What Are The Health Benefits Of Having A Living Wall?

If this sounds like your life, then it may actually be affecting you in minority, negative ways. Being thrown into the urban jungle everyday can make your well-being plummet, and so thank goodness for those small splashes of green on our streets.

Having greenery around introduces an element of the natural to our wholly unnatural urban blocks of gray concrete. Living walls as they are known are cropping up all over our cities and estates. They can be established both in and outdoors, making them a versatile way of boosting our mental spirits on the daily grind.

There have been studies that prove the rise in productivity where an area has greenery, compared to one without. Plants make us feel more relaxed, less stressed, more in tune with our work and more inclined to work freely. It even shows lower blood pressure, so has a direct physiological impact on our bodies in ways we probably do not even realize. This is great news for businesses, because by introducing living walls in your work spaces, you can have a huge positive effect on productivity, creativity and all round staff morale.

We all feel more enriched by taking a nature walk or to be surrounded by the sounds of a garden alive with nature. The concept is the same with living walls, but on a scale that is more stone. Our bond to nature goes back thousands of years through our evolution, so it's no wonder that we prefer being surrounded by it than just magnolia walls and gray breeze blocks.

Not only are living walls good for our mental health, but they could fix our bodies ailments too. Because of the sometimes atrophic air quality in our cities, those who work close to living walls are more likely to benefit from the filtered, cleaner oxygen that the plants produce. The idea is simple: the better quality oxygen we have, the better we function as humans. Living walls give this off in abundance. Conditions such as headaches, coughs and tiredness are known to be less common when greenery is present and so sick days would no doubt decrease as a result.

It's no surprise that hospitals and doctors surgeries incorporated foliage in their waiting rooms. They are well aware of the positive effect that they have and help to alleviate a lot of anxieties. More can be done though and a greater level of living walls should be seen around our cities, inside and out. Hopefully, this is the start of bringing nature to our concrete jungles and making them a healthier environment to work and live in.

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Indoor Air Pollution: A Big Problem in the US – And What You Can Do About It

Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality is a real problem here in the US, big enough that the EPA released a statement in 2009 putting poor indoor air quality in the top 5 major health threats we face, right up there with heart disease and cancer. And since humans breathe about 3000 gallons of air per day, and we're spending 90% of our time indoors at home or the office, that means we're all breathing about 2700 gallons of air polluted with dust, dust mites, bacteria, viruses, pet dander, mold spores, pollen, and chemical residues – unless you have a proper air filtration system running in your home. And unfortunately, it has been estimated that over 90% of people have significantly polluted air in their homes and offices, and about 87% of homeowners are unaware of it.

If you're thinking you can get a good measure of relief from removing those irritating airborne particles, you're exactly right. These particles and other pollutants commonly found in homes and rooms are caused causes of symptoms for those with COPD, respiratory symptoms and allergies, and if you have a quality home air filtration system running, you can almost always get a quick reduction in symptoms.

Where are the pollutants coming from? There are multiple sources of particles in a home that are constantly stirred up and released from bedding, carpets, sheetrock, floors, pet dander, dirt tracked in from outside, accumulated dirt, dust & germs blowing out of your A / C vents and many other sources. And unfortunately, we just can not get it all without we were to vacuum and mop every day for about 4 hours a day, which is not feasible – especially not for someone will COPD, severe allergies or respiratory disease.

One of the strongest allergens or irritants known to man, that is common in almost all homes, offices, and indoor spaces is the dust mite and it's body parts, waste materials – about 200 live dust mites per gram of house dust is about average . The dust mite is such a strong allergen that they are estimated to be the chief cause in about 60% of new or developing asthma cases. HEPA filters (along with regular vacuuming and mopping, of course) and can remove almost all of these intruders and their 'parts', often relieving allergy and asthma symptoms in a matter or days, and very likely reducing COPD symptoms as well, since they can cause such a strong allergic reaction in the airways.

And of course, particles are not the only problem. Chemical residues are a big deal, too, and again, most people are unaware that they're getting a big dose of it day and night from cleaning products, stored paints, solvents, carpets, products used in building materials (to include wood preservatives ), fragrances, etc. All of these products 'off-gas' or slow release fumes into the air. This is in addition to the other chemical and gas pollutants permanently being brought in by the A / C system. And unfortunately, typical A / C filters are not designed for and have no way of stopping gases and chemicals. Even those filters with a little bit of carbon do not do very much.

Portable Air Cleaner or Whole House Filtration System? Yes.

The proven best way to remove particles, dust mites, chemicals and airborne gases is to use a combination of portable and whole house air purifiers, both with true HEPA and heavy duty carbon filters – and we mean 'pounds' of carbon, not just a little. HEPA filters are certified to remove 99.97% or higher of particles as small as 0.3 microns, some down to 0.1 microns which is even better. This will remove virtually all of any mold spores, fibers, particles, dust, dust mites, etc, which will make a big difference fast once those things are taken out of the air. Second best way to reduce particles and chemicals in the air are top-rated portable air cleaners with true HEPA and heavy duty carbon filters, because dust and other pollutants almost always blow out of the duct work after where an A / C filter or whole house unit is installed and a portable unit captures these pollutants before they can get to you. Whole house units are best in combination with a portable air purifiers or by themselves if chemicals and odors are the main problem.

Electrostatic air cleaners with no HEPA (like Oreck, etc) are generally not recommended because of significantly lower performance than HEPA filters, noise, and constant cleaning just to keep them working. True HEPA is the only way to go for removing irritating allergens and particles, with ONE exception: Stadler Form's Viktor does remove 99.5% of dust and other pollutants without a HEPA filter, which is very near the HEPA standard of 99.97%.

High quality carbon filters with lots of activated carbon are necessary to remove the chemicals, and the more carbon the better. And the higher the quality of the carbon, the better it will absorb the chemical and gas pollutants that often irritate the bronchial and respiratory tissues without patients knowing it. And, whether it's a whole house air cleaner or portable unit, you want 15-36 pounds or more of this carbon so that it will last a long time. Carbon does become saturated with chemical pollutants and at that point just allows polluted air to blow right through, unfiltered. That's why you must replace those carbon filters on time or before – or the unit will simply circulate pollutants more so than if there was no air cleaner running.

Check Your Humidity

If humidity is too high (above 45%), you're giving mold and bacteria the moisture they need to grow. So, use a hygrometer (humidity meter) and test the air first. You can buy a cheap outdoor thermometer at Walmart that measures humidity and find out what the humidity is in your home. If it's lower than 30%, you probably need a good humidifier (steam humidifiers are best for sanitized moisture – use a warm mist ultrasonic if there are pets or babies running around). If the humidity is higher than 45%, get a dehumidifier and run until you get the humidity to around 35%, which is where most people are comfortable – and there will not be enough moisture in the air to allow mold and bacteria to thrive.

UV Lights in The Air Conditioner Ducts?

UV lights are germicidal in nature and do a very good job of sanitizing the air in your home and help prvent sinus and respiratory infections – provided that you have at least 2 UV bulbs placed 30 inches apart, and the bulbs are true laboratory grade 36 watt lamps. This gives you enough light units to kill over 95% of any mold, bacteria or other germs on their first exposure to the light, which can dramatically improve sinus, respiratory symptoms and even allergies in 24-48 hours after installation.

The bottom line is that poor air quality is a very big problem for almost all of us, often causing chronic illness and allergies, whether we're aware of it or not. And by using quality portable air filtration units and systems, UV light, and keeping humidity under control, you can easily eliminate all of the pollutants – and often eliminate sinus, respiratory, allergy or other conditions that have been a problem for you and your family.

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Good Garbage

I AM ABOUT TO TALK GARBAGE AND IT CERTAINLY DESERVES TO BE RECYCLED AS GOOD TRASH. Is there anything such as “Good Garbage?” Well, not all garbage is bad as it depends on which side of the fence you are when determining its worth. There are things that we do on a regular basis that might be a health hazard as well as unsuitable to others and we may not be aware of it. I speak on behalf of all concerned public and hardworking persons whose responsibilities are to ensure our parks, restrooms, schools, public and private spaces are properly sanitized and tidy.

Refrain From Spitting Openly

I am urging individuals to refrain from spitting into garbage bins and waste baskets if this can be helped because these facilities are maintained by someone else, a human being and not a machine. Disposal of your body fluids are certainly not to be taken lightly and this must be done discreetly.In addition, I plea to individuals not to go consume excess amounts of alcohol then regurgitate your entitlement bowels on the floor of the club. Quickly find the restroom when you find that you are having symptoms of nausea.

I recently went to use a restroom at a fast food diner and I was impressed by the notice that was placed above the urinal that read: “Please do not throw any debris eg. Cigarette butt etc. inside the urinal as someone has to clean it “He said. I like the fact that management takes interest in and has respect for the duties of their workers.

Whose Job It Is Anyway?

Now some nasty people may have a problem with this sign because they think that it is the janitor's job to clean up after them. While the janitor is employed to clean, that does not mean that we have the right to make their jobs more difficult and more unsanitary. When we are at a hotel, do we urinate on the floor? No, we use the restroom urinal. And do you eat and drink in the theaters then leave the garbage on the seats? No, we are expected to take them out of the auditorium after the movie.

To Be Or Not To Be

While I understand that there are persons amongst us who might not be trained in the basic social etiquette, some things are just common sense. Apart from being uncaring, there are some practices that are obviously unsanitary. I hate to see people deliberately spit in bins and doorways. I can understand sometimes when you can not help the involuntary actions of your bowels and stomach but if you can help it, use a tissue or a small bag and then place it in the bin.

To draw-up your mucus and firing it out inside the bin, waste basket or openly on
the ground in the presence of other persons is downright disgusting and unacceptable as there are hundreds of viruses that can be circulated when this is done without control.

There are no jobs that are deteriorating as there must be someone employed to make the environment safer and cleaner for us to live in. While we make ourselves comfortable by responding to involuntary calls of nature, we owe it to the public to conduct ourselves in a manner that is safe for others and for the environment as well. As for the garbage that we need to throw out, this is good garbage and therefore it describes to be circulated and recycled. Thanks for not throwing it out.

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Toxins in Our Body

There is a big deal about the toxins in the body. They got there by pollutants in the air and the food we eat.

Some toxins are good but most are not. We need a plan to wash the toxins out in an acceptable manner. Toxins do have a habit of building up.

The thing is that our body is capable to flushing itself. We poop and get rid of some. We sweat and get rid of some. It is an ongoing process.

Toxins also affect our health. We get colds and toxins build up. Our defense system fights the toxins and weakens the body leaving it open to diseases. Our immune system is compromised. It is sa constant battle.

Just what is a toxin? It has been defined as a poisonous substance produced with cells or organizations. It is introduced into the body by bacteria. It can come from the food we eat or the water we drink. Another way to get toxins is by tobacco products. You do not even have to be a smoker to be a victim of second-hand smoke.

From our food we get the toxins mainly in the preparation processes it undergoes. Also the food dyes and the other additives we seem to require in our foods tend to give us toxins. When we use processed foods we are adding toxins to the process that were not there before.

Our bodies do detox toxins. In our bodies we have a liver and kidneys that filter what we eat. We have the colon which can process the poop. We breathe and some carbon dioxide goes out. We sweat and the toxins come to the surface and leave the body.

Yet there is a benefit to doing a detox. How do we do that?

First we should be drinking a lot of water. Hydrate your body. We can be daily eating foods high in fiber. We should be exercising. This will cause you to sweat and you can lose some toxins this way. When you eat herbs such as garlic you help the process.

And sometimes you may need to use a detox supplement packet. You may need the help in the cleaning and restoration of the body to the natural state it was in when the toxins were eliminated.

With this information you can be informed and better able to control how to handle the toxins you will encounter.

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New Generation of Solar Panels

Everyone wants to help the environment these days. People use different tools including, recycling, driving a hybrid and using glass, instead of plastic. An innovative way to go green is by using solar energy. Many people have special solar panels installed on the roofs of their home to absorb the sun, using electrical power generated by the sun.

A major component of a green lifestyle is using renewable energy. Renewable energy is energy that is harnessed from ingoing natural processes, like the sun and the wind. The average cost of a solar power system varies depending on what types of panels are used. Equipping an average sized house with solar panels generally costs between thirty and seventy thousand dollars. That sounds like a lot of money, but homeowners need to look at the bottom line. Many electric companies buy power from people who have their own solar panels. Further, homeowners do not have to pay power bills.

Have you ever wondered how solar panels work? Silicon is the most important ingredient in solar panels. Silicon is an electromagnetically neutral element with four valence electrons. Because of the four valence electrons, silicon takes on the charge of another element. Therefore, it is an ideal base for gathering solar power. Electricity is made when electrons move from a negative charge to a positive one. Think of a solar panel as a sandwich. The top panel is made of silicon mixed with negatively charged phosphorous. The bottom plate contains silicon mixed with positively charged boron. When the sandwich is placed in the sun, a reaction occurs that generates electricity.

New generation solar Panels are considered among the best in the world. Scientists are always looking for a new solar solution. Scientists at the Swiss Center for Electronics and Micro-technology (CSEM) are using new generation panels to find ways to make the alternative power source cheaper. They are also trying to increase panel performance, and prevent interruptions from the weather. One method being used is making the panels with less precious metal. In fact, new generation panels are being made with more copper than silver, cutting the production costs. Another downside of solar panels is that a lot of the sunlight is reflected, back into the sky, rather than being converted into electricity. Scientists learned that panels can be made non-reflective by adding a nonmetric layer of silicon. The new panels were fifteen percent more energy efficient. Solar power is a promising solution to making the world a greener place. However, scientists need to find a way to make the technology affordable for all.

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FDA Finally Warns Against Antibacterial Soaps

The Federal and Drug Administration, after years of research and petitions from scientists, have finally issued a warning on antibacterial soaps as “ineffective” and may alter hormonal levels while producing antibacterial resistant bacteria. Colleen Rogers of the FDA states that “the risk associated with daily use of antibacterial soaps may outweigh the benefits.”

Therefore the Federal Drug Administration has proposed new rules requiring manufacturers to provide more safety data, and in the meantime their warning will remain in place. The makers of antibacterial soaps have until 2016 to provide adequate data and if they can not complain the products are to be “reformulated or removed from the market”. The new warning does not include alcohol based hand sanitizers (like Purell) or products used in the healthcare settings, as well as just plain old soap (I use Burts Bees Men's Soap at home).

Other research articles have consistently shown that exposure to additives in antibacterial soaps is linked to an increase in psychiatric illnesses, diabetes and a multitude of other diseases. I'm unsure how the FDA officials have allowed these incentives to gain a major foothold in our lives. In their statement they are clearly announcing that they did not do an adequate job in regulating products that could potentially damage our health.

In essence the FDA is stating that they need safety data or else they are going to pull the products. Wait, should not it be the other way around, that the products are not allowed for to be marketed until adequate safety data has been provided? The FDA has their ideals very back in my opinion. Safety first has taken a back seat.

Since I wash my hands almost 100 times a day to protect my patients, I am always trying new products that reduce bacterial / viral loads, do not produce antibacterial resistance as well as not killing my hands leaving them raw and dry (my wife is always handing me lot to use when I'm at home).

Alcohol based sanitizers are good, but they are detrimental to my hands so I use Avagard D with moisturizers at my office. It's a surgical base scrub (surgeons use it to sanitize their hands before operating) with a moisturizer included. It can be found at Amazon for pretty cheap. It has had extensive research to reduce bacterial loads without the harmful antibacterial additives research has shown to be dangerous.

Either way, get rid of all those antibacterial soaps and hand washes. Replace them with more healthy, regular soap bars / washes or an alcohol based hand sanitizer. This will improve your environment and then improve your health.

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Self Care 101

Self-care is essential. The caliber of your self-care determines the quality of your life. Self-care is an integral part of your health. It aids in the prevention of disease and imbalance.

So what exactly is self-care? Simply put self-care is an arm of mindfulness. It is the act of applying awareness to your day-to-day actions and making the healthiest choices for your wellbeing.

Self-care encompasses almost all of what you do for yourself. It is everything from what you put ON your body, to what you put IN it. Self-care also includes the type of programs, music and media you ingest, as well as your social group and relationship choices.

One of the most important measures of self-care is to have a better awareness of the contents in the products you use and the ingredients in the food that you eat. The idea is to make choices that are health promoting. Unfortunately many of these ingredients are actually very detrimental to your health.

Below you will find two lists of harmful agents frequently added to the products you may be using daily. The first list is known toxic, cancer-promoting agents found in “health” and beauty products. The second is a list of toxic chemicals commonly found in food products.

Harmful Agents used in “Health” and Beauty Products

1. Diethanolamine (DEA)

2. triethanolamine (TEA)

3. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

4. Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)

5. Propylene Glycol

6. Aluminum

7. Butane

8. Propane

9. Paraben, Methylparaben, propylparaben

10. Benzene

11. Formaldehyde

Harmful Agents used in Food

1. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)

2. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)

3. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

4. Saccharin

5. Aspartame

6. Sodium Nitrates and Nitrites

Potassium Bromate

8. Sulfites and Sulfates

9. Sodium Benzoate

10. Paraben

11. Acesulfame K

Please note these are very basic resource lists. They are meant to serve as your starter for a more proactive self-care regimen. Please educate yourself. Read labels. Do research. Your health is your responsibility.

Reading labels and educating yourself is not as daunting as it may appear. It does take a small adjustment in your mindset to get into the habit, but the longterm result far outweighs the extra time it may take to read the labesls and do a little research into what these chemicals actually are.

It is also helpful to keep a log of how you feel physically and emotionally as you begin eliminating these items from your daily use. Many people find significant changes in their moods, concentration and overall energy.

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Water Treatment for You!

Industrial water treatment is a subset process of water treatment. Disinfection, purification and filtration of water make it fit for industrial use. Water is extensively used in industries in almost all its processes. Its usage is of high importance for heating purposes, cooling, processing, rinsing and also cleaning. So it is necessary to have a quality treatment system for all industries, mainly aimed at the elimination of scale formation, corrosion, and the elimination and prevention of microbe growth. It is also important to treat wastewater before letting it into the atmosphere.

Let us study each objective of industrial water treatment in detail.

Scale formation:

Scale formation is a major problem facing hundreds of industries across the globe. Formation of scale is a chemical process which occurs at certain temperature conditions, where salts and minerals present in the water react with each other and form solid residue or layered scales along the walls of the container. Scale formation is most common in the case of steam boilers as they operate at high temperatures encouraging reactions between chemicals for scale formation.

Scale formation is a very complex issue in most industries, and such formations reduce the efficiency of the boilers drastically. This means hundreds of dollars lost in operating expenses.

So removal of scale formation is one of the most important objectives of industrial water treatment.

Corrosion:

Corrosion is another issue to consider in the context of water treatment for industries. Corrosion is nothing but the degradation of wet metallic machinery parts due to the formation of oxides. This process is a very common phenomenon in most industries and households. Rusting of iron is also a form of corrosion.

Metal when in contact with water for a long time reacts with water and forms a tough, thick layer of oxides. These oxides deteriorate the quality of the metal itself. For industries, this means a huge loss to their output. So it is necessary for treatment techniques to address the issue of corrosion for better industrial functioning.

Bio-film and micro organic growth:

Untreated water can be the breeding grounds for some deadly micro organic life. Bacteria, viruses and other harmful organisms thrive in an environment with untreated water. This is a common sight in the cooling towers of many industries which contain untreated water. Dust, oil, chemicals, particles and microorganisms turn the water in the cooling tower into a “micro organic soup” if left untreated.

The safety of the working professionals and their health is at risks if such working conditions prevail.

Waste water:

Keeping environmental interests and public health in mind, it has been made mandatory to treat water before letting it out into the environment. Waste water coming out of industries contain very high amounts of chemicals and toxins, which are highly dangerous to the environment. So wastewater treatment is one other aspect of water treatment to be considered for industries.

Industrial water purification does not only eliminate scale formation, corrosion and bacterial growth, if undertaken consistently and properly, water treatment can save you hundreds of operating costs every year.

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Should I Get My Home Tested for Mold?

Several references state “if you see mold, you do not need to test for mold” . They recommend you save money for the removal of the mold (remediation) rather than test beforehand.

This is reasonable if the water damage is limited and resulting mold growth is all visible (eg, a stained ceiling tile).

However, this advice does not really apply when:

  • A) there has been extensive water damage;
  • B) there are potential sources of hidden mold growth (in / under carpeting, behind walls, under cabinets / vanities);
  • C) there are occupancy related health complaints;
  • D) there is a need for documentation of exposure (eg, for litigation);
  • E) when evaluating the risk of occupying a space.

All indoor mold growth is considered inappropriate and should be eliminated (ACGIH); however, there are certain molds that require increased caution and more urgent decisions to be made (AIHA). These are the molds capable of producing mycotoxins – or mold toxins — and include those identified as Stachybotrys, Trichoderma, Chaetomium, Fusarium and Memnoniella . Additionally, various species in the genera Aspergillus / Penicillium are also capable of producing mycotoxins.

Mycotoxins can cause adverse health effects to people whether or not they are mold allergic. Those especially vulnerable to health effects from exposure include people with pre-existing respiratory conditions (eg, COPD, asthma, allergies), infants, young children, the elderly, and the immune suppressed.

In conclusion, there are many good reasons to have a mold evaluation associated with the collection of air and surface samples to evaluate the indoor air quality conditions, including:

  • To Evaluate The Quality Of The Air.
  • To Detect Hidden Mold Damage.
  • To Learn If There Are Potentially Toxic Mold Present.
  • To Get A Baseline Of The Mold Level, Which Is Helpful In
  • Determining The Extent Of Cleaning Needed To Restore Conditions To Normal.

  • To Learn If Mold Spore Contaminants Have Been Dispersed To Nearby Areas, Requiring Those Areas To Also Be Cleaned.
  • To Learn If The Ventilation System Has Been Contaminated With Spores Allowed Them To Be Distributed To Other Locations Via The Duct Work. [The Ventilation System Then Needs To Be Properly Cleaned.]
  • To Be Able To Write A Protocol On How And What Needs To Be Remedied.
  • Before Purchasing A House To Determine If There Are Significant Mold Issues To Be Addressed.
  • After Remediation, To Determine If These Procedures Were Successful In Restoring Conditions To Normal.

PLEASE NOTE THAT MOLD TESTING SHOULD ALWAYS BE DONE BY A COMPANY THAT IS NOT INVOLVED IN REMEDIATION TO PREVENT A CONFLICT OF INTEREST.

Companies that do: a) the initial mold evaluation, b) the remediation, and then c) evaluate the success of their work obviously can have a CONFLICT OF INTEREST

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Health Benefits Of Water Testing With Legionella Test Kit

Over the years, it has been a challenge for global leaders to work on the quality of water in every household. The issue on water safety has led the United Nations Millennium Development Goals to supervise access to water and ensure it is safe for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene. According to reports, there are about 1.6 billion people who have no access to safe water sources and there are about 470,000 have died from diseases bought about by unsafe water.

This is among the most popular problems the globe faces today. To best resolve the matter, homeowners are encouraged to take responsibility of their water supply and ensure that from the source to the house, the water flow is free from the contamination of harmful bacteria.

No place is absolutely safe for your water system. Contamination can come from your pipeline, showerhead, tub and from other unclean areas. Contaminated water can cause serious illness and among its effects is the Legionnaire's Disease. This is the type of disease that attacks the respiratory system and other major organs.

What you can do to ensure that your water is kept safe from such disease is prevent contamination. You can make use of a legionella test kit. An effective kit for water testing, the legionella test kit is important in making sure that you are away from the Legionnaire's Disease.

It is best to invest in a kit that ensures your family's safety. You should find a source online where you can test if the water is indeed positive of the bacteria bringing the disease. You can send the sample to a laboratory and you just have to wait for the results. A reliable water testing provider should be able to offer you the knowledge and steps on how to monitor bacteria and control its growth.

If not invented, the Legionnaire's Disease can cause death. Although you can treat it with proper medical care, this can be most dreadful for kids or family members who have allergies or respiratory conditions. Nothing compares to the peace of mind you will have for making sure that your water remains safe for your entire family. You do not want harm to come from your very own home. You should do something about it. Water testing is the key to avoid such health risks. Find the most reliable aid you can find to ask for advice and techniques when it comes to testing water.

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Bidet Sprayer Vs Toilet Paper – Which Is More Environmentally Friendly?

Bidet Sprayer Vs Toilet Paper – Which Is More Environmentally Friendly?

Choosing whether to be environmentally conscious and aware often conjures up a variety of feelings. Some people get involved if it's no trouble, some if it helps them personally.

Do people actually know what role they want to play in their community, their country, and extremely the world? The trouble is most people have not given it much thought. Do they really know what they are passionate about? They probably go back and forth between being inspired, i-can-do-anything mentality and a state of complete and utter despair because they have little idea how and why they need to act.

What are some of the benefits of a bidet sprayer?

First and foremost, people upgrade to a bidet prayer for personal reasons. Hygiene and comfort are usually the first great benefits people realize. Next comes the huge extra benefit of the cost savings to be had over toilet paper, and lastly probably comes the environmental benefits.

There are so many more benefits with this new bathroom device, than purely environmental concerns, but of course for some people caring for the environment is first and foremost.

Toilet habits rarely make for the best conversation piece, but how we dispose of our waste is a huge environmental issue. And one we all need to consider in relation to our own impact, especially as population growth continues to increase so rapidly in many parts of the world. We can not continue to believe and think disposing of our waste is someone else's duty.

Most people flush and forget and have little care for what our sewage wastewater treatment works have to cope with. Take London as a perfect example. Huge population growth, ever aging sewers, and basically a ticking time bomb of hygiene problems. We hear our water companies pleading with us not to flush wet-wipes down our sewers, but they cry for help often fall on deaf ears.

Toilet paper use is also a constant issue among environmentalists as there seems to be a great deal of resistance to toilet paper made of recycled material. Some people use toilet paper products that are whole or in part made from recycled products. But the fact is that the majority of people do not use recycled material toilet paper. Reports say more than 98 per cent of toilet paper in the US comes from virgin forests.

Why not stop using toilet paper altogether – or at least the vast majority of it?

Enter a hygiene alternative:

Admittedly, I refrained from using the bidet filter even though it was present in my bathroom for months before I first tried it. It was not until a really bad case of tummy problems I did give it a try. I'd had an unusually spicy meal, and within a short space of time I was on the can. And then again. And again. And again. I remember that session thinking to the inauspicious number of thirteen before I received over and passed out.

I had never tried to use this 'strange mini-shower' that was near my toilet, mainly due to not knowing what it was really for. But after my mammoth toilet session, and my under carriage in severe pain, a friend was bemused why I was using toilet paper every time, teasing my skin off in the process.

So the next toilet visit I decided to give it a try. My friend had given me a few directions, “spread your shoulders on the seat, lean to the left, shoot from the back, aim and fire, very gently at first.”

The “gently at first” part I appeared to have forgotten and got the shock of my life, as I fired a bullet train jet stream of water at my already tender area. Water splashed everywhere. But it's not that difficult to realize I should have squeezed the trigger, “very at first”.

Within a few tries I had the trigger squeezing down to a tee. And the whole process was an absolute epiphany of cleanliness and comfort within no time.

Eureka !! Ka Ka ..

From that week forward I knew I was never going to be using great wads of toilet paper ever again, not by choice anyway.

What is this hygiene device then – you've got me interested?

This device, designed by Japanese doctors, is a smaller version of a standard shower, consisting of a steel or plastic handle with a nozzle for shooting the water, and a hose feeding the water supply. There is a trigger for creating the jet of water, and usually an isolating valve at the wall to turn the water off after each use. Although, in lower pressure areas the isolating valve does not need to be turned off after every use.

How do you dry yourself?

This is an often asked question. The answer is personal preference. Some people shake, some flick the water off, some people dry with a few pieces of toilet paper. While, others place a flannel next to the toilet for drying purposes, much like a miniature bath towel, just for 'that' area.

What are the environmental benefits?

When using toilet paper for drying purposes only with this device, you probably use about 90% less toilet paper than when using only toilet paper.

So how many trees are wasted on toilet paper? The equivalent of almost 27,000 trees are flushed down our toilets every day, according to Claude Martin of WWF (Worldwide Fund for Nature). Imagine the world benefits if everyone switched to using this device.

Some toilet paper users (who have never used a bidet-sprayer) say “but what about the extra water use”?

When you consider you need water to shower it is not really an argument. Also, around 37 gallons of water goes into making a single roll of toilet paper. Then when you take into account the huge number of trees cut down every year, the time, fuel, energy, chemicals and manpower needed to produce toilet paper, the sprayer is by far the gener option.

In fact, it's a fantastic alternative. And remember a roll mosts most households about 3 days. Imagine how many squirts you can get for 37 gallons. No comparison !! It's a no brainer!

Is water really a better alternative to toilet paper?

Yes, I know a silly question, but one often asked in hygiene blogs. Why would anyone ask such a question? It kind of beggars belief, but I guess just ignorance of the whole process of what the bidet spray really is.

Yes, this device uses WATER to clean your private parts, and is exactly the same as the regular shower you use to wash your whole body every morning.

So if you do not mind skid stains in your underpants, and the sandwich type experience on your tender bits then feel free to continue using toilet paper, this product might not be for you.

But if comfort, hygiene and keeping your partner IS important to you, then give a bidet spray a try. Your washing powder bill will decrease. Your overall shopping bill will decrease. You'll feel cleaner, and more energized.

Ultimately, people have to find out for themselves what they are passionate about. One thing that is certain is no one surely likes to waste money. No one likes to walk around in pain. Does anyone benefit from poor hygiene?

The bidet spray saves money, is great for the environment, it is more subtle on the body and increases personal hygiene daily. The winner all round, would not you say?

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What If Your Home Is Making You Sick?

Indoor Air Quality and Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) are terms many people do not think about often or they may not be familiar with these terms at all. However, contaminants in the air you breathe and on the surfaces you touch inside your home, business or school (ie, your indoor environments) can affect your health. If you feel sick when inside a location, but the symptoms improve noticeably after leaving the promises, you may be experiencing something called 'Sick Building Syndrome'. Sick Building Syndrome means the building is causing the adverse health effects … harmful exposures in the indoor environment are causing illness.

