Let’s be honest. It’s our fault. Each and every day, we humans engage in activities that serve to worsen our indoor air quality. Our often-not-even-thought-about bad habits can have serious health implications considering how much time we spend in our homes. We spend about 90 percent of our time indoors. And when we keep up with our naturally bad habits, it only serves to cause health problems – especially for those with asthma and allergies.
So what bad habits worsen indoor air quality? Here are seven:
1. Not opening the windows. We know – it’s the winter time in Canada. But guess what? Opening the windows for a few minutes a day won’t freeze you to death. By contrast, it can be good for your health. Exchanging the fresher outside air with stale indoor air out is “one of the simplest (and most affordable) things you can do to improve your home air quality,” according to NaturallySavvy.com.
2. Not cleaning heating and air conditioning filters. We often take the appliances that cool and heat our homes for granted. We can’t forget that they need to be regularly maintained. “Heating and air-conditioning filters and vents that are not regularly cleaned can trap pollen, dust and other allergens,” explains Mary West on Wakeup-World.com, “They are easily accessible in many systems, but if yours are in a difficult-to-reach area, have a professional cleaning service take care of them periodically.”
3. Opting for carpet over hardwood floors. Most of us probably grew up in homes that were predominantly carpeted. And such homes provided a warmth and comfort that we grew up to love. It’s hard to argue that carpets offer a cozy softness to walk on, making the home seem friendlier. However, carpets trap dust and other indoor pollutants creating a nightmare for allergy and asthma sufferers. Simply put, remove carpeting from your home for better breathing.
4. Using traditional household cleaning products. Most of us are still caught up with the idea that if our homes smell clean, then they must be clean. So we use scented aerosol sprays and other fragrance-riddled disinfectants that only serve to add harmful chemicals to our living environments. “Traditional household cleaning products are one of the leading contributors to poor home air quality,” says NaturallySavvy.com, “In fact, the average home contains 62 harmful chemicals.”
5. Not owning houseplants. It’s important for us to bring certain elements of the outdoors inside with us. Plants are especially useful as many of them serve as perfectly natural air filters. Plants such as the peace lily, the bamboo palm, aloe vera and the English Ivy (or Hedera helix) are known for removing such harmful chemicals as formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide from the air we breathe.
6. Not making use of essential oils. “Essential oils will impart a wonderful scent into your home, and many have anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that can enhance indoor air quality,” writes West, “Use diffusers but place them on a high shelf out of the reach of children. Good ones to try include citrus, eucalyptus, thyme or peppermint. A nice one for the bedroom is lavender, which has an intoxicatingly fresh scent that promotes relaxation.”
7. Smoking indoors. Does this bad habit really need an explanation? There is literally nothing worse that you can do for your home’s indoor air quality than to light up a cigarette within its walls. Secondhand smoke as well as thirdhand smoke (as discussed in last week’s blog) can create disastrous health hazards that have been well documented. If you can’t quit smoking, at least endeavour to quit smoking in your home.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we strive to improve your indoor air quality by seeking out all contaminants and pollutants through our Air Quality Services. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By today’s standards, exclaiming that smoking cigarettes is harmful to your health is met with a “tell me something I don’t know” response. It’s actually hard to imagine that, not too long ago, researchers were tirelessly working to prove that such was the case. Today, we’re very well aware that both cigarette smoke and the secondhand smoke breathed in by surrounding non-smokers can cause cancer, among many other health issues.
But what is thirdhand smoke? A relatively new concept, thirdhand smoke refers to the smoke that lingers long after the actual cigarette smoking has been completed. You know that smell that persists within our clothes, hair, furniture and pretty much anything else that the smoke comes into contact with? That thirdhand smoke can be responsible for such health issues as asthma attacks and allergic reactions.
As reported by Susan Brink of National Geographic, “researchers now know that residual tobacco smoke, dubbed thirdhand smoke, combines with indoor pollutants such as ozone and nitrous acid to create new compounds. Thirdhand smoke mixes and settles with dust, drifts down to carpeting and furniture surfaces, and makes its way deep into the porous material in paneling and drywall.”
