How to increase your range of motion — and why it’s central to your health

Man showing off his range of motion in seated forward bend pose during yoga class

(Image credit: Getty Images)

www.livescience.com

Becks Shepherd

Heard of the phrase: range of motion? This term, which is often shortened to ROM, refers to how much joint and muscle movement you have. 

How much flexibility you have in your joints will differ from person to person, with one study conducted by the CDC (opens in new tab) revealing that your ROM can be influenced by your gender, age and lifestyle. If you’re trying to improve your ROM, massages, stretching and using some of the best foam rollers can help you work towards increasing your overall flexibility. 

Along with helping you complete daily tasks, like bending down to tie your shoe, your ROM can also help to reduce the feeling of joint stiffness, improve muscular function and help you live a better quality of life. 

So, to discover how to increase your ROM we decoded the science and spoke to certified fitness trainer Nicole Thompson from the American Council on Exercise (opens in new tab) (ACE) and Helen O’Leary, physiotherapist and Pilates instructor at Complete Pilates (opens in new tab).

What does range of motion mean?

Thompson says: “Range of motion can be defined as ‘the number of degrees through which an articulation will allow one of its segments to move’.” 

But to help understand this term a little more, Thompson recommends thinking about the meaning of flexibility, as the two concepts are closely related. “Flexibility is the ‘ability to move joints through their normal full ranges of motion’,” Thompson tells us. “So typically, the more flexible you are, the better your range of motion. Essentially, ROM is a reflection of flexibility.”

How do you know whether you have a good ROM? “There is an ideal length of muscle fiber in which the muscle will function optimally,” Thompson says. “However, if the fibers are too short (or sometimes too long) that can cause stiffness in the muscle and therefore limit the range of motion a joint will have. If the muscle fibers are at an optimal length and have enough elasticity, the muscles will allow the joint to move to optimal degrees.”

Nicole Thompson is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Medical Exercise Specialist, Group Fitness Instructor, and Health Coach as well as an ACE Senior Fitness Specialist and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. She holds an M.A. in Sport and Performance Psychology and studied Fitness Instruction/Exercise Science at the University of California, San Diego. Her love of health, fitness, and learning landed her at the American Council on Exercise in 2015 where she continues to cultivate those passions. 

Why is range of motion important?

As we’ve seen, maintaining good flexibility is super important, especially as we age. And the best flexibility exercises can help you stay on top of your ROM. 

As Thompson explains: “Range of motion is the result of flexibility. And flexibility is an essential component of fitness and one’s ability to perform activities of daily living. A flexibility routine can help improve ROM, reduce stiffness and injury, improve muscular function and can even improve your mood.”

But not staying on top of your flexibility can lead to health and wellbeing problems later down the line. Thompson tells us: “If there are muscle imbalances, as a result of altered muscles lengths/length-tension relationships around the joint, that alters the joint mechanics, which result in postural misalignments, faulty loading, and ultimately pain, injury, and/or compensation.”

Woman doing yoga
(Image credit: Getty Images)

How can you improve your range of motion?

1. Massage can help with your range of movement

If done consistently and by a professional, massages can help increase your ROM. Thompson says: “Massage can help relax muscles by increasing blood flow to muscles, decreasing knots (which are believed to be inflammation or microtrauma to muscle fibers that can restrict ROM), and can help fascia be more pliable. Fascia is a connective tissue that covers all the body’s compartments like a web.” 

And research backs this point up. The Journal of Physical Therapy Science (opens in new tab) published a study which looked into the effect of massage therapy on the range of motion of the shoulder and concluded that massage therapy ‘significantly improved the shoulder range of motion, especially the flexion and abduction’. While a second review, published in Frontiers in Physiology (opens in new tab), concurred, stating that even with just 15 minutes of massage some increases in ROM were spotted. 

2. Use of a foam roller

Foam rollers are a form of self-myofascial release technique and can be adopted as part of a warm up or recovery program. 

According to one review published in Frontiers in Physiology (opens in new tab), foam rollers can also be used to ‘increase your ROM’ by performing simple back and forth movements over the roller to ‘exert mechanical pressures on soft tissues via the weight of the body (or the force of the upper limbs)’.

And Thompson agrees, adding: “Myofascial release, whether done by foam rolling or massage, attempts to relieve tension and thus improve flexibility.”

Female athlete using a foam roller on the track after her run
(Image credit: Getty Images)

3. Drinking more water

We all know that drinking water is important to our overall health. But it’s believed that guzzling down some H2o can also work towards increasing your ROM.

“Since water is present and needed in tendons, ligaments, and muscles — proper hydration can help optimize muscle performance,” Thompson says. “Water can also help lubricate joints and tissues so they can be more elastic.”

In fact, a study published in the Journal of Human Kinetics (opens in new tab) revealed that collagen fibers are influenced by hydration levels and might be responsible for the cause of stiffness. 

Thompson adds: “Conversely, it’s common to get muscle cramps (involuntary contracting/shortening of the muscle) when you are dehydrated. Muscle cramps usually indicate to endurance athletes that they need water and electrolytes. Which further supports the idea of water contributing to muscle pliability.”

4. Stretching

One of the best ways to improve your ROM? By having a first-class stretching routine. According to Thompson, flexibility programs should include various forms of stretching such as:

  • Static stretching (which involves stretching a muscle to near its furthest point and then holding that position for at least 15 or 20 seconds).
  • Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF). This is a passive form of stretch that requires contraction and relaxation of muscles to their limit against a prop or partner. 
  • Myofascial release (using a foam roller).
image shows woman using resistance band to stretch
(Image credit: Getty)

Best stretches to increase your range of motion

Wondering where to start when it comes to your stretches? O’Leary recommends adding the below to your routine to hit different areas of your body. 

Helen O’Leary is a chartered physiotherapist and Pilates instructor/director of Complete Pilates (opens in new tab) in London. She graduated from Birmingham University in 2008 and in 2010 completed her Polestar Pilates Rehabilitation course and began to teach both mat and equipment Pilates. At Complete, O’Leary works with clients before and immediately after surgery to optimize their recovery. 

  1. Bouncing roll down. This will help you touch your toes easier. O’Leary says: “Roll down towards the floor and let your arms hang, accepting that you probably aren’t touching the floor. Let one knee bend and keep the other straight to reach towards the floor. Lift your body up a little, switch knees and bounce back down again. Keep repeating 10 times before letting yourself hand and slowly coming back up. Try to keep the bounce smooth and not force anything.”
  2. Cat cow. This will stretch out your spine. O’Leary explains: “Get on all fours, tuck your tailbone under and allow your spine to arch towards the ceiling. Press into your hands to encourage your mid back to lift as well. From your tailbone, open your sit bones and let your spine go the other way into extension. try to keep pressing into your hands so that you don’t sag between them and lift your chest up and towards the ceiling. Keep your gaze somewhere in front of you so that you aren’t overextending your neck.
  3. Banded dislocations. This stretch will tackle your shoulders and chest. O’Leary adds: “Hold onto the ends of a long band. The longer or lighter the band the easier the movement will be. Take your hands up in front of you, pull apart and then go towards the ceiling and back behind you. Reverse the movement bringing them back up towards the ceiling and down in front of you. The more you pull apart the more you are likely to get round so make sure you find a place that is a challenge but possible without you bending your elbows.”

This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to offer medical advice.

Becks is a freelance journalist and writer writing for a range of titles including Stylist, The Independent and LiveScience covering lifestyle topics such as health and fitness, homes and food. She also ghostwrites for a number of Physiotherapists and Osteopaths. When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her in the gym, learning new techniques and perfecting her form. 

https://www.livescience.com/how-to-increase-your-range-of-motion?utm_source=pocket-newtab-android

If You Notice Black on Your Nail, This Is Why You Should Go See a Doctor

twistedsifter.com

We all stub our toes or accidentally hit our thumbs with a hammer once in a while, which leads to bruising on our nails, which is normal.

But if you happen to notice something that looks like a black stripe on one of your toenails or fingernails, you should probably go see a health professional to get it looked at.

The reason you shouldn’t ignore these signs is that melanomas, which are cancerous tissues on the skin, can develop under our nails.

This type of cancer usually affects people of African descent, but it can happen to people of any race or gender, so it’s best to keep an eye out for it.

If this kind of melanoma is detected, removing the growth and the nail usually takes care of the problem, but if it is not looked into and dealt with, this kind of cancer can spread to other organs in the body.

While we don’t usually hear about this kind of cancer, it ends up costing about 1,000 people their lives every year.

If you notice a dark stripe on your nail that has blurred borders, you should get it checked out immediately. Also, if the stripe changes in any way, that’s another warning sign.

Take a look at this video from CBS New York for more information.

https://twistedsifter.com/2022/03/if-you-notice-black-on-your-nail-this-is-why-you-should-go-see-a-doctor/

In Missouri, Planned Parenthood to offer free vasectomies

Denny Dalliance has long worried about what would happen if he became a father, because his job as a truck driver often keeps him away from home. After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 31-year-old decided to sign up for a free vasectomy in Missouri. 

Associated Press

Denny Dalliance had long worried about what would happen if he fathered a child because his job as a truck driver keeps him away from home most of the week.

But after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, the 31-year-old Independence, Missouri, man decided it was time to take action — and jumped at the chance to sign up for a free vasectomy.

“These are grim circumstances under which I made this decision,” he said as he drove a load of cardboard boxes through Kansas this week.

HAWAII SIGNS ORDER TO PREVENT OTHER STATES FROM PUNISHING ITS RESIDENTS WHO GET AN ABORTION IN THE ISLANDS

The vasectomy he is scheduled to get next month is part of an effort that involves Planned Parenthood and a physician with a mobile vasectomy clinic. Sixty vasectomies will be offered over three days in and outside Planned Parenthood clinics in St. Louis, Springfield and Joplin to uninsured patients during the first week of November amid what the clinics say is a surge in demand for the procedure.

Dr. Esgar Guarin then plans to take his mobile clinic — a vehicle decorated with large images of sperm that his friends have jokingly dubbed the “Nutcracker” — on the road the following week to offer 40 more free vasectomies in several towns across Iowa.

