Chemicals Lurking in Household Dust !

A recent 2016 study from Environmental Science & Technology: “Consumer Product Chemicals in Indoor Dust: A Quantitative Meta-analysis of U.S. Studies” has shown that what we just think of as household dust is actually quite a bit more dangerous than it first appears. We have known for quite a while that household dust contains mold and mold spores, but it turns out that after extensive study we better understand that indoor dust is also often a reservoir for commercial consumer product chemicals, including many compounds with known or suspected health effects. The concern is that many chemicals in dust share hazard traits such as reproductive and endocrine toxicity.

People in developed countries spend more than 90% of their time in indoor environments, creating an important link between indoor environmental quality and public health. Consumer products and building materials including furniture, electronics, personal care and cleaning products, and floor and wall coverings contain chemicals that can leach, migrate, abrade, or off-gas from products resulting in human exposure. Consequently, chemicals such as phthalates, phenols, flame retardants, and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs) are widely detected in the U.S. general population, including vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and children. Exposure to one or more of these chemical classes has been associated with adverse health effects including reproductive toxicity, endocrine disruption, cognitive and behavioral impairment in children, cancer, asthma, immune dysfunction, and chronic disease.

Young children are particularly vulnerable to chemical exposures from dust since they crawl, play on the floor, and frequently put their hands in their mouths.

In conclusion, this comprehensive analysis of consumer product chemicals in U.S. indoor dust suggests that a wide array of chemicals used in everyday products find their way into indoor environments across the country where people, including vulnerable subpopulations like children, are continuously exposed. In this way, the indoor environment is a haven for chemicals associated with reproductive and developmental toxicity, endocrine disruption, cancer and other health effects.

 

What are Indoor Emissions ?

Indoor Chemical Emissions

Indoor chemical emissions are air pollutants that are released through the use of a wide variety of products in the home. Some are brought into the home by the occupants like furnishings, personal care products and electronic equipment. Others may be released by pest control products, cleaning and maintenance services.  Yet others may be released from building products and finishes used in construction or renovation.  (more…)

Tips to Maintain a Healthy Home Environment

Our children spend over 90% of their lives indoors, and are constantly exposed to a host of contaminants and irritants which can exacerbate asthma and allergy suffering. There are many common sense solutions to maintain a home which will relieve their suffering and symptoms.img9

Some of the irritant’s which can cause stress are dust and particulate contamination, airborne chemicals, high humidity levels, allergens from pets, mold, and poor ventilation.

Tips:

  1. Clean the home often and regularly to reduce the dust levels, and prevent dust and debris from coming in from outside
  2. Consider installing a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) to allow clean filtered fresh air into the home
  3. Maintain your heating and air conditioning system so that it’s works to peak efficiency, does not produce any by products such as carbon monoxide, and is clean
  4. Install and maintain a high efficiency filter within the furnace to keep the air clean
  5. Your ductwork are the lungs of the home, keep them clean and mold free to maintain low levels of dust and contaminants in the home.IMG_0096
  6. Maintain humidity levels within the home to Health Canada standards as high humidity can result in mold growth, which can cause upper respiratory stress
  7. Control and repair any water leaks in the home to eliminate any growth of mold
  8. Use only “green” cleaning products and eliminate chemicals where possible from all cleaners and scents and fresheners in the home

Recent IAQ Research

650x333x00_lead_image_einstein.png.pagespeed.gp+jp+jw+pj+js+rj+rp+rw+ri+cp+md.ic.YWlU84VK5NI am constantly amazed at the evolution of scientific knowledge and it’s impact on our understanding of health and general well being. The last few decades of research has brought an explosion of scientific knowledge as we explore deeper and deeper in the
nature of things, and accelerate our knowledge further through the impact of the digital world.

It is easy to look back now on so many of our common health practices of years past, and see the flaws that are now so clear under the lens of current knowledge brought on through the digital revolution. A prime example of this is when my mother was pregnant with me she complained to her doctor that she was stressed, and he recommended she take up smoking !

