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Removing Dust From Your Home’s Often-Neglected Spots

Dusting can be found topping many of our lists of chores. But how many of us are expert dusters? Here’s one way to find out: if you’re using a feather duster, you’re doing it wrong. Those flimsy tools only spread the dust around. In order to adequately remove dust from the various surfaces in your home, opt for a microfiber duster or a damp soft cloth.

What’s the big deal with dust anyway?

As reported by Hallie Levine on MarthaStewart.com, dust is made up of more than just lint, pollen, skin cells and animal dander. A study conducted by the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, in Washington, D.C., she reveals, found that dust also contains 45 potentially toxic chemicals. They include TDCIPP (a flame retardant found in some furniture), the phthalate DEHP (in certain plastics, vinyl floors, and electronics), and phenols (used in some cleaning products).

Let it be known that a very important step in the world of adequate dust removal is not neglecting the spots of your home we often do not see.

Behind your appliances.

Every time you sprinkle salt, pepper or other seasonings on the food you’re cooking, there’s bound to be some sprinkles finding their way behind the stove. Anytime you’ve eaten something that creates crumbs – toast, cookies and crackers, for example – many of those crumbs are likely to hide behind your toaster, blender or microwave. To dust properly, move your appliances out of place and sweep up the areas that you wouldn’t otherwise see.

“Over time, crumbs, grease, and other debris accumulate behind your stove and refrigerator, providing a food source for insects and other pests,” writes Lauren Smith McDonough on GoodHousekeeping.com, “If possible, move the appliance out from the wall and unplug. Use a long-handled, slightly damp sponge mop…to lift dust from the back of the appliance, then wipe floor and walls with hot soapy water.”

The top side of your ceiling fan.

Your ceiling fan can be a live-saver on particularly warm days, can’t it? However, when it’s not in use, it can become home to accumulating dust particles. These particles will be shot across your living areas once you turn the fan back on again. Be sure to wipe the upper side of the ceiling fan to minimize the spreading of dust in your home.

McDonough offers up a particularly effective way to keep dust off your ceiling fan: “Place newspaper or a drop cloth under the ceiling fan. Turn off the power source, then get on a step stool. Use damp paper towels to wipe greasy dust from the casing and a soft-bristle brush dampened with a mild cleanser…to loosen the dust on the blades, then rinse with a damp paper towel.”

In your vents.

Have you been paying attention to the vent in your bathroom ceiling? While the exhaust fan is generally used for reducing moisture and minimizing odours, it also sucks in its fair share of dust. Give it a look. Don’t be surprised to see quite the accumulation of dust particles. Be sure to vacuum your vents regularly to avoid having dust re-circulate throughout your home.

Proper dust removal is an integral part of purifying the air in your home. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Air Quality Services that can be used to improve your indoor air quality. To learn more, call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at info@dftechnical.ca.

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How Does Radon Impact Your Health?

We tend to not pay attention to things we can’t see, smell or taste. And why would we? If something is invisible, odourless and tasteless, there’s nothing to pay attention to, is there? Such is not the situation when it comes to radon. The dangerous gas can’t be seen, smelled or tasted, but it certainly requires our attention.

According to the Canadian Lung Association, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada. Exposure to the gas is estimated to be the cause of 16 percent of lung cancers. Radon damages our lungs through its radioactive particles. When inhaled, they can damage the cells that line our lungs. Long-term exposure can lead to lung cancer, especially for those who are cigarette smokers.

How is radon created?

Radon is a naturally occurring gas. When the uranium in the soil, rock and water outside of our homes breaks down, radon is created. The gas isn’t dangerous when it mixes with the air outside of our homes. However, when it seeps into our homes through cracks and other openings, it can become trapped in enclosed spaces. Radon in high concentrations can be harmful. This is just one of the many reasons ventilation in your home is so important.

The lower levels of your home including its main floor and its basement are the areas that are most susceptible to the presence of radon. If you have unfinished floors or cracks in the basement floor or foundation, you may be offering radon entry into your home. As well, radon is known to enter homes through pipes, windows and sump pumps.

How does radon increase the risk of lung cancer?

Radon sits number two on the list behind cigarette smoking as a leading cause of lung cancer. Studies have shown that radon has carcinogenic properties. They are exacerbated by cigarette smoke, which we all know is full of toxic chemicals. As the Government of Canada informs us, an individual’s risk of getting lung cancer from radon depends on three factors: the level of radon, the duration of exposure and his/her smoking habits.

