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.
“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.
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.
Severalstudiesusing 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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
The MGM plan released Tuesday offered a first look at how Atlantic City casinos plan to operate to protect both employees and guests from the coronavirus.
The new rules include:
— Daily temperature checks for all employees, as well as screening measures to determine whether they have infection symptoms and where they are in contact with those who have been infected, such as someone in their household or someone they care for.
— Guests who think they may have been exposed will be “strongly encouraged” to stay at home and not travel.
— All employees must wear masks, and all guests will be encouraged to do so in public areas. The casino will hand out free masks to guests.
— Workers will be trained on proper cleaning procedures and other steps to protect against the virus.
— Employees who handle food, clean public areas and enter guest rooms must wear gloves. Other workers also may required to wear personal protective equipment.
— Guests still will be able to order beverages but not food on the casino floor, and can remove their masks to drink.
— Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of slot machines, tables and kiosks.
— Stations for handwashing and hand sanitizing in high-traffic areas.
— A six-foot social distancing policy will be followed whenever possible, with signs and floor guides to help separate patrons. In areas where the distancing policy cannot be followed, plexiglass barriers will be installed or employees will be given eye protection.
— Poker rooms may not reopen when the rest of the casino does, depending on guidance from state officials and medical experts.
— Plexiglass barriers throughout the casino and lobbies.
— Medical personnel on staff to respond in case a guest or employee tests positive for COVID-19. Exposed areas will be sanitized and efforts will be made for contact tracing, notifying those who may have been in contact with the individual.
— Limits on how many people can share an elevator cab.
— Allowing guests to check in to their hotel rooms digitally without having contact with anyone at the front desk.
— Digital menus and text notifications when tables are ready, eliminating the need to wait in line.
It remains to be seen if the steps are sufficient to win the approval of Unite Here, the union that represents 10,600 Atlantic City workers. Their plan called for having the state gaming commission ensure that the casinos were taking the necessary steps to protect employees and guests.
The union said that the six-foot distance between customers needed to be followed at slot machines and table games, dice and chips needed to be frequently sanitized, buffets needed to be suspended and spas and pools needed to close temporarily.
“It’s good that the company is talking about it, but we need them to work in partnership with frontline workers to come up with a full plan to protect guest and workers,” said Mayra Gonzalez, a line server at Borgata and a member of Unite Here.
Twenty thousand live bullfrogs from China that will be cooked and eaten as frog legs. Forty green monkeys from St. Kitts and Nevis for biomedical research. Three hundred giant clams from Vietnam and 30 stingrays from the Brazilian Amazon for home aquariums. null
That motley assortment is a miniscule glimpse of what the legal international wildlife trade might look like on a given day in any of the 41 ports of entry staffed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service inspectors. I routinely saw consignments like these—alongside crates filled with shampoo bottles, cucumbers, and freshly cut roses—at the Port of Newark, New Jersey, when I was a wildlife inspector, from 2004 to 2010.
At airports, seaports, and land border crossings in 2019, $4.3 billion of legal wildlife and wildlife products was imported into the U.S. Approximately 200 million live animals are imported to the U.S. annually, according to a five-year trade report: 175 million fish for the aquarium trade, and 25 million animals comprised of an array of mammals, amphibians, birds, insects, reptiles, spiders, and more. On top of that, thousands of illegally traded shipments of wildlife are intercepted each year. In 2019 alone, the agency opened more than 10,000 illegal wildlife trade investigations.
The diseases that hitchhike into the country on legally imported wildlife continue to go largely unnoticed.
But along with such a diversity of wildlife, a kaleidoscope of pathogens is also entering the country. My experience with the Fish and Wildlife Service, where I worked for 10 years, first as a wildlife inspector and most recently as a policy specialist regulating and managing the international wildlife trade, showed me that although many controls have been implemented to combat illegal trade, the diseases that simultaneously hitchhike into the country on legally imported wildlife continue to go largely unnoticed.
Importing any live animal brings with it the risk of disease—to native wildlife, to livestock, and to people. The outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China, theorized to have jumped from bats into humans and then spread at a wet market in Wuhan, possibly through an intermediate host, has shined a spotlight on how easily zoonotic diseases can emerge from wildlife. Indeed, an estimated 60 percent of known human diseases originated in animals, according to the World Organization for Animal Health.
