Do you or any of your family members suffer from allergies or asthma?
We can help you protect your home by inspecting and testing for some of the most common types of allergens that may be present in your home and causing you allergies.
We test for dust mites 1&2, dog dander and hair, cat dander and hair, cockroach 1&2 and rat/mouse droppings. These are considered the most common types of allergens found in a home environment.
Both allergies and asthma are now considered to likely be caused by the indoor air quality of your home. Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic disease in the United States (www.medicineworld.org), and this number has been increasing steadily over the past fifteen years. In Canada, asthma is responsible for 10 percent of all hospital visits for children under the age of 4 years old (Allergic Living Magazine, Winter 2008.) Further asthma statistics from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp state more than 2.3 million Canadians as being asthmatic, which includes 13.4 percent of children and 8.4 percent of adults (Stats Can, 2009). Much like our neighbours to the south, these numbers have been rising steadily for over ten years.
Why are allergies & asthma on the rise?
According to Claire Gagne, “while most North Americans still think of smog as the most serious form of air pollution, a more toxic chemical stew is often found in the air we breathe inside our homes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency labels indoor air one of the Top Five environmental health risks, up there with polluted drinking water. The bad environment in our households starts with polluted air from the outdoors, which is often not cycled effectively in and out of tightly sealed and energy-efficient homes. Trapped, the pollutant levels may be two to five times higher inside than outside. “
Furthermore, homeowners mix in other chemicals such as air fresheners, hairspray, perfume, cleaning supplies, pesticides, and perhaps cigarette smoke; these all combine with existing ongoing chemicals such as the gases given off by furnishings and paint/wall paper glue. We then add pet dander, dust mites and mold and it is not so difficult to understand why our indoor air quality is a major cause for concern.
In the last twenty years, it has become common practice for home builders/architects to believe that “tighter” more energy-efficient homes are the way to go. Although this may assist in energy bills and may also be considered more environmentally friendly, it also reduces what we generally referred to as common air flow through the home in the 80s and prior. In other words, although older homes are drafty and more costly to keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer, they also have continual air flow. This air flow assists all of the chemicals and allergens that we produce to flow back out of the home, as opposed to being trapped inside and multiplying. Thus, it is a common misconception that mold and other allergens are more common in older homes, on the contrary, newer homes may in fact experience even larger problems if not ventilated effectively.