Sunscreen sun protection factor (SPF) testing methods explained
May is skin cancer month, so you will see reports from various sources about sunscreens that may confuse you. This year, I decided to try to educate you before these reports are released, so you can be a better judge of what they are saying.
This is the first of a two-part series on sunscreen safety. This column will discuss sun protection factor (SPF) testing methods, and my next column will discuss “hazardous sunscreen ingredients.”
Environmental Working Group (EWG.org) is perhaps best known for its annual sunscreen report, which is released each May around Memorial Day. This report attracts media attention and sometimes scares consumers, resulting in a flurry of emails to me. For example, in May 2016, the big story was that nearly 75 percent of the sunscreens they tested failed to deliver the level of protection claimed on the label or contained “worrisome” ingredients.
In May 2017, Consumer Reports came out with a report that said, “Of the 62 lotions, sprays, sticks, and lip balms in our ratings this year, 23 tested at less than half their labeled SPF number.” According to the CR website, the study was performed as follows: “To check for UVB protection, a standard amount of each sunscreen is applied to six places on our panelists' backs. Then they soak in a tub of water. Afterward, each of those areas is exposed to six intensities of UVB light from a sun simulator for a set time. About a day later, the six spots are examined for redness. The resulting UVB protection ratings reflect each product's actual effectiveness after water immersion and are based on an average of our results for each sunscreen.”
It is important to understand how the FDA requires that SPF testing be done when interpreting these reports. The FDA requires that 2 mg/cm2 of SPF be applied to a subject’s back, and the size of the test site must be at least 30 cm2. It is required that 10 different test sites are used. After application of the SPF, there is a 15-minute waiting period. The skin is exposed to six sessions of UVB exposure (the dose depends on the patient’s Fitzpatrick Skin Type). The minimal erythema dose (MED) is the smallest UV dose that produces perceptible redness of the skin (erythema) with clearly defined borders. In the FDA studies, the MED is measured at 16 to 24 hours after UV exposure. The person who evaluates the test subsites should not be the same person who applied the sunscreen drug product to the test site or administered the UV doses. This prevents bias. The MED is used to determine the SPF.
If the company wants to claim that the sunscreen is water-resistant after 40 minutes, the following procedure is used:
• Step 1: Apply the SPF 2mg/cm2 as described above
• Step 2: Perform moderate activity in water for 20 minutes.
• Step 3: Rest out of water for 15 minutes. Do not towel test site.
• Step 4: Perform moderate activity in water for 20 minutes.
• Step 5: Allow test sites to dry completely without toweling.
• Step 6: Perform the UV testing as described above.
As you can see, there are very specific steps required by the FDA for SPF testing. This exact protocol should be followed when others are determining the SPF on the label of sunscreens so that they are consistent with the FDA testing. Otherwise, you are comparing apples to oranges.
The problem with the Consumer Reports 2017 study is that they immersed people in a tub of water before testing the sunscreen’s SPF, and they did not state how long the subjects were in the water and whether or not they toweled dry. Using a towel can greatly diminish SPF protection, as can water immersion.
Only water-resistant sunscreens should have their SPF values tested The Consumer Reports study design was misleading and made people distrust their sunscreen for no reason. Some sunscreens are just not designed to survive immersion in water.
BY DR. LESLIE BAUMANN
EARTH DAY 2018 | END PLASTIC POLLUTION
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Fact Sheet: Single-Use Plastics
The billions upon billions of items of plastic waste choking our oceans, lakes, and rivers and piling up on land is more than unsightly and harmful to plants and wildlife. Plastic pollution is very real and single-use plastics are small but have a large impact.
The following 10 facts shed light on how single-use plastic is a large problem that most people are a part of. To learn more about the threat and impact of plastic pollution and get tips to reduce your plastic consumption, download our Plastic Pollution Primer and Toolkit today!
In 2016, world plastics production totaled around 335 million metric tons. Roughly half of annual plastic production is destined for a single-use product.
Humans buy about 1,000,000 plastic bottles per minute in total. Only about 23% of plastic bottles are recycled within the U.S.
Americans purchase about 50 billion water bottles per year, averaging about 13 bottles per month for every person in the U.S.! That means by using a reusable water bottle, you could save an average of 156 plastic bottles annually.
It is estimated that 4 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide annually. Only 1% of plastic bags are returned for recycling. Americans throw away 100 billion plastic bags annually. That’s about 307 bags per person! All that waste can be eliminated by switching to reusable shopping bags.
Half a million straws are used in the world every day. Refusing straws is becoming a trending practice!
500 billion disposable cups are consumed every year. Americans alone throw away 25 billion styrofoam coffee cups every year. Styrofoam cannot be completely recycled. Most of the Styrofoam disposed of today will still be present in landfills 500 years from now.
Every year, tens of thousands of whales, birds, seals, and turtles die from contact with ocean-borne plastic bags. The animals may mistake the bags for food, such as jellyfish, or simply become entangled. Plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to break down, so even when an animal dies and decays after ingesting a bag, the plastic re-enters the environment, posing a continuing threat to wildlife.
The main cause for the increase in plastic production is plastic packaging. Plastic packaging was 42% of all non-fiber plastic produced in 2015, and it also made up 52% of plastics thrown away.
Single-use-plastics frequently do not make it to a landfill or are recycled. A full 32% of the 78 million tons of plastic packaging produced annually is left to flow into our oceans; the equivalent of pouring one garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute. This is expected to increase to two per minute by 2030 and four per minute by 2050. By 2050, this could mean there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans. Choosing to buy products with less packaging or no packaging altogether makes a big difference.
Even when single-use plastics are sent to landfills (there are 3,091 active landfills in the U.S. alone), they aren’t harmless. Landfill liners can leak harmful pollutants into the watershed and plastics on the tops of landfills can be carried away by the wind. The best way to curb single-use plastic pollution is to reduce your personal plastic consumption!
When people start thinking about their habits and making small changes, they can bring about shifts in consciousness that lead to wider societal changes.
Solved! How to Get Rid of Pink Mold in the Shower for Good
Noticed some unusual discoloration on your bathroom surfaces? Send unsightly pink mold packing with these tips for removal and prevention.
Q: I was alarmed to find pink mold in shower grout of the guest bathroom recently. Is this as bad as the toxic black variety? And, if so, how do I get rid of it?
A: Unlike run-of-the-mill green molds like Cladosporium, or the infamous toxic black mold, Stachybotrys chartarum, the pink “mold” in your shower isn’t actually mold at all. The discoloration comes from a biofilm—that is, a bacterial colony—of Serratia marcescens. The airborne bacterial species thrives in moist environments like showers, where it feeds on mineral deposits in soap scum and fatty deposits in soap and shampoo residue.
Fortunately, the light pink to dark red coloring (a result of the pigment the bacteria produces) makes it easy to spot and remove from shower, walls, floors, countertops, shower doors, and curtain liners. Using basic household cleaners and the techniques ahead, you can get rid of pink mold on hard and soft shower surfaces and keep it from coming back.
Scrub the biofilm off of hard shower surfaces. The stubborn biofilm of Serratia marcescens can only be removed through agitation and elbow grease. Start by mixing up a slightly runny paste consisting of a quarter-cup baking soda and a tablespoon of liquid dish soap in a small bowl. Suit up in gloves, protective glasses, and a respirator to limit your exposure to the bacteria, then dip the bristles of a soft-bristle scrub brush into the prepared paste and vigorously scrub down any visible patches of biofilm on hard surfaces in the shower (e.g. countertops, shower chairs, doors, and tile and grout lines on walls and floors). This process should loosen and lift the biofilm.
When you’re finished scrubbing, rinse away any loosened biofilm in the shower by either wiping down the scrubbed areas with a wet towel or turning on and detaching the showerhead to flush the slime down the drain.
Disinfect these same shower surfaces. It’s not enough to simply scrub away the color; you need to disinfect the surface to remove any lingering bacteria to prevent its return. Bleach is your best bet since it does double-duty to kill the last of the bacteria and dissolve stubborn stains left in its wake. Pour six ounces each of chlorine bleach powder and warm water into a 12-ounce spray bottle, then replace the cap and gently shake the bottle. Spray the solution directly over the hard surfaces of the shower you’ve scrubbed and let the solution dwell in the shower for 10 minutes. Then use a fresh soft-bristle scrub brush to lightly scrub down the sprayed areas, rinse once more, and dry the shower surfaces with a clean towel or squeegee.
Sanitize shower curtains. Shower curtains are a popular hangout for pink mold since they’re seldom cleaned and usually riddled with soap and shampoo residue. Running your pink-tinged curtain through the washing machine on a gentle wash cycle with warm water effectively removes Serratia marcescens bacteria and any associated stains. Be sure to first check the care label of your curtain to ensure that it’s machine-washable, then air-dry the curtain outdoors on a sunny day before re-hanging it in the shower.
Keep biofilm at bay. Pink mold is one stubborn biofilm that often reappears on hard and soft shower surfaces even after you’ve taken these outlined measures to remove it. Make your bathroom cleaning responsibilities easier on yourself by heeding these tips for preventing new biofilm from forming:
• Serratia marcescens is more likely to spread in damp areas, so towel-dry or squeegee the hard surfaces of your shower after every use to remove excess water.
• Use a water-dampened paper towel to wipe away soap or shampoo residue anywhere it collects in the shower after every use. Then, make a second pass over these areas with a dry paper towel.
• Remove soap scum from hard shower surfaces on a biweekly basis. Spray soap-scum-riddled areas of the shower with a 50-50 solution of white vinegar and warm water combined with one tablespoon of dish soap, and let the solution dwell for 15 minutes. Then scrub down the sprayed areas with a soft-bristle brush. Rinse away anything you’ve loosened from the tile and glass, and towel-dry or squeegee all wet surfaces.
• Machine-wash shower curtains, if you have them, on a monthly basis in a gentle cycle with warm water.
• Identify and repair leaking shower heads or faucets that may create excessive dampness in the shower.
• Turn on your bathroom’s exhaust fan before you shower and leave it on for 20 minutes afterward to help dry out air in the room. The pink stuff is more likely to spread when there is excess moisture in the air.
• Keep bathroom windows closed while you shower. Otherwise, being an airborne bacterial species, Serratia marcescens can waft into your bathroom from outdoors.
By Manasa Reddigari
St. Patrick's Day Quick Facts
Saint Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious celebration that happens annually on 17 March to mark the death date of the most commonly-recognised patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick. It is also a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Newfoundland, and Labrador and Montserrat. The color green, pots of gold, shamrock, and leprechaun are often associated with the celebration.
Quick Key Facts
- St. Patrick’s Day is an annual feast day celebrating the patron saint the day is named after.
- St. Patrick’s Day is the national holiday of Ireland and is usually celebrated on March 17.
- St. Patrick’s Day has become a popular holiday in the United States. People wear green and eat corned beef and cabbage.
- It is believed St. Patrick, a Roman-Britain-born Christian missionary, was born in the late fourth century and is credited with bringing Christianity to the Irish people.
- It is also believed St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. However, post-glacial Ireland never actually had snakes. Many believe that the term “snakes” referred to the serpent symbolism of the Druids of that time and place. Today, there are no snakes to be found!
- Most people, whether they are Irish or not, wear green on this day. One of the Irish traditions is to pinch anyone who is not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day.
- Irish immigrants began observing the holiday in Boston in 1737 and the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in New York City in 1766.
- Corned beef and cabbage are traditional foods eaten on this holiday.
- The shamrock, pot-of-gold and leprechauns are also associated with St. Patrick’s Day. The shamrock was worn as a badge on the lapel. Three is Ireland’s magic number and the three petals that make up the shamrock are supposed to bring good luck. The three leaves also represent the Trinity in the Christian religion.
- The leprechaun is a small Irish fairy. He is dressed like a shoemaker, with pointed shoes and hat. He also wears a leather apron. Leprechauns are supposed to be unfriendly little men who lives alone in the forest, spending all of their time making shoes and guarding their treasures. If someone catches a leprechaun, he will be forced to tell where he hides all his pots of gold. However, the leprechaun must be watched at all times. If his captor looks away, the leprechaun will vanish along with his treasure.
- St. Patrick’s Day has become a holiday all around the world and for one day out of the year anyone can be Irish and join in the celebration.
St. Patrick’s Day as a Religious and Cultural Observance
- Saint Patrick is known as the Apostle of Ireland, who brought Christianity to Ireland.
- In the 17th century, the Christian feast day was officially recognized to commemorate the coming of Christianity to Ireland, as well as the celebration of Irish cultural heritage.
- According to Irish lore, the day could have been St. Maewyn’s Day because it was Patrick’s birth name before he adopted Patricius after becoming a priest.
- Many Catholic churches move the date of the Feast of Saint Patrick if March 17 falls during Holy Week.
- In 1737, the Feast of Saint Patrick was first celebrated in the United States by Irish immigrants. By 1762, New York City held the first official parade and, through time, it’s become one of the world’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parades.
- Since 1962, the Chicago River is dyed kelly green during the celebration. Forty tons of dye is dumped into the river which changes color for four to five hours.
- The shamrock is Ireland’s national flower. It is also one of the main symbols of St. Patrick, which represents the Holy Trinity. The three-leafed plant is often used as a badge.
- It’s a common mistake to confuse a four-leaf clover and a shamrock. The four-leaf clover is considered lucky because they’re generally hard to find.
- A popular pastime of St. Patrick’s Day is for adults to drink green beer. Around the world, millions of pints of beer are consumed on St. Patrick’s Day, amounting to more than $245 million!
Happy St. Patrick's Day !
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Top 10 Spring Cleaning Tips
As the days get brighter, you’ll see dust and dirt that went unnoticed during winter. Luckily the long spring evenings are perfect for an extra bit of cleaning, and our top tips will help get you going.
1. Declutter First
Every six months or so, you should take some time to declutter your home. Before your spring clean is an ideal time for this job. Gather any old, unwanted or broken items such as clothes, bed linen, books, toys, ornaments, and even furniture. Sort everything into piles for recycling, charity and storage. You’ll feel great after this therapeutic exercise, and your home will already be looking tidier.
2. Prepare Your Kit
Before you get stuck into the dirty work, make sure you have all the cleaning supplies you will need to hand. Essentials include strong rubber gloves, cloths, sponges, brushes, bleach, all purpose cleaner, furniture and glass polish, bin bags and paper towels. View our article: Top 15 Products for Your Home Cleaning Kit for more help with preparing your spring cleaning kit.
3. Work from the Top Down
Always clean from the ceiling to the floor; first tidying, then dusting along the ceiling, light fixtures, pictures, etc., finally vacuuming and mopping the floor when everything else in the room is done. This just makes sense because the earlier jobs will of course dirty the floor. You may also find it makes your work seem that bit easier and more productive if you finish either the downstairs or the upstairs completely before starting the other.
4. Leave Windows for a Cloudy Day
Wait for a cloudy day to wash your windows, as direct sunlight can dry windows too quickly leaving streaks behind. For more tips on cleaning windows go to our guide: How to Clean Windows.
5. Don’t Forget the Fridge & Freezer
The best time to take on the task of cleaning your fridge and freezer is right before you do your grocery shopping, when the contents are at their lowest. Take everything out and dispose of any items that have passed their use-by date, and almost-empty items that you will never use. Look out for opened jars and bottles which state on the label that they should be used within a certain number of days after opening. Wipe down the interior of the fridge with a damp cloth and disinfectant. The same can be done for food cupboards if you think it's needed. Defrost your freezer and then wipe it down with disinfectant too.
6. Cleaning Curtains & Blinds
Curtains and blinds are usually neglected in routine cleaning sessions but can collect a surprising amount of dust and dirt. Some curtains can be machine washed or dry cleaned; always check the care label and follow the instructions provided. Most vacuum cleaners come with a small nozzle with a short brush built-in that is ideal for vacuuming curtains and fabric blinds. Remember to vacuum both sides to remove as much of the dust as possible. Steam cleaners are ideal for giving curtains and fabric blinds the most thorough clean. Wooden, metal or plastic blinds only need to be wiped down with a dry cloth, or with a suitable cleaner.
7. The Best Oven Cleaning Method
The oven is the heart of the kitchen, but months of roasting and baking can make it grimy and smelly. Begin by removing all racks and placing them in a mixture of hot water and either oven cleaning solution or dishwashing liquid. Allow them to soak while you clean the inside of the oven with oven cleaner. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using oven cleaner, as it contains powerful chemicals. Scrub the racks clean, rinse and dry. Make sure to clean off all cleaning chemicals from the oven walls and racks before using your oven again.
8. Mattress Cleaning & Care
Remove all bedding and use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and hair that has accumulated over time. Spot clean any stains with a stain remover and damp cloth. Sprinkle a light layer of baking soda over the mattress and let it sit for at least a couple of hours. The soda will absorb any moisture and leave your mattress smelling fresh. Remove the baking soda with a thorough vacuuming. Every three months, flip your mattress and switch it from head to foot and vice-versa to help it wear evenly and prolong its lifespan.
9. Freshen up Your Rugs
For a beautifully fresh smelling home, it is important to think of things like rugs which can really hold onto odours if not cleaned once or twice a year. Hang your rugs out on a washing line and use the handle of a sweeping brush to beat them. This will remove the bulk of the debris, dirt and dust that gets embedded in the fabric. Take the rugs back inside for a good vacuuming to remove any fine dust, before applying a carpet shampoo to get them like new again.
There are some jobs where you can put your feet up and let someone else do the work, safe in the knowledge that you’re doing the right thing. Examples include window washing and chimney cleaning. Spring is the ideal time for both, and sometimes specialist equipment, experience and skill is needed to reach those upstairs windows or the chimney pot.
You know SERVPRO of Sunrise as a leader in Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration, but our professional residential cleaning services can also make a dirty carpet "Like it never even happened."
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Move Away Your Pain
Do these simple micro-movements every day to stay flexible and banish aches and pains.
As we age, it can be tempting to accept chronic pain or less mobility as the new status quo. But there’s a simple way to rebuild strength, get relief from neck, back and knee pain—and keep your body moving.
It starts with going back to basics with exercises that strengthen and train your muscles for typical day-to-day movements, such as getting in and out of the car or loading the dishwasher, says Michael Romano, certified functional aging specialist and co-founder of Longevity Personal Fitness in Millburn, New Jersey.
“These are movement patterns we were born with, but over time we lose them,” Romano says.
Simple micro-movements—gentle, small ranges of motion you do for short periods of time—work because they address specific areas of weakness commonly seen in aging or sedentary bodies, without putting you at risk for injury. When you do small motions for short periods of time, you give the muscle tissues in your body the opportunity to become more pliable. Eventually, these movements help you progress to larger motions for longer periods of time.
The best way to practice the micro-movements? Once a day, to break up long periods of sitting.
Micro-Movement #1: Head Nods
Nod your head gently up and down 10 times, then turn your head from side to side 10 times.
Most people, especially those who sit a lot or are generally inactive, have a lot of tension in their upper back. These small movements will encourage the connective tissue in your upper back and neck to become more pliable.
Micro-Movement #2: Deep Breathing
Lying on your back, breathe in through your nose, into your abdomen (so that your belly rises) and then use your abdominal muscles to push the breath out as you exhale. After you have repeated this five to 10 times, roll over onto on your stomach and repeat.
"Deep abdominal breathing and belly breathing is the best example of a micro-movement that people lose over time,” Romano says. “If you have back pain, you have a lot of rigidity and stiffness through the spine and lower back. These muscles have to be relaxed, they have to be activated, so we start with breathing.”
Micro-Movement #3: Hip Raises
Strong glutes support your lower back, so if you are experiencing lower back pain, gluteal amnesia—slow activation of the gluteal muscles caused by inactivity—might be to blame. (This phenomenon has also been called “Dead Butt Syndrome.”)
To begin reengaging the muscles in your buttocks, lie on your back on the floor, letting the floor support your head, neck and back. Bend your knees and plant your feet on the floor. Pushing off of the floor with your feet, use your gluteal muscles to raise your hips into the air and then slowly lower them back to the ground. Repeat five times.
Micro-Movement #4: Egg Roll
Lying on your back, grasp your legs just below your knees and pull them to your torso, with your ankles crossed and elbows pointing out to each side. Using your head and neck to initiate the movement, roll to your right side and then come to a complete stop before rolling to the left side. Repeat this exercise three to five times.
An exercise like the egg roll, done for a few minutes at a time, day after day, will improve your ability to control your torso and reduce your momentum. This can help prevent falls or reduce injury if you do fall, Romano says. This movement also works the core (your midsection), which when strengthened can help take pressure off your knees.
DO check with your doctor before starting any type of new activity, especially if you have a long history of inactivity or are recovering from a recent injury.
DON’T push through pain. You should not feel a burn when doing these movements.
American Red Cross Opens Family Resource Center in Parkland to Support Family & Community Affected by School Shooting
Parkland, Fla., February 15, 2018 – The American Red Cross is partnering with local authorities and organizations to continue the support to the families and communities affected by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. The American Red Cross opened a family resource center at Parkland Recreation Center located at 10559 Trails End in Parkland. We will be providing emotional support, spiritual care and food for the entire community. We will also support and partner in community events.
While we do not typically serve hospitals in South Florida, the Red Cross provided 50 units of type O negative blood to support hospitals in response to the shooting. We stand ready to provide additional blood and blood products as needed. It’s the blood that is already on the shelves that helps during an emergency. Volunteer blood donors are needed each and every day to help save lives. The Red Cross has an adequate blood supply to respond to this tragedy and is grateful for all donors who generously give blood throughout the country.
YOUR SUPPORT APPRECIATED
The Red Cross understands that people around the country want to help and appreciates that support. Right now, the Red Cross has what it needs to support the community and is not accepting financial donations designated specifically for this event. We are partnering with the Broward Education Foundation. If you would like to donate, please go to their GoFundMe Page established for the Victims and Families of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The official GoFundMe page was launched on behalf of Broward County Public Schools.
We are asking people to not collect and send items like stuffed animals or dolls, blankets, clothing, water and food. It takes time and money to store, sort, clean and distribute these items, which diverts limited time and resources away from helping those most affected.
COPING AND PREPAREDNESS TIPS
This is a difficult time for everyone affected and it’s important for people to connect with and support each other. The Red Cross offers the following tips to help people stay strong:
• Events like this can cause feelings of uncertainty and anxiety since no one knows what could potentially happen next. Remember that it's okay to feel nervous.
• Stay informed but limit media exposure of the events, especially for children. Children are especially vulnerable to stress reactions related to media.
• Parents should let children talk about their fears and then reassure them about their safety. Talk with them in ways that they can easily understand. Let them guide the conversation; share details only when they ask about them.
• Be patient with yourself and others. It’s common to have any number of temporary stress reactions such as anger, frustration and anxiety.
• Spend more time with family and friends and offer your support. Hug one another and listen.
• Watch for signs of stress in your family, friends and children. Get help from others if needed.
• Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, drink plenty of water and get enough rest.
• To reach out for free 24/7 counseling or support, contact the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs’ to 66746
PREPARE FOR EMERGENCIES
This tragedy shows that emergencies can happen in any community at any time. And it’s critical to know what to do when an emergency occurs. Check information at the above link to learn how to get your household prepared. Register for a Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED course at redcross.org so that you can be better prepared to help in future emergencies. People can also download the free Red Cross First Aid App.
By: American Red Cross
Preventing Heart Disease: Healthy Living Habits
Heart disease can happen at any age. For #HeartMonth and beyond, learn about simple lifestyle changes you can make to get your heart health on track.
By living a healthy lifestyle, you can help keep your blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar normal and lower your risk for heart disease and heart attack. A healthy lifestyle includes the following:
- Eating a healthy diet.
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Getting enough physical activity.
- Not smoking or using other forms of tobacco.
- Limiting alcohol use.
Choosing healthful meal and snack options can help you avoid heart disease and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods.
Eating foods low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in fiber can help prevent high cholesterol. Limiting salt (sodium) in your diet also can lower your blood pressure. Limiting sugar in your diet can lower you blood sugar level to prevent or help control diabetes.
For more information on healthy diet and nutrition, see CDC’s Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Program website.
Being overweight or obese increases your risk for heart disease. To determine if your weight is in a healthy range, doctors often calculate your body mass index (BMI). If you know your weight and height, you can calculate your BMI at CDC’s Assessing Your Weight website. Doctors sometimes also use waist and hip measurements to calculate excess body fat. They may use special equipment to calculate excess body fat and hydration status.
Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar levels. For adults, the Surgeon General recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, like brisk walking or bicycling, every week. Children and adolescents should get 1 hour of physical activity every day.
For more information, see CDC’s Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Web site.
Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk for heart disease. Your doctor can suggest ways to help you quit.
For more information about tobacco use and quitting, see CDC’s Smoking & Tobacco Use Web site.
Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can raise your blood pressure. Men should have no more than 2 drinks per day, and women only 1. For more information, visit CDC’s Alcohol and Public Health Web site.
Prevent the Spread of the Flu!
Homes and business can depend on SERVPRO of Sunrise to clean and sanitize building materials, surfaces and contents following restoration industry standards, using professional cleaning products and EPA- registered cleaners and disinfectants. Get VaccinatedThe single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. There are several flu vaccine options for the 2017-2018 flu season .Good Health HabitsAvoid close contact.Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.Stay home when you are sick .If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.Clean your hands.Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.Germs are often spread when a person touches a surface or object that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.Stop the Spread of GermsHealthy habits can protect everyone from getting germs or spreading germs at home, work, or school.Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects.Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu can help slow the spread of influenza.At SchoolAt Work
- Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives Tips on hand washing and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers
- It’s a SNAP Toolkit: Handwashing Handwashing resources from the It’s A SNAP program, aimed at preventing school absenteeism by promoting clean hands. From the School Network for Absenteeism Prevention, a collaborative project of the CDC, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Cleaning Institute.
- Flu Prevention at Work Learn more about how you can help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like flu at work
5 Easy Tips to Prevent Water Damage
1. Be careful where you plant
Some plants and trees, like weeping willows, have pretty invasive roots. If you’re not careful, they’ll grow right into your sprinkler system, drainage field, pipes, and septic tanks. Plan before you plant to keep roots away from any water lines.
2. Clean out roof gutters
You know it’s on your to-do list anyway, so if you can, take a safe climb up to your roof next Sunday and check out your gutters. If you’re seeing lots of leaves, birds’ nests, sticks, and whatnot up there, your gutters may not be doing the job you hired them for. And on a rainy day, a clogged gutter can send water spilling into your home’s foundation, through the roof, or down to your basement. That could cause some serious water damage! If your gutters are too high, be safe and get a professional to check them.
3. Keep an eye on your water bill
With so many water pipes hidden behind walls and in the floors in your house, you might not know there’s a leak until the damage is done. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on your monthly water bill. If you see it starting to creep up, or get one that’s uncommonly high, it’s a pretty good sign that you may have a leak somewhere.
4. Use a drain snake instead of unclogging chemicals
No matter how crazy clean you are, from your shower to your kitchen sink, clogs are going to happen. And chances are at some point in your life you’ve used one of those powerful chemical drain cleaners to get things moving again. But as convenient as they may be, most folks don’t realize those caustic chemicals are also eating away at their pipes (and they might not be too good for you either). If you rely on them a lot, you could be setting yourself up for leaks. That’s why owning a drain snake is a good solution to clear away clogs. They’re pretty inexpensive, you can get them at your local hardware store, and they can cut through most any clog you’ll have without damaging pipes or making your eyes red and teary.
5. Never pour grease down your sink
You’ve probably heard this before, but you should definitely avoid pouring grease down your kitchen sink. It doesn’t matter if you flush it with hot or cold water. It can still congeal and cling to your pipes, and could still cause some serious damage and blockage.
Some people use detergent to break up grease before pouring it down the drain…and that may help sometimes. But there’s no guarantee that it’ll keep the grease from sticking to your pipes, so why take the risk?
The safest thing to do is just to pour your grease in an empty can, and either let it sit or put it in the refrigerator. Once it hardens you can toss it in the trash and get rid of it. Done and done.
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