Denny Dalliance has long worried about what would happen if he became a father, because his job as a truck driver often keeps him away from home. After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 31-year-old decided to sign up for a free vasectomy in Missouri.  (Denny Dalliance via AP)

Guarin also plans to offer discounted vasectomies that month at his regular clinic in the Des Moines area.

The efforts are part of World Vasectomy Day, originally a single-day event that now includes a year-round focus and a host of activities in November.

“It’s a very particular moment in reproductive rights in the United States. And we need to we need to talk about it,” he said, adding that vasectomies are performed far less often than the tubal ligation method of female sterilization, even though they are cheaper, have a shorter recovery time and require local, rather than general, anesthesia.

Guarin, who serves on the medical advisory board for the World Vasectomy Day, helped offer vasectomies last year at the Planned Parenthood in St. Louis to raise awareness about the procedure. The effort was so popular that the decision was made to expand it to other cities even before the toppling of Roe sent demand soaring.

In July alone, the Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri performed 42 vasectomies, compared to 10 in the same month last year. Female sterilizations rose to 18 that month from just three in July 2021.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has been hearing similar reports from around the country that more patients are seeking tubal ligations. It is too early for any post-Roe national numbers on permanent sterilization, said Laura Lindberg, a professor at Rutgers University’s School of Public Health in New Jersey.

Planned Parenthood, for instance, doesn’t have national sterilization numbers available for this year yet. However, its national web page has seen a 53% increase in vasectomy information searches over the last 100 days, a spokesperson said.

CONNECTICUT LAUNCHES ABORTION WEBSITE AND HOTLINE AFTER ROE VS. WADE REVERSAL CAUSED ‘CHAOS’

Data from Google Trends shows that searches about vasectomies briefly spiked after the leak of the draft majority opinion in the Dobbs case but then reached their highest level in the days after the court released its decision in late June.

Dr. Doug Stein, a urological surgeon in the Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida, area, said patient registrations for his practice tripled immediately after the Dobbs decision, with many patients under the age of 30.

“I think everybody is busier since the Dobbs decision,” said Stein, who co-founded World Vasectomy Day.

Dr. Arnold Bullock, a St. Louis urologist who does about 35 vasectomies a month said that before the U.S. Supreme Court decision, patients waited about a month for the procedure while the wait now is two to three months.

In Texas, Dr. Koushik Shaw said his Austin Urology Institute saw a spike when Texas enacted a strict abortion law last year and another, larger one after the U.S. Supreme Court decision, so that it’s now doing 50% more procedures. He said many are for men who don’t want children and saw access to abortion as another option should birth control not work as planned.

“It really pushed family planning to the forefront of people’s thoughts,” he said of the loss of abortion access.

Lawmakers are responding to the growing demand. A California law that will take effect in 2024 will make vasectomies cheaper by allowing patients with private insurance plans to get the procedure at no additional cost other than what they pay for their monthly premiums.

Dr. Margaret Baum, the medical director of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, will be partnering with Guarin to provide the free vasectomies. She has been having lots of conversations with patients about permanent sterilization in recent months and said there is a sense of urgency.

TOP DEMS SILENT AFTER KATIE HOBBS SUPPORTS NO LEGAL LIMITS ON ABORTION

“I think people are afraid, No. 1, about abortion not being accessible, which is a very real and legitimate fear and in the reality for a large part of folks in our country. And then I think people are also really afraid that what else might be next,” she said.

A vasectomy involves cutting and sealing the tube that carries sperm, preventing it from entering ejaculate fluid. Baum said she chats with patients to keep them calm, sometimes turning on a playlist that includes “Great Balls of Fire” and “The Nutcracker Suite.” Most patients are fully recovered in a couple of days.

Dalliance, the truck driver, said he didn’t want to thrust the responsibility of birth control on partners anymore, especially with abortions harder to get. His home state of Missouri was among the first in the country with a trigger law in effect to ban abortions at any point in pregnancy.

“I don’t want to come off as though I’m like unhappy to be doing this, but this is a situation where my hands kind of got forced with regards to the Roe v. Wade decision,” he said.

“I feel like that with the extreme cost involved with having a child in the United States, I kind of got priced out,” he said. “And so this is me cashing out my chips as it were. It’s the right ethical decision for me, but it’s not one that’s made lightly.”

https://www.foxnews.com/us/missouri-planned-parenthood-clinics-offer-free-vasectomies?intcmp=tw_fnc

The latest FDA resources

“Cameras Capture The Moment A Newscaster Has A Stroke LIVE on the Air – Know the Signs”

“Woman’s warning about tissue on car”

Connecticut reports its first case of tick-borne Powassan virus in 2022: What to know

www.foxnews.com

Shiv Sudhakar

The Connecticut Department of Public Health announced the state’s first reported Powassan virus infection of the year this past Wednesday. Powassan virus is a rare disease spread by the same tick that causes Lyme disease, according to a recent press release

“The identification of a Connecticut resident with Powassan virus associated illness emphasizes the need to take actions to prevent tick bites from now through the late fall,” said Dr. Manisha Juthani, who is the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Health.

“Using insect repellent, avoiding areas where ticks are likely, and checking carefully for ticks after being outside can reduce the chance of you or your children being infected with this virus.”

Powassan virus, first discovered in Powassan, Ontario in 1958, is usually spread through the bite of an infected black-legged or deer tick, officially known as Ixodes scapularis, and can be transmitted in as little as 15 minutes after a tick bite, but it can take a week up to one month to develop symptoms, per the release. 

This is in contrast to Lyme disease, the most common tick-borne disease in the United States, which is caused by a bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi and usually transmitted after 36-48 hours after the bite of usually the black-legged tick, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Human infections secondary to the Powassan virus infections have been recognized in the United States, Canada, and Russia, with the cases mostly from northeastern states and the Great Lakes region in late spring, early summer and mid-fall when ticks are most active, per the CDC.

Between 2011-20, in addition to Connecticut, the following states have reported cases to the CDC: Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

Powassan cases are rare, with 20 reported in 2020 to the CDC, but the reported cases are increasing, whereas usually 30,00 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the CDC each year, but the true number is likely closer to 476,000 each year because of underreporting, per the agency.

People who work outdoors and engage in recreational activities in endemic areas for the virus are at increased risk of the infection.

The Connecticut patient who contracted Powassan virus is a male patient in his 50s who started to feel sick during the fourth week of March after a tick bite. He was later hospitalized with a central nervous system disease with laboratory confirmed evidence by the CDC of antibodies to the virus, but is now discharged and recovering at home, according to the health department’s release. 

Most people infected with Powassan virus will develop mild flu-like symptoms or no symptoms at all, but some will experience severe illness affecting the central nervous system, which consists of the spinal cord and brain, per the health department.

Wood Tick on finger

Wood Tick on finger

Early symptoms of severe disease include headache, vomiting, fever and weakness that rapidly progresses to confusion, loss of coordination, difficulty speaking, or seizures. Treatment is supportive care, which means there is no specific medication directed against the disease, but instead targeted to symptoms. 

Approximately one out of 10 cases of severe illness are fatal, with an estimated half of survivors experiencing long-term complications. 

There were 12 cases of Powassan virus from 2017 to 2021 reported in Connecticut, including three in 2021 and two out the 12 that were fatal, the release said.

Connecticut is a state well-known for tick-bites, with the CDC categorizing it a high-incidence region for Lyme disease, as of 2019

Lyme disease was first described in Lyme, Connecticut in 1975 by a researcher, Dr. William Burgdorfer, who connected puzzling symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis-like symptoms with the bite of deer ticks, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH)

He discovered that a spiral shaped bacterium, known as a spirochete, carried by the ticks caused the condition now known as Lyme disease.  The spirochete was named Borrelia burgdorferi in 1982 in his honor, per the NIH.

An early symptom of Lyme disease is a hallmark rash that looks like a “bulls-eye,” known as erythema migrans, but later can progress to joint pain and neurological issues, according to Mayo Clinic.

Blacklegged ticks not only can carry Lyme disease and Powassan virus, but also other tick-borne diseases like anaplasmosis and babesiosis, so it’s possible to get infected with more than one infection at the same time, called a co-infection, per the CDC.

Some tips to prevent tick bites include: avoiding grassy, brushy, or wooded areas, using CDC-recommended mosquito repellents, checking for ticks immediately after an outdoor activity and showering within two hours of coming indoors, per the release

https://www.foxnews.com/health/connecticut-reports-first-2022-case-tick-borne-powassan-virus-what-know

Vitamins for Your Health and Wellness

Taking Vitamin D and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements Could Lower Your Risk of Developing an Autoimmune Disease

woman pouring vitamin supplements into hand

Credit: Jay Yuno / Getty Images

By Nashia Baker March 30, 2022

Researchers studied over 25,000 adults for five years to reach these findings.

Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acid supplements are known to contribute to bone strength and heart health—but that’s not all. Research presented at the American College of Rheumatology’s ACR Convergence 2021 found that people who ingested these nutrients over the course of five years actually lowered their chances of developing autoimmune disease by 25 to 30 percent, Eating Well reports.

To conduct this study, researchers followed 25,871 adults who were put on four different regimens for nearly five-and-a-half years: The first group took both an omega-3 and vitamin D placebo, and the second took 1,000 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids and 2,000 international units of vitamin D. A third group of participants took an omega-3 placebo and 2,000 international units of vitamin D, while the fourth group took 1,000 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids and a vitamin D placebo. If a participant experienced any autoimmune complication, it was noted by the researchers.

The result? Those with autoimmune diseases, such as psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, lowered their risk of relapse by up to 30 percent if they took either or both supplements. “The effect of vitamin D3 appeared stronger after two years of supplementation,” Costenbader said in the study’s abstract, adding that risks can decrease in less than five years. “The more pronounced effect after two to three years of use with vitamin D makes sense biologically and supports long-term use.”

