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.
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.
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.”
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 email@example.com.
With only two weeks left to go until Christmas, it’s likely you’ll be embarking on some last minute holiday shopping excursions in the days to come. Perhaps you need some help coming up with great holiday gift ideas.
Well, let’s see…how much do you love the people on your list? The way we see it, true love is declared by showing how much you care for a person’s health. Maybe today’s blog will provide you with the perfect ideas! At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to suggest some holiday gifts that work to purify the air.
We’ve dedicated many a blog to radon and its dangers. This past July, our “What Is Radon And How Can It Impact Our Health?” blog made clear just how hazardous the colourless, odourless and tasteless gas can be. Emanating from the soil in the ground outside our homes, radon can seep into our homes through its cracks and collect in tight spaces. When concentrated, the gas can produce fatal consequences.
As a result, Steven John of BusinessInsider.com recommends getting a radon detector. “A good radon detector will give you both current and historical data on the gas levels found in your home,” he writes, “If it’s consistently high, consider hiring someone to help you seal off the bottom of your house and potentially install a ventilation system under your home too.”
Not all air purifiers are created equal. Some purport to eliminate pollutants from the air but only provide minimal benefits. Others provide none at all. It’s best to do your homework on the various air purifiers that are out there. But let us do some of the homework for you! On OneGreenPlanet.org, Kat Smith highly recommends the Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover.
“According to the product description, it captures up to 99.97 percent of the microscopic particles that pass through the filters as well as larger airborne particles such as dust, pollen, smoke from tobacco, cooking, and fireplaces, pet dander, and mould spores,” she explains, “It is installed with an activated carbon prefilter, which helps reduce unpleasant odours.”
Who doesn’t love a sweet smelling home? And who isn’t guilty of purchasing scent-laced cleaning products so that we can achieve those sweet smells after a good clean up? The problem with many cleaning products (especially the scented ones) is that they contain harmful volatile organic compounds, also known as VOCs. For that reason, cleaning products made from natural ingredients make very health-conscious holiday gifts.
“When shopping for household products you use on a regular basis like dishwasher detergent or dish soap, consider a brand like Lemi Shine, which makes cleaning products with natural citrus extracts instead of potentially dangerous chemicals,” suggests John, “Or Aunt Fannie’s cleaners; its glass cleaner, floor wash, and multi-purpose cleaning solution are all vinegar based.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd, we may not sell the above mentioned products, but we are still committed to offering you and your family the gift of purified air inside your home this holiday season. For information about our Radon Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.