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A recent episode of Wylde on Health, a weekly news magazine on health matters on CP24 TV invited Tara Valley, Senior Environmental Consultant and Indoor Air Quality Specialist for the Environmental Services Group on the set as an expert to comment on common health risks in the home.

The show’s title was “Home making you sick?” and host Bryce Wylde and Tara discussed some of the hazards and their remedies. “Mold and toxins can cause very serious health issues,” says Valley. “This is especially predominant among the young, elderly and individuals with respiratory problems,” Valley adds.

Mold in the Attic
She mentioned some of the “hidden” areas for toxins in the home, including the attic. “It can basically be a reservoir for moisture due to improper ventilation and insulation,” she said. Heated air is pushed up in a modern home, taking moisture generated lower down with it. Once it’s in the attic, the situation is exacerbated by ventilation and insulation issues, not to say leaks in the roof you may not even know about. The result: mold.

The segment showed graphic images of roof sheathing blackened by mold infestation. The host and another expert commentator, Dr. Hilary Deveber, a paediatrician and VP of The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, stressed the particular dangers to the respiratory tract and by extension, those with asthma and allergies.

Basements and more…
The basement is another hot spot for mold and other environmental issues. Poor grading on the outside can lead to chronic water infiltration, and again inadequate ventilation plays a role, along with the absence of a dehumidifier.  Radon, a gas that rises from the bedrock and is a leading cause of cancer, is another risk commonly detected in the basement via cracks in the foundation or floors.

Testing and Monitors
Tara Valley demonstrated a number of high tech monitors and testing equipment used by ESG, including radon detectors and other indoor air quality testing devices. Other equipment detects ATP, or adenosine triphosphate. ATP is a protein that is is present in all living cells and its presence is used to find mold and bacteria where it may be hidden from the eye.

Other indoor air quality tests look for VOCs, or volatile organic compounds or off gassing from carpets, furniture and plumbing. Dr. Deveber mentioned the importance of checking the furnishings in your children’s bedrooms in particular.

Call The Professionals
When it comes to mold, the rule of thumb is that professional services should be used if the area affected is more than a meter squared. But – be careful who you contract.

“It’s important to contact a professional when you find mould in your home,” explains Valley. “It’s not just important to have the hazard removed and cleaned up, it is critical to have a final mold test to verify that the source of the mold has been properly removed to ensure it doesn’t return to harmful levels,” Valley says. “It’s very important to do your research to ensure that the mold testing company you hire is certified and fully licensed,” she stressed.

Further demonstration of the expertise of ESG was seen a few months ago on an episode of one of HGTV’s popular property renovation programs, “Income Properties”. The team at ESG was called in to assess the mold removal job performed on an old home that was being modernized for an episode.

We Can Help!
ESG offers a variety of services to help give you peace of mind, including:

Let us give you peace of mind – call the Environmental Services Group for a quote.

In The News:
ESG is now an official supplier of HGTV’s Income Properties!

Environmental Services Group is a cutting edge environmental consulting firm based in Toronto and servicing both the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Ontario. We provide state-of-the-art, industry-leading expertise in remedying environmental hazards such as mold, lead, asbestos and much more. Call 416-575-6111 or visit our website today for a pressure-free initial consultation. You’ll be glad you did!

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