Related: Science Says the Fatty Acids in Omega-3 Supplements Can Stabilize Alzheimer’s Patients’ Memories

This study was inspired by a previous study in which researchers found that those who get enough vitamin D from the sun and their diets are better able to ward off arthritis and inflammation. “In past ecologic observations, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, and type 2 diabetes have been shown to be more prevalent at northern latitudes, where circulating vitamin D levels are lower,” Karen Costenbader, M.D., M.P.H., the senior author of the research and the director of the Lupus Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said at the conference. “Both high plasma vitamin D and high residential UV exposure were associated with a decreased risk for rheumatoid arthritis among women in the Nurses’ Health Study in our past work.” Their previous studies also showed that risk of developing arthritis appeared lower in those with high fatty fish intake.

The One Type of Vitamin D That Will Strengthen Your Immune System

open hand holding vitamin d supplements

Credit: FreshSplash / Getty Images

By Madeline Buiano

Vitamin D helps make your bones stronger, boosts your heart health, and more. Now, a new study has found that getting specific with your supplement offers yet another health benefit.

Vitamin D is one of the most popular supplements in the United States, and for good reason too: it’s known for its ability to contribute to bone strength and heart health, as well as lower your risk for developing an autoimmune disease. But there’s a chance you’re taking the supplement every day and not reaping all of its benefits. According to a study recently published in Frontiers in Immunology, D3 is more effective at elevating vitamin D levels in the bloodstream than D2. What’s more, only D3 helps enable a critical immune system response to bacterial and viral infections.

WTo determine the key differences between both types of the supplement, the University of Surrey recruited 335 women between the ages of 20 and 64 who were based in the United Kingdom and randomly assigned them to a group. Some of the participants took 15 micrograms of vitamin D2 a day, while others took the same amount of D3. There was also a placebo group that took neither D2 or D3. The researchers examined the effects of vitamin D over a 12-week period during the winter months.

The result? Vitamin D3 was more effective at increasing vitamin D levels in the bloodstream than D2. They also found that the group who took D3 had a stronger immune system response to bacterial and viral infections, while D2 has the opposite effect. Additionally, it’s believed by researchers that D2 may deplete D3, as the D2 supplement group had less D3 in their blood than the placebo group did. “We know that to take a vitamin D2 supplement actually displaces the normal, the native D3 from your body,” Colin P. Smith, an author of the study and a professor of genomics at the University of Surrey in the U.K., told Inverse. “So by taking a vitamin D2 supplement, you could be making yourself vitamin D deficient, certainly in relation to some pathways in the body.”

This isn’t the first study that has examined the differences between D2 and D3. A study published last year in the National Library of Medicine, found that high D3 levels were associated with less severe depression symptoms in women, while D2 showed no such correlation.

Popular in Health and Wellness

Researchers Have Discovered an Exciting New Way to Identify the Best Treatments for Autoimmune Diseases

Landmark Study Reveals 42 New Genes Associated with Increased Risk of Developing Alzheimer’s Disease

Being Organized Can Reduce Your Chances of Dementia, New Study Finds

Five Questions to Ask Your Doctor If You Have a Family History of Alzheimer’s Disease

New Research Says Sleeping with Even a Little Bit of Light May Increase Your Risk of Heart Disease and Diabetes

10 Hydration Powders That Will Take Your Glass of Water to the Next Level

Four Expert-Approved Ways to Strengthen Your Core

Drinking Two to Three Cups of Coffee Every Day Could Help You Live Longer, New Study Finds

Common Foods That Are Surprisingly Good for You as You Age

What Is Assisted Stretching? The Popular Activity Could Help with Chronic Aches and Pains

Do You Strength Train? A New Study Shows 30 to 60 Minutes of Resistance Exercises Could Help You Live Longer

Science Says the Fatty Acids in Omega-3 Supplements Can Stabilize Alzheimer’s Patients’ Memories

Do You Eat Breakfast? Science Says That It Really Is the Most Important Meal of the Day

Science Says Optimism Is the Secret to Healthy Aging

Science Says Our Sense of Smell Has Decreased Over Time

Seven Healthy Eating Myths That Aren’t Serving You Well

Do We Need to Eat More or Less as We Age?

Science Says Eating Fish Two Times a Week Can Reduce the Risk of Vascular Disease

Science Says Listening to Music Can Decrease Anxiety

https://www.marthastewart.com/8246241/vitamin-d-omega-3-fatty-acid-supplements-could-help-lower-autoimmune-disease-risks-study

“Potassium Supplements…The Shocking Truth Most Don’t Understand | Dr. Mandell”

iPhones, Androids, tablets and more are the grimiest, germiest tech devices in your home — how to clean them

Angelica Stabile

In today’s technology age, the devices we pick up, touch, use and place on a variety of surfaces throughout the day can get … totally gross.

A new survey from Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions, the world’s largest tech care solutions company, found that the average person picks up a cell phone an amazing 352 times per day. 

And while 75% of people have admitted to bringing their phone into the bathroom with them (yes, you read that right!) — only 8% of people remember to sanitize their devices afterward.

placeholder

SPRING CLEANING FOR FORGOTTEN SPACES: TIPS FOR TIDYING UP UNCONVENTIONAL SPOTS AT HOME

Now that you’ve just grabbed your disinfecting wipes, here’s a look at some of the grimiest devices in your home and how to clean them. 

iPhones and Androids

A vast majority of people use their phone while doing their business in the bathroom without even thinking of the germs festering on the surface, as noted above.

When you clean your cell phone, remember to remove protective cases from the device to get into the nooks and crannies — and give the case a good wipe-down, too.   

When you clean your cell phone, remember to remove protective cases from the device to get into the nooks and crannies — and give the case a good wipe-down, too.    (iStock)

For a device that’s used so frequently, it’s important to keep your smartphone clean by wiping it with a disinfectant wipe on nonporous surfaces, according to Apple.

Be sure to remove protective cases from the device to get into the nooks and crannies — and give the case a good wipe-down, too.

Children’s tablets

All parents and grandparents know exactly how sticky, gunky and messy kids’ tablets can get.

Here, a three-year-old girl is glued to an iPad in a hotel room during a vacation. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Here, a three-year-old girl is glued to an iPad in a hotel room during a vacation. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

While being careful not to damage the screen, be sure to wipe off any sticky residue with a disinfectant wipe instead of spraying a solution. 

Then, use a microfiber towel to erase those little fingerprints.

DO YOU KNOW HOW TO DEEP CLEAN YOUR KEURIG?

The tablet’s case should also be removed and cleaned with a disinfectant wipe (beware of falling crumbs).

Charging ports, headphone jacks and earpiece speakers

Little crevices can be a challenge to clean, especially when makeup and earwax build-up is gross just to look at, Asurion noted in press materials connected to its survey. 

Charging ports on smartphones, tablets and other devices can be blasted clean with a few short bursts of compressed air, which is also useful for freeing lunchtime crumbs from your laptop’s keyboard.

Earbuds can be detailed with a toothpick and wiped clean with rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab. (iStock)

Earbuds can be detailed with a toothpick and wiped clean with rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab. (iStock)

Device speakers can be cleaned with a soft bristled brush to improve sound quality. 

Earpiece speakers can be detailed with a toothpick and wiped clean with rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab.

placeholder

Video game consoles and controllers

A video game console isn’t a place you’d normally think to clean out. 

All those nights spent scrolling through Netflix warrant an inspection of your remote control’s sanitary state.

But aside from accumulating dust bunnies, gaming systems are prone to attracting cockroaches and other pests that seek out warm, dark places to nest, especially on the floor in a tight corner.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR LIFESTYLE NEWSLETTER

To avoid an invasion of creepy crawlers, place your gaming systems in a clear space with ample ventilation. 

Asurion Experts recommend clearing the console’s vents with compressed air, a soft-bristled brush (toothbrush, paintbrush, etc.), a microfiber cloth and/or a vacuum with a handheld attachment.

For all those well-handled video game controllers, remember to comb out residue with a toothpick and spray with a rubbing alcohol-water mixture. (iStock)

For all those well-handled video game controllers, remember to comb out residue with a toothpick and spray with a rubbing alcohol-water mixture. (iStock)

Game controllers can get particularly grimy from being handled with sweaty, snack-time-grubby hands. 

Get into the small cracks of those controllers and comb out residue with a toothpick. 

Then, per guidance given to Fox News Digital by cleaning expert Brandon Pleshek, spray your controllers with a 50-50 rubbing alcohol-water mixture and wipe clean.

Remote controls

All those nights spent scrolling through Netflix warrant an inspection of your remote control’s sanitary state.

Use rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth or cotton swab to sanitize the ridges and remote surface of your remote control — and let air dry.

First, remove the batteries and shake out any loose debris between buttons. 

Then, use rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth or cotton swab to sanitize the ridges and remote surface and let air dry.

Asurion, based in Nashville, Tenn., and with locations nationwide, is a tech care company that offers protection, repair, installation and expert support for all devices. Check out more expert advice on caring for your products at asurion.com.

https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/iphones-androids-tablets-tech-devices-home-clean#

“1 Drop of This Essential Oil for a Better Night’s Sleep | Dr. Mandell”

Died of Heart Attacks

Rise in ‘needle spiking’ puts women in Britain on high alert

www.washingtonpost.com

Adela Suliman

LONDON — Britain is increasingly feeling like a hostile place for women.

There have been multiple reports of “needle spiking” — which involves an injection being administered to someone without their knowledge or consent, usually in a nightclub or bar setting — as opposed to the more commonly known method of contaminating alcoholic drinks.

Zara Owen, a 19-year-old student in Nottingham, central England, said she woke up after clubbing with a “sharp, agonizing pain in my leg” and “almost zero recollection” of the night before. She walked with a limp for the remainder of the day, she wrote on social media, before finding a “pinprick” and realizing that she had been “spiked” by a needle that had pierced through her jeans.

Thankfully, she added, her friends — who had noticed her behaving strangely — helped her to return safely home.

“The fact that this form of spiking is happening is horrifying, with the memory loss it brought me,” Owen told The Washington Post. “What is supposed to be a fun night leads us to almost fear the unknown.”