“If inhaled, radon decay products can become deeply lodged in the lungs, where they emit ionizing radiation which can penetrate the cells of mucous membranes, bronchi, and other pulmonary tissues,” they explain on Canada.ca, “The ionizing radiation energy affecting the bronchial epithelial cells is believed to initiate the process of carcinogenesis.”

How important is it to test for radon?

As the Canadian Lung Association explains, radon is measured in becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3). “If your home’s radon level is less than 200 Bq/m3, Health Canada radon guidelines say that no action is required,” their site notes, “However, even low levels of radon can be harmful. It’s a good idea to try to lower your home’s radon level as much as possible, even if it’s already below 200 Bq/m3.”

Clearly, taking steps to prevent lung cancer is a vitally important task.  The Canadian Lung Association believes that it’s best to test for radon during the winter months, when there is less ventilation in your home. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we proudly offer Radon Services. For more information, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at info@dftechnical.ca.

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Britain’s 20 Year-Old Asbestos Ban Still Not Enough To Save Lives

Canada is just under three months away from celebrating its first anniversary of its nationwide asbestos ban. On December 30, 2018, asbestos was finally outlawed in our country. As of that date, nine months ago, the Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulations took effect,prohibiting the import, sale and use of asbestos and the manufacture, import, sale and use of products containing asbestos, in Canada.

You’d think the asbestos ban was something to celebrate.

And, to be fair, it is. The toxic substance is Canada’s number one cause of workplace-related death.  Asbestos was once a staple in the construction of office buildings and homes. However, inhaling its fibres is deadly. The material is now known as the cause of such fatal diseases as lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma.

Now, while we’re glad that Canada is approaching the one year mark of its nationwide ban, it must be pointed out that the impact of asbestos will undoubtedly continue to impact Canadians for years to come. For far too many of us, the ban didn’t come soon enough. Great Britain, for example, banned asbestos twenty years ago!

Great Britain banned asbestos on August 24, 1999.

As reported by Laurie Kazan-Allen in the U.K.’s The Morning Star several weeks ago, August 24, 2019 marked the 20th anniversary of Britain’s ban. She reveals that, in spite of the two-decade old ban, asbestos continues to be the country’s worst-ever occupational epidemic – killing thousands of people every year. Mesothelioma, it should come as no surprise, remains a huge problem in Britain.

As Kazan-Allen explains, “the human cost of the asbestos industry’s profits are measured annually by the Health and Safety Executive which noted in July, 2019, that the number of deaths from the signature cancer caused by asbestos exposure, mesothelioma, were 2,595 (in 2016) and 2,523 (in 2017); when other asbestos-related deaths are added, the total of avoidable asbestos deaths per year were over 5,000.”

There is a fear, in Canada, that our nation’s asbestos ban came much too late.

Sadly, there is an anticipation of many more asbestos-related deaths in the years come. Just like our British counterparts, our country took far too long to recognize the health implications of using asbestos in our homes and offices.

Kazan-Allen points out that “the British legislation had come 100 years after a British Factory inspector had first warned of the ‘evil effects of asbestos dust,’ and decades too late for generations of workers whose lives had been sacrificed for the profits of asbestos companies such as Turner and Newall Ltd., the Cape Asbestos Co. Ltd. and others.”

How can you protect yourself from asbestos exposure?

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are aware that Canada’s asbestos ban can’t automatically protect all Canadians from exposure to the asbestos that already exists in their homes and places of work. So we’d like to help out where we can. 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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Can Acupuncture Help You To Quit Smoking?

Cigarette smoking is, without question, one of the absolute worst things you can do for your health. You don’t need us to list the statistics. It’s common knowledge that the filthy habit leads to the development of fatal lung cancers. And while the understanding that smoking is bad for you – to put it mildly – is widespread, there are still many Canadians who light up each and every day.

Cigarette smoke is so deadly that it has been known to kill people who don’t even smoke! “Every year in Canada, second-hand smoke causes 800 deaths from lung cancer and heart disease in non-smokers,” reports Canada.ca, “If you are a smoker, avoid smoking around others, especially children, pregnant women and people with breathing problems.”

Acupuncture is often listed as a top quit-the-habit technique.

For many people who are unfamiliar with the treatment, acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely thin needles into different points of the body. The objective is to stimulate and improve the flow of energy to particular areas. While acupuncture may appear to be painful, it’s known as a painless technique.

