Clean fresh air is one of the most important components of physical health. In Canada, where much of the population spends the bulk of its time indoors, indoor air quality is critical to public health.
If you can smell a musty odour in the house then there is probably mould, and there are many varieties of mould that you do not want to live with. If you see mould in your home then you have a serious health problem. Health Canada confirms that mould in housing can impact on a family's health, especially children and the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.
Malcolm McColl, editor of this news-site, is aware of the problem of mould in First Nations communities and the general population across Canada. McColl’s family had to move out of a black-mould contaminated property on Vancouver Island. The problem had been hidden by the landlord. After moving to a fresh-painted duplex, in less than six months black mould began growing and bubbling through the paint. Painting had been done to cover up black mould.
His infant child was sick, his wife had two miscarriages in one year, and he had severe headache and black spots occurring in his vision.
"We vacated immediately upon learning the gravity of the situation," says McColl. "Our health returned after a two-week detoxification in the wilderness and acquiring a better housing situation. My son stopped banging his head on the ground, a 1 year old's only recourse to terrible headaches. Sadly, First Nations communities have even greater challenges to finding healthy housing options within close-knit communities where housing shortages are all too common."
McColl says it was aggravating to be deceived into renting a place that was so deleterious to the family's health. "But since I have long been aware of First Nations suffering from poor house constructions and living in buildings that lack proper envelopes and vapour barriers, I suppose it isn't entirely inappropriate that I gain first hand knowledge of the health problems that arising from exposure to toxic mould."
McColl is delighted to present a well-researched solution to the crisis many First Nation families in Canada have encountered. "The Bluwood Canada project actually started in March 2006 when we obtained a licence to market a mould resistant coating," says Erwin Leonov, V.P. Operations, Shelburne Wood Protection Ltd. (SWP) and Bluwood Canada; however, "We were not satisfied with the product claims being made, and in 2008, when the U.S. company went out of business, we decided to initiate our own Canadian-made mould-resistant formulation. In 2010 we partnered with another Canadian company, Sansin Corporation and started to jointly develop a new and improved formulation"
After years of testing at FP Innovations and with the Nation Research Council and others, SWP and Sansin developed P-6980, mould-resistant coating, a made-in-Canada formulation trademarked as Bluwood in Canada and TruBlue in the United States. P-6980 is a water-based combination of polymer resins and Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA)-Health Canada/EPA-registered 'actives' that provides broad spectrum protection against mould.
The product claims are: mould resistance and good water repellent characteristics. The colourant additive (the blue colour) is added separately to P-6980 primarily for brand identification and quality control to ensure coverage.
Extensive research and development has confirmed that P6980 is highly effective against mould. In addition P6980 has shown no adverse effect on structural properties, corrosion characteristics, bonding characteristics, fire and combustion toxicity properties, conductivity and hygrothermal properties. (Hygrothermal pertains to the movement of heat and moisture through buildings.) The coating has very low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), is non-toxic and safe to handle.
Other secondary product features and benefits may be derived from current testing. For example, P-6980 with or without modifications may have characteristics to reduce specific VOC emission compounds of interest (example, formaldehyde) in wood composites such as OSB panels commonly used in housing construction.
The research and development of the product has been done to enhance and provide creditability to P-6980’s ability to penetrate various markets on a global basis. SWPL has submitted data packages to the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) and EPA for product registrations in Canada and USA. SWPL/Bluwood obtained EPA registration on Oct.19, 2015 and anticipates PMRA registration in the Spring of 2017.
"We have also received the Canadian Construction Materials Centre evaluation report from the National Research Council. This evaluation certificate was obtained after three years of rigourous Canadian testing including the University of Saskatchewan, School of Public Health Department, Human Health Risk Assessment" says Leonov.
He says the Canadian government and building codes take the position that buildings are designed properly (the “Perfect Home”). "Building codes do not take into consideration potential issues, the 'what if' issues," considering most buildings have water-events from various causes like pipe leaks, condensation, excessive rain, or snow.
Bluwood/P6980 is designed for the “Im-Perfect” home, says Leonov. It is ideal for use in high humidity areas of the home, such as basements or panels facing the outside wall, and for homes built in regions of heavy rain Canada like B.C. or southern Ontario. The product has been developed to reduce liability concerns for builders and architects.
Bluwood is an illustration of “Best Available Technology” that provides a homeowner with peace of mind and protection. "Realize that it is far more affordable to replace drywall than structural components of the home," says Leonov. it should be noted that the SWP/Bluwood and their partners are working on a mould-resistant drywall coating that can be applied in the field.
"We have done years of testing with FP Innovations and the National Research Council in Ottawa to demonstrate that BluWood/P6980 is a safe and effective way to deal with toxic mould in homes. We believe that BluWood/P6980 should be part of any solution to problems encountered in First Nations housing in Canada. It is our understanding that Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada develops housing specifications for First Nations housing management," says Leonov, "and we have been in touch with Indigenous Affairs and Northern Development Minister Carolyn Bennett and others to discuss how BluWood-P6980 can be part of the solution to provide safe housing for First Nations."
Bluwood Canada | Trublue USA
309 Main St. W., Shelburne ON L9V 2X8
Office 1.519.925.5915 ext.221
Cell: 1.519.939.3224 (Erwin Leonov)
Also contact David Gray 1.604.250.1120 in Vancouver