The Negative Air Machine – A Cutting Edge Air Filter System

You may not know it yet, but in many cases the air you breathe indoors is actually in a far poorer state than the air you breathe outside. That's because the air you breathe indoors relations up a very small number of common expedients to become clean. In many buildings, the air duct system is the chief way by which your outdoor air and your indoor air is exchanged. As “fresh” air enter the building, most people believe that they are safe from breathing poisonous air with allergens, dust mites, and other irritants. But, unfortunately, this is not always the case. A negative air machine can ensure air cleanliness.

In many buildings, the main way you get “fresh air” is through a duct system. However, if the building is older than a few years then the duct system is probably quite clogged. That's because the air ducts in most buildings are very narrow. They were not considered an important part of the building structures in bygone years. So, in major metropolitan areas such as New York and the major cities of California, a negative air machine is needed to ensure that something is there to “pick up the slack” for those poorly placed ducts. Otherwise, indoor pollution will only worsen.

What is a negative air machine? Many people are confused by this name and think that the device generates something that is the opposite of air. Of course, there is no such thing. Instead, it is an extremely sophisticated filtration device that uses the latest technology. There are many different kinds of negative air devices, and you will have to consider what is best for your needs. For example, there are some that are quite large and that are intended to run continuously in a small area for a long time. Others may have an even more thorough filtration and cleaning sequence, and so on.

No matter whether you are considering it for home or business, a negative air machine is an excellent idea. It can only help when it comes to providing a safe and comfortable environment. This is equally true for your family members as well as your co-workers. Luckily, many of these devices are extremely easy to service. The concept of the negative air device has been around for some years now and has enjoyed wide adoption in sensitive places – such as hospitals, laboratories, and the finest hotels. Although some maintenance is normal, you will save time and money quickly though a much nicer environment.

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How Does UV-C Light for Germ Control Work

Work tops, utensils and equipment are just a few examples of surfaces that harmful bacteria, mold and viruses can be found. UV-C Light for germ control is being used in both domestic and commercial situations to help eradicate germs by purifying surfaces to enhance the level of cleanliness.

UV-C Light for Germ Control is helping to ensure commercial businesses are operating a 'best practice' policy in tackling the unseen; safeguarding staff and customers from food poisoning or cross-contamination. Although it primarily disinfects and sanitises surfaces, its use in the home and catering industry stems even further; as it can be used to extend the shelf life of fruit and vegetables.

With the ability to kill 99.9% of germs the UV-C light for germ control is becoming an essential hygiene practice for any modern home or business, especially the catering industry. From a business perspective it is also very efficient. Surfaces can be sanitized in just 20 seconds of contact, and it is also an effective, powerful and entirely safe method for purifying surfaces.

All UV-C light products contain a UV-C germicidal light, which is a short wave-wave ultraviolet radiation, in the 'C' band. UV-C penetrates the outer structure of cells, altering the DNA molecule, in turn replication is prevented and the cell dies. Devices can be used to disinfect surfaces, helping to rid homes and working environments of viruses, bacteria and mold. UV-C light technology however, offers versatility in its purification uses as air purifier can provide continuous air purification. There are also products available in a UV-C bed vac form that are designed to eliminate dust mites, bed bugs, fleas and their eggs on soft furnishings and bedding.

UV-C light is an established technology in sanitising and killing germs. It has been actively used since the late 1880s to kill microorganisms, and was heavily used during World War II to sterilize air in hospitals, food storage areas and pharmaceutical plants. Instrumental in the fight against Tuberculosis in the 1950s, UV-C light has more recently been used as a tool to combat so called 'superbugs' in healthcare settings. It is used continuously to disinfect wards and isolation rooms where patients are particularly vulnerable.

More than ever customer-facing businesses need to adopt effective methods in purifying surfaces and to ensure the health and well-being of their customers. Effective food safety regimes are of paramount importance to maintaining the reputation of a profitable business in a highly competitive market. Consumers are increasingly concerned with the hygiene practices of businesses that spend money in, with an astonishing 845,000 cases of food poisoning being reported in the UK and Wales in 2010.

Although detergents and disinfectants are effective as the first process in any food safety operation, the UV-C light for germ control diminishes the risk from pathogens, which often remain after a person disinfects surfaces with disinfectants. Moist surfaces and poor food preparation areas make kitchens bacteria-friendly. It is essential to ensure purification of surfaces after cleaning and / or disinfecting countertops. Cutting boards, kitchen surfaces and utensils can be the perfect environment for the survival of germs and bacteria.