“Acupuncture’s origin is embedded among traditional Chinese medicinal concepts,” explains Healthline.com, “Some of the earliest examples of metal needles have been found dating back to 113 B.C. This Eastern approach once lost credibility in the medical world. It is now more commonly accepted throughout the Western world due to improvements in acupuncture techniques, along with extensive research findings.”

How does acupuncture help people to quit smoking?

According to Cathy Wong on VeryWellMind.com, studies have shown that acupuncture helps for smokers to reduce their cravings. “One five-year study in Hong Kong of 5,202 smokers concluded that acupuncture was both an effective and safe method to help smokers quit,” she reveals, “The study notes that the number of cigarettes per day decreased and that the average time to relapse was 38.71 days, which was longer than 35 days in E-cigarette and 14 days in nicotine patch.”

Acupuncture treatments that are designed to help patients quit smoking are quite unique. Wong explains that the hair-thin needles are inserted into various points of the ear where they remain for about 20 minutes. In some cases, the acupuncturists will provide their patients with tiny balls, no larger than the tips of ballpoint pens. They are taped using invisible tape to the ear.

“When a craving for cigarettes hits, the smoker is instructed to press gently on the ball, which stimulates the acupuncture point,” she details, “The number of acupuncture sessions made a significant impact on success, with most people receiving eight sessions within the first month.”

Why is it so important to quit smoking?

This is a silly question. We all know why! Kicking the habit is a life-saving decision. It won’t just save your life, but it will dramatically improve the chances of living disease-free for everyone in your household. You couldn’t possibly make your indoor air quality any worse than by lighting up a cigarette. Quitting will help to vastly improve the air in your home.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to help you learn more about that! 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 Other Diseases Are Directly Caused By Asbestos Exposure?

In last week’s blog, we revisited the scary, but necessary-to-address topic of asbestos and highlighted some of the types of cancer the toxic substance is known to cause. Among them are lung cancer, ovarian cancer and laryngeal cancer.

Banned from Canada back in December of 2018, asbestos is still present in many homes, offices, schools and other buildings across the country. Avoiding exposure to its fibres is absolutely mandatory for preserving optimum health. Once inhaled, they can cause serious damage.

In addition to the cancers listed in last week’s blog, there are many other diseases that are directly caused by asbestos exposure. We feel it’s important to expose you to this information this week.

Asbestosis.

As its name clearly gives away, asbestosis is a disease that is directly caused by asbestos exposure. Sufferers often require both oxygen tanks and pain medication in order to control their symptoms. Sadly, as Michelle Whitmer explains on Asbestos.com, there is no cure for asbestosis and its progression can’t be halted.

“Asbestosis is a progressive pulmonary disease that inhibits lung health and function,” she writes, “It develops when inhaled asbestos fibres accumulate in the lungs and cause scar tissue to form. Over time the scar tissue hardens the lungs, limiting elasticity. Breathing becomes difficult and painful as the condition progresses. Scarring impairs the lungs’ ability to supply oxygen to the blood stream.”

Mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a deadly form of lung cancer that takes the form of a malignant tumour in the lining of the lungs, abdomen or heart. It is directly caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibres. Symptoms include shortness of breath and chest pain, and tragically, those diagnosed with mesothelioma are often given up to one more year to live.

As explained by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, “Mesothelioma, is a rare cancer of the membrane that covers the lungs and chest cavity (pleura), the membrane lining the abdominal cavity (peritoneum), or membranes surrounding other internal organs. Signs of mesothelioma may not appear until 30 to 40 years after exposure to asbestos.”

Clubbed fingers.

This one may come as a surprise to you. Apparently, asbestos-related diseases can cause clubbed fingers to form. Sufferers of asbestosis are especially at risk of getting clubbed fingers. According to Whitmer, they develop early and don’t go away once they are developed. Clubbed fingers are often signs that a person has a particularly severe case of asbestosis.

“About half of all people with severe asbestosis develop a condition known as clubbed fingers,” Whitmer informs us, “The tips of fingers become misshapen, swollen and may take on a box-like appearance. The condition appears to be caused by the biological effects of asbestosis rather than directly by asbestos fibres.”