Much of the public discussion around COVID-19 has focused on the potential role of the illegal wildlife trade in spreading pathogens. But as a wildlife trade specialist and conservation biologist—I studied the spread of disease among imported frogs—I’ve learned that we need to think just as critically about the risks and vulnerabilities presented by the massive legal trade, which continues to place both ourselves and the world at risk of more pandemics. null
With few exceptions, the U.S. has no laws specifically requiring disease surveillance for wildlife entering the country, and the vast majority of wild animal imports are therefore not tested. Inspectors with the Fish and Wildlife Service are the first to set eyes on an imported shipment of animals, and they’re charged with enforcing a variety of national and international laws, regulations, and treaties that focus on preventing illegal and unsustainable trade. But its mandate doesn’t extend to monitoring animal or human health. Its only responsibilities related to disease are the enforcement of rules limiting trade in certain fish and salamander species, which have the potential to spread devastating disease to other animals of their kind.
In fact, no federal agency is tasked with the comprehensive screening and monitoring of imported wildlife for disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regulates the importation of wildlife and wildlife products known to “present a significant public health concern,” focusing primarily on bats, African rodents, and nonhuman primates, Jasmine Reed, a CDC spokesperson, wrote in an email. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) intervenes only if there’s a disease risk to poultry or livestock animals of agricultural importance.
This leaves millions of animals that come into the U.S legally each year unchecked for diseases that have the potential to spill over to humans or other animals. null
The CDC insists it’s keeping an eye out. “CDC works closely with other federal agencies to ensure animals and animal products that present a public health concern are regulated,” Reed says. “Through our partnerships with international agencies, we are constantly evaluating and assessing what we and the international public health community do to detect, prevent, and control zoonotic disease threats.”
“I’m confident that our authorities are doing the best they can with the resources they have,” says Catherine Machalaba, a policy advisor for EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit focused on the connections between human and wildlife health. “But I’m not confident that’s a good enough benchmark when we’re talking about leaving the door open [to potential diseases that are] a threat to our health and security.”
About two million American bullfrogs are imported live to the U.S. from factory farms abroad each year to be eaten. Legally imported frogs have been found to carry the devastating chytrid fungus at high rates, putting all North America’s amphibians at risk. With no government agency responsible for comprehensive pathogen screening and monitoring of imported wildlife, scientists have little understanding of the range of diseases being imported.Photograph by Jonathan E. Kolby
The problem isn’t unique to the U.S.—most countries do not have a government agency that comprehensively screens wildlife imports for pathogens. “The absence of any formal entity dedicated to preventing the spread of diseases from the wildlife trade is such a chronic gap around the world,” Machalaba says. “When multiple agencies have to be called in for any given shipment, personnel is limited, and coordination is lacking, there’s bound to be gaps—a false sense of security that another agency has it covered.”
Outbreaks from legal trade
Many recent zoonotic outbreaks affecting people sprang from trade that was allowed at the time, says Lee Skerratt, a wildlife biosecurity fellow at the University of Melbourne, in Australia. null
In 2003, for example, people in six U.S. states became ill from exposure to the monkeypox virus after it entered the country in a pet trade shipment of 800 rodents from Ghana. In that shipment, African giant pouched rats, rope squirrels, and dormice carried the virus. It spread to prairie dogs held in the same pet trade facility, which were then sold to the public, starting the animal-to-human outbreak. Luckily, although human-to-human transmission of monkeypox can occur, no cases were confirmed.
Three months after the infected animals had been imported, the CDC banned the import of all African rodents into the U.S. That gave the Fish and Wildlife Service the legal power to detain shipments in violation of the ban and alert the CDC, which could choose to require quarantine, re-exportation, or euthanization of the animals.
Although this outbreak led to an import ban on African rodents, the government stopped short of doing any risk assessments to consider whether rodents from other places might also carry diseases that would require regulation, Machalaba says.
“Wildlife coming into the U.S. are sourced from many countries that are ‘hot spots’ for emerging diseases—of potential concern for human health but also posing threats to other sectors via our food systems and ecosystems,” Malachaba says.
Warnings about shortcomings
Officials have long known about the gaps in the U.S.’s regulatory system. In 2005, the National Academies of Science published a report that found a “significant gap in preventing and rapidly detecting emergent diseases” from imported wildlife.
