Is Your Chimney Leaking Carbon Monoxide Into Your Home?

chimneyWith all the snow storms and blizzards the Northern States are currently enduring, our fireplaces and heating systems are working on overtime. Yes, it is important to stay warm throughout the winter months but we must be careful not to accidentally gas poison our families. Something people don’t realize is all that work our chimneys put into keeping us warm, produces a byproduct gas called carbon monoxide. The sad truth is that without regular maintenance and care, your chimney could cause you a lot of harm. Research shows that approximately 200 people in the U.S. die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by problems in their ventilation systems. In addition to that more than 10,000 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning go undiagnosed because the symptoms mimic the common winter fatigue. Continue reading

Why Haven’t Pharmaceutical Companies Kept Up With Antibiotic Research and Development?

antibioticsThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report at least two million United States citizens are infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotic treatment each year. Out of these two million people, 23,000 end up dying. With so many deaths reported, why have the pharmaceutic companies declined or in some cases completely stopped their development of antibiotics? There is obviously a need and demand for stronger antibiotics. Why then have only a handful of antibiotics been released to the public in the last four years? Continue reading

More Than 1,000 Children Infected with Human Enterovirus 68

girl sleepingWithin the last month a mysterious respiratory illness targeting children has sprouted up within 10 states and is expected to spread across the United States. Doctors believe the mysterious virus is the Human Enterovirus 68 (HEV68) a rare respiratory virus that is similar to the human rhinovirus. Children are experiencing cold like symptoms of coughing, sneezing, and runny noses that quickly worsen within a 24-hour period. This respiratory virus is more potent than the average cold, causing non-asthma children to suddenly start wheezing and those with asthma to require hospitalization. Continue reading

Lyme Disease Existed Over 15 Million Years Ago

amberAre you aware Lyme Disease has been around for over 15 million years?  Lyme Disease may have received its’ name in the 1970’s but was around much longer than a mere 40 years.  Scientists recently uncovered a piece of amber which contained a 15 million year old tick trapped inside.  The perfectly preserved tick examined by researcher George Poinar, Jr. from the Oregon State University, found the bacteria Borrelia burgdorfer inside the tick.  This is the same present day bacteria that causes Lyme Disease.  If the bacteria was present in a tick from over 15 million years ago, does that mean ticks have been infecting humans since the beginning of our existence? Were cavemen also infected with Lyme Disease?

Well, there is evidence that suggests Lyme Disease has plagued humans for thousands of years.  In 1991, hikers unearthed a partially frozen mummified neolithic man nicknamed by the press as Otzi.  Otzi is thought to have lived over 5,300 year ago and guess what?  Scientists discovered our friend Otzi had Lyme Disease. Continue reading

Darwin’s Survival of the Fittest Approach Used to Predict the Evolution of Influenza Virus

researchResearchers Mart Luksza of Columbia University and Michael Lässig of University of Cologne recently successfully developed the computer model to predict the evolution of the influenza virus from one year to the next year. The influenza virus has many strains and is constantly mutating itself to defeat the human immune system. Every year, the World Health Organization closely analyzes influenza virus strands to try to predict which strands will be the most likely to cause mass human outbreaks. They then advise the drug manufacturers to produce vaccines for only those strands of the influenza to give flu shots to the general public. The problem with this approach is there is much guess work still at play for determining which strands will attack humans that year. Sometimes, they guess wrong and large epidemics of new flu viruses hit the public. It is unfortunately just too costly for the governments to make vaccines for all possible flu strands, like the influenza virus a and b.

Luksza and Lässig decided to collaborate together and work towards eliminating the guess work from the selection process. Using the Darwin theory of survival of the fittest, they approached the matter based on the question “what determines how fit a virus is?” Continue reading

700 People Fall Ill from Norovirus on Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship

shipUh oh. Another cruise line suffers from norovirus outbreak. Only last year, Carnival Cruise lines were in the hot seat after 300 of their passengers fell ill with the norovirus. This year it looks like Royal Caribbean Cruise lines will take a turn of the negative publicity. In January, an estimated 700 out of 3,050 passengers and crew fell ill with the norovirus on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas ship. This is one of the worst Cruise ship outbreaks cases reported in over two decades. How could some many people become ill in just a matter of days? Continue reading

5 Steps To Be Safe In a Hospital

hospitalHow likely is for someone to become infected with a hospital acquired infection (HAI)? What about healthcare acquired infection statistics? Estimates show there is between a 7% to 10% chance.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), out of every 100 hospitalized patients at any given time, 7 in developed and 10 in developing countries will acquire at least one HAI.  It is quite disconcerting to know that the very establishments designed to cure people could in fact infect someone with deadly bacterial infections.  How does this happen?

The problem with hospitals and other health care associated facilities is these buildings are crawling with contagious germs.  Continue reading

Vital Oxide Now Offered in Bags on Valve Cans

PrintVital Oxide is now available in bags on valve cans.  We are very excited about the new bags on valve cans (BoV).  Yes, it may seem strange for people to jump up and down with excitement over a spray can design, but after I explain the advantage of the BoV can compared to its predecessors you will understand our excitement.

Until recently, manufacturers relied on aerosol cans and manual pumps to transport their products like hair spray, disinfectant cleaners, and paint into consumers’ homes.  The aerosol can design requires a gas or liquid propellant to be added to the product formula.  The propellant acts as a driving force to thrust the product out of the can once the valve is opened.  Whereas, the manual pump design uses no propellant but requires manual labor to push the product out and is not able to spray at an angle.

In the earlier days manufacturers used gas propellants called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that left a heavy carbon footprint on our environment.  The Montreal Protocol of 1989 banned these aerosol propellants from most products to protect our ozone layer, at which time other gases such as propane, n-butane, and isobutene were introduced as propellants. Continue reading

What Causes a Mold Problem to Occur in the Bathroom?

bathroom moldWhile taking a hot shower, have you ever spied suspicious black spots on your ceiling?  Uh oh! You have discovered mold.  Bathrooms are the perfect breathing grounds for mold spores.  Mold spores grow and collect in humid, damp dark spaces.  Think about it.  Your bathroom is a tiny enclosed space where hot water evaporates into steamy condensation creating instant humidity.  Prior to the 1970’s, older bathrooms were designed with tiny windows and no fans.  The ventilation in these bathrooms was minimal at best.  Does your bathroom have a window or a fan?

If not, the source of your mold problem is most likely poor ventilation.  Finding a mold problem in the bathroom is quite a common discovery for homeowners to experience while maintaining their homes.  Often times the mold is discovered behind bathroom walls and floors upon a bathroom remodeling project.  According to consumerreport.org, they recommend the average homeowner save an extra 10 to 15 percent in reserve for their bathroom remodel in case of hidden water damage.  Leaky shower pans and running toilets are sources for hidden water damage and mold outbreaks.  Continue reading

How Do I Apply Vital Oxide to Remove Dirty Tile Grout?

pic1 Removing the grime build up on grout between floor tiles is a tedious and labor intensive chore.  It requires being on your knees for hours at end and loads of elbow grease.  Years ago I was frustrated with the results of my hard labor.  I spent hours scrubbing with a brush the grout lines only to see marginal efforts of progress.  No matter how much I scrubbed, the tile grout never truly looked sparkling clean like it did when first laid down.  My results got me half clean tile grout, a busted back and bruised knees.  Have you run into this problem as well?

Vital Oxide is a great dirt grout remover. The problem is not that many people know the proper methods to apply Vital Oxide to remove dirty grout.  Continue reading