Indoor air quality Pros & Cons

Indoor air quality Pros & Cons

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a term which refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants, and how it may have a profound effect on your staff and customers.

These days we all are concerned about the outdoor pollution and its effect on our health and environment, but a study reveals that we Canadians spend 90% of our time indoors. What that means is we should be equally aware and concerned about our indoor environment. And the biggest advantage of indoor air quality is we have total control over it.

There are many different types of contaminants that pollute the indoor air and the most common type seen here in Metro Vancouver is molds. Certain mold species contain mycotoxins that adversely affect the indoor air quality when aerosolized.

A study done by WHO in 1984 suggested that in 30% of the new buildings and offices made, the occupants feel symptoms that are related to Sick building syndrome. Molds being the leading cause, other factors include carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, temperature, relative humidity and volatile organic compounds. The most common cause for molds is the excessive moisture content in the air. The excessive moisture content in the air may be due to several reasons but the leading cause is improper ventilation in the building.

One of the best ways to improve indoor air quality at your work place is to constantly monitor the ventilation system and eliminate the source of other pollutants. Hiring a professional who can help monitor this for you would be a good start to help keep the air quality in check. Air purifiers and ionizers are commonly used these days to purify the air are also a great idea. Though air ionizers are more popular these days because of the advanced technology they use to help rid the air of harmful contaminants.

What else you can do to improve the air quality? Well, the answer may surprise some people; simply have your carpets and rugs professionally cleaned regularly. It might strike you what does carpets and rugs have to do with air quality? They act like an air filter and will gravitate and attract the pollutants in the air toward it. The synthetic fibers of the carpet trap these contaminants and constantly stay as a source to later release them in the air. Work places with higher moisture content in the air are more at risk as molds can grow on the carpet if they are not cleaned and dried out ever so often. We recommend implementing a Carpet Care Program as part of your regular janitorial services is a good way to ensure optimal air quality in your work place.

In conclusion, improved indoor air quality makes for a healthier indoor environment for both your customers and you staff, which can lead to increase productivity and also keeps employee absenteeism low and at the same time, helping to keep health related issues to a minimum. You can also visit Health Canada to learn how good air quality can play a role in your work place.


Breathe fresh and stay healthy!


When Carpet Cleaning can do more Harm than Good

When Carpet Cleaning can do more Harm than Good

Not too long back we heard about the story that the famous celebrity John Travolta’s son “Jett” died because of some rare condition known as Kawasaki disease. It’s a rare condition where the coronary arteries are damaged causing serious heart trouble. He was 15 months old when the doctors diagnosed him with this disease, the couple was shocked after filling out the questionnaire that they shampooed their carpet recently and later, leaning that might have been the reason why their son contracted this disease.


Though there is no official link between carpet cleaning and Kawasaki disease but there seems to be a big correlation between them.  “Until then I thought cleaning the carpets religiously was the healthy thing to do for my kids”, said Preston, Travolta’s wife.


Although it’s true that keeping the house and your surroundings clean is one of the keys to staying healthy, but as it’s commonly said everything in excess is bad, I guess this applies to cleaning as well. On an average, studies have showed that Canadians spend $275 million on cleaning products each year. Some cleaning ingredients may have acute or short term effects such as rashes, respiratory problem, watery eyes, etc. or even long term or chronic conditions such as cancer. Chlorine bleach and ammonia are considered to be highly acute toxic substances that are commonly used in most traditional household cleaning. They are highly irritating to the eyes, nose, throat and lungs, and people with asthma or lung or heart problems should avoid using them. Fragrances that are usually added in many cleaners, laundry detergents and fabric softeners may also cause respiratory problems, headaches, and irritation in the eyes. Some cleaners may contain ingredients that have long term effect such as diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA), these can cause cancer or hormone imbalance in the body. Now if this is not a good reason to switch to green products, I don’t know what is?


We are exposed to cleaning products and their residues on a daily basis, they linger on in the air for us to inhale and can leave residue left on the surface where it can come into contact with our skin.


It’s no wonder why so many people are now switching to more natural products for cleaning also known as green clean products, especially those that carry the Eco Logo or Green Seal certifications are good for personal health as well as for the environment.