As we pointed out in last week’s blog, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team remains dedicated to helping Canadians avoid the tragic outcomes that asbestos is known to cause. 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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Taking A Look At Asbestos-Related Cancers

Back on December 30, 2018, the toxic substance known as asbestos was finally outlawed in Canada. To be specific, the federal government introduced The Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulations which prohibits the import, sale and use of asbestos as well as the manufacture, import, sale and use of products containing asbestos in Canada. There are, however, a limited number of exclusions.

In the months leading up to the official asbestos ban, we blogged pretty extensively about asbestos and the many health hazards that result due to exposure. As you’re surely aware, asbestos is a known cause of many different types of cancer.

Lung cancer.

It probably makes sense to begin with the obvious. We’re all aware of the irreversible damage that cigarette smoking can cause to our lungs. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada. No less than 21,100 Canadians died from lung cancer in 2017, representing 26 percent of all cancer-related deaths that year.

Inhaling asbestos fibres can be as deadly as cigarette smoking. And when the two are combined, the end result is almost sure to be lethal. “Lung cancer is a malignant tumour that invades and blocks the lung’s air passages,” explains the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, “Smoking tobacco combined with asbestos exposure greatly increases the chance of developing lung cancer.”

Ovarian cancer.

This one may not be as obvious as lung cancer. According to Michelle Whitmer on Asbestos.com, researchers are still debating about how asbestos fibres reach the ovaries. However, they theorize that the fibres are transported by the lymphatic system.

“Though it only represents 3 percent of female cancer diagnoses, ovarian cancer causes more deaths than any other female reproductive cancer,” she reports, “In 2012, a study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) confirmed that asbestos exposure causes ovarian cancer. Many cases were documented in women whose father or husband worked with asbestos.”

Ovarian Cancer Canada tells us that approximately 2,800 Canadian women are diagnosed with the disease each year. Ovarian cancer is the 5th most common cancer for women and is the most serious of all women’s cancer.

Laryngeal cancer.

Before asbestos gets to the lungs, it must pass through the esophagus. Whitmer writes that researchers believe inhaled asbestos fibres get lodged in the voice box before getting to the lungs. If caught early enough, radiation therapy can help cure and preserve a patient’s voice.

“Laryngeal cancer is rare and most often caused by smoking in combination with alcohol consumption,” informs Whitmer, “Yet a 2006 report sponsored by the National Institutes of Health proved that asbestos exposure causes cancer of the larynx, known as the voice box. In 2012 the IRAC confirmed the connection in a scientific review of all evidence to date.”

The DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team remains 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.

And be sure to check out next week’s blog as we take a look at some other diseases that our caused by asbestos exposure!

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What Steps Can Be Taken To Prevent Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer has taken the lives of far too many people. In fact, Lung Cancer Canada reports that, in 2015, approximately 26,600 Canadians were diagnosed with lung cancer with an estimated 20,900 likely to die from it. Lung cancer is the most common cancer among Canadians and more people die from it than breast cancer, colorectal cancer and prostate cancer combined. It couldn’t be a more obvious statement to say that lung cancer should be avoided at all costs.

Nevertheless, there are still many Canadians who continue to smoke cigarettes. The death-inducing activity is the single most preventable cause of cancer and is responsible for about 30 percent of all cancer-related deaths. Needless to say, cigarette smoking should be abolished from your life. Even if you’ve never smoked a cigarette before, it is imperative you avoid secondhand smoke at all times.

There are numerous other ways to avoid getting lung cancer. There are a number of simple steps we can all take, in addition to eliminating cigarette smoke from our lives. Will you take them?

Stick to a regular exercise routine.

You’d be hard pressed to locate any health-based literature that doesn’t recommend exercise. In addition to the many health benefits you may already be aware of – weight loss being the most popular – regular exercise is a known deterrent to lung cancer.

According to lung cancer physician, Dr. Lynne Eldridge on VeryWellHealth.com, “even moderate amounts of exercise can aid in lung cancer prevention. Studies suggest that even something as simple as gardening twice a week is associated with a lower risk of developing lung cancer.”

Have a steady intake of fruits and veggies.

Also on every standard list of nutritional tips is the consumption of plant-based foods. Whether you like them or not, fruits and vegetables are good for you. It’s that simple. But don’t assume you have to stick to greens only. Dr. Eldridge highly recommends choosing from a “rainbow of colours” by suggesting “dark greens such as spinach and broccoli, the whites of onions, the reds of apples and tomatoes, and the orange of orange juice.”