How can thirdhand smoke affects us? Brink writes when the after effects of smoke linger in the hair, skin, clothing and fingernails of a smoker, it can come into contact with those surrounding that person. “The new compounds are difficult to clean up, have a long life of their own, and many may be carcinogenic,” she informs us, “One of those compounds, a tobacco-specific nitrosamine known as NNA, damages DNA and could potentially cause cancer.”
Is thirdhand smoke really that dangerous? According to a CTV News report, studies have found that thirdhand smoke can be just has harmful as secondhand smoke. Thirdhand smoke accumulates on surfaces throughout the home and attaches itself to dust, which can progressively become more toxic over time. Not only does thirdhand smoke produce long-lasting foul odours, but it significantly worsens indoor air quality.
CTV News points to a University of California study that observed the effects of thirdhand smoke on mice. “For six months, the mice lived in ventilated cages containing materials that had been exposed to second-hand smoke,” they explain, “Manuela Martins-Green, a professor of cell biology who led the study, says at the end of the six months, her team found significant damage in the mice’s livers and lungs, such as higher fat levels in their livers.”
How can we get rid of thirdhand smoke? A thorough cleanup of your home will certainly help. Brink quotes Bo Hang, a scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California as saying that such remedies as repainting rooms, replacing carpets and cleaning up ventilation systems may be in order to remove the harmful effects of thirdhand smoke from a home. And naturally, no indoor smoking should be made a strict rule.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are well aware of the harmful effects of cigarette smoking. In fact, there is nothing worse that a person can do for his/her indoor air quality than to smoke inside the home. Our Air Quality Services work to detect all sources of indoor contaminants in an effort to improve your indoor air quality. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
All week long, our blog has been focusing predominantly on the topic of cigarette smoking and its incredibly harmful effects. By today’s standards, it should go without saying that smoking is bad for you. In fact, that’s an incredible understatement! One look at a package of cigarettes will tell you what you should know already. Smoking causes cancer. Cigarettes are killers. It’s as simple as that. All smokers are putting their lives at risk.
The problem is that the lives of non-smokers are also put at risk, thanks to secondhand smoke. As we pointed out in our last blog post, there are many myths about secondhand smoke that need to be exposed. This is because smoke has the ability to impact the health of people who aren’t even in the vicinity of the cigarette being smoked at the time it is being smoked! It’s no wonder smoking is banned from so many different public places.
According to Health Canada, “in Canada, 15% of homes have at least one regular smoker, and 25% of Canadians are exposed to secondhand smoke in a car or vehicle. Even in homes where regular smoking does not take place, 14% still allow smoking inside.” Clearly, cigarette smoking is still a problem for Canadian families. So evidently, there are many more myths about secondhand smoke that needs to be debunked. Let’s get to it!
Secondhand smoke problems are myths themselves. Yes, there are people who believe that as long as you’re not doing the smoking yourself, you’re fine. Ridiculous, right? On WebMD.com, David Freeman firmly states that “tobacco smoke also harms the people around you. In the U.S., secondhand smoke causes about 50,000 deaths a year…It’s been estimated that a waiter or waitress who works a single eight-hour shift in a smoky bar inhales as much toxic smoke as a pack-a-day smoker.”
Secondhand smoke affects everyone the same way. This certainly isn’t true. Children are more vulnerable to secondhand smoke than adults. “Because they breathe faster, children inhale more air than adults relative to their body weight,” explains Uniprix.com, “This means they absorb more of the chemicals found in second-hand smoke, placing them at a greater risk for respiratory problems, learning difficulties, ear infections and colds.”
Unborn babies are protected from secondhand smoke. You’re likely aware that babies in the womb receive their nutrients from the mothers who carry them. As a result, most expectant mothers are very careful about what they choose to eat and drink. Obviously, the air that pregnant women breathe is also taken to their babies. Uniprix.com reveals that the chemical inhaled by pregnant women can affect the development of the baby’s organs.