The Nottinghamshire police said this week that it had received a total of 15 reports of alleged spiking with a sharp object since Oct. 2, with the majority of reports made by women, in venues across the popular university town. Two men had been arrested so far on “suspicion of conspiracy to administer poison with intent to injure, annoy or aggrieve,” the police added on Friday.

Cases have also been reported elsewhere in Britain, mostly among college students, in Glasgow, Exeter and Birmingham.

The reported needle-spiking incidents come aftertwo high-profile murders of women on the streets, which have left Britain stunned. The overall number of reported needle-spiking incidents remains far below the number of drink-spiking incidents thought to occur, and the incidents not yet been linked to other crimes such as rape or theft, but police chiefs have been asked to urgently assess how widespread the attacks are around the country, while the home secretary has also expressed concern.“We need to make sure that we earn back the trust and confidence particularly of women and girls. And that takes an approach that isn’t just the police’s problem, but all of our problem… I think misogyny should be a hate crime, and we’re lobbying the government to make sure that harassment in a public place is a criminal offense.” (Washington Post Live)

In September, a U.K. watchdog called violence against women “an epidemic” and said authorities should treat it with as much urgency as fighting terrorism. On average, a woman is killed by a man in the United Kingdom every three days, it said.

The reports of needle spiking were “deeply worrying” said Melissa Green, general secretary of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes. The cases “again remind us that our public spaces are not truly safe for women,” Green told The Post.

Police have also been criticized for their approach — including their advice to women, following the death of Everard, to shout or wave down a bus if they encounter a lone police officer they do not trust — which some said continued to place the onus on women.

“The W.I. does not agree that it is the responsibility of women to educate themselves or alter their behavior to try and keep themselves safe. … What is actually needed is action from the whole of society,” Green added.

The needle-spiking cases have also prompted a public petition urging politicians to enact tougher laws to search guests on arrival to nightclubs. As of Saturday, it had garnered more than 165,000 signatories, which will trigger the British parliament to consider the petition for a debate.

Meanwhile, from Wales to Birmingham, female students across the United Kingdom are hosting a “Girls Night In” public campaign over the next two weeks to boycott nightclubs and draw attention to the issue of needle spiking and women’s safety.

Owen told The Post that she would “like to see more change in nightclubs,” including better searches before people enter.

Meanwhile Nia Gallagher, 20, has been using her TikTok platform — where she has almost 300,000 followers, to spread awareness about spiking incidents and personal safety.

Gallagher said she had her drink spiked when she was 18, after she left her drink briefly unattended while out in a Dublin nightclub. The spiking of her drink left her severely unwell for over a week and wiped her memory, she said, although she made it safely home and was not attacked.

“I let my guard down and that’s why it happened to me,” she told The Post, adding that news of the latest attacks was “really upsetting.”

“A lot of people turned 18 over lockdown so it’s their first time going to nightclubs … so I just wanted to warn people,” she said.

It’s unclear what exact drugs are being administered in the syringes. However, Shirin Lakhani, a cosmetic doctor and former anesthetist, said needles and prescription drugs, such as pain killers and opium-based medicines, are extremely easy to get hold of online and assailants would require little knowledge of how to inject under the skin.

“Needles have gotten really fine now and you can get needles as fine as hairs, so it’s possible not to notice, especially in a club environment with the noise,” she told The Post.

Lakhani said images on social media suggested the attackers were targeting hands in particular, with bruises taking some time to manifest.

“It’s appalling that we have to look after ourselves in this way,” said the doctor and mother of two girls. “It’s another way to carry out misogynistic attacks.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/10/23/uk-women-needle-spiking/?utm_campaign=wp_main&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

Is Dr. Fauci The Evil Scientist

“HALF-MAD: Pew Study Shows 56.3% of Young White Liberal Women Diagnosed with Mental Illness”

Chemical Free Life – Targeting chemicals of concern in our food, products and environment and offering cleaner, better solutions. Chemical-Free Life… utilizing scientific research, public education and science-based wellness programs to help consumers live cleaner, healthier lives.

Chemical Free Life

Targeting chemicals of concern in our food, products and environment and offering cleaner, better solutions. Chemical-Free Life… utilizing scientific research, public education and science-based wellness programs to help consumers live cleaner, healthier lives.

Welcome

cropped-cropped-logo-new-best-cfl5.jpg

Chemical-Free-Life.org

A training/consulting, research and education organization focusing on the link between synthetic and industrialized chemicals of concern and adverse health outcomes and offering cleaner, better solutions.

_____

OVERVIEW

Our modern times leave us inundated with potentially health damaging synthetic and industrialized chemicals in our food, personal care products, pet products and home environment. Scientific evidence has demonstrated that exposure can trigger a myriad of adverse symptoms and even serious, chronic illness. With the thousands of synthetic and industrialized chemicals in use today–many of them unlisted–learning which chemicals to avoid can be overwhelming.

Food preservatives, dyes, additives like emulsifiers, texturizing agents, and flavor enhancers, pesticides, synthetic growth hormones, antibiotics and other animal drugs, are all a pervasive part of the typical diet in the U.S. (there are currently more than 10,000 synthetic and industrialized chemicals in the U.S. food supply) and many have been linked to serious health-related problems.

In fact, there have been several decades of scholarly scientific and medical studies, anecdotal reports and clinical trials that have produced evidence linking a number of synthetic and industrialized food chemicals to a myriad of adverse health conditions including heart disease, insulin resistance/impaired glucose tolerance, and diabetes, weight gain/obesity, depression, anxiety, behavioral, mood and psychiatric disorders, insomnia/sleep disturbances, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity, memory and concentration difficulties, nausea, fatigue, ear infections, swollen lymph nodes, urticaria, edema, intestinal disturbances and digestive disorders, respiratory problems and asthma-related difficulties, fibroid tumors, cancer, endocrine dysfunction, infertility, nasal polyps, rhinitis, autoimmune disorders, migraines/headaches, allergic reactions, liver and kidney disease, bladder infections, and more.

additives comic

Fortunately, there is a solution. By simply learning what these problematic synthetic and industrialized chemicals are, where they are hiding, and the strategies for locating alternatives, not only can you avoid these unwanted additives, but you can eat healthier and better tasting food than you ever imagined.

. . .

Chemical-Free Life is dedicated to scientific research, public education and science-based wellness programs focusing on the link between synthetic chemicals and adverse health consequences, and offering safer, cleaner, BETTER SOLUTIONS.


Chemical-Free-Life.org

Chemical-Free Consulting Programs, Research, Public Education

. . .

Programs

new growth knowledge header cfl

The Chemical-Free-Life.org Programs are scientifically-based care system developed to uncover which synthetic chemicals in your food, personal care, and household products hold the potential to be the most problematic for you personally.  Based on decades of scientific research, our system analyzes your Lifestyle and Sensitivity Profile and then creates a personalized, user-friendly program of alternatives based on that analysis.

Programs include a personalized diagnostic assessment, weekly private, one-on-one telephone consultation sessions and access to “life line” calls, and a recovery kit that includes a condition-specific diet and lifestyle prescription for success.

Our science-based programs will walk you through each step in the process of discovering which specific additives are the most problematic for you personally, where they are hiding, and teach you easy, practical strategies for living a life with cleaner, better solutions.

Four Different Programs to Choose From:

1-Chemical-Free Go Clean Wellness Program

2-Chemical-Free Life Cycle Program

3-Chemical-Free Athletes Program

4-Chemical-Free Weight Loss Program


Research

consumer risk perceptions about additives graph

Scientific Research: Including designing/conducting scientific studies examining public opinion and consumer perceptions and behavior examining sociological, political, health, environmental and economic antecedents and consequences of the increasing numbers of chemicals of concern in the food supply and home and personal care product industries.


Education

Food Hacker BOOKCOVER-CFL

Public Education: Ongoing seminars, workshops, a PEG-TV television series, a talk radio program, articles, science-based chemical watch blog, documentaries & doc shorts and of course, our latest book.

The BOOK:  A science-based, user-friendly comprehensive guide to all the food additives linked in scientific and medical studies to adverse health consequences, where they are hiding, and proven, practical strategies for how to avoid them!

 Get healthy. Get clean.

Go Chemical-Free today!


Share this:

Copyright 2008-2020, Chemical-Free-Life.org

You are following this blog

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Email Address:

https://widgets.wp.com/follow/index.html#href=chemical-free-life.org&lang=en&blog=113793128

Scientific Findings on Chemicals of Concern: Blog Archive

Scientific Findings on Chemicals of Concern: Blog Archive

Search

Search for:

https://chemical-free-life.org/

Protect Songbirds from Salmonella Poisoning

Click to download and share this infographic!

An outbreak of avian salmonellosis is killing songbirds in the Bay Area.

Please take down your birdfeeders IMMEDIATELY if you see sick or dead birds in your yard!

Update February 18, 2021:
WildCare continues to admit multiple songbirds ill with salmonellosis every day. Although the numbers have decreased slightly, the outbreak is NOT over.

This disease is spread from bird to bird primarily at bird feeders and bird baths.

Just since the new year began, WildCare has admitted over 40 Pine Siskins with the symptoms of salmonellosis. Sadly, the vast majority of these beautiful little songbirds have died.

WildCare’s Hotline 415-456-7283 has received multiple calls about ill and dead songbirds in people’s yards from throughout the Bay Area, indicating there is a widespread outbreak of bacterial disease.

The disease salmonellosis is a common causes of disease and death in wild birds.

Bird feeders bring large numbers of birds into close contact with each other, which means diseases can spread quickly through multiple populations. The bacteria are primarily transmitted through contact with fecal matter, so birds at a crowded feeder are much more likely to be exposed than birds in a wild setting.

Sick birds may be lethargic, puffed up and thin and may have swollen eyelids. A sick bird may also be seen resting with beak tucked under wing, and may be the last bird to take flight if the flock is startled. You can tell these sick birds don’t feel very good!Donate today to help WildCare care for the flood of sick songbirds we’re admitting due to the outbreak!