Benefits of using green cleaning products:


  • Health and environmental benefits: There is reduction in the amount of harmful aerosol in the air and therefore less risk of inhaling them and also less indoor pollution. Using baby and child friendly products is the most important step because they are more prone to diseases. Babies have a natural desire to lick the surfaces and put stuff in their mouth and as a parent, you instinctively want to clean the home again and again, but the truth is the more toxic products you use the more you are putting your child’s health at risks. Therefore using greener products can help protect your children while keeping the home clean and safe at the same time.
  • Reduces your carbon footprint: this happens because you reduce or minimize the packaging waste and transportation energy. Green products will generally contain a high rate of post-consumer recycled content.
  • Increase indoor air quality: A building can emit 36% more acceptable to VOC contamination up to two hours after cleaning. An EPA study indicates that indoor air quality is 3 to 5 times worse than the outside air, yet the general public spends 90% of their time indoors.
  • Reduces the cost: Many Green products come in concentrated form for proper dilution based on your cleaning needs, affording you a cost savings.


For those DIY types, simple products such as vinegar and lemon juice are pennies on the dollar and works great for home cleaning.


Now that we understand how using greener products can make a major impact on our health, before scheduling your carpets for a cleaning, make sure that you double check to make sure your carpet cleaners carry True Green Certificationprior to making a decision on which company to use.


Very simple steps with just a little extra effort and a bit of due diligence will help you have a safe environment to live in and protect your loved ones or customers and staff if you’re a business owner, from harmful chemicals that might cause damage to their health and yours.  Go green and stay healthy.

Go Green myths

Go Green mythsGoing Green Myths


We live on a planet which lives with us. It is growing older with us, breathing with us and pretty much doing everything. These days it has been seen that people are aware of their health so much, more and more people are hitting gym, exercising, doing yoga and stuff like that. The reason is that they want to live a longer and healthy life and prevent themselves from being diseased. Why is that we not think of our planet and our environment the same way? Our daily practices affect the climate so much. The excessive use of cars, trucks, urbanization etc. all this leads to increase in temperatures around us also known as global warming.


The global warming issue motivates us to go green. Going green is the only way to preserve the nature and bring back its health to it. We don’t need big movements or campaigns to start this initiative. We can start with our homes and place of work for starters that will make a huge difference. But there are certain Myths associated with going green. Let’s go through them one by one.


1. My efforts wouldn’t make a difference. Every single step counts, every effort you put will take us a step forward and also going different and doing something unique is what catches people’s eyes. If you take steps to go green you will have an upper hand in the market and your competitors will follow you thus making you a leader in your industry and also make a difference in the community.


2. It’s too much work to live Green, where to start. This is no longer an excuse; we live in an age of internet where everything is just a click away. Just Search “ways to go green” or visit this City of Vancouver website where they provide you with tons of living green ideas and how to make your business and home more environmentally friendly.


3. Environmental sustainability is for big business. Though big businesses have more resources and money to invest in newer energy efficient projects, as said earlier every step counts. The market is dominated by more number of smaller businesses than larger firms. Through implementing green practices in your everyday routine you will gain recognition in your market as the responsible business that is taking the effort to do your part.


4. Changing to greener methods will put me out of business. It’s a common myth that going green is going to cost more; you need to spend those extra dollars. But if we look at it in a different way, by going green you are attracting people be it investors or customers therefore increasing your profits. You get to engage the stakeholders in the initiative as well. For example, in hotel industry, some of them have told their customers that they are cutting down on their laundry usage to be environmental friendly, therefore they improve their image in the market and in the eyes of the customers and make the stakeholders participate in the initiative, thus it’s a win-win situation.


5. You need to live beyond your means to adapt green living lifestyle, not true; here are few ideas which are actually going to save money:


a) Switch to energy-efficient lighting. What a better way to reduce your carbon footprint and also reduce your electricity bill at the same time.


b) Buy used furniture or items. You would be amazed at what you can find in a used furniture store or thrift store, someone’s trash can be your new found treasure.


c) Produce a Living Wall. Enhance your surround air quality with a wall surface full of interior plants placed under air-conditioning vents.


d) At work, you can reuse your shopping bags for garbage bags and send invoices via email as an option for your customers.


e) Turn it off. For some people it’s common practice to leave the lights, computers and electronic devices on when not in use, for example when we leave work or during the evening when we retire for the night. Take a few minutes to turn them off when not in use is going to save energy and money.


f) Stock green. Check all the material used by your firm and look at its ingredients especially those who have non-renewable resources in it. Try replacing them with something with ingredients derived from more natural source


So, here we see all the advantages of going green and how we help the environment by being environmentally sustainable through the choices we make each day. Let’s take care of ourselves and each other along with the community and place with which we live… the living ear












Living Wall:






City of Vancouver:






Living earth: