Maintaining a healthy home goes beyond dusting and vacuuming. When is the last time you checked your smoke alarms? How about the last time you cleaned out your dryer vent? Follow the tips below to make sure your family and home are ready for a happy, clean spring season.
Grab a ladder, and check your gutters for debris. Remove as much as you can with your hands (Don’t forget to wear gloves!). Remove any leftover gunk with a garden hose. Take off any nozzle and have a helper turn on the water when you’re ready. Shove the hose into the downspout to power out of gooseneck bends. Make sure your downspouts channel water at least five feet from foundation walls.
Scrub Walls, Baseboards and Outlets
Scrub all the walls — in the bathroom, kitchen, bedrooms and living areas — with a sponge or brush and mild soap and water. This includes baseboards and outlets. Make sure to completely dry outlet covers before replacing.
Replace all filters including water, range hood and air vent filters. You should replace these filters every 3-6 months depending on the type of filter you have.
Clean Faucets and Showerheads
Unscrew the faucet aerators, sink sprayers and showerheads, and soak them in equal parts vinegar and water solution. Let them soak for an hour, then rinse with warm water.
Sarah Wilson / Getty Images
A clogged dryer vent can be a fire hazard. To clean it, disconnect the vent from the back of the machine and use a dryer vent brush to remove lint. Outside your house, remove the dryer vent cover and use the brush to remove lint from the other end of the vent line. Make sure the vent cover flap moves freely.
Hire a window-cleaning service to clean all exterior windows.
Photos: Christopher Shane/Styling: Elizabeth Demos
A house with a crawl space has vents along the foundation walls. The vents provide air circulation that helps prevent excess moisture and mold growth, and they prevent critters from taking up residence underneath your home. The screens collect leaves and other debris from fall and winter. Spring is a great time to clean them out and check for damage. Clean the vents by hand or use a shop vacuum. Repair any damaged screens — critters can get through even the smallest holes.
Your grill has most likely collected dust during fall and winter. Help your grill live a long life with these maintenance tips, whether you have a charcoal or gas grill.
You can’t have a successful garden without good soil. Follow these tips on how to prepare your soil to help you grow a lush garden.
Test smoke alarms and CO detectors, and change out batteries as needed. It’s cheap, only takes a few minutes and can save your family’s lives.
A new survey has found office workers who don’t clean up their workspace put everyone’s health at risk, according to an article on the TechTimes website.
Printerland, a reseller of printers in the UK, surveyed more than 1,000 office workers and found two-thirds of them didn’t clean up their workspace regularly. One in 10 workers said they cleaned their desk once a month, while another 9 percent said they never cleaned their space.
By not cleaning, office workers in messy environments are at risk from harmful bacteria, including Helicobacter pylori, Staphylococcus aureus, E-coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
The messy office showed that bugs are present on office chairs (21,000 germs per square inch) and desks, desktops (20,961 germs per square inch), keyboards (3,295 germs per square inch), computer mice (1,676 germs per square inch), and office phones (25,127 germs per square inch), according to the article.
Plus, at least 90 percent of office mugs contain harmful germs on their surface, which 20 percent of them carry fecal bacteria. Charles Gerba, a professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona, recommended employees take their coffee mugs and dishes home every night to clean.
Proper cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched objects and areas reduces the spread of viruses by 80 to 90 percent. Gerba suggests cleaning office items, such as phones and desks with antibacterial spray at least once a week. In addition, office chairs should be vacuumed.
To reduce cross-contamination, cleaning personnel should make sure restroom are stocked with soap and towels. However, since restrooms may be taxed, hand sanitizer should also be made available. Setting up hand sanitizer stations in common areas, such as lobbies and breakrooms, as well as frequently used collaborative spaces, will encourage use, especially by occupants who feel they are too busy to visit the restrooms to wash hands when needed.
LENOX HILL, NY — After testing every cooling tower in the Lenox Hill neighborhood following a June outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, the city Department of Health found that more than 40 towers tested positive for trace amounts of Legionella bacteria, a department spokesman told Patch.
The city tested the neighborhood’s 116 cooling towers and found that 42 towers had trace amounts of the bacteria, the Department of Health spokesman said. Of those 42 towers that tested positive, 24 had levels that could cause the disease to spread to humans, according to the spokesman The city has ordered buildings to fully clean and disinfect the towers that tested positive, but has not identified where the towers that tested positive are located.”During the field investigation, disease detectives closely monitored laboratory reports for any additional cases while water ecologists sampled every cooling tower in the cluster area,” the spokesman said in a statement sent to Patch.
“Approximately 100 Health Department personnel were involved in the response as they sought to prevent additional cases and raise awareness. The Health Department has the most sophisticated disease monitoring system of any municipal health department in nation – every day, disease detectives monitor hospital emergency departments and laboratory reports for over 75 reportable diseases, and water ecologists quickly respond to environmental hazards related to Legionnaires’ and other diseases to keep New Yorkers safe.”The tests were conducted after the city identified a Legionnaires’ disease cluster in the Lenox Hill neighborhood in June. During the outbreak seven people were hospitalized after contracting the disease. Of those seven people, one person who was elderly and had “significant underlying health conditions” died, the Department of Health said in June.After the June 16 outbreak one more person who worked in the area became sick with Legionnaires’ disease and was hospitalized, but has recovered, a Department of Health spokesman said.The city has closed its investigation into the Legionnaires’ cluster even though it was unable to discover the source of the outbreak. The Department of Health is rarely able to match a patient’s DNA with the source of an outbreak such as a cooling tower, a department spokesman told Patch.Legionnaires’ symptoms include fever, cough, chills, muscle aches, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, confusion and diarrhea and generally surface two to 10 days after contact with the bacteria Legionella. Common culprits in the spread of the Legionella bacteria include cooling towers, whirlpool spas, hot tubs, humidifiers, hot water tanks, and evaporative condensers of large air-conditioning systems, the Department of Health said.The disease cannot be spread from one person to another, the Department of Health said in a statement.