Guidelines:

A healthy Pine Siskin shows his sleek plumage. Photo by Tom Grey

If you have dead or sick birds in your yard:

  • Immediately REMOVE bird feeders and birdbaths.
  • Disinfect with 9:1 bleach solution (9 parts water to 1 part bleach.)
  • Scrub well to remove all debris and allow to soak 10 – 20 minutes.
  • Rinse very well and allow to dry in the sun.
  • Do not rehang feeders or bird baths for at least three weeks after the last sick or dead bird is seen in your yard.
  • Resterilize and allow to dry before rehanging.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling feeders or baths.

If you have not yet seen sick or dead birds:

Please use the following guidelines as preventative measures to protect your local birds from a outbreaks of Salmonella and other avian diseases. These measures should also be practiced as regularly scheduled maintenance to ensure healthy birds:

  • Bird feeders should be disinfected every other day, or at least once a week, while the outbreak is active.
  • Bird baths should be emptied and cleaned daily, regardless of disease outbreaks.
  • For feeders: Do not use wooden feeders (they easily harbor bacteria and other pathogens). Immerse feeders in a 10% bleach solution (9 parts water to 1 part bleach.) Soak 10 minutes, scrub, rinse thoroughly and allow to dry fully, ideally in the sun, before refilling (a dry feeder will deter mold growth on seeds).
  • For baths: You can make a 9:1 bleach solution in a jug to bring outside. Scrub with a hard brush, cover with board while soaking to prevent birds bathing in bleach, rinse very thoroughly, allow to dry before refilling.
  • For hummingbird feeders: NO BLEACH! Change food often. Clean and fill with only enough to last 1-2 days (sooner if gets cloudy/moldy). Use vinegar and water in a 9:1 solution (9 parts water to 1 part vinegar) and special bottle brushes to get into small holes. Rinse thoroughly!
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling feeders or baths.

Additional Tips

  • Always wear gloves (latex or dishwashing) to keep bleach off your skin and a facemask to keep from accidentally ingesting feces, bleach, etc.
  • Always keep a large tray under feeder to collect hulls/seed that fall. Empty discards every evening. This will prevent mold & disease spreading to ground-feeding birds and will also prevent rodent infestations.
  • Keep cats indoors if you have birdfeeders.
  • Another suggestion to prevent wildlife problems (from rats, raccoons, skunks, etc.) is to bring feeders inside at night.
  • Bird feeders should be disinfected every two weeks regardless of disease outbreaks.
  • Bird baths should be emptied and cleaned daily regardless of disease outbreaks.

Click here to download and print this information (will open as a PDF.)

Frequently Asked Questions

How likely is it that kids or adults could get Salmonella from handling the bird feeder or feed?

Salmonella is primarily transmitted through contact with fecal matter, so, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), avoiding hand-to-mouth contact during, and washing hands thoroughly with soap and water after contact with birds or their fecal matter will minimize or eliminate any risk.

The following recommendations from the CDC pertain to avoiding contracting Salmonella from domestic or exotic pets, but the general rules apply to wild bird feeders too.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching animals, their food (e.g., dry dog or cat food, frozen feeder rodents, etc.) or anything in the area where they live and roam.
  • Running water and soap are best. Use hand sanitizers if running water and soap are not available. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water as soon as a sink is available. Adults should always supervise hand washing for young children.
  • Do not let children younger than 5 years of age, older individuals, or people with weakened immune systems handle or touch high-risk animals (e.g., turtles, water frogs, chicks, ducklings), or anything in the area where they live and roam, including water from containers or aquariums.

How can I avoid transmitting Salmonella from the birdfeeder in my yard into my home?

The CDC recommends always cleaning items that have been in contact with animals outside. If it is necessary to clean a feeder indoors, the sink or tub used for cleaning should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected with a bleach solution afterward.

Common sense precautions to avoid tracking bird feces into the house should be taken including checking shoes for fecal matter.

Are the domesticated birds in my home at risk?

Check with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your pet birds. Salmonella bacteria are transferred between birds from contact with fecal matter, so making sure domestic birds do not come into contact with the droppings, seeds or hulls from your wild bird feeders is the first step to ensuring their safety.

Can my cat get salmonellosis from an infected bird?

Check with your veterinarian if you are worried about your cat. Studies have shown that it is possible for predator animals to get salmonellosis from eating their prey, and cats can contract the disease. Cats under stress or with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to the infection.

WildCare strongly recommends keeping your cat indoors to prevent him or her from coming in contact with sick birds or other hazards, but also to protect the songbirds that are drawn to your yard by your feeder.

Is my dog likely to get salmonellosis from playing in the yard?

Check with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your dog or other pets. Salmonella is transferred from contact with fecal matter, so making sure domestic pets do not come into contact with the droppings, seeds or hulls from your wild bird feeders is the first step to ensuring their safety.

How often should I rake the hulls and fallen seed under my bird feeders?

According to Melanie Piazza, WildCare’s Director of Animal Care, for optimal bird health, and especially in an outbreak situation like this one, hulls should be removed every night.

The problem with feeder seed and hulls is that the birds sit above and knock seed down to the ground, but also drop their droppings down. As Salmonella and other bacteria are transmitted through feces, this means a concentration of potentially infected feces beneath the feeders which can be dangerous to ground-feeding birds, even when there isn’t an epidemic.

In fact, Melanie says that raking the hulls isn’t necessarily sufficient. The best choice is to put a pan or, even better, a sheet held down by rocks under the feeders and remove it and dispose of the hulls every night. This will also prevent rat and mouse infestations which is a bonus.

I’ve heard wood is better for cutting boards in the kitchen. Why do you recommend against wooden bird feeders?

This is a somewhat controversial issue in the kitchen— there are studies both proving and disproving the bacteria-killing properties of wooden cutting boards, and many chefs do prefer wooden cutting boards.

Whatever the best choice is for the kitchen, WildCare still recommends against wooden bird feeders for the following reasons:

  • Wooden bird feeders sit outside 24 hours a day and get cracked, soft and moldy which, Salmonella aside, can be detrimental to songbirds.
  • The wood used for bird feeders is usually not the same hardwood used for cutting boards and softer woods are more likely to mold and rot, trapping bacteria.
  • People are often less likely to want to bleach their wooden feeders because frequent soaking in bleach (especially of feeders made of pine and softer woods) will ruin them.
  • A plastic feeder will last longer through the recommended bleach soakings and can be rinsed and dried more thoroughly.

The main point, however, is no matter what kind of feeder you have, be sure to keep it clean!

Connect With Us:
Found an ill, injured or orphaned animal?

Call: 415-456-7283

Wildlife Emergencies (after 5pm pst)

Call our Wildlife Emergency Nightline at 415-300-6359

© 2021 WildCare, All Rights Reserved.

Location

76 Albert Park Lane, San Rafael, CA 94901 https://www.google.com/maps/embed/v1/place?q=76+Albert+Park+Ln.San+Rafael%2C+CA+94901&key=AIzaSyD09zQ9PNDNNy9TadMuzRV_UsPUoWKntt8

https://discoverwildcare.org/salmonella/

Why Do Elephants Rarely Get Cancer?

FIREPAW, Inc.

The Foundation for Interdisciplinary Research and Education Promoting Animal Welfare [FIREPAW] is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit research and education foundation

The rules of nature tell us that large, long-lived animals should have the highest risk of cancer. The calculation is simple: Tumors grow when genetic mutations cause individual cells to reproduce too quickly. A long life creates more opportunities for those cancerous mutations to arise. So, too, does a massive body: Big creatures — which have many more cells — should develop tumors more frequently. Why, then, does cancer rarely afflict elephants, with their long lifespans and gargantuan bodies? Scientists went looking for the answer…

The first discovery was that elephants possess extra copies of a wide variety of genes associated with tumor suppression.  But this phenomenon is not unique to elephants, so they pressed on for more information…

“One of the expectations is that as you get a really big body, your burden of cancer should increase because things with big bodies have more cells.  The fact that this isn’t true across species — a long-standing paradox in evolutionary medicine and cancer biology — indicates that evolution found a way to reduce cancer risk.”

-Vincent Lynch, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences

The research concluded that duplication of tumor suppressor genes is quite common among elephants’ living and extinct relatives, including in small ones like Cape golden moles (a burrowing animal) and elephant shrews (a long-nosed insectivore). The data suggest that tumor suppression capabilities preceded or coincided with the evolution of exceptionally big bodies, facilitating this development.

“We found that: Elephants have lots and lots and lots of extra copies of tumor suppressor genes, and they all contribute probably a little bit to cancer resistance.”

-Vincent Lynch, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences

The final analysis:  Elephants do have enhanced cancer protections, compared with relatives.  Though many elephant relatives harbor extra copies of tumor suppressor genes, the scientists found that elephant genomes possess some unique duplications that may contribute to tumor suppression through genes involved in DNA repair; resistance to oxidative stress; and cellular growth, aging and death.


Journal Reference:  Juan M Vazquez, Vincent J Lynch. Pervasive duplication of tumor suppressors in Afrotherians during the evolution of large bodies and reduced cancer risk. eLife, 2021; 10 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.65041


Elephants evolved to have enhanced protections against cancer

https://firepaw.org/2021/02/05/why-do-elephants-rarely-get-cancer-study/

Petition: Health Insurance Companies Should Cover Medical Marijuana Now

  • by: Care2 Team
  • recipient: United, Anthem, Aetna and Cigna Health Care

93,303 SUPPORTERS 95,000 GOAL When California became the first state to approve medical marijuana in 1996, the idea was groundbreaking. Now, however, more than half the United States has legal protections for medical marijuana in some form or another — that translates to 70% of the American population. Medical marijuana products are now readily available throughout much of the country and have been used to treat everything from multiple sclerosis and cancer to anxiety and migraines.

But despite being legal for nearly a quarter century and its growing list of proven benefits. Marijuana patients that suffer from debilitating diseases get absolutely no help from their health insurance company. Even when the doctor has written them a script similar to one for any other doctor prescribed medicine.

While prices have dropped in states with full legalization of marijuana, medicinal cannabis in states where it is the only legal form are still quite pricey. In Ohio for example, your first two grams may cost you up to $50 and that’s after a $300 medical consultation required to get your card and a $50 activation fee. In Arizona the “startup” costs are similar, costing between $225 and $450 just to get certified.

Currently, insurance companies refuse to help cover costs for marijuana-related remedies.
That means some patients who would benefit from medicinal cannabis may not even be able to afford because the cost is too steep. This is unacceptable. Study after study has proven that the medicinal benefits of marijuana for certain conditions are real and effective. Access to the drug has allowed millions to benefit from a natural, potent salve to ailments from which they suffer, but without full recognition and coverage from insurers, some of the people who need it most, won’t get a chance to benefit.

Please call on insurers to step up. Sign the petition and ask United, Anthem, Aetna and Cigna, the country’s largest insurers to cover medical marijuana for their patients.EMBED

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/303/550/231/?z00m=32574471&redirectID=3053016322

If you need to remove a tick

Keep a jar filled with alcohol on hand to dispose of the tick

FDA’s list of hand sanitizers to avoid grows again with more than 100 identified that may contain methanol

amp-usatoday-com.cdn.ampproject.org

Kelly Tyko | USA TODAY | 11 hours ago 13-16 minutes


As of Saturday, the FDA’s “do-not-use list of dangerous hand sanitizer products” now includes 101 varieties of hand sanitizer that should be avoided – some that have already been recalled and other products being recommended for recalls – as they may contain methanol, a potentially fatal ingredient. 

Methanol is a toxic substance when absorbed through skin or ingested.

“FDA continues to find issues with certain hand sanitizer products. FDA test results show certain hand sanitizers have concerningly low levels of ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol, which are active ingredients in hand sanitizer products,” the federal agency said. “The agency urges consumers not to use these subpotent products and has expanded its list to include subpotent hand sanitizers, in addition to hand sanitizers that are or may be contaminated with methanol.”

In a warning July 27, the FDA says it is “urging consumers not to use any hand sanitizer products from the particular manufacturers on the list even if the product or particular lot number are not listed since some manufacturers are recalling only certain – but not all – of their hand sanitizer products.”

The agency says that in most cases, methanol does not appear on the product label but that it is “not an acceptable ingredient in any drug, including hand sanitizer, even if methanol is listed as an ingredient on the product label.”

The FDA said it has taken steps to prevent the products from entering the country by placing them on an import alert. Most of the products appear to have been produced in Mexico and, according to the alert, should be avoided because they pose a health risk.

“We remain extremely concerned about the potential serious risks of alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing methanol,”  FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn said in a statement. “Producing, importing and distributing toxic hand sanitizers poses a serious threat to the public and will not be tolerated.”

In June, the FDA warned consumers not to use nine kinds of hand sanitizers because they may contain methanol, and added to the list in early July and further expanded the list multiple times in July.

Methanol is used industrially as a solvent, pesticide and alternative fuel source, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Exposure to it can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system and death.

The FDA says it has seen an increase in number of “adverse events, including blindness, cardiac effects, effects on the central nervous system, and hospitalizations and death, primarily reported to poison control centers and state departments of health.”

Hand sanitizer has been a popular product to combat the coronavirus since February, and many new types have entered the market after shortages of brands including Purell.

Avoid these hand sanitizers that may contain methanol

The FDA is advising consumers not to use the following hand sanitizers because tests found them to contain methanol or they were “purportedly made at the same facility as products in which FDA has tested and confirmed methanol contamination.” The FDA also says to avoid sanitizers from the manufacturers.

Find more information, including the product code where available, on the FDA website.

  • Eskbiochem’s All-Clean Hand Sanitizer
  • Eskbiochem’s Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer
  • Eskbiochem’s Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer
  • Eskbiochem’s The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer
  • Eskbiochem’s CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol
  • Eskbiochem’s CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol
  • Eskbiochem’s CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol
  • Eskbiochem’s Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • Grupo Insoma’s Hand sanitizer Gel Unscented 70% Alcohol
  • Mystic International’s Mystic Shield Protection hand sanitizer
  • Cosmeticas’ Antiseptic Alcohol 70% Topical Solution hand sanitizer
  • Cosmeticas’ Bersih Hand Sanitizer Gel Fragrance Free
  • Tropicosmeticos’ Be Safe Hand Sanitizer
  • Tropicosmeticos’ Wave Hand Sanitizer Gel
  • Tropicosmeticos’ Cleaner Hand Sanitizer Rinse Free 70%    
  • Tropicosmeticos’ Handzer Hand Sanitizer Rinse Free
  • Tropicosmeticos’ Urbane Bath and Body Hand Sanitizer    
  • Tropicosmeticos’ Britz Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 70%    
  • Tropicosmeticos’ Parabola Hand Sanitizer  
  • Tropicosmeticos’ Kleanz Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer Advanced
  • AAA Cosmetica’s bio aaa Advance Hand Sanitizer 
  • AAA Cosmetica’s QualitaMed Hand Sanitizer  
  • AAA Cosmetica’s LumiSkin Advance Hand Sanitizer 4 oz
  • AAA Cosmetica’s LumiSkin Advance Hand Sanitizer 16 oz
  • 4E Global’s Blumen Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Clear Ethyl Alcohol 70%
  • 4E Global’s Blumen Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer with 70% Alcohol
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Advanced Hand Sanitizer Aloe
  • 4E Global’s Blumen Advanced Hand Sanitizer Aloe, with 70% alcohol
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Advanced Hand Sanitizer Clear
  • 4E Global’s Blumen Advanced Hand Sanitizer Lavender, with 70% alcohol
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Clear
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Clear
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Lavender
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Aloe Advanced Hand Sanitizer, with 70 Alcohol
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Aloe Advanced Hand Sanitizer, with 70 Alcohol
  • 4E Global’s Blumen Antibacterial Fresh Citrus Hand Sanitizer
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Clear Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Clear Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Aloe
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Clear Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Lavender
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Clear LEAR Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Clear LEAR Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • 4E Global’s Blumen Hand Sanitizer Fresh Citrus
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Instant Hand Sanitizer Aloe Vera
  • 4E Global’s BLUMEN Instant Hand Sanitizer Fragrance Free
  • 4E Global’s Hello Kitty Hand Sanitizer
  • 4E Global’s The Honeykeeper Hand Sanitizer
  • 4E Global’s Assured Aloe
  • 4E Global’s Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer (Aloe and Moisturizers)
  • 4E Global’s Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer (Vitamin E and Aloe)
  • 4E Global’s Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer Aloe and Moisturizers
  • 4E Global’s Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer Vitamin E and Aloe
  • 4E Global’s KLAR and DANVER Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • 4E Global’s KLAR AND DANVER Instant Hand Sanitizer (labeled with Greenbrier International Inc.)
  • 4E Global’s MODESA Instant Hand Sanitizer Moisturizers and Vitamin E
  • DDI Multinacional’s Earths Amenities Instant Unscented Hand Sanitizer with Aloe Vera Advanced
  • DDI Multinacional’s Hand Sanitizer Agavespa Skincare
  • DDI Multinacional’s Vidanos Easy Cleaning Rentals Hand Sanitizer Agavespa Skincare
  • Limpo Quimicos’ Andy’s
  • Limpo Quimicos’ Andy’s Best
  • Limpo Quimicos’ NeoNatural
  • Limpo Quimicos’ Plus Advanced
  • Liqesa Exportacion or Liq-E’s Optimus Lubricants Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • Maquiladora Miniara’s Selecto Hand Sanitizer
  • Maquiladora Miniara’s Shine and Clean Hand Sanitizer
  • Cosmeticas’ Hand Sanitizer Gel Alcohol 70%
  • Yara Elena De La Garza Perez Nieto’s   DAESI Hand Sanitizer
  • Real Clean Distribuciones’ Cavalry
  • Real Clean Distribuciones’ ENLIVEN Hand Sanitizing Gel
  • Real Clean Distribuciones’ Lux Eoi Hand Sanitizing Gel
  • Real Clean Distribuciones’ Born Basic Anti-Bac Hand Sanitizer 65% Alcohol
  • Real Clean Distribuciones’ Born Basic Anti-Bac Hand Sanitizer 70% alcohol
  • Real Clean Distribuciones’ Scent Theory – Keep It Clean – Pure Clean Anti-bacterial Hand Sanitizer
  • Real Clean Distribuciones’ Scent Theory – Keep It Clean – Pure Clean Anti-bacterial Hand Sanitizer
  • MXL Comercial’s Hand Sanitizer Disinfectant Gel 70% Ethyl Alcohol
  • MXL Comercial’s Hand Sanitizer Disinfectant Gel 70% Ethyl Alcohol Rinse Free Hand Rub
  • Liqesa Exportacion or Liq-E’s Optimus Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • Liqesa Exportacion or Liq-E’s Optimus Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • Broncolin’s Herbacil Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer 70% Alcohol
  • Broncolin’s Herbacil Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer 70% Alcohol
  • Broncolin’s Herbacil Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer 70%  Alcohol
  • Laboratorios Jaloma’s Jaloma Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 62% with Vitamin E
  • Leiper’s Fork Distillery Bulk Disinfectant per 5 gallon
  • Leiper’s Fork Distillery 16-ounce bottle
  • Healthy Foods & Nutrition Lab de Mexico’s Medicare Alcohol Antiseptic Topical Solution
  • Incredible Products’ GelBact Hand Sanitizer
  • Incredible Products’ Hand Sanitizer
  • Incredible Products’ TriCleanz
  • JG Atlas Comercios’ Sayab Antisepctic Hand Sanitizer 100
  • Tritanium Labs USA’s TriCleanz Tritanium Labs Hand Sanitizer
  • Albek de Mexico’s NEXT Hand Sanitizer
  • Albek de Mexico’s Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer with 70% Alcohol extra soft with glycerin and aloe
  • Albek de Mexico’s NuuxSan Instant Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer
  • Albek de Mexico’s NuuxSan Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • Albek de Mexico’s Assured Instant Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer with Aloe and Moisturizers
  • Albek de Mexico’s Assured Instant Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer with Vitamin E and Aloe
  • Albek de Mexico’s Modesa Instant Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer with Moisturizers and Aloe Vera
  • Albek de Mexico’s Modesa Instant Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer with Moisturizers and Vitamin E