UV-C light is both an efficient and effective method of controlling germs in domestic and commercial environments.

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FAQ’s on Turbidity Curtains

When it comes to turbidity curtains there is a lot of general misconception among the people. This is due due to the lack of awareness about these products, and partly due to the lack of professionals who can convincingly answer the questions. Here is a list of frequently asked questions on turbidity barriers.

Are they Same?

Not exactly. But both of them are used to prevent material that causes turbidity in water. Turbidity is a condition in which water will look cloudy and dirty owed to the colloidal particles and the floating debris in the water. While turbidity barriers prevent the debris from falling into the water, turbidity curtains will filter all the debris which is already present in the water.

Another basic difference between these two is in the material used. While impermeable vinyl sheets are used for manufacturing turbidity barriers, water permeable layers are used for manufacturing turbidity screens or silt curtains.

How to Find the Right Length of Turbidity Screen?

Turbidity screens are available in standard issue sizes like 100 feet and 50 feet. You can choose the size which is closest to your requirement. If you require a larger length, you can add two or three of these together. There are accessories which facilitate joining of multiple turbidity screens and you can enclose the entire area of ​​interest.

How To Determine the Right Type of Turbidity Screen Required?

It is always better to take the help of a professional in helping you decide the right type of turbine cover which suits your purpose. However, there are a few basic factors that even professionals also consider. They are – wave heights, speed of the water current, duration up to which the turbidity screen will be used, tidal factors, direction of wind and wind speed

Make sure that the severity barrier you use faces least opposition from the above mentioned factors and covers the maximum area possible.

Determining the Depth

There is no fixed limit on the depth of the turbidity screens which are available. They can range from a meter to 30 meters. What you must consider is the depth of the water body in which you are going to use the turbidity curtains. The general rule of thumb is that the curtain should be half a feet below the water surface. From there, it should extend down to the riverbed. Since these curtains are available in regular dimensions, you can buy one of those available dimensions and accommodate it in your water body.

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Are Turbidity Barriers Different From Silt Curtains?

The difference between turbidity barriers and silt curtains has been confusing the common man for quite a while now. For the record, they are not exactly the same. However, they both have similar functions. There are some basic differences with regard to the type of debris and objects that they filter. There are also differences in the type of materials used to manufacture them, the installation procedure and their life spans.

The Basic Difference

The basic difference between the turbidity barriers and silt wings is the methodology they implement. Turbidity barrier will prevent any of the turbidity causing debris from entering the water body. Silt curtains on the other hand play a filtering role more than the preventing role. Although they allow water to pass through them, they have the ability to restrict even the fine grain of silt from entering into the barred section of the water body.

Difference in the Materials Used to Manufacture Them

Since they both operate on different principals, they should be manufactured using different materials. Turbid curtains are manufactured using vinyl sheets. Since these barriers have to be non-permeable to water, and also hard enough to resist the impact of average sized objects like stones and similar hard objects, vinyl is used. Also, the turbidity curtain has to extend till the surface of the water. So, floaters are used to hold them in place,

Silt curtains on the other hand have to be permeable to water. They will have one or multiple layers of filter fabric. Filter fabric is a layer which allows water to pass through it but resists the passage of silt and other larger debris. This will result in a filtration effect where water that passes through the filter fabric will be clean from silt or larger debris. There have been instances of the filter fabric made up of other special materials which facilitate further filtration of water.

Differences in Application

Silt curtains are usually used in water bodies with flowing water. When water is flowing, there is an excess accumulation of silt which will be transported by the flowing water. To prevent this, silt curtains are used. Conversely, silt curtains are also used to prevent silt from exiting the water body.

Turbid barriers are usually used near construction sites. These sites will have elements which can easily get into water and make it turbid. So, these barriers are used in places where there is the most likelihood of these objects entering the water. These barriers are best suited to places which have stagnant water or very little water flow.

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All You Need To Know About Turbidity Curtains

If you have never heard about turbidity curtains, they are barriers that are used to catch sediments in the water bodies. They are used to prevent debris getting into water bodies. They are available in different shapes and sizes. They are usually held in place by floaters which are strategically placed so that the curtain is spread to all the places where debris might fall, contaminating the water body. If it has to be placed in water bodies with flowing water or wave action, then stakes are used to reinvent the curtains so that they do not move with the flowing water.

Why is a Turbidity Curtain Used

Consider a lake or a pond which has a tree growing over it. Obviously the tree will shed its discharged out leaves periodically. If the leaves start accumulating in the pond, then the water will make the leaves wet and slowly, they will start decaying. This will not only spoil the color of water but is also harmful if the pond or lake contains any life forms like fishes.

Similarly, if a construction is going on near a flowing water body such as a river, the turbidity curtain is used so that no debris from the construction site gets into the water. If debris does get in, it might be transported by the flowing water to some other part and there might be other consequences.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Like any other product, turbidity curtains also have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Looking at the positives, these curtains can prevent debris from getting distributed over the water body. Even if it gets accumulated, all the debris will be concentrated at a single spot facilitating easy cleaning. They can be put up at any place you like, provided you reinforce the curtain properly so that the strength of the current or the weight of the debris that gets accumulated over a period of time will not carry it away.

There are a few negatives, the most predominant of them being the failure of the turbidity curtains. Water flow can be unexpected and although you might have adequately reinforced those curtains, a good spell of rain can swell up the water body which increases the current strength. Also, you can not judge the velocity or the force with which the debris falls into the curtain. There have been cases where a heavy stone or a piece of wood has torn apart or yanked off these curtains.

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Air Duct Cleaning Basics

Indoor air quality is something many of us do not think about until we suspect a problem, because because of a foul odor or an increase in sneezing and itchy eyes when the HVAC is running.

Without such reminders, we may go years without wondering about the air we're breathing indoors. But that does not mean the air is clean. In fact, the air in even the most spotless homes may be only as clean as the homes' air ducts.

Air ducts, often called the lungs of a home, are invisible to the inhabants but still vital to a home's functioning. Hidden behind drywall or under the floor we're walking on, air ducts carry warm air from our HVAC system to us in the winter and cool air from the same system in the summer. They also carry the air in a home's rooms back to the HVAC system for re-heating or re-cooling, and filtering.

What is Air Duct Cleaning?

Duct cleaning removals particles that can build up over time in an air duct-particles such as dust, pollen from flowers planted outside, mold that grow during the last heavy rain when the roof leaked, allergens and fur from family pets or unwanted rodents, and so on.

Dirty air ducts are one of the main culprits that release particles in your indoor air, so having your air ducts inspected is a good idea if you suspect a problem. Cleaning when performed properly, begins with an inspection.

A professional certified by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) will first inspect your home and ducts, possibly testing the air in your home for particles, to get an overall idea of ​​how the ducts may be affecting the quality of your indoor air.

If he finds a problem, he can clean your vents and ducts with special scrub brushes, other dirt-loosing equipment, and large hoses that suck the loosened dirt and grime out of your home and into a secure container for safe disposal. He also can come up with a plan of action to help prevent future air quality problems.

Is Mold a Special Case When Air Duct Cleaning?

Mold spores (sort of like mold seeds) grow in environments that are wet and humid, so if you suspect your vents and air ducts have become wet, because of high humidity in your home or perhaps a leak somewhere, considering having the air and / or dirt in your ducts tested for mold.

Remember, however, that the existence of mold is not necessarily a health concern. Mold is and always has been a fact of life. We breathe mold spores in outdoor air every day.

So, what is a mold problem? The answer depends in part on who is asking, because some people, including the very young, adults with compromised immune systems, and people with mold allergies may be more sensitive to mold growth and may experience health problems as a result.

In general, however, the indoor air quality industry has established standards regarding “acceptable” and “elevated” mold spor counts in indoor air.

If you want your air ducts to be tested for mold, make sure you hire an NADCA-certified inspector to take samples of the air and dirt in your air ducts and deliver those samples to a lab that specializes in mold testing.

If the lab discovers an elevated mold spore count or mold growth, the NADCA-certified professional can perform appropriate cleaning with EPA-certified products, as well as drying. He also can come up with a plan of action to help prevent future mold growth in your air ducts.

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Dry Stone Walls and Local Geology in The Forest of Bowland, England

If one looks carefully while passing through the valleys and over the hills of the Forest of Bowland, near the Ribble Valley in Lancashire, England, there can be observed distinct changes in the appearance of the dry stone walls that criss cross the landscape. Both the color and texture of the stone used to build the walls will suddenly change from a smooth dark gray or brown with reddish iron flecks to a lumpy light gray or off white … and a moment later back again. Even the style of the construction will change along with the material used. More often than not in this area you are witnessing a marker that the geology is changing beneath your feet. This is because dry stone wallers will, more often than not, use the most locally available stone to the area they construct in.

In the case of The Forest of Bowland the dark gray / brown stone is the prevalent Millstone Grit of the area. It is a fine-grained sandstone which is much used in road construction as well as dry stone walling. The paler lumpier stone walls consist of Carboniferous Limestone which runs in seams through the dominant Millstone Grit, popping up occasionally in higher areas usually where hard wearing Limestone knoll will expose its inner geological anomaly.

Grit stone is reliably easy to work with, shaping with a hammer to get the perfect fit. Consequently the walls are more even and smooth-faced. It is therefore the preferred stone of the local dry stone waller as he can make the most aesthetically pleasing and tight-faced wall with the minimum of effort. Conversely the limestone is very hard and resistant to hammer blows as well as being misshapen and coming in smaller lumps. This makes the walls difficult to get tight and the use of large through stones which bind the two sides of the wall together is seldom seen. Nonetheless, especially to the untrained eye, the limestone walls are no less attractive and indeed most welcome addition to the wonderful scenery, because they are brighter in color and a short distance renders their comparatively uneven and guppy surface inconsequential.

So, if you have the good fortune to be out rambling, cycling or even driving through this lovely and ancient part of Lancashire then take a moment to stop and admire the minority changes in local geology happening beneath your feet as illustrated by the ancient craft of dry stone walling.

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The Dangers of Genetically Modified Foods

Did you know that over seventy percent of all processed foods on supermarket shelves contain at least one genetically engineered nutrient? Should you care? The answer is yes, you should care. These ingredients are untested and dangerous.

Food crops are engineered to resist potent pesticides and herbicides. The herbicides are taken up by the plants. And when we eat the plants, we eat the pesticides and herbicides. If these pesticides can kill insects and the herbicides can kill weeds they can certainly affect us.

To modify a plant a different gene must be transferred to the plant. Genes are being transferred between completely unrelated species. None of these combinations would occur naturally. To transfer the gene a modified virus is inserted into the plant. One especially dangerous virus that is being used is the pararetrovirus. It is very similar to the Hepatitis B virus and HIV. There is no way to predict what these transplanted genes will do to human health.

Studies have shown that GMO foods can cause birth defects, cancer, allergic reactions, and other health problems. Unbeknownst to most of the public, the Food and Drug Administration does not require safety testing of these foods. In fact there is no government testing whatever on these foods.

It is almost impossible to avoid eating GMO foods. Currently, over ninety percent of the soybeans, canola, sugar beets and cottonseed oil are bioengineered. Seventy-two percent of the corn is genetically altered. And more and more food products are being altered every day.

It is easier to list the processed foods that do not contain genetically modified organisms than the ones that do. Everything from candy bars to chips to popcorn, ketchup to mayonnaise, ice cream and cookies, cereal and soup, muffin mixes, frozen dinners and baby foods are contaminated with bio engineered ingredients. Everything from soda to margarine to animal feed is affected.

If you are not eating 100% organic food, you are eating genetically modified foods. There is no requirement in the United States to label foods that have been genetically modified. We are not given a choice of whether or not to eat modified foods. It is time for us to stand up to the government agencies and demand that all of our foods be labeled. Once our food is labeled we can make an intelligent decision on whether or not to continue eating these dangerous foods. So yes you should care about what you eat.

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3 Effective Bird Proofing Strategies for Hospitals and Medical Centers

As a facilities manager for a hospital or medical center, you know that birds can present a number of problems. Their droppings being on the top of the list. Which is why, first and foremost, you need to keep bird droppings away from the overhanging structures, ledges, windows and walkways. Other problem areas include exterior lunch tables and chairs used by staff or other work crews. The reason is simple: Bird droppings are known to carry over 60 diseases that can be contracted by humans.

It's particularly important for birds to be kept away from rooftops where air ducts and HVAC units suck in air for distribution through the facility. Dried droppings carry spores into patient rooms, hallways and waiting areas, affecting those with compromised immune systems. These droppings can also create dangerous slip-and-fall hazards for patients who may already have difficulty walking. The solution is to install bird deterrents that work to get rid of them. Some of the most effective control devices are currently being used by hospitals and medical centers include:

Preferred by hospital facilities managers around the country, Stainless Steel Bird Spikes provide exceptional anti-perching, anti-roosting protection. Ideal for larger birds (that seem to cause the most damage), steel spikes will keep crows, gulls and pigeons from rooftops, parapet walls, ledges, light poles, signage and other “problem” areas. They are also highly effective in keeping them off HVAC units and other rooftop assemblies. The spiked strips are easily attached to curved surfaces using screws or adhesive with ties or hose clamps. The best stainless steel spikes are made in the USA and will have spiked pins tightly embedded in a UV protected polycarbonate base. These spikes come in 1-, 3-, 5- and 8-inch widths to accommodate a variety of bird deterrent strategies.

Ideal for keeping birds off roofs, ledges, railroads and signs, Bird Wire Systems create a wobbly, insecure landing perch that they will want to avoid. These systems consist of a post-and-spring-wire assembly that's easy to mount in all all areas. The best wire systems feature nylon coated stainless steel wire for extended durability.

Perfect for excluding pest birds from certain semi-enclosed areas around your facility, Heavy Duty Bird Netting works to deny access to specific problem areas. The main thing to look for when ordering this type of netting is quality construction. The best netting should be fabricated of a UV stabilized material that's been ISO 1806 protocol mesh tested, flame resistant and rot- and waterproof. Bird netting comes in a variety of different mesh sizes to exclude certain birds you may be having a problem with. For example, you would want a 2-inch mesh to keep out pigeons and crows; or a 3/4-inch mesh to block out sparrows and other small birds.

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Going Accidentally Green Without Hurting Your Lifestyle

Are you slowly getting greener? What are the little things you too could do differently without hurting your lifestyle …

I asked my friend Tina “How Green are you?” “More than I realized.” she admitted – and acknowledges that she is 'going green' more by accident than by design …

“I've realized that over the last couple of years I have been slowly going greener, one step at a time. TV and more and more green and eco businesses setting up. I'm convinced green living is something that society in general will evolve into.

So what are the little things Tina does differently now?

  1. Washing clothes at 30 degrees c – it's simple and saves time and money. The wash cycle is shorter and she uses less energy
  2. Using a concentrated natural biodegradable laundry liquid. One she found is made from Aloe Vera, and she's convinced it's great as it's really soapy but contains no phosphates and being concentrated she uses so little container containers for 6 months so less in land fill.
  3. Using a tumble ball in the tumble dryer. Yes she still uses the tumble dryer but with a re-useable ball which saves using fabric softener in the washing machine, so does not pollute the water
  4. Recycling as much packaging as she can and she does not buy over packaged items
  5. She has always taken her severely used items to the charity store. That way she knows it's going to be reused when she's finished with it
  6. She car shares when she's out and about with work collections.
  7. She found a great local hair dresser who only uses eco-friendly products and that's kind to her hair as well as the planet. No bleach, no carcinogenic chemicals.

Now Tina lives in the US she has to pay for a re-cycling service. That seems odd to me because here in the UK we do not pay extra, but then our waste is only taken away once every 2 weeks. Paying for the service has certainly made Tina more aware. She said “Coming from a small island like Britain, we're pretty much out of landfill, so recycling is more a way of life.

In this economy, businesses, large and small will start to look at saving resources and being less wasteful to save money and that will have a positive impact on environmental issues.

Businesses and lifestyles are changing with people from all walks of life becoming more aware of environmental issues and doing their part. For Tina and I, going green is all about small adjustments rather than drastic changes and if you try you can really go that bit greener in your home and work life without really noticing it at all.

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Why and How to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

Why and How to Test Your Indoor Air

As awareness of air quality concerns increases, primarily because of media coverage and the advice of allergists, homeowners are increasingly choosing to test their indoor air for allergens and contaminants. This trend is mostly positive, because it often leads to actions that improve indoor air quality. (However, unqualified air testing providers can miss potential problems or identify particles that are not a problem, causing homeowners to spend money on unneeded testing and remediation.) This article will discuss what the air testing can identify, what the results may mean, and how to tell if an air testing provider has the training and equipment to do the job right.

The air inside a home can tell the story of the life of a home's occupants and the life of the structure itself. Are there pets? Do the owners smoke? Has the building suffered water damage? Is the crawlspace dry? How new is the building, and has renovation occurred recently? A qualified air testing professional can find the answers to these questions and identify not only elevated counts of particles the owners do not want to breathe, but also the sources of the problematic particles.

“But,” homeowners may ask, “How does the professional know what to look for?” The answer depends on what prompted the test in the first place. Did the homeowner smell a foul or chemical odor? Did an allergist advise a homeowner to check for particles he suspects are causing health problems? Did the crawlspace flood recently? Or are owners concerned about the health of an infant or immune-compromised adult? A properly trained professional will thoroughly inspect the property to decide how many air samples are needed and where the samples should be taken. He then will determine where to send the sample. Some labs inspect for mold only, while others include dander, mites, bug droppings, bacteria, lead, asbestos, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and scores of other particles and contaminants.

