Is the Bag Ban Spreading Harmful Bacteria?

While visiting a friend in Austin, TX I encountered a new experience at the local HEB grocery store. The cashier asked if I would like to purchase recyclable bags.  I declined assuming my groceries would be placed in plastic bags instead.  It was not until a few moments later that I realized this was my only bag option.  There were no plastic or paper bags to be found.  Unless I wanted to carry all my groceries by hand to the car, I had no choice.  Austin like the cities of Seattle and San Francisco passed a bag ban on all retailers.

There are no plastic or paper bags available or used in the city.  It is part of their go green initiative.  Their goal is to reduce the carbon footprint plastic bags produces on our environment.  The bag ban inadvertently brings with it a major problem, bigger than my patron frustration of being inconvenienced.  Recycle bags bring with them bacteria. Continue reading

5 Things You Should Know About Dust Mites Allergies

Dust is the arch-nemesis of all households.  Dust finds its way into our homes and colonizes without our permission into the carpets, drapes, under the couches and on top of all stationary items.   Not only does dust make itself quite at home in our homes, it also attacks our immune systems.  People allergic to dust experience constant sneezing, hive outbreaks, and itchy eyes.  Children and adults can also develop asthma. It is the ultimate unwanted house guest.

People think dust is this white fluffy looking substance resembling an unraveling cotton ball.  However, dust is actually made by microscopic eight legged creatures called dust mites.  That white fluffy looking stuff is their fecal droppings and eggs.  While the male dust mite dies off after 19 days, it is the mated females that do the most damage.  The females can survive more than two months in our homes and during those two months lay 60 to 100 eggs in the last five weeks of her life.

Here are five other things you should know about dust mite allergies. Continue reading

Why do I Still Have Cold Symptoms Months Later?

Do you wake up every morning feeling run down with nasal congestion?  Do you have a cough that just won’t go away?  Seasonal colds are common to catch.  In fact, MedlinePlus reports on their site that there are over one billion colds in the United States each year.  But cold symptoms typically only last up to 3 weeks so why are you still suffering cold symptoms months later?  There is a strong possibility your symptoms are being caused by mold, rather than the common seasonal cold. Continue reading