View | 18 Photos

Recalled hand sanitizers

The following products have been recalled as of Aug. 1:

  • ITECH 361’s All Clean Hand Sanitizer, Moisturizer and Disinfectant: UPC code 628055370130.
  • Transliquid Technologies’ Mystic Shield Protection hand sanitizer: NDC numbers include 75477-435-02, 75477-435-10, 75477-435-12, 75477-435-25, 75477-435-50 and 75477-534-10.
  • Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer, 1-liter bottles: Two distributors. The UVT hand sanitizer is labeled with lot number 0530 and an expiration date of 04/2022 and the Saniderm Products hand sanitizer is labeled with lot number 53131626 and “Manufactured on April/1/20.”
  • 4e Brands North America’s Blumen brand is “voluntarily recalling all lots of Hand Sanitizer brands to the consumer level.” This is an expansion of an earlier recall.
  • Real Clean Distribuciones is voluntarily recalling all lots it manufactured within expiry of the following brand names of hand sanitizers: “Born Basic ANTI-BAC HAND SANITIZER, Scent Theory KEEP CLEAN Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer, Scent Theory KEEP IT CLEAN Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer and Lux Eoi Hand Sanitizing Gel to the consumer level.”
  • LIQ-E S.A. de C.V. is voluntarily recalling all lots and all bottle sizes of “The OPTIMUS Instant Hand Sanitizer” manufactured between April 27 and May 8.
  • Resource Recovery & Trading LLC is “voluntarily recalling all the lots manufactured by MXL Comercial S.A. de C.V.” with the following information: “Hand Sanitizer 70% Ethyl Alcohol Disinfectant Gel, packaged in 6.7 FL Oz. (200 ml) bottles, UPC 650240026020 and Hand Sanitizer Non-sterile Solution 70% Topical Solution, packaged in 20L (5.28 Gal) liter plastic containers, UPC 37710600013 to the consumer level.”
  • Broncolin is “voluntarily recalling all lots of Herbacil Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer 70% Alcohol to the consumer level.” The hand sanitizer comes in four different sizes, according to the recall notice.
  • Albek de Mexico is “voluntarily recalling all lots and all brands of hand sanitizer currently in US distribution to the consumer level.”

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

https://amp-usatoday-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/amp.usatoday.com/amp/5562366002?usqp=mq331AQFKAGwASA%3D&amp_js_v=0.1#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.usatoday.com%2Fstory%2Fmoney%2F2020%2F08%2F01%2Fhand-sanitizer-warning-methanol-risk-fda-avoid-these-sanitizers%2F5562366002%2F#referrer

Vaccines to implant tracking devices? Bill Gates goes public

VERIFY: Face mask facts vs. falsehoods | fox43.com

https://media.fox43.com/embeds/mobile/video/507-b81fdfa2-d93c-45b6-b46a-6fecc2116010/amp#amp=1 verify

VERIFY: Face mask facts vs. falsehoods

The VERIFY team breaks down some of the most asked questions about wearing face masks. Author: VERIFY, Jason Puckett (TEGNA), David Tregde Published: 11:26 AM EDT July 21, 2020

The VERIFY team is constantly getting questions from viewers about wearing face masks. Here are some of the most frequently asked.

DO MASKS WORK?

While there is still research being done to determine how effective masks are – experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins University all say that they serve an important purpose right now. null

The CDC explains that masks aren’t primarily meant to stop the virus from getting to you. They’re meant to stop you or other contagious people from spreading the virus to others.

COVID-19 typically spreads via respiratory droplets, Masks, even those made of cloth, are effective at catching those droplets as people expel them. Since COVID has been shown to be contagious before patients experience symptoms, experts say it’s important to wear a mask before you feel sick.

Do OSHA or other government groups warn against masks?

Multiple claims cited the Occupational Safety and Health Administration along with claims that face masks could be harmful and should be avoided.
The VERIFY team checked with OSHA, who said these claims are false. 

OSHA openly supports wearing masks in public and for employees returning to work. 

While some politicians debate the use of masks there are currently no government or medical groups that warn against wearing them.

Can wearing masks cause carbon dioxide poisoning or harm my oxygen levels?

One of the more popular claims against masks says they trap carbon dioxide and cause you to breathe it back in. According to the CDC, that claim is not true. 

The CDC explains that carbon dioxide build-up is incredibly rare and only really a concern with sealed respirators and medical-grade devices. 

The CDC explained: “Specific to the viral image, it is unlikely that wearing a mask will cause “anoxia,” “asphyxiation,” “hypercapnia,” or “hypercarbia.” While CO2 will slowly build up in the mask over time, any symptoms experienced with low levels of CO2 are resolved upon removal of the mask and breathing room air for a minute. null

Can I use the “Americans With Disabilities Act” to get out of wearing a mask?

Certain viral posts claim that you can cite ADA if you don’t want to wear a mask – there are even printable cards you can carry. But the Department of Justice says these aren’t real and don’t carry legal weight.

It’s also important to note that stores may not be able to force you to wear a mask, but they can legally refuse to serve you if you choose not to wear one.

RELATED: VERIFY: COVID-19 vaccine syringes to have trackers on the outside, not in vaccine

RELATED: VERIFY: ‘Rockefeller document’ doesn’t prove theory coronavirus pandemic was planned in 2010 https://d-20578272081057857687.ampproject.net/2007040248002/frame.html

https://www.fox43.com/amp/article/news/verify/verify-facts-vs-falsehoods-on-face-masks/507-d4f287fb-1207-4dd5-a616-d39b0b355dc0?__twitter_impression=true

Now if you can find some…

How to relax in 5 minutes

FDA warning: These 9 hand sanitizer brands could be toxic

https://media.fox43.com/embeds/mobile/video/602-b0df6673-b835-4c70-92ff-9b9e32f4a6c2/amp#amp=1 nation-world

The FDA is warning that the public should stop using 9 brands of hand sanitizer because the products may contain methanol, or wood alcohol. Author: TEGNA Published: 6:56 AM EDT June 23, 2020

WASHINGTON — The coronavirus pandemic has led to a surge in hand sanitizer purchases, but now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning that nine brands may be potentially toxic. 

The FDA said Friday that consumers should stop using any hand sanitizer from Mexico-based manufacturer Eskbiochem SA de CV, due to the potential presence of methanol, or wood alcohol, in its products. The FDA warned that methanol can be toxic when ingested or absorbed through the skin.  null

The agency said that it contacted Eskbiochem last week to recommend the company remove its hand sanitizer from the U.S. market, but it has yet to do so. 

“Therefore, FDA recommends consumers stop using these hand sanitizers and dispose of them immediately in appropriate hazardous waste containers. Do not flush or pour these products down the drain,” the agency warned

The FDA warned that young children who accidentally ingest these potentially toxic hand sanitizers and those who may drink it as an alcohol substitute are most at risk of suffering methanol poisoning. The symptoms of substantial methanol exposure includes nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death. 

RELATED: Safety tips to consider when returning to restaurants

RELATED: FDA asks hand sanitizer producers to make them taste worse

“Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects,” the agency warned. “Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment, which is critical for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning.”

The FDA listed the following products in its warning: 

– All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-002-01)

– Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-007-01)

– CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-008-04)

– Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-006-01)

– The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-010-10) null

– CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-005-03)

– CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-009-01)

– CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-003-01)

– Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-001-01)

According to the FDA, it tested product samples and found Lavar Gel contained 81% methanol and CleanCare No Germ had 28% methanol. 

The agency said Friday it’s not aware of any reports of illnesses related to these potentially toxic hand sanitizers. 

The FDA stressed that washing your hands with soap and water is one of the best defenses against coronavirus. But if soap and water isn’t available, the CDC recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol.  https://media.fox43.com/embeds/mobile/video/602-99781d2c-509d-4b4f-be74-bb2f46138395/amp#amp=1 https://d-2941301612144650950.ampproject.net/2006050512001/frame.html

https://www.fox43.com/amp/article/news/nation-world/fda-warns-9-brands-of-hand-sanitizer-made-in-mexico-may-be-toxic/507-a2ea53cf-b51b-4a49-8459-443f44f1d5c8?utm_campaign=snd-autopilot&__twitter_impression=true

Could flushing a public toilet really spread COVID-19?

api.nationalgeographic.com

By Sarah Gibbens 10-13 minutes

PUBLISHED June 19, 2020

An employee places facial masks in the bathroom of a suite of Berlin’s famous Hotel Adlon Kempinski on May 26, 2020, one day after it reopened for tourism as restrictions were eased amid the novel coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP) (Photo by TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images) Photograph by Tobias Schwarz, AFP via Getty Images

Few people have the bladder fortitude to last through drinks, dinner, or long road trips without having to use the restroom. But as more restaurants, bars, and other public spaces start to re-open this summer, questions have been swirling around whether using a public toilet could become a more serious health risk in the era of COVID-19.

Such worries came to a head this week when researchers in China published a study suggesting that flushing a toilet can create a plume of coronavirus-laden particles, which are flung into the air by the watery vortex inside a toilet bowl.

Several studiesusing genetic tests have previously detected the SARS-CoV-2 virus in stool samples, and at least one investigation shows that the coronaviruses in these feces can be infectious. When a person infected with COVID-19 defecates, the germ at first settles into the toilet bowl. But then “the flushing process can lift the virus out of the toilet and cause cross-infection among people,” says Ji-Xiang Wang, a physicist at Yangzhou University in China and coauthor on the paper published June 16 in the journal Physics of Fluids.

While the toilet plume effect has been studied for decades in relation to other diseases, many questions remain over its role in spreading germs, including the one that causes COVID-19. Neither the World Health Organization nor the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention thinks it’s very likely COVID-19 can be spread by bowel movements leading to accidental consumption of virus particles, a route medically termed fecal-oral transmission.

Despite these uncertainties, experts say there are precautions you should take before answering nature’s call in publicly shared restrooms.

How risky are restrooms?