I am seeing the same type of knowledge shift around the causes and remedies of asthma and allergy suffering. This knowledge shift is a welcome relief to the millions of concerned parents who struggle to better understand the health concern which is growing to look more like an epidemic. Asthma & allergies are now the number one reason for childhood visits to hospitals in Canada and USA.

dustDust used to be the stuff that was on the floor or table top, to be cleaned as required or desired. But recent research shines a light on a more sinister problem with our dusty friends. We are understanding better that there is generally a standard level of mold inherent with any home made dust ball. We are understanding more that asthma can be inflamed by mold, indeed many people can become sensitized to mold through slight exposure. The dust in your home can enter your lungs and cause stress because of the particulate matter becoming lodged within the lung. But if this particulate matter contains mold, and we understand that it does; the exposure threat now increases dramatically.

queensRecent research at University of Laval & University of Queensland has demonstrated that there is another, to date unknown, threat of simple household dust. They have demonstrated that common household dust found in a variety of vacuums contain 5 common antibiotic resistant bacteria, and warn that this dust could pose health hazards for infants and people with compromised immune systems.

So we used to just have a dusty house, whereas now we have a breeding ground for resistant bacteria and mold, which are known to create or exacerbate asthma and allergy suffering. The health of your children is more than ever dependent on the health of your home. Good cleaning practices, a clean HVAC system, along with botanic cleaners, can go a long way to creating a healthier, less stressful, environment for your children’s cardio vascular system, and your own also !
Stay clean my friends.

What is Medical Grade Duct Cleaning?

Jainie-Pearce-GM-3At Clinicair we specialize in Medical Grade Duct Cleaning and we get asked a lot; what does that mean? Well.. in the most simple of terms it is just really good duct cleaning, but it does mean a lot more than that. At Clinicair we believe that a healthy and clean environment in your home or office can have an effect on your health and wellbeing, so we offer services that will actually contribute to that. We perform a great variety of duct cleanings, from small residential homes to large health care facilities, we see ourselves as service providers for individuals who suffer from asthma and allergies. We do not believe that you can maintain good indoor air quality in a building unless the duct system is very clean, as it is the lungs of the building, it moves all the air you breathe through the building, and if it is not clean then the buildings air will not be clean.

What makes it unique ?

Medical grade duct cleaning takes many more steps to accomplish than regular duct cleaning, and quite a bit more time. Remember that what we are after is true improvement to the indoor environment; so we cannot introduce any dust or mold into the building before, during or after the cleaning is complete. We strive to reduce the level of dust and molds in the duct work, the furnace, the floors of the home, and in the air. So we utilize a unique 10 step process to make that happen:

  1. We utilize our powerful Stormtech 2100 truckTruck1
  2. Certified HIP Trained Technicians
  3. Red Carpets run through the home
  4. Air Scrubbers are placed in the home
  5. Supply and return ducts cleaned separately
  6. Registers hand washed with Benefect recommended by Health Canada
  7. All ducts are sanitized with Benefect recommended by Health Canada
  8. Vacuum floor surface
  9. Inspect Filter system
  10. Photo graph work and send final IAQ Report to customer via email

There really is a difference in the Clinicair Medical Grade Duct Cleaning system, it takes considerably more time and effort on the part of our great staff but we feel it’s worth it to allow you a cleaner and healthier home. Health Canada is very clear in its guidance for a healthy home, they say that the two keys are dry & clean. Dry & Clean. Dry because if there is excess water in the home through floods or overflows or excess humidity then you can develop mold growth in the home. Mold growth left unchecked can create many unpleasant symptoms, especially in the young and the old with immune systems which may be weak. And clean, because dust is full of contaminants, allergens, and molds, and constantly breathing in poor air can challenge your upper respiratory system. Health Canada says that the largest reservoir of dust in the home is on the floor, so they must be kept as clean as possible. Medical Grade Duct Cleaning will assure you and your family that the air you breathe after will have cleaned the ducts will be much improved, allowing to you to Breathe Easy !