“A diet rich in fruits in vegetables is linked with a lower risk of developing lung cancer,” she informs us, “Recently, studies suggest that variety may be even more important than quantity. Make lung cancer prevention fun by trying out new foods in the produce section…On a reverse note, inorganic phosphates found in processed meats and cheeses are associated with an increased risk of lung cancer.”

Choose your booze wisely.

It’s the summertime. And where there are summertime celebrations, there are libations. You may assume that since drinking doesn’t have anything to do with your respiratory system, the consumption of alcohol won’t impact your risk of getting lung cancer. Think again. However, take some solace in knowing that some alcoholic beverages are better for your health than others.

Dr. Eldridge tells us that “for men, the heavy consumption of beer and hard liquor is associated with an elevated risk of developing lung cancer. In contrast, a moderate intake of wine in men was linked with a lower risk of developing the disease.”

The team at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. would love to help you in your quest to avoid lung cancer. For information about how our Air Quality Services can help you to vastly improve your home’s indoor air quality, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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The Importance Of Eliminating Secondhand Smoke From Your Life

Smoking is nasty. We apologize if this offends anyone who still smokes cigarettes, but we feel it’s important to be honest. Especially when that honesty may have a role in protecting people’s health, it’s something we’re willing to share. Smoking isn’t just nasty because it smells bad, stains your teeth and ages a person well beyond his/her years – although that should all be enough to get a smoker to quit – it’s literally nasty because it’s a killer.

You certainly don’t have to be reminded of how harmful cigarette smoke is to your health.

By today’s standards, that’s old news. But here’s a quick refresher: cigarette smoking is a known cause of lung cancer (among other cancers) and kills nearly 40,000 Canadians a year. Not to rehash our potentially offensive approach to this topic, but smoking cigarettes – when you really think about it – is pretty crazy.

“Smoking is the No. 1 preventable cause of death in Canada and kills more than 37,000 Canadians each year – six times more than vehicle collisions, suicides, murders and AIDS combined,” reports Medisys.ca, “Many people who smoke say they smoke to relieve stress, or smoke more when they are experiencing stress.”

What about the stress endured by the non-smoker?

By that, we mean to highlight the many negative implications of inhaling secondhand smoke. Yes, cigarettes are so lethal, you don’t even have to smoke them to suffer the consequences of their existence. Non-smokers who are around smokers during their partaking in their nasty habits are just as susceptible to a variety of cancers as the smokers themselves.

“There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke,” informs Cancer.net, “Even brief moments around secondhand smoke can harm a person’s health. And the risk of health problems is greater with more exposure.” The website goes on to explain that research suggests “that secondhand smoke exposure may increase the risk of other cancers by at least 30%. These include cervical cancer, kidney cancer, nasopharyngeal cancer, rectal cancer, and brain tumors.”

How can you eliminate secondhand smoke from your life?

Perhaps contrary to the opening paragraph of this week’s blog, it’s best to take the polite approach. After all, cigarette smokers are not bad people. They’re simply people with bad addictions. You’re well within your rights to inform them that you do not want cigarette smoke in your home or anywhere around your person. Just be nice about it!

Laura Nathan-Garner of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center offers no less than nine polite ways to say “don’t smoke around me”. With the help of her friends and Facebook followers, she provides some great examples. The following is from Janet P.

“People don’t like being told what to do so I don’t tell them they cannot smoke around me. If they light up, I simply say ‘I don’t like to be around cigarette smoke. I’ll wait for you over here.’ Then I move myself away. They are less likely to take offense and usually will accommodate my decision by either not smoking or by moving away themselves.”

A smoke-free home will greatly improve its indoor air quality.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to help you with that! 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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The Importance Of Avoiding Secondhand Smoke At All Costs

In a recent conversation with a colleague, we received some insight into what it’s like to live with asthma. This isn’t to say we weren’t already aware of the dangers of smoking for asthmatics. After all, cigarettes are deadly for all of us. But after hearing our friend speak of his experiences with breathing issues related to cigarette smoke, we felt it necessary to communicate how important it is for us all to avoid secondhand smoke at all costs.

“I can’t even smell it,” our colleague informed us, “If you go outside to smoke and come back in and I smell it on you, I’ll start coughing. It’s unbearable. I literally don’t know how people do it. You couldn’t get me to smoke a cigarette for a million dollars. I’d literally die before I finished it.”

What can non-smokers do to avoid secondhand smoke?