For the latest study, Wang’s team used computer models to show that tiny droplets called aerosols, created by the turbulence of water sloshing inside a toilet bowl, could be ejected up to three feet into the air. Shortly after flushing, water rushes into the bowl, striking the opposite side with enough force to generate a vortex that forcefully pushes not only the liquid, but also the air inside the toilet.

According to their simulations, this combination launches aerosols that can last in the air for just over a minute. The more water used in a toilet bowl, Wang’s team found, the greater the force of the flush.

So what does that mean if you use a restroom after someone infected with COVID-19 flushes? That depends a lot on whether the infectious virus survives in human feces, and that’s still an active area of research.

To start, studies of MERS, a coronavirus relative that flared up in 2012, indicate that this particular virus can survive in the human digestive tract, which is a sign the same might be true for SARS-CoV-2. Flu viruses and coronaviruses are considered “enveloped viruses” because they’re protected by a thin layer called a membrane. Unlike noroviruses, the most common culprit of food poisoning, enveloped viruses are easily degraded by acids, which make them vulnerable to the chemical make-ups of soap and stomach bile.

When cities were cesspools of disease

One hypothesis, based on influenza research, suggests that these kinds of viruses might survive in the human gut if mucus from infected patients protects the germs during their journey through the digestive tract. The question then is how long the virus lasts in fecal matter, and that’s another area that needs more research, says E. Susan Amirian, a molecular epidemiologist at Rice University in Houston.

“Fecal transmission is unlikely to be a major mode of transmission, even if it proves to be plausible,” Amirian says in an email. She notes that the CDC’s assessment of fecal-oral transmission cites one study in which scientists were able to detect only broken bits of the coronavirus’s genetic codein infected patients’ feces. These genetic snippets are an indicator the germ was once present in the body, but the virus has been degraded so much, it can no longer cause an infection.

However, these broken viral bits appear quite often in COVID-19 defecations. Another study published in April found traces of SARS-CoV-2 in the fecal matter of more than half of 42 patients tested. And a May 18 report published by the CDC found viable and infectious SARS-CoV-2 in fecal excretions from a handful of patients.

What’s more, past studies show that fecal-oral transmission may have occurred during the 2002-2003 outbreak of SARS, another coronavirus cousin of COVID-19. Airborne fecal matter was thought to have exacerbated a cluster of 321 SARS cases at a Hong Kong apartment complex in 2003. Later examination of the incident found poor ventilation, contact with neighbors, and shared spaces such as elevators and stairwells also contributed to the event.

“Using a public restroom, especially while taking precautions like maintaining physical distance from others and practicing good hand hygiene, is quite likely to be less risky than attending a gathering with people from other households,” Amirian says via email. She emphasizes that “the major mode of transmission for COVID-19 is person-to-person through respiratory droplets.”

What can you do to protect yourself?

Still, “less risky” isn’t the same as no risk, and exactly how well the virus survives in feces, on surfaces, and in the air are questions scientists are still trying to answer.

A study published last April in the New England Journal of Medicine showed the virus could live on steel and plastic surfaces for up to two and three days, respectively. A simple solution of soap and water can easily destroy the virus. But that means public restrooms can harbor COVID-19 germs if establishments don’t take care to wipe down surfaces.

“At the end of the day, we need to remember that stool can be a reservoir for many diseases, and people sometimes don’t wash their hands as well as they think they do,” says Amirian. “Good hygiene, especially thorough hand washing, is important for reasons beyond COVID-19.”

In public restrooms with multiple stalls that don’t limit the number of people allowed in, clusters of individuals represent an additional risk, as person-to-person contact is still the primary way people become infected with coronavirus.

Joe Allen is the director of Harvard’s Healthy Buildings Program, where he researches how our offices, schools, and homes can influence our health. In investigations of buildings that adversely impact human health, Allen says, “I always remind people to check the exhaust in the bathroom.” He adds that improving ventilation that moves dirty indoor air outside is one of the best ways to safeguard against a contaminated restroom.

“[Public] bathrooms should have exhaust fans that are constantly running,” Allen says.

If possible, he also recommends that establishments install touchless features such as water faucets, soap dispensers, and towel dispensers that turn on with the wave of a hand.

Absent more hygienic upgrades, Wang advises wearing a face mask when using a public restroom. And one of the most effective ways to keep potentially infected aerosols of any kind from flying into the air, Wang adds, is to simply install lids on public toilets.

“Manufacturers should design a new toilet, in which the lid is automatically put down before flushing,” says Wang.

https://api.nationalgeographic.com/distribution/public/amp/science/2020/06/could-flushing-public-toilet-plume-spread-coronavirus-cvd?__twitter_impression=true

The right diet and exercise make a world of difference for this dog

600 Physicians Say Lockdowns Are A ‘Mass Casualty Incident’

forbes.com

Grace-Marie Turner 6-7 minutes


224,476 views|May 22, 2020,12:00pm EDT

More than 600 of the nation’s physicians sent a letter to President Trump this week calling the coronavirus shutdowns a “mass casualty incident” with “exponentially growing negative health consequences” to millions of non COVID patients. 

“The downstream health effects…are being massively under-estimated and under-reported. This is an order of magnitude error,” according to the letter initiated by Simone Gold, M.D., an emergency medicine specialist in Los Angeles. 

“Suicide hotline phone calls have increased 600%,” the letter said. Other silent casualties:  “150,000 Americans per month who would have had new cancer detected through routine screening.”

From missed cancer diagnoses to untreated heart attacks and strokes to increased risks of suicides, “We are alarmed at what appears to be a lack of consideration for the future health of our patients.”  

Patients fearful of visiting hospitals and doctors’ offices are dying because COVID-phobia is keeping them from seeking care. One patient died at home of a heart attack rather than go to an emergency room. The number of severe heart attacks being treated in nine U.S hospitals surveyed dropped by nearly 40% since March. Cardiologists are worried “a second wave of deaths” indirectly caused by the virus is likely.

The physicians’ letter focuses on the impact on Americans’ physical and mental health.  “The millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure. In youths it will be called financial instability, unemployment, despair, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancies, poverty, and abuse.

“It is impossible to overstate the short, medium, and long-term harm to people’s health with a continued shutdown,” the letter says. “Losing a job is one of life’s most stressful events, and the effect on a person’s health is not lessened because it also has happened to 30 million [now 38 million] other people.  Keeping schools and universities closed is incalculably detrimental for children, teenagers, and young adults for decades to come.” 

While all 50 states are relaxing lockdowns to some extent, some local officials are threatening to keep stay-at-home orders in place until August.  Many schools and universities say they may remain closed for the remainder of 2020.

“Ending the lockdowns are not about Wall Street or disregard for people’s lives; it about saving lives,” said Dr. Marilyn Singleton, a California anesthesiologist and one of the signers of the letter. “We cannot let this disease change the U.S. from a free, energetic society to a society of broken souls dependent on government handouts.” She blogs about the huge damage the virus reaction is doing to the fabric of society

Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, also warns that restrictions are having a huge negative impact on non-COVID patients. 

“Even patients who do get admitted to hospital, say for a heart problem, are prisoners. No one can be with them. Visitation at a rare single-story hospital was through closed outside window, talking via telephone,” she wrote us.  “To get permission to go to the window you have to make an appointment (only one group of two per day!), put on a mask, get your temperature taken, and get a visitor’s badge of the proper color of the day.”

How many cases of COVID-19 are prevented by these practices? “Zero,” Dr. Orient says.  But the “ loss of patient morale, loss of oversight of care, especially at night are incalculable.”

Virtually all hospitals halted “elective” procedures to make beds available for what was expected to be a flood of COVID-19 patients.  Beds stayed empty, causing harm to patients and resulting in enormous financial distress to hospitals, especially those with limited reserves. 

Even states like New York that have had tough lockdowns are starting to allow elective hospital procedures in some regions.  But it’s more like turning up a dimmer switch. In Pennsylvania, the chair of the Geisinger Heart Institute, Dr. Alfred Casale, said the opening will be slow while the facility is reconfigured for COVID-19 social distancing and enhanced hygiene.  

Will patients come back?  COVID-phobia is deathly real.

Patients still are fearful about going to hospitals for heart attacks and even for broken bones and deep lacerations. Despite heroic efforts by physicians to deeply sanitize their offices, millions have cancelled appointments and are missing infusion therapies and even chemotherapy treatments. This deferred care is expected to lead to patients who are sicker when they do come in for care and more deaths from patients not receiving care for stroke, heart attacks, etc. 

NPR reported about a Washington state resident who had what she described as the “worst headache of her life.”

She waited almost a week before going to the hospital where doctors discovered she had a brain bleed that had gone untreated.  She had multiple strokes and died. “This is something that most of the time we’re able to prevent,” said her neurosurgeon, Dr. Abhineet Chowdhary, director of the Overlake Neuroscience Institute in Bellevue, Wash. 

As the number of deaths from the virus begin to decline, we are likely to awaken to this new wave of casualties the 600 physicians are warning about. We should be listening to the doctors, and heed their advice immediately.

Get the best of Forbes to your inbox with the latest insights from experts across the globe.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/gracemarieturner/2020/05/22/600-physicians-say-lockdowns-are-a-mass-casualty-incident/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

Celiac Disease Linked to Common Toxic Chemicals

Chemical Free Life

Celiac disease is an immune disorder that triggers severe gut reactions, including diarrhea and bloating, to foods containing gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.  Now new research has linked an increase risk for celiac disease in young people to toxic chemicals commonly found in pesticides, nonstick cookware and fast food packaging, and fire retardants, among other sources.

Study overview

Researchers analyzed levels of toxic chemicals in the blood of 30 children and young adults, ages 3 to 21, who were newly diagnosed with celiac disease at NYU Langone Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital. Test results were compared with those from 60 other young people of similar age, gender, and race.

Results overview

The results of the scientific study revealed that children and young adults with high blood levels of pesticides, including high levels of pesticide-related chemicals called dichlorodiphenyldichlorethylenes (DDEs), were twice as likely to be newly diagnosed…

View original post 231 more words