The equipment a professional air tester should use depends on the type of test he's taking. If he's looking for particulates in the air, he uses a laser particle counter. This gives an overview of the cleanliness of the air and an idea of ​​how efficiently the air filters are working. For chemical or VOC testing, the professional would use a metal canister to trap air during several hours. Allergen tests require a polycarbonate air filter cassette, which is a paper filter that traps potential allergenic particles such as dander, dust mites, and bug and mouse droppings.

If the professional is testing for mold, he begins with a spore trap, which is a cassette that captures and compacts airborne mold spores (sort of like mold seeds) on a slide that can be analyzed in a lab. In some cases, the professional may take additional air samples and ask the lab to grow the spores to determine the exact type of mold. He also should bring with him to the testing site a hygrometer, which measures the moisture content of the air, and a moisture meter, which measures the moisture content of various building materials.

Turnaround time for lab analysis of air samples varies but typically is three days. However, in some cases, a homeowner may opt to pay more for a faster turnaround. Once the lab has submitted a report to the air tester, the tester is responsible for presenting the results to the homeowner. Not all presentations are equal, and hiring a professional who can write a report that puts the results in context, using photos, detailed explanation, and suggestions for resolving any problems the test uncovered, is essential. Such a detailed report not only helps the homeowner understand the sources and solutions, but also empowers the homeowner with the knowledge to help prevent similar problems in the future.

The bottom line for homeowners concerned about the quality of their indoor air is: Air testing is a smart, economic first step. However, as with most first steps, this step is best taken with a trained professional by one's side to inspect thoroughly, gather samples appropriately, and put the results in context so the homeowner can take any necessary action.

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Stainless Steel, the Eco Solution for Plastic – Delving Into the World of Water Bottles

With most of us trying to get our daily dose of exercise and required amount of water, the water bottle has become a permanent part of our person. Easy to grab but not so easy on the environment the controversial over plastic water bottles has most of us thinking of a more eco-friendly way to always have water by our side. Are the screams of the environmental evil of plastic water bottles valid and is the push for using a stainless steel water bottle as a replacement the green way to go? Armed with some facts I'm sure you'll make the right decision.

Plastic Bottle Environmental Issues

In the US more than a million barrels of oil are used annually to produce plastic water bottles. This is enough oil to power 250,000 homes or fuel 100,000 cars. Americans consume over 70 million bottles of water daily or 22 billion dollars in plastic water bottles annually. In addition to the vast number of bottles produced each year, the energy required to manufacture and transport them drains fossil fuel supplies posing a significant strain on our environment.

With only 17% of the plastic water bottles purchased being recycled to our landfills are swelling to strict sizes. Having a very low redemption value the recycling rates for plastic water bottles is alarmingly lower than soda or beer bottles. Many Americans still are not part of a recycling plan and many public places and parks do not provide separate recycling bins allowing plastic water bottles to find their way into landfills or waste into forests and waterways. And they are not bio-degradable.

Plastic Bottle Health Issues

Many consumers argue that reusing their plastic bottle defrays some of the negative environmental effects. But actually there are concerns with reusing plastic bottles. Each reuse of the bottle compromises the water quality as more and more phthalates from the plastic leach into the water. Plastic bottles need to be kept out of extreme heat for the same reason. It is argued too that the bottle can never be washed thoroughly enough to discount formation of bacteria. Many companies have stopped the sale of hard plastic bottles due to concerns with even low doses of Bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA is capable of altering the normal functioning of genes which could lead to prostate cancer, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and neuro-behavioral problems.

Stainless Steel Bottle Environmental Issues

Stainless steel is a highly stain resistant metal alloy containing more than 50% Iron. Pure iron in a natural state is highly corrosive. Added chromium works with oxygen and protects the iron against corrosion by creating a film barrier impenetrable to water and air hence making the stainless rust resistant. Just by its nature alone, stainless is considered an environmentally green material.

The production of stainless leaves a very low carbon footprint. While natural resources and energy are used in its production, technological improvements and energy conservation measures have decreased the amounts used in stainless steel production.

Stainless steel is a long life material and is 100% recyclable. The relatively high value of stainless scrap assures that the bulk of discarded items do not make it to a landfill as they are quickly re-melted for reuse, new stainless steel objects being recycled of about 60% of recycled material rendering stainless eco-friendly. The solid product does not easily migrate into soil or groundwater and easy maintenance properties of stainless steel eliminate the use of harsh cleansers avoiding chemicals from being washed down the drain.

