our homes with the fresher air from outside can do a lot to improve our indoor air quality.
But what other ways can we improve indoor air quality in the summer? Here are four tips:
1. Keep the floors clean. Remember that with summer comes a lot more time being spent outdoors. That also means you’ll be giving yourself many new opportunities to track the dirt from outside into your home. In Canada, we generally maintain the habit of removing our outdoor shoes when we enter homes. Nevertheless, it’s important to keep the floors of your home clean in order to keep the air inside as fresh as possible.
“One of the best ways to help keep the air in your home fresh is by cleaning the floors,” advises TimeForComfort.com, “Be sure to vacuum the carpet at least once a week for the best results and even more frequently than this if you suffer from extreme allergies. It’s ideal to mop the ceramic, tile or wood floors weekly, as well. This will get rid of the dust and other pollutants in your home that could deter you from having a higher quality of air in your home.”
2. Change your air conditioner filters regularly. While Canadians tend to love the heat during the summertime, there’s only so much of it we can take. On especially hot days, it’s nice to be able to cool off in our air conditioned homes. It’s important, however, to properly maintain our air conditioners so that they are not adding pollutants to the air we breathe. “It’s very important to clean air filters regularly and replace them with new ones every two or three months,” advises TemperaturePerfection.com.
3. Keep cigarette smoking an outdoor activity. To be fair, heavy cigarette smokers are often known for being courteous. Many of them travel outdoors during the winter, braving subzero temperatures simply because they need to address their nicotine habits. That way, they don’t disturb those who they’re family members and co-workers with their toxic cigarette smoke. However, not every smoker is that considerate. Smoking indoors is arguably the worst thing a person can do for the quality of the air.
During the summertime, it’s important that smokers do the right thing. If you’re not going to quit, be sure to take your smoking habit outside. “Smoke is one of the worse toxins to let in your home, and this should be avoided,” asserts TimeForComfort.com, “Refrain from smoking in the house and ask others not to do so, as well to keep your indoor air quality high. Being able to create a smoke-free environment, this will allow you to have better air quality for your health and your loved ones.”
4. Test for radon. “You could have a radon problem if you have a new or old home,” TemperaturePerfection.com warns us, “This odourless, colourless gas raises the potential for developing lung cancer.” Radon is a naturally-forming gas that evolves from the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. It can seep into our homes through cracks in the foundation. In enclosed spaces, it can become highly concentrated and very dangerous.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Radon Services which are designed to locate the exact levels of radon in the homes and offices of our clients. We are committed to ensuring that your indoor air quality is the best it can be all summer long. For more information about our new Radon Services, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-855-668-3131. You can also email us at email@example.com.
This certainly isn’t our first blog post about radon. And it definitely won’t be our last. But this blog does represent a very special first! DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. is very proud to announce the addition of Radon Services to the list of services we provide. Given the fact that radon exposure is a growing concern in Canada, we felt it was best to specialize in the detection of this radioactive gas.
What is radon? To bring you up to speed, radon is formed naturally by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. It is a colourless and odourless gas so, needless to say, it cannot be detected by sight or smell. When radon escapes from the ground and mixes in with the outdoor air, it is not generally a health concern. This is because its outdoor release results only in low concentrations.
So when does radon become dangerous? When trapped in enclosed spaces – such as your home – radon can accumulate to very high concentrations. And because we can’t smell or see it, we can unknowingly expose ourselves to it. The problem is that radon exposure in high concentrations is known for developing lung cancer. As a result, it’s of vital importance that people test their homes with the help of professionals.
How does radon get into the home? The gas is known to enter properties through openings and cracks that exist where there is soil connecting to the property. According to Health Canada, such openings can include “cracks in foundation walls and in floor slabs, construction joints, gaps around service pipes, support posts, window casements, floor drains, sumps or cavities inside walls.”
Is radon exposure really that big of a concern? In a CBC News report, Michael Pereira confirms that radon is actually the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers in Canada. This is of great concern, as radon levels are apparently increasing throughout the country. In his report, he highlights the fact that a 2012 Health Canada report found that 6.9 per cent of Canadians are living in homes that have radon levels that are considered to be too high.
What level of radon is considered dangerous? Pereira informs us that the Canadian guidelines for radon is 200 becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3). “CBC News has obtained and plotted the data showing the results of approximately 14,000 radon tests in homes across Canada,” he writes, “Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada, causing an estimated 3,000 deaths a year.”
Pereira goes on to state that since radon levels can vary from house to house, Health Canada recommends that all Canadians test their homes for radon. Naturally, at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we treat these findings very seriously. We consider it our duty to provide our clients with the greatest possible help in detecting contaminants in the air of their homes and workspaces.
Our new Radon Services are designed to determine for our clients the exact levels of radon in their homes and offices and whether or not they are safe. As always, we are committed to ensuring that your indoor air quality is the best it can be. For more information about our new Radon Services, please don’t hesitate to call DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. at 1-855-668-3131. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.