How do you know if your indoor environment has unhealthy contaminants that can cause sickness? The most common indoor pollutant people unknowingly are being exposed to on a daily basis is mold spores from a source (s) of indoor mold growth related to past or current moisture incident.

The building materials used today are highly susceptible to mold growth. Gypsum sheetrock walls have paper covering both sides, houses are built with low density wood from rapidly-growing tree frames, vinyl wallpaper is often used which traps moisture behind it, jute backed carpeting is often installed. These are all materials that molds like to grow on when damp. If the material contains cellulose (eg, paper, wood, cardboard boxes, jute, etc.), the item has the ingredient many toxic molds require to thrive … toxic molds like Stachybotrys and Chaetomium .

Mold spores are ubiquitous and the only ingredient needed for them to start reproducing in great numbers is adequate moisture. Sufficient moisture for mold growth can happen from a long list of possibilities — including plumbing leaks (broken pipes, toilet overflow, washing machine leak), rainwater seepage or flooding into a basement, a damp crawl space, condensation from temperature differences, high humidity, roof leaks, ice dams, sewer backups, and improper or failed flashing.

People often ask about the symptoms from exposure to indoor mold growth. There are a wide range of reported health complaints. The most frequent ailments are related to upper or lower respiratory symptoms (asthma, sinusitis, chronic cough, rhinitis, sneezing, repeated infections), burning eyes, fatigue, skin rashes, nosebleeds, and headaches. Occidentally people also complain of fibromyalgia symptoms, joint pain, altered immune systems, concentration and memory difficulties, nausea, psychological problems, and / or hair loss.

So, if you have one or more of these symptoms or live / work in a location that has sustained an event of water damage, it would be very worth your while to test for abnormal contaminants from indoor mold growth. Please note that even if a water / moisture problem happened long ago and has since been resolved, once the mold has grown the unhealthy fungal spores are still present. The allergens and toxins are found on the outside of the spores, so it does not matter whether the spores are alive, dormant or dead … the allergens and toxins are present as long as the spores are present. In order to get rid of the problem, it is necessary to physically remove the harmful spores. After the mold exposure is gone, symptoms usually determine and quality of life typically returns to normal.

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The History of Water Fluoridation and the Controversy Surrounding It

According to the American Dental Association, water fluoridation is the most effective tooth decay preventive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named the fluoridation of community water one of the ten greatest public health achievements during the twentieth century. Despite this, controversial still surrounds fluoridation more than sixty years after it began.

Observation, an Idea, and Innovation

Research concerning fluoride began in 1901 with dentist Frederick McKay and Dr. GV Black, a dental researcher. The two studied the mysterious brown stains on teeth of Colorado Springs residents, searching for a cause. Despite their unappealing appearance, these teeth were quite resistant to decay. McKay suspected that something in the water supply might be causing this condition.

After traveling to Oakley, Idaho, in 1923 to observe the same stains on the teeth of children, McKay analyzed the drinking water. The town had a new communal water pipeline that extended to a warm spring and even though he did not detect anything suspicious in the water, McKay advised the town to use another water source. The town did and soon young children were seen with healthy, white secondary teeth.

McKay now knew that water was the key and when he visited Bauxite, Arkansas, with US Public Health Service worker Dr. Grover Kampf, curiosity was heightened. A cause for the brown stains was not discarded but when a chief chemist with ALCOA received the report published by these two doctors, the answer was found. The water in Bauxite had a high level of fluoride. Water tested from the other towns whose residents had brown-stained teeth revealed the same thing.

Progress Is Made

This research eventually reached the National Institute of Health, where Dental Hygiene Unit head Dr. H. Trendley Dean surprised if adding fluoride to community drinking water could help prevent tooth decay. Grand Rapids, Michigan, became the first city to find out when it fluoridated its drinking water in 1945. Researchers monitored tooth decay rates among schools in Grand Rapids for 15 years. Amazingly, children born after the water was fluoridated had a 60 percent lower rate of dental caries.

Today, fluoride continues to be a major weapon in fighting tooth decay. The US Public Health Service recommends a water fluoride level of 0.7 to 1.2 parts per million to prevent dental decay. Despite this, controversial surroundings fluoridation, focused on question benefits and worries that fluoride can also be harmful. Some people object to the mass intervention that this action represents and others object to fluoride because they consider it medicine. Regardless of one's position on water fluoridation, there is no denying its positive effects.

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New Age Understanding

Information technology has evolved to the level where nothing is beyond investigation when it involves the environment. Long gone are the days when these agencies did not exist, and we are all the beneficiaries of this new information in fundamentally significant ways. With this information, various laws and enforcement measures are in place to direct the consumer toward that path that best protects us, and provides the exact action take.

We live in a wonderful time, because there is no excuse for ignorance, we can not tune in to any tv or radio station, or pick up any print medium and not find either a text or picture addressing a concern in our environment. In my state, we have spare the air days, where it is illegal to activate a fireplace whether indoors or outdoors on a patio, without incurring heavy fines. And with the technology in “smart phones” allowing for anonymity consumers with these phones are able to alert authorities on all sorts of violations of the current laws, including the ability to take pictures of the violation and send that picture to the proper agencies.

Authorities have received pictures of smoking vehicles, along with license plate identification, and geographical locations, in realtime enabling the police to apprehend the violator. Our air quality is one of the reasons for respiratory diseases that are often fatal. A larger number than often realized, is the degree that this happens in the home, with the use of toxic chemicals in spray applicators that are regularly used for cleaning in the home. The toxicity found in powder form and liquid form used for cleaning, our laundry detergents, our floor and carpet cleaners, our dishwashing liquids, even our anti-bacterial had soaps.