Five years later, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which audits government spending and operations, published a report on live animal imports and diseases. It found that the Fish and Wildlife Service “generally does not restrict the entry of imported wildlife that may pose disease risks.” Furthermore, the report says, the CDC doesn’t use its full power to prevent the import of live animals that pose a risk of zoonotic diseases.
The 2010 report recommended that the CDC, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and USDA develop and implement a coordinated strategy to prevent the import of animals that may be carrying diseases. But a follow-up assessment in 2015 found that the agencies did not take action. There simply weren’t the economic or staffing resources to make it happen, it says. null
The ability to prevent and control emerging zoonotic diseases requires an understanding of the diversity and abundance of pathogens being imported. But without monitoring and surveillance of imported wildlife, we don’t have this information, Skerratt says. “This is a problem for the wildlife trade as there is much that we don’t know, especially for diseases that could affect other wildlife,” he says.
The CDC also acknowledges the lack of research. “We need more data through risk assessments and basic research before adding any new regulations,” Reed says.
But it’s a Catch-22: For an agency to systematically collect pathogen data from wildlife imports, it would need a legal mandate from the government. But the government is only likely to do that once it has pathogen data to guide its decisions.
Pathogens passed from animals to humans aren’t the only cause for concern. Amphibian chytrid fungus, the aquatic fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is the first disease known to infect hundreds of species simultaneously and drive many of them toward extinction. It’s so dangerous because it can jump between nearly any amphibian—a class with more than 8,000 species. It has already spread to remote protected areas around the world. From my Ph.D. research, I discovered that imports of factory-farmed American bullfrogs—nearly 2.5 million a year, more than any other live amphibian species—introduce frighteningly high numbers of chytrid-infected animals into the U.S.
The deadly amphibian chytrid fungus, introduced to the U.S. through the legal wildlife trade, has spread to native frog species across North America, even in protected areas like King’s Canyon National Park, in California. The U.S. continues to allow the import of species known to carry the disease. Photograph by JOEL SARTORE, Nat Geo Image Collection
Humans have never been part of a pandemic on the scale of that now affecting amphibians. Even tragedies such as the Black Death, in the mid-1300s, and the 1918 influenza pandemic devastated only one species of mammal: humans. By contrast, emerging wildlife diseases, notably chytrid, have been much less picky in the diversity and numbers of animal hosts they infect and kill. Imagine what it would be like if the next pandemic could infect hundreds of the world’s 5,000 species of mammals—including humans—causing many to become extinct.
The best way to minimize risk
An enormous variety of plants and animals are involved in the international wildlife trade, and many are a regular part of our daily lives: Imported seafood for dinner; timber for building homes and musical instruments; pet birds and frogs and aquarium fishes; mother-of-pearl buttons on dress shirts; medicinal plants like ginseng; cosmetic essential oils such as argan and frankincense; and even many of the orchids and cacti for home decoration. This is why ending the legal trade in wildlife seems unlikely, and why, Skerratt says, controlling disease at the source is the best way to minimize the risk to public health.
There seems to be a lack of economic incentive to create a wildlife health law in the U.S. to regulate the pathways of spread of wildlife pathogens.
Priya Nanjappa, Director of Operations, Conservation Science Partners, Inc.
Key to reducing the spread of pathogens is a “clean trade” program, in which private industry and government officials work together to implement safer strategies, according to Matthew Gray, associate director of the University of Tennessee Center for Wildlife Health, in Knoxville.
Gray says that clean trade could involve testing either before transport or at the border, so that animal health certificates could accompany wildlife—similar to what’s required for livestock. “If clean trade is not economically sustainable, government subsidies could be provided, as done often with agriculture,” he says.
It shouldn’t be too difficult to develop a program in the U.S. to monitor imported wildlife for pathogens and develop risk assessments, says Peter Jenkins, senior counsel for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, an environmental nonprofit. “We have a very good model of this, and it’s the U.S. livestock trade.” The USDA’s Animal Plant and Health Service implements a comprehensive system of veterinary services and trade controlsto reduce the risk of importing pathogens that can harm animals, including cattle, sheep, poultry and others.