“Light” cigarettes lower the risk of harm. Quoting Dr. Michael C. Fiore, who is a professor of medicine and director of the Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention at the University of Wisconsin, Freeman writes that “cigarettes labeled ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ are no safer than ordinary cigarettes.” Simply put by the doctor, “you don’t need to add anything to tobacco for it to kill you.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we strongly believe that you don’t need to add anything to the air you breathe. Using scented air fresheners, for example, only contributes to the contaminants that are in the air. They mask terrible smells, but do not eliminate pollution. Cigarette smoke, of course, should also be kept away from the air you breathe. Contact us to learn more about how our Air Quality Services can help with your indoor air quality.
Call 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In our last blog, we celebrated the fact that more than 25 years ago, Canada became the first country in the world to completely ban cigarette smoking on commercial national flights. Today, the “no smoking” sign is more popular than ever. With restaurants, office buildings and pretty much every other place you can go to banning cigarette smoking, we are currently living in the healthiest environments possible.
At least, most of us are. There are still people, of course, who choose to continue to smoke cigarettes. And while many of them choose to smoke outdoors – so as to not present the ill effects of secondhand smoke to their family members, friends and co-workers – cigarette smoke is still able to wreak its havoc. This is because it has an uncanny ability to both linger and seep into areas where it didn’t originally exist.
It’s important to not be tricked by the myths surrounding secondhand smoke. Many of them are used by smokers in order to justify their deadly habits. According to Health Canada, “in 2006, over 350,000 (9%) of Canadian children under 12 years old and over 600,000 children between 12 and 19 years old were exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes from cigarettes, cigars or pipes.” They note that this number is dropping, but nearly one million children are still affected each year.
So let’s expose some of the myths about secondhand smoke, shall we?
Smoking in another room is not harmful to non-smokers. As mentioned, smoke has the ability to drift from one location to another. So no one within a home is truly safe if smoking is being done inside of it. As Uniprix.com points out, “even if smoking takes place behind a closed door, second-hand smoke can drift to the rest of the house through cracks under doors, openings for plumbing and electrical cables and heating and air-conditioning ducts.”
Opening windows and turning on fans helps to eliminate smoke. In actuality, you’re not actually clearing the air of as much smoke as you may think. Health Canada reveals that “extensive studies have shown that there is no level of ventilation that will eliminate the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. In addition, opening a car or room window can result in air flow back into the room or car which may cause the smoke to be blown directly back at non-smokers.”
Air purifiers and air filters can remove smoke from the air. Not so. In fact, such devices only have the ability to mask the fact that smoke is present. “Composed of both gases and extra-fine particles, second-hand smoke cannot be completely filtered from the air by most air filters,” says Uniprix.com, “Air filters are designed to reduce the number of smoke particles from the air, but they do not eliminate the gases. As a result, many cancer-causing agents remain in the air for non-smokers to breathe in.”
Smoking when my family members aren’t around won’t affect them. As mentioned, smoke has the ability to linger. So just because you’re the only one home, at the time you decide to light up, it doesn’t mean that your family won’t be affected when they return. “Researchers found that secondhand smoke can remain in contaminated dust and surfaces, even if smoking took place days, weeks or months earlier,” reports Health Canada.
That last point is especially meaningful to the team, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. The fact that air contaminants have the ability to remain within homes for long durations of time is one of the top reasons our Air Quality Services are so necessary. Maintaining the best possible indoor air quality in your home requires that it be tested. For more information on how we can help, call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
Some of you may be too young to remember that there was once a time when cigarette smoking was permitted on airplanes. By today’s standards, smoking on a plane is an unheard of and crazy-to-even-think-about practice. Not only does cigarette smoke present the foulest of odours, but it carries countless toxins that pollute the air. As if horrible indoor air quality wasn’t bad enough, cigarette smoking also presents quite the fire hazard!