Our respiratory system is affected each and every time we inhale these toxic fumes, even when the exposure is just a wisp. These fumes contain chemical matter that penetrate the mucus membranes and go directly to our cells and begin infecting the cells, and the mutated cells begin to take on other forms leading to the diseases doctors in many cases can not identify. Once the cell is infected and is in the blood stream, that cell travels through the body extremely finding a vulnerable organ in which to set and begin the metastasizing process. It has become especially dangerous for infants and young children whose immune systems are still developing, to be exposed to these toxic fumes. We must take advantage of the information about how we can safely navigate within our environment, how we can make our homes safer by getting rid of those dangerous toxins and poisons that have been traditionally a part of our cleaning supplies. Please visit us for more ways to protect yourself and your home: http://www.greenesphere.com/happy-news-year.html

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Stress, Adrenal Fatigue and Hormonal Imbalace

I am writing this article as a victim of stress induced Adrenal Fatigue. Since late 2009 am I suffering acutely from this condition and now want to shed some light on my experiences. I am sure there are a multitude of people of are, often severly, suffering from symptoms that they can not quite attribute a certain “disease”. It is to those people that I write with the hope of giving hope.

I will not go into every detail of Adrenal Fatigue (or Adrenal Insufficiency) and the possible symptoms because that would be too long an article. Rather, based on my experience and research, I want to give you a summary of the topic in 7 sections.

1) Stress and Adrenal Activity Explained
2) Types of People most Commonly Affected
3) Early Stage Symptoms
4) Acute / Late Stage Symptoms
5) Finding Answers
6) Conventional Medicine's Failure
7) Wisdom, Insights and Help

1) Stress and Adrenal Activity Explained:

Stress is a term that refers to a state in which a pressure exists to change the current state of “something”. In our case the “something” is the physical / mental / emotional state of the person. Stress in itself is not a bad thing, especially if it is often enough interrupted by stress-less phases. Stress is the initiator of muscle growth, for example, a fact that is made use of by everyone in the world through physical activity.

The adrenal glands sit on each kidney and produce 2 critical hormones (among some other things): Adrenalin and Cortisol, which in a healthy environment, will work together to let the human body and mind function under pressure (and the calm that should usually follow ). Under stress adrenalin production is increased, which is then followed by cortisol production (through a feedback loop). The adrenalin will make sure that you have the heightened awareness when you need it. The cortisol will then kick in to provide a calming and anti-inflammatory effect. If this would not be the case, you would stay in an aggravated state for much longer than necessary.

In Adrenal Fatigue, the cortisol part of the equation is the most important aspect. In a scenario where stress is constant, the adrenals will produce adrenalin and cortisol in a response to the constant stress. The body can keep up with adrenalin production to handle the stress but is can not do the same for the cortisol production. The result is a lack of cortisol in the body and, therefore, a lessened ability to relax and stay calm. You now start to see symptoms of increased nervousness (mental mostly) and inflammation of the body (organs such as the intestines for example).

To summarize:
a) Stress causes adrenalin production to increase needed awareness
b) increased adrenalin production causes cortisol production
c) cortisol causes relaxation, calmness and an anti-inflammatory state of the body / mind

It is at c) that we run into a problem when we lack the necessary cortisol amounts

2) Who is Affected Most

If we absorb the same living conditions and stressors on all character types, we would find that there is a certain type that is most prone to be affected by Adrenal problems. I am referring to a character that is very emotional, eager to please and that takes all problems he encounters in life on himself and tries to responsibly solve them. This character type will not make his discomfort known (not even to himself sometimes) to anyone till it is too late. He / She does not know or acknowledge their limits, often because they feel it foolish to stop at the first point of resistance. If you push beyond the limit for too long, it becomes normal for you to do so, and the future collapse is unavoidable.

Here are some character traits I see as very intolerable to Adrenal Fatigue:

– Responsible
– Emotional
– Eager to Please
– Avoiding Confrontations
– Leaning towards Introversion (tends to avoid Social Situations, for example)
– Seeking Recognition

3) Early Stage Symptoms:

To be able to understand the early symptoms, you must have experienced the late / acute stage of Adrenal Fatigue. The reason is that the early symptoms are easily overlooked because you can not connect them to an Adrenal issue, yet. Only the later symptoms are clearly recognizable. It is as if you have a problem of which you are not aware it even exists, yet.

Now, since we are dealing with a hormonal problem, every aspect of the human body and psyche can be affected (some more consistently than others depending on the person). Also, it is important to understand that the adrenals control the water balance (through salt levels) in the body and this fact alone accounts for many symptoms. The list below shows important early symptoms as I have experienced them. The list is not complete by any means but sometimes naming too many can be confusing to the reader.

– Sugar Cravings
– Depression and Racing Thoughts (feeling of going insane)
– Muscle Weakness (felt in Legs and Arms first)
– Dry Mouth (for days after physical exertion)
– Stomach Cramps
– Inability to Relax (for days after physical exercise)
– Nervous System Problems such as Muscle Twitching, Shaky Hands
– Increased Urinating (usually clearer in color than normal; especially after physical exertion)
– Trouble Falling Asleep (sudden “jolts” re-awaken you just as you are about to fall sleep)
– Waking up often during the night (usually coupled with Urinating)
– Sudden Noises cause Heart Racing
Low Blood Pressure

The 'connecting thread' is that the symptoms get aggravated by physical exercise (and mental exertion to a lesser extend). The reason for this is the reduced ability of the Adrenals to come up with the necessary hormone amounts needed to keep the body working in balance.

4) Acute / Late Stage Symptoms

At this stage the adrenals clearly can not keep cortisol production at a level required for the body to function. We see a myriad of symptoms showing the body and mind breaking under pressure. Below are the major symptoms I experienced:

– Rapid Weight Loss – approx. 15 lbs over 1 week
– Extreme Weakness
– Hair Loss
– Stomach Irritation / Bloating and Intestinal Cramping and Bloating
– Very Low Blood Pressure and High Pulse
– Panic Attacks and Heart Racing ESPecially at Night Between 3-5am
– Constant Urination and Muscle Spasms after any Physical Exertion (eg 15min of Jogging)
– Difficulty Falling Asleep and Inability to Stay Asleep for More than 3 Consecutive Hours
– Inability to Stay Asleep for More than 3 Consecutive Hours
– Digestion Related Organs Working at Minimum
– Inflamed Stomach, Intestines, Liver and Bladder (Fear of Eating Anything)
– Uncontrollable Emotional Outbursts (crying, etc.)
– Short Term Memory Loss
– Inability to Concentrate

There are many more but it suffices to say that feeling is of imminent death. At this point the individual is desperate for help and answers.