Article Source: https://patch-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/patch.com/new-york/upper-east-side-nyc/amp/27169956/42-lenox-hill-cooling-towers-tested-positive-for-legionella-bacteria-city-says
(KMSP) – Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they found the legionella bacteria in most regions of the country.
The bacteria was mostly unknown before a 1976 outbreak that claimed 29 lives, and now, the legionella bacteria can be found almost anywhere.
A new CDC report tested 196 cooling towers across the country, revealing that 84 percent tested positive for legionella DNA.
“That statistic is not surprising,” said Richard Danila, MDH Deputy State Epidemiologist. “Legionella bacteria are ubiquitous in the environment. You can find them in streams and rivers and in man-made systems like water towers.”
It’s contaminated water cooling towers that health officials blame for the Hopkins outbreak that sickened more than two dozen.
Legionnaires’ disease is contracted by inhaling water that contains the legionella bacteria, which causes symptoms such as coughing, headache and fatigue.
“Really what needs to happen is you need to have stagnant water, warm water and usually a bio film – slime of some sort that allows growth of that legionella,” Danila said.
Nationwide, Legionnaires’ cases have risen by a staggering 286 percent since the year 2000.
Article Source: http://www.fox9.com/news/252563733-story
A new study has found some medical marijuana in Northern California to be contaminated by bacteria and fungi. The findings reinforce the importance of growing cannabis without pesticides and rigorous testing procedures, both of which are practices followed by Medical Marijuana, Inc.
Physician researchers from University of California, Davis, have found dangerous bacterial and fungal pathogens on medical marijuana in a new study. The team of researchers, led by associate professor of clinical medicine at UC Davis George Thompson III, analyzed 20 marijuana samples obtained from Northern California dispensaries for the presence of bacteria and fungi.
The researchers found that 90 percent of the samples had some sort of bacteria or fungi. A diversity of microorganisms was found, including Crypotococcus, Mucor, and Aspergillus fungi and Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pnemoniae and Acinetobacter baumannii bacteria. Many of the microorganisms are implicated in serious lung infections.
The UC Davis researchers examined the marijuana after a California man using the substance for treatment of his cancer died from a relatively rare fungal infection.
“It all started with a couple patients that were undergoing very intensive chemotherapy and a stem cell therapy, and those patients were very immune compromised,” study co-author Dr. Joseph Tuscano of the UC Davis Cancer Center told CBS.
“We thought it was strange to have cases of such a bad fungal disease in such a short amount of time,” said lead author and fungal infection expert Thompson. “What struck me is both of these gentlemen were at least medicinal marijuana users, that helped them with nausea and appetite issues that come with the treatment.”
In 28 U.S. states, including California, medical marijuana can be recommended by doctors to help manage symptoms associated with treatments for cancer and AIDS, such as nausea, pain, and a lack of appetite. Because marijuana remains a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, however, the quality and safety standards of marijuana are not federally regulated. According to CBS News, Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, Colorado and Nevada have either set limits on or banned certain pesticides for use on marijuana.
Based on the study’s findings, the UC Davis researchers recommended that for now those with leukemia, lymphoma, AIDS or conditions requiring immune-suppressing therapies refrain from smoking, vaping, or inhaling aerosolized marijuana. They believe that edibles may be a safer option, as the high temperatures involved in cooking would likely destroy the microorganisms.
“Patients with impaired immune systems are routinely advised to avoid exposure to plants and certain raw foods because of the risk of infection from soil-dwelling organisms,” said Thompson. “But at the same time, they are increasingly turning to medical marijuana to help them with symptom control. Because microorganisms known to cause infections in immunocompromised patients were found to be common on marijuana, we strongly advise patients to avoid it.”
The findings also reiterate the need for stringent testing procedures, Colorado cannabis industry attorney Sean McAllister told Marijuana Business Daily.
“[Cannabis businesses] need to be taking measures to make sure their products aren’t contaminated, so people don’t get harmed,” McAllister said. “If they don’t do that, you’re going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on lawyers to defend a product liability case all the way to trial.”
Medical Marijuana, Inc.’s CBD hemp oil is derived from hemp that is grown without the use of any pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers. The hemp is tested numerous times throughout the growing season to check for contaminants. Once the CBD hemp oil is extracted, it undergoes our rigorous Triple Lab TestingTM process to ensure that it’s free of solvents, heavy metals or any other potentially harmful materials. We detailed our strict quality standards and testing procedures here.
Article Source: http://www.medicalmarijuanainc.com/study-finds-medical-marijuana-samples-contaminated-mold-bacteria/
Norovirus (bacteria) has sickened 80 Boston College students who ate at a nearby Chipotle restaurant, state health officials said Tuesday.
“Initial testing conducted by the State Public Health has shown the presence of norovirus,” the health department said in a statement.
Although many of the students said they feared they’d been struck with the same E. coli bacteria that made 52 people in nine states sick this fall after eating at Chipotle restaurants, experts said the pattern of illness didn’t look like E. coli.
“Health officials in Boston believe this is likely a norovirus, which seems consistent with the pattern, in our estimation,” Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold told NBC News.