In 2015, we don’t even have to think about worrying about poor indoor air quality on planes due to cigarette smoke. In fact, in the past year, Canada and the United States marked the 25th anniversaries of the official bans on cigarette smoking on domestic airline flights. As No-Smoke.org informs, February 25, 1990 marked the official beginning of the cigarette smoking ban on airlines in the U.S. The site notes that the historic decision was made to benefit the health of all flight attendants and passengers.
It goes on to reveal just how much effort was put into finally making the ban a reality. According to No-Smoke.org, “2015 marks the 25 year anniversary of this important public health achievement – made possible by a broad coalition of health groups, incredible legislative champions – Senator Lautenberg and Senator Durbin (then Rep. Durbin), and tenacious flight attendants who were willing to speak up publicly for their right to breathe.”
In Canada, however, we can proudly say that we came to the no-smoking-on-planes decision a couple of months earlier. On December 18, 1989, Peter Mansbridge of CBC News revealed that, as of that date, it was illegal to smoke on commercial flights between Canadian cities. The ban was part of the Non-Smokers’ Health Act, he reported. “It has to be done in light of the fact we want to protect people working on the flights and also all those people who are really disturbed by smoking,” said Minister of Transport, Benoît Bouchard in an interview.
“This is fantastic news for preventive medicine,” added Ken Kyle of the Canadian Cancer Society, “Canada will now be the first country in the world to totally ban smoking on all domestic and international flights.” Incredibly, many Canadian airlines were upset at the news, citing upwards of $40 million in losses due to the smoking ban. Times have changed, however. Today, we should all celebrate the fact that, when flying, we will not be forced to succumb to the worst possible indoor air quality.
And why should we all celebrate? Stacy Simon of the American Cancer Society adds that years prior to these decisions, the US Surgeon General officially named secondhand smoke a serious health risk. In 1986, “the National Academy of Sciences called for a smoking ban on all domestic flights, citing research that showed flight attendants were exposed to smoke levels similar to those of a person living with a pack-a-day smoker,” she reveals.
Not that this information isn’t widely known in the year 2015, but back in the 1980’s, it appeared that the dangers of cigarette smoking weren’t all that obvious to everyone. Not that it needs to be reiterated today – or perhaps, it does – but cigarette smoking is arguably the worst thing a person can do for his or her health. But even worse, secondhand smoke can present lethal effects to those around the smoker!
It should go without saying that you should adopt a smoking ban in your own home. 25 years ago, airlines finally recognized the dangers that cigarette smoke brings to passengers and flight attendants. In 2015, there is no excuse to allow for it to enter your home and disrupt the breathing of anyone who enters it. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we greatly promote top-of-the-line indoor air quality and applaud any efforts to make it so.
Contact us to learn more about our Air Quality Services. Call 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s the year 2015. If you don’t know by now that smoking cigarettes is one of the worst possible things that you can do for your health, then you’ve certainly been living under a rock. Or, perhaps to be a bit more fair, if you haven’t yet given up cigarette smoking, it’s likely that your addiction is pretty serious. All jokes aside, you are literally killing yourself. But even worse, you are contributing to killing those around you.
It should be common knowledge that secondhand smoke is a killer. The various toxins that exist in cigarette smoke make for the worst possible breathing conditions. Why do you think that nearly all public places prohibit smoking? It seems like, these days, the only place that a smoker can light up is inside his or her own home. And that presents a huge problem too. Your home is a death trap for its other inhabitants if cigarette smoking occurs within it.
Here are three steps that will get you closer to quitting smoking:
1. Busy yourself within the first few days. People who have quit smoking have admitted that the first few days without cigarettes are the hardest. As a result, it will be important to distract yourself from the cravings. Plan some fun activities with the family or fill your schedule with things that have been on your to-do list for some time. Anything to keep you from your cigarettes is a good idea. And, of course, don’t have a pack on you!
On WebMD.com, Jennifer Nelson writes about the importance of getting through the first few days of your mission to quit cigarette smoking. “Know that the first few days are the toughest,” she writes, “Especially if you’re quitting ‘cold turkey,’ the first few days are the hardest. You’ll probably feel irritable, depressed, slow, and tired. Once you get past those first days, you’ll begin to feel normal (but still have cigarette cravings).”