It must be noted that under certain processing conditions such as burning, melting, cutting, sawing or grinding finely divided particles of stainless steel can be emitted as airborne contaminants finding way into soil and groundwater. In the US, stainless steel production makes use of substantial pollution control technology.

Stainless Steel Bottle Health Issues

Considered very hygienic, stainless steel has no surface pores to capture dirt or bacteria. These properties allow it to be cleaned without the use of abrasive or harsh chemicals and safely reused. Stainless steel is stable at all temperatures. There are no known concerns with leaching although acidy or salty foods should not be left in a stainless container as they could pit the surface.

The natural elements in stainless pose no health concerns. Iron can be very beneficial and is a mineral that is required in a healthy diet. In small quantities chromium is also beneficial to us. With some forms of stainless nickel is added to raise the resistance to corrosion. Trace depths of nickel are not detrimental to our health, but people who are allergic to nickel should avoid using stainless steel.

You Decide

Plastic water bottles may have their place in situations where it is impractical to carry a reusable bottle. However, with all facts considered they are very harmful to the environment and potentially present some health concerns. With a low carbon footprint, high recycle reuse rate and hygienic properties, I am sure you will agree that using a stainless steel water bottle is the better choice for your health and for the environment.

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What? My Air Purifier Could Be Making My Allergies/Asthma Worse?

Most people buy an air purifier to clean up their indoor air and reduce allergy, asthma, or other respiratory symptoms. However, if you do not change the filters regularly, your air purifier / air cleaner can actually make your allergies / asthma worse. Ever notice that your allergies / asthma improved when you first purchased your air purifier, and now your symptoms seem to be 'back' or even worse? It's probably the filters.

Why? Well, to start, when a HEPA air filter becomes clogged, air flow through a HEPA filter is greatly reduced, creating backflow or 'leakage' of polluted air at the seals and other openings. And your symptoms get worse because air is being blown around / stirred up now with allergens and asthma triggers, particles that would normally not be floating around as much or as high, such as up near the nose and mouth. And this problem is especially true with electrostatic air purifiers that are 'filterless' or contain a 'permanent filter'. When the electrostatic rod becomes dirty, it attracts much less dirt / dust. And if the rod is not trapping the particles, all the fan is doing is simply blowing around / stirring up polluted air so you can breathe more of it. With clogged HEPA air filters or dirty electrostatic rods, it would be better to turn the unit off until you can clean it or replace the HEPA filter.

A similar thing happens with activated carbon air filters that have become constructed or 'filled up' with chemical compounds, vapors, odor compounds, etc. An air purifier with VOC's, chemical vapor activated activated carbon is now just pushing that polluted air through with nothing to remove the offending chemicals / compounds. This polluted air is being blown around for increased inhalation where less may have been inhaled if the polluted air was not being consistently collected and blown around.

And yes, you can vacuum your HEPA filter to get some of the particles out, but it's not going to extend the life of the filter very much, as most of the dangerous micro-particles are trapped deep within the HEPA air filter's fibers and not accessible by normal vacuuming, leaving the filter still mostly clogged. Washing a HEPA filter does not work, either, as getting this HEPA material wet often distorts / blocks the 'air channels' and you end up with a HEPA filter that is just about as dirty, but with less air flow, and more back flow / leakage. What you CAN do to help extend the life of your HEPA filter is to change the pre-filters, if the air purifier has a pre-filter. The pre-filter is often vacuumable and helps keep the HEPA filter from getting clogged as fast.

Some activated carbon or charcoal air filters are indeed, washable, allowing you to free up the carbon to absorb more chemicals / compounds. Some tips: 1) make sure the activated carbon or charcoal filter is actually a washable carbon filter, 2) make sure you allow the carbon filter to dry completely, and 3) make sure the carbon is even redistributed, not clumped together.

The real solution here is to change the air purifier's filters on a regular basis, as indicated by the manufacturer. Most of your best air purifier filters will last 2-5 years depending on how 'dirty' the air is. You made a decision to breathe clean air in your home or office and bought an air purifier, so replace those used air filters-because your health and how you feel every day is important, it's worth it.

For more information on HEPA air filters, activated carbon / charcoal air filters, pre-filters, please see the author box below.