“Put all of your friends who are smokers on alert,” says our colleague, “If my friends plan on lighting up, they make sure to do so away from me. To be honest, I don’t ever have them over to my home because I just can’t have smoke anywhere around me. And when I visit them, they always go outside. Believe me, I appreciate it.”

It’s important to point out that our asthmatic friend doesn’t have the breathing issues he had when he as a child. As a kid, he experienced wheezing and coughing fits due to such irritants as pollen and ragweed. His last major asthma attack took place during a camping trip in Grade 4. However, as an adult, his asthma is all but gone. That is, of course, unless he smells smoke.

You don’t have to be asthmatic for secondhand smoke to impact you.

“Secondhand smoke exposure contributes to approximately 41,000 deaths among nonsmoking adults and 400 deaths in infants each year,” reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Secondhand smoke causes stroke, lung cancer, and coronary heart disease in adults. Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, middle ear disease, more severe asthma, respiratory symptoms, and slowed lung growth.”

The Monday Campaigns is a global movement backed by leading public health schools that dedicates the first day of every week to health. On their website, they point out that secondhand smoke releases more than 7,000 harmful chemicals into the air. To reiterate, cigarette smoke is dangerous for all us, not just those with respiratory issues.

Keep your home strictly smoke-free.

If you’re a non-smoker trying to avoid secondhand smoke, there is no simpler advice. Keep cigarette smoke out of your home. As our colleague mentioned, he won’t even let someone who has recently smoked a cigarette to enter his home. While this may seem harsh for some people, it’s a necessity if you wish to completely avoid the health hazards associated with cigarette smoking.

Kentucky’s St. Elizabeth Healthcare encourages people to ask their friends not to smoke around them. “It may be an awkward conversation at first, but it’s important to help your friend understand that while you love spending time together, you can’t be around him when he smokes,” they say on their website, “Be caring and understanding, but be firm.”

Unquestionably, a smoke-free home will vastly improve its indoor air quality. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to help you take things a step further. 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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Canada-Wide Asbestos Ban Is Now In Full Effect

It’s a moment that the nation of Canada has been waiting for a long time. Announced back in December of 2016 by the federal government, the country’s comprehensive ban of asbestos is finally in full effect. As of December 30, 2018, asbestos is outlawed in Canada. We were remiss to not mention it in last week’s blog given how much extensive coverage of the subject has appeared in our blogs over the past couple of years.

The Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulations now prohibit the import, sale and use of asbestos and the manufacture, import, sale and use of products containing asbestos, in Canada, with a limited number of exclusions. In a recently released fact sheet, which can be downloaded from a link on JobberNation.ca, full details of the new ban are given.

What is prohibited under the new regulations?

To be clear, the new regulations stipulate that any products that contain processed asbestos fibres at any level as well as consumer products that contain naturally-occurring asbestos in greater than trace amounts are prohibited.

“The Regulations also prohibit the sale, for use in construction or landscaping, of asbestos mining residues that are located at an asbestos mining site or accumulation area, unless authorized by the province in which the activity construction or landscaping is to occur,” reads the fact sheet, “In addition, the Regulations prohibit the use of asbestos mining residues to manufacture a product containing asbestos.”

What are the exclusions under the new regulations?

As the fact sheet details, there is a limited number of exclusions to what is prohibited. They include disposal, roads, importing military equipment, servicing military equipment, servicing equipment of nuclear facilities, museum display, laboratory use and Chlor-Alkali facilities. With the exception of disposal and roads, reporting is required for each of these exclusions.

“Permits are available for limited and specific circumstances when no technically or economically asbestos-free alternative is available,” the fact sheet informs, “Reports for excluded activities must be submitted before March 31 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the activities occurred. For permit holders, the reports must be submitted within 90 days after the day on which their permit expires.”

Asbestos is a known killer.

As we’ve noted on many occasions, in our blogs, the asbestos ban truly couldn’t have come soon enough. The toxic substance, which was once a staple in the construction of office buildings and homes, is a known killer. Breathing in its fibres is a proven cause of lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma – all deadly diseases.

“Between 2000 and 2016 the number of Canadians dying from mesothelioma increased from 292 deaths in 2000 to 510 in 2016 – an increase of 70 per cent,” reports Kathleen Ruff on RightOnCanada.ca, “In total, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada, almost seven thousand Canadians died from mesothelioma during this period.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are aware that this ban won’t automatically protect Canadians from exposure to the asbestos that already exists in their homes and places of work. So we’d like to help out where we can. 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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