2. Give your mouth something else to do. It’s true that many people complain of gaining weight once they try to quit smoking. After all, if they’re not using their mouths to inhale smoke, they may as well use it to eat, right? Well, not necessarily. There are many other things you can do to busy your mouth in an effort to keep away from puffing on a cigarette. And even if you do plan on eating, it may be a great opportunity to eat healthfully.
The Mayo Clinic Staff suggests that you “chew on it”. “Give your mouth something to do to fight a tobacco craving,” they advise, “Chew on sugarless gum or hard candy, or munch on raw carrots, celery, nuts or sunflower seeds – something crunchy and satisfying.” As well, there are a number of tobacco craving-reducing products out there in the form of chewing gum. Give one a try and see if it doesn’t help you.
3. Quit as part of a team. When people go to the gym by themselves, they aren’t generally as motivated to work out as they would be with a fitness trainer. The same can be said about your motivation to quit smoking. Chances are that there is someone you know who is also looking to kick the habit. “Try a new hobby with friends who don’t smoke,” suggests Nelson, “This makes success more likely.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are well aware of the damage that cigarette smoke can do to the quality of the air in your home. For the safety and health of both yourself and your family, it is imperative that you have a home that is as pollutant-free as possible. We offer Air Quality Services in an effort to help you to achieve that goal. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
On our blog, we very often discuss the importance of indoor air quality. While we may not realize it, we do spend most of our time indoors. Naturally, we sleep indoors and spend the majority of our family time within the confines of our homes. Needless to say, it’s important that the air that we breathe in our homes is as pollutant-free as possible. Readers of our blog, however, will know that that isn’t so easy to pull off.
From dust mites to mould growth, there are ample culprits in the deterioration of our indoor air quality. In many cases, there are simple fixes. Keeping a clean and tidy home, for example, is one way to keep dust mites and mould growth at bay. There is, however, a major villain that continues to attack our air. It’s a villain that is completely self-imposed. And yet, we haven’t been able to put a complete stop to it yet!
Cigarette smoking is arguably the worst thing we can do for the quality of the air we breathe. And with as many “no smoking” signs up in our buildings, there are still individuals who are yet to break the habit. Surely, it’s a tough addiction to stop. But, it needs to be stated that the impact that cigarette smoke has on the air can negatively affect many more people than just the smoker doing the inhaling and exhaling.
This point is made clear by the Global Healing Center. “Whether you’re doing the smoking yourself or just enduring exposure to side-stream smoke or second hand smoke, tobacco smoke contributes to lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease and other illnesses,” informs their website, “The chemical cocktail of lethal compounds in tobacco smoke cause the oxygen levels in your blood stream to drastically lower, prohibiting normal function of your body.”
Clearly, you don’t even have to be a smoker in order for cigarette smoke to negatively impact your health. And even worse, you don’t even have to inhale secondhand smoke in order for its effects to take place. “Tobacco smoke smells bad and is clingy,” states the Global Healing Centre, “Gone with the wind? Not quite. When you smoke, it infiltrates your air, clothing, hair and skin with contaminated chemicals and it seems to hang around forever.”
But what are those chemicals and just how bad are they for our health? According to the American Lung Association, second hand smoke contains upwards of 200 poisons! Among them are formaldehyde and carbon monoxide “and at least 60 chemicals known to cause cancer.” They report that the United States experiences about 3,000 lung cancer deaths per year. And those are non-smokers!
“In children, especially infants, it is responsible for pneumonia, lower respiratory tract infections and ear infections,” says the American Lung Association, “It causes asthma to develop, causes asthma attacks, and makes attacks worse. Source control is basic: No one should smoke around children.” Of course, we’d like to take it one step further by saying that no one should smoke at all! If you’re a smoker, you may want to make quitting your number one priority.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we recognize the importance of living in a home where the indoor air quality is the best it can be. For the safety of all those who dwell within it, cigarette smoke should be completely eliminated. We offer Air Quality Services to locate problem areas within the home where health hazards may be present. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.