What Causes Lingering Odors in the House?

Ever been to a friend or family’s home that smells just plain awful?  Smelly homes are never fun to visit, but are even worse to permanently live in.  Who wants to live in a smelly home?  The answer is no one.  The problem lies in addressing the source of the foul odor.  Typically there are five main sources for home odor intruders.  Pets, cigarette smoke, sulfuric gas, mold, and rotten food, are the usual culprits for bad odors.  Continue reading

Flu Season Not Over Quite Yet

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu season typically peaks in the United States in January or February.  If this flu season is like most, we are right in the peak of flu season.  How are you and your family holding up this year?  Have you survived thus far uninfected?

Flu prevention is a high priority on many people’s lists this year, as it should be.  One sick family member can bring down the whole family with influenza.  Having the flu is horrible.  People with the flu experience fevers, hot and cold chills, nausea, chronic fatigue, headaches, and aches all over the body.  In some cases, the flu can even cause deaths.  The flu also lasts from 1-5 days causing people to miss work.  With the flu season in its peak, it is important for people to be extra careful while at work and in public places.  Here are some tips for families on how to avoid the flu this year. Continue reading

What Does 99.999% Effective Mean?

When at the super market, have you ever read the label on a disinfectant cleaner?  I have.  Whenever I am unsure what brand to buy I read the label to see which one is more effective.  Some labels will read “99% sanitization”, while others like Vital Oxide read “99.999% sanitization of food contact surfaces”.  To me, that meant that Vital Oxide killed all but .001% of bacteria whereas the other brand left behind .1%.  While both disinfectants worked well, Vital Oxide was more effective.

But it turns out I am wrong.  While my logic was right in assuming Vital Oxide is more effective, my math was wrong.  Vital Oxide is much more effective than the brand claiming only 99%.  You see, the percentage listed on labels is based on a logarithm. Continue reading

How to Destroy Mold

Are you worried about mold infestation in your home?  Those who experience a funky mildew smelling odor permeating throughout their home or see greenish dark spots emerging on their bathroom walls, may indeed have a mold problem that needs to be addressed.  Mold is never good for the home environment.  It is a fungus that is made up of microscopic organisms. Mold multiplies by producing reproductive spores which are then released into the environment.  Unlike mold which grows only in damp, dark places, the mold spores are much hardier and can survive in dry environments.  These mold spores travel in the air and like to attach themselves to our clothing, skin, hair, and other belongings.  Once inside the home, the spores seek out surface areas containing moisture for the mold to grow.  It is near impossible to keep mold spores out of the home.  How then are you supposed to prevent mold outbreaks inside your home? Continue reading

Carpets Take a Beating from Non-Potty Trained Canines

Owners of new puppies can kiss their carpets goodbye.  Puppies are adorable.  They are soft, fluffy and very cuddly.  They are also like any other new born baby – messy.  Puppies do not come potty trained.  To them what better place to do their business then on Momma’s soft expensive carpet?

If you are a new dog owner and wish to preserve your carpet during the puppy stage, then investing in the right cleaning product is the key.  Pet urine and feces needs to be completely removed from carpet to prevent cross contamination to humans. Pet urine and feces can contain harmful bacteria and viruses that make humans who come in contact ill.  Traditional carpet cleaners may advertise that they can remove stain and odor from the carpet, but what about the bacteria and viruses?  Do these cleaning agents remove those as well?  Continue reading

Once Upon a Time: The History of Chlorine Dioxide

What makes Vital Oxide so effective in eliminating bacteria and viruses?  Consumers are thrilled with how effective Vital Oxide is in disinfecting their homes, yet they have no idea what makes the product work. The answer is chlorine dioxide.  Vital Oxide contains the compound chlorine dioxide.

What is chlorine dioxide?

Chlorine dioxide was first discovered by Sir Humphrey Davy in 1814 when he mixed sulfuric acid with potassium chlorate creating the compound.  Chlorine dioxide is a compound derived from chlorine, yet chlorine dioxide reacts very differently from chlorine.   Chlorine reacts with many organic compounds whereas chlorine dioxide does not.  When chlorine reacts with other organic compounds the reaction produces harmful byproducts called volatile organic compounds (VOC).  Volatile organic compounds are not healthy to inhale for humans and linger in the air.  Since chlorine dioxide does not react with many other organic compounds, it does not produce harmful byproducts, making chlorine dioxide safer to use as a disinfectant. Continue reading

Norovirus Resistant to Dishwashers

Do you know how well your dishwasher effectively cleans dishes? Sure the dishes look clean and sparkling, but can you tell whether any lingering norovirus may be present?  The answer is no unless you happen to be a scientist who has the equipment readily available to test dishware.  The rest of the general public must rely on what the experts tell them. Earlier this month the experts informed us that the norovirus can stay on dishes even after dishes have been washed thoroughly in a commercial dishwasher. Continue reading

Hospital Acquired Infections Kill More People than Automobile Accidents

“You can have the most incredible surgeons,” she said. “But you can have someone not do their job by not cleaning the room, and that will undo all the miraculous work.” – Carole Moss, mother of Nile Moss who died at age 15 from a hospital acquired infection.

In 2006, Nile Moss died at the young age of 15 from Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MSRA).  He contacted the bacterial infection while visiting the Children’s Hospital of Orange County in California.  MRSA is bacteria that are classified as a superbug because it is resistant to antibiotics.  Moss is just one of an estimated 13,500 killed each year in California by hospital acquired infections.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hospital acquired infections are the sixth leading cause of death within the United States.  The CDC estimates that 90,000 people die a year in the U.S. from hospital acquired infections.¹ Continue reading

Did You Know That Vital Oxide Kills Hepatitis B?

Did you know what the number one cause of death in the United States was in the year 2011?  Did you guess cancer?  If so, you were not far off the mark.  Cancer was the second highest cause of death in the United States with 567,628 deaths reported. Heart disease was only slightly higher in death rates.  There is no doubt that cancer is a serious deadly disease and most people understand this either by education from the media or by seeing a loved one suffer from the disease first hand.  What most people do not realize is that sixteen percent of these cancer cases were originally caused by bacteria and virus infections.  That means 90,821 of these cancer deaths in 2011 were triggered by a bacteria or a virus infection.  What is disturbing is that most of these viruses and bacteria infections are treatable.  Hepatitis B is one of these curable infections. Continue reading

Tis the Season to Deal With Dirty Airplanes

The holiday season has arrived. This is the time of year where friends and family travel all around the world to be together. It is the season to be jolly and overindulge on food. It is also the time of year to be germy. Wait! Did you say germy? Yes, I did. If you are flying home to see loved ones this holiday season beware of airplanes. When travelling by plane, you risk falling ill to a bacteria infection.

Did you know that airplanes are extremely filthy? You probably had some inkling that planes were not entirely clean, but have you ever wondered exactly how disgusting are planes? The answer is very disgusting. Jonathan Sexton, a researcher at the University of Arizona’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, conducted a Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MSRA) test on airplane tray tables back in 2007. The study included a sample size of three airplanes. Sexton’s results yielded 60% of all tray tables were contaminated with MSRA. “We went ahead and tested multiple tray tables across three different planes. Sixty percent of [the tray tables, across all of the planes] tested positive for MRSA”, stated Sexton. MSRA is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics making it called a superbug. It not only causes people to become violently ill, these bacteria could kill you. In fact in 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted there were over 3,500 deaths caused by MRSA infection. Continue reading