In: Health

Comments Off on Are you drinking 4 bottles of water a day?

We all know that we are supposed to drink eight glasses of water a day, and most of us prefer bottled water over tap. A typical glass of water contains eight ounces, so ideally we should each consume 64 ounces per day which is equivalent to four bottles of water.

In 2007 only about 14% of water bottles were recycled. If every person in the United States had received their daily recommended amount of water from bottles that year, over a billion water bottles would have been tossed in the trash per day.

Recycling is a great, simple solution to the high number of bottles in landfills.  Recycling a ton of plastic water bottles saves about 3.8 barrels of petroleum that would otherwise be needed to manufacture the plastic. It would also save the energy equivalent of over 300 gallons of gas.

Recycling plastics and other solid waste saves enough emissions to equate taking 33 million cars off of our highways. When a single bottle is recycled, the energy saved would be enough to power a 60-watt light bulb for six hours.

The best solution to the threat water bottles pose to the environment is to reduce the use of plastic water bottles altogether. There are some great reusable options on the market right now that are cost effective and safe for both the environment and our health.

Polycarbonate bottles are durable yet lightweight plastic bottles. It has been shown that some polycarbonate compounds can leach a synthetic hormone, bisphenol-A (BPA), so be should to check that your bottles is BPA-free.

bottle2Aluminum bottles are also very durable and keep beverages cooler for longer periods of time. Stainless steel bottles are nearly indestructible and have no risks of leaching.

Filtering water bottles are becoming very popular. These are typically plastic and have filters built-in so you can fill it up anywhere and know that the water you’re ingesting has been purified.

Bottled water is packaged in polyethylene terephthalate plastic, which emits harmful toxins such into our air and water during production. A single water bottle in a landfill can take as long as 1,000 years to biodegrade, meaning that all the plastic of every water bottle ever produced is still in the environment. In 2006, it took 17 million barrels of oil to produce water bottles that year; that amount of oil is enough to power over a million cars for a year.


In: Health

Comments Off on What You Should Know About Bed Bugs

Bed bugs have been stirring up quite the controversy within the last year, and their
presence is unfortunately more copious than any of us are comfortable with. Hotel
guests are taking precautions to not take any unwanted souvenirs with them, and home
owners are getting paranoid with each surfaced bite. It is important that we all know how
to properly prevent, identify and exterminate these pesky pests.
Bed bugs are small non-flying insects about the size of ticks. They are reddish brown in
color and thrive off of human and animal blood. Bed bugs can hide in all areas of the
home and tend to reside in cracks and other hidden places such as inside box springs,
behind picture frames and even in popcorn-style ceilings. They earn their names by
concentrating in areas where people sleep and feasting on their blood as they sleep.
The face, neck, hands and arms are common feeding spots of bed bugs. The most
common sign of their bites are small bumps that are sometimes red, swollen and itchy,
much like mosquito bites. A distinguishing factor of bed bug bites is that they are often
lined up in a row. Bed bugs tend to leave dark fecal spots on bedsheets, which is also a
great indicator.
The removal of bed bugs can be a difficult process and usually requires the help of a
professional. For extermination, pest-control experts use sprays, dusts and aerosol
insecticidies, which must be applied in all areas where the bugs can hide. Mattresses
sometimes need to be disinfected or discarded. Mattress, pillow and box spring
encasements can be used trap the bugs with no way of escaping.
Prevention tactics are recommended for all home owners and hotel guests and are
worth not ever having to go through the grueling process of getting rid of bed bugs. In
the mornings open the windows and throw back the sheets because bed bugs do not
like light or fresh air. Change your sheets weekly and wash them immediately using the
hottest water and heat settings. After checking in to a hotel, examine the room for signs
of bed bugs by checking the sheets for stains and lifting the furniture to check hiding
places. Keep all luggage or personal items elevated on racks aways from carpets and
beds. Examine all personal belongings before checking out to ensure you wonʼt bring
any pests into your home.


In: News, Uncategorized

Comments Off on What you need to know about the radiation leaking from Japan and the effects it can have.

In the wake of the tsunami and 9.0 magnitude earthquake, the fourth largest earthquake in the world since 1990 and the largest ever recorded in Japan, thousands are left dead, over 500,000 are recovering and people all around the world are fearing the release of radiation from four nuclear reactors in Japan.

Those who reside in the 19-mile radius around the leaking plants at Fukushima have been advised to wear masks and stay indoors; however it has been reported that the slightly elevated radiation levels are too small to threaten the community. About 100 times the normal levels of radiation were detected;however, this is still far from being fatal and would only pose a threat after a long period of exposure.

The two main threats of radiation exposure are the release of reactive iodine that can cause thyroid cancer and the release of cesium that is absorbed by the environment and human bodies, staying in organs and tissue. Cesium would be more of a threat on a broader scale because it can travel further being carried by rain and wind and accumulating in vegetation.

Two major groups are most at risk of radiation sickness: the cleanup workers at the nuclear reactor plants and the general Japanese population. Those under 18 are at a higher risk because their body cells
divide more actively.

Thankfully, there is little need to panic thus far. Only a small amount of cesium has been released because the reactors at Fukushima have containment vessels to minimize this dangerous type of radioactive material. Experts have said that for now, America is in the clear. If the states were to be affected, radiation could be detected in California but it’s certain that it would not be dangerous.

At this moment, there is little cause for concern of radiation exposure in America. If a change in this state occurs, it is important to be informed of the serious symptoms linked to radiation sickness. Nausea and vomiting are the earliest symptoms; these symptoms worsen with higher exposure of radiation. Radiation depletes blood platelets, so any spontaneous bleeding is a major concern. Skin that has been
exposed to radiation often has the appearance of a sunburn which may blister or develop open sores. Radiation damages hair follicles and those who received a big dose of radiation lose their hair two to three weeks later. The risks of bacterial, viral and fungal infections become heightened due to the reduction of white cells in the body as a result of radiation symptoms. Hair loss, severe fatigue, fainting,
and mouth ulcers are also serious signs of poisoning.

Anyone at risk should take potassium iodide at a protective measure. This would cause the thyroid glands to use the potassium iodide rather than the reactive iodide.