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Too Many People Dying Young

Now what does that mean? When you pick up the paper how many people are in the obituaries at the age of 40 or 50 or so? More than should be. At least 10% or more in my area. You do not know because of the HIPPA laws. I know a health professional working on a cancer unit who was taken back by how many people were in their 40's and 50's dying of cancer. The question is how did they get there? Were they doomed by poor genetics or can you alter the path of genetics and what is the key to doing that?

Lots of questions but where are the answers and why does medicine is slow to inquire about environmental issues. Do not get me wrong. Where would we all be without the wonders of medicine. How can you improve your overall health so that cancer, heart attack, stroke or some other horrible life robbing disease does not come your way? A balanced life of good diet, exercise, stress coping, inspiration, and a positive outlook go a long way. Yet what about that which surrounds us?

Now to go further. How can you make your house healthy so you will stay healthy. Go up into the bathroom and count the number of shampoos, hair products, dental products, air fresheners etc all chemicals and how many of them really necessary. Under your sink somewhere are how many cleaning products?

What about wall to wall carpeting which contains VOCs: Volatile Organic Compounds: cyclohexene, toluene, styrene which are used to stain proof and contained in the latex backing. Some of these compounds are either known carcinogens or suspected. This research comes from The Johns Hopkins Magazine Article: “Home Sick Home” September, 2000. What other everyday chemicals cause cancer?

Our homes have 2 to 5 times worse air quality than the outside; with the exception being near the city and manufacturing. What we breathe in is vital to good health. We take good health for granted until something goes wrong. If you smoke, you add 4,000 chemicals to the air for everyone to breathe. This is wicked up by the carpeting and furniture and draperies. Ever stick your nose in the carpeting of some one that smokes? It absolutely reeks.

Advice is to clean the air by using air purifiers especially with HEPA filtration and activated charcoal through the house. Open the window if you live away from the city. Run a basement dehumidifier to prevent mold. Start getting rid of unnecessary cleaning and cosmetic chemicals no longer in general. Donate what you do not use. Chemicals off gassing occurs from everything you own. Think of clean in a new way.

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Water – Drink It and Test for Yourself The Benefits I Suggest

Water is More Than Just a Drink.

Dehydration can cause stomach problems joint and back pain and contribute to weight problems.

Humans can only tolerate a 12% loss of water. That takes about five days (less for children). This should be all I need to say about water, except that most of us do not know when we are dehydrated.

Coffee, tea, lemonade, juice, beer, wine, although tasty are not the same as drinking water, because they have a dehydrating effect. If we choose drinks other that water, we reduce the natural thirst but still become dehydrated without being aware of this.

Test: Pinch the skin on the back of your hand. Watch how quickly it returns to normal. If the skin returns slowly, you are dehydrated.

Symptoms that can occur if you are dehydrated:

morning sickness

Why? Because the mucous membrane that lines and protects the stomach needs to be well- hydrated. This stops the stomach acid from penetrating into the deficient membrane and naturally digesting itself, causing inflammation and even ulceration. Water is vital to the proper peristaltic movement of the bowel and to the efficient opening and closing of valves (Houston, pyloric, oesophagus) through the system. If these valves stick matter can move between the segments of the intestine. High levels of acid can flow into the small intestine causing ulceration or into the oesophagus causing heartburn. Toxins can flow back from the large intestine to the small intestine.

Joint pain
back and neck pain

Why? Because the cartilage surfaces of the bones in the joints should contain fluids. This acts to lubricate the surface so that the bones can glide smoothly during movement of the joint. It is normal for some exposed cells to die and peel away and then new ones take their place. If the cartilage is dehydrated the cell damage is increased and becomes more prolific than new cells can be replenished. This causes inflammation, the body's warning sign of trouble. The body does have a backup system for this cell loss. Remodeling hormones take over to repair the joint. Unfortunately, the repair is often rough and not symmetrical causing further inflammation and arthritis.

Sciatica: most of the weight of the human body is supported by the lumbar spine, particularly the disks or cushions between the vertebra. Water in conjunction with movement helps to keep the disks plump, maintaining a healthy distance between the vertebra and the spinal nerves that originate from them. Impingement of the sciatic nerve by the unhealthy discs causes pain in the buttock and down the leg.

Weight problems

Why? Because the brain has an insatiable need for energy. The need for this energy is conveyed to us by two sensations, thirst and hunger. When we feel the need to eat should we be having a glass of water? Try drinking water every two or three hours, it you are a small person use a small glass, if you are a larger person use a larger glass. If you have been very hot or exercising have an extra glassful.

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