5) Finding Answers and Help

As humans we all tend to seek help ever when the pain increases beyond our tolerable limit. Many look too late or at the wrong place. I made both these mistakes. I did not recognize 10 years or early symptoms and when I finally got to the acute stage, I ran to many conventional doctors. The only correct thing I did was to intensively research my symptoms and try to correlate them to any known disease / syndrome. This research has given me a lot more knowledge of the human body and mind over about 3 years. The best place for info is the Internet. You have access to books (or you can buy them), articles, other people's experiences and all other general human physiology websites.

If you are lucky enough to have another person close to you that has gone through this, they might be your best hope and have solutions. I say “may” because many people with adrenal problems will resort to the wrong solutions that are no solutions at all.

6) Conventional Medicine's Failure

The only person that can help you in any crisis is a sincere friend that sticks by you till the end. Your helper can never be someone that is paid by you. Your helper can not be someone you see 3-4 times a year. Your helper can not be someone that does not know you personally.

I forgot how many tests I ran, how many doctors I saw and how many specialists I went to. But in the 18 months that I pursued that course there were very many.

Conventional medicine as it exists today is a failure. I now see that there no way it will never be able to help anyone in a “real”, repeating way. Yes, a doctor can mend a broken bone or perform bypass-surgery. That, however, has nothing to do with finding the cause of a problem and getting rid of it once and for all or at the very least giving you the steps to get rid of it. “Here is a painkiller”, or “Here is an anti-depressant” are just quick easy ways out. But the masses go for it every time – maybe because they do not know any better, maybe because they do not want to know any better.

Conventional medicine relies on testing the body in one way or another which usually usually boils down to blood testing. The problem with performing blood tests is that human body is made to compensate for shortcomings by finding alternative sources in the body (eg. Lack of calcium will be drawn from the teeth in many cases). That means that your blood can appear within tolerance while at the very same time your body struggles to somehow keep it there. To a doctor you appear to be healthy while you yourself know that you can not sleep for more than 3 hours per night and struggle to eat. Conventional testing will only show abnormalities when it is already very late.

7) Advice and Wisdom

I do not know everything but I will tell you what I do know and what I have painfully experienced over the last 14 years.

It is important to recognize that there is no quick fix to adrenal issues. You generally can not fix a problem faster that it took to develop. In other words, 2 years of negative has to be followed by 2 years of positive to even out. This is approximate, of course, but it is a truth that is overlooked by virtually everyone that is desperate to get better.

Do not seek help from anyone that is winning from helping you in any way. They will be biased. It might be a subconscious bias but it will be there. Help must always be free to be real help. I, therefore, counsel you to avoid conventional doctors at all cost (if you must then get a painkiller, for example, to keep on functioning). If you do go the conventional medicine route, you can still get better – it just be a longer and more painful process.

Avoid “chemical” medicine at all cost. Cortisol supplements, for example, are prescribed by many doctors in adrenal insufficiency cases because they are powerful and quick acting. The patient will fall good again but you have just covered up the problem for a while, not solved it.

It is very important to understand that the physical manifestation of symptoms has its source in the mental / emotional / spiritual. In other words, you perceive and then you act – not the other way around.

So my advice is two-fold. The two fronts you must fight back on are:

a) The non-physical – Mental / Emotional / Spiritual
b) The Physical

a) The things to aim for are:
– Give it Time – months to years (not days)
– Peaceful Settings (Nature, etc.)
– Rest the Mind and the Soul (minimizeize anxiety of any kind)
– Quietness (minimum loud noises, TV, Radio, crowds, etc.)

The above are critical but for the character types affected by Adrenal Fatigue, these are also the hardest to work towards. Reason being, the very things that are bad for you make you feel better in the short term (workouts, parties, loud music, smoking, etc.) because they boost adrenalin. Now, since you will unfortunately want to feel normal again you might be tempted to welcome all adrenaline boosting activities. I have experienced this loop for countless years – running around on the soccer field for an hour and feeling on top of the world for 2-3 hours after that. But after the adrenalin boost subsides you realize that you now have to pay the price (for many days in fact) because your body never had enough reserves you needed to recuperate.

I will go as far as saying that in Adrenal Fatigue you need discipline to recover – do not listen to your body in most cases. Always put less strain on yourself than you feel you can handle.

b) The things to aim for are:
– Give it Time
– No Strenuous Exercise except walking outside
– No Smoking, Drinking, Coffee or other Stimulants
– No Loud Noises or Crowds

And now to a hands-on approach of what has helped me a lot.

– Drink Good Mineral Water – 2-3 Liters per day
– Drink Herbal Teas – I found the 3 best ones to be:
1) Passion Flower – Calms the Nervous System
2) Calendula / Mariegold – Anti-Inflammatory Healing Action (Internal)
3) Licorice Root – Slows the Breakdown of your Remaining Cortisol
– Stop Eating all White / Refined Sugar (use Coconut or Date Sugar Instead)
– Only use “Real” Salt that has the Full Range of Minerals
– Stop Buying any Packaged Food (Cans, Pre-Packaged Soups, Frozen Dinners, etc.)
– Stop Eating Out (especially Fast Food)
– Stay Away from Refined Flowers – and very Importantly, Avoid all Gluten
– Buy Organic Fruit, Vegetables, Grains, Meat whenever you can afford it
– Eat Raw Foods when Reasonable (Salads, etc)
– Go Outside for Walks (and Picnics, etc.) whenever you can (Fresh Air is Important)
– Do not have a Microwave in the House

If you are suffering from symptoms that you believe to be related to a hormonal imbalance due to prolonged stress, I urge you to start changing your ways now. You will find that it will be hard to change your lifestyle and that there will be many set-backs. But there is no need to do it all at once. Do it slowly but with resolve. You will eventually start to see the world in another light, a more enlightened light, that is the result of separating yourself from the so-called 'normal' life.

I do realize that you can not change certain life situations because some things in relationships and work need to be “lived with”. Not everything that you perceive as being bad for you can be tossed away just like that.

I hope that you will change the things you can and rest assured that if you search you will find.

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