Jenkins estimates such a program could be implemented for a reasonable cost, with just $2 million and six full-time government employees, a figure developed with Congressional staff in 2015 when Jenkins was lobbying to expand the Fish and Wildlife Service’s “injurious wildlife” program. “We’re not talking about a Cadillac program. We just need people doing the research, making risk-based predictions, and then operationalizing those predictions to reduce risk.”
Yet it hasn’t happened.
“There seems to be a lack of economic incentive to create a wildlife health law in the U.S. to regulate the pathways of spread of wildlife pathogens, but the COVID-19 disease highlights the consequences of our lack of understanding of these pathogens,” says Priya Nanjappa, director of operations at Conservation Science Partners, Inc., a nonprofit that provides research and analysis for conservation projects.
The lack of incentive, Najappa says, seems to stem from the false belief that if an imported disease doesn’t immediately threaten public health or agricultural animals, it’s not a major threat to economic interests. But take white-nose syndrome, a fungus that has decimated millions of bats, across several species, in the U.S. Some of these bat population crashes led to Endangered Species Act protections, which in turn place restrictions on economic activities such as logging within the species’ habitats.
The CDC, Fish and Wildlife Service, and USDA did not comment on what kinds of resources the agencies would need to do additional risk assessments, implement monitoring for diseases in the wildlife trade, or whether the pandemic would prompt them to push for increased disease surveillance.
With COVID-19 aiming a spotlight on long-existing deficiencies, now is the time for the best minds in the Fish and Wildlife Service, CDC, USDA, industry and academia to come together and consider what steps can be taken to sew this hole shut, before the next animal-origin pandemic is thrust into our daily lives.
Wildlife Watch is an investigative reporting project between National Geographic Society and National Geographic Partners focusing on wildlife crime and exploitation. Read more Wildlife Watch stories here, and learn more about National Geographic Society’s nonprofit mission at nationalgeographic.org. Send tips, feedback, and story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As those who help shape public mindset about disabilities, journalists must do better to represent and respect this population.
Tell the Society of Professional Journalism (SPJ) to create a guide for journalists writing about disability.
The way the media portrays disabilities can have a profound effect on the way the rest of the world views them, as many people do not have firsthand experience with them — after all, only about 12.6 percent of the U.S. population has some sort of disability  — so the general public must derive their opinions from what they read or hear. That is why journalists need to write about disabled people in the way they want to be portrayed.
Oftentimes, however, the worldwide media is not terribly good at this. Though journalists have certainly improved at covering stories about disability,  they sometimes still fall short of writing about it in a way that is respectful, neutral (rather than negative), and humanizing.
For example, people with disabilities who are able to speak for themselves deserve to have their voices heard, but oftentimes their words are treated as an afterthought, if even included at all. News stories often focus on how the parents or caregivers, rather than the individuals themselves, are affected by the disability.
People with disabilities also deserve to be treated like human beings, but the media often treats them more like pets or objects — things that should be treated with love and care but don’t really have their own thoughts, feelings, or autonomy. They are infantilized, treated like burdens on families and societies,  and portrayed as pitiable creatures that deserve praise for doing average, everyday things (such as graduating from school or holding down a job). They are often characterized by their deficits, which sometimes can be very personal and private (i.e. inability to use the toilet).
Even in cases of filicide, journalists often get things backwards and sympathize with the parents “who killed their child out of ‘mercy‘” or “snapped under the immense burden of caregiving.” 
When people read these stories, they may begin to internalize these negative messages and form the subconscious opinion that those with disabilities are sub-human and less worthy of life than “normal” people.
We simply cannot let this happen.
The Society of Professional Journalism (SPJ) is an organization that, in part, strives “to stimulate high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism.”  As part of that, they have a Code of Ethics that gives guidance to journalists. We believe that this organization should include guidelines on writing ethically about disability. Doing this may lead more journalists to cover it the way they should: with respect.
We believe that the press has immense power in our society. The simple act of stringing together words to form a story can do an incredible amount of good in our world but it also has the potential to do just the opposite.
For too long now, journalism has been unintentionally harming some of the most overlooked individuals in our society: those with disabilities. Through subtle word choices and overarching tone, people with disabilities have been portrayed as burdens, sets of deficits, and objects of pity or inspiration for doing nothing out of the ordinary (called “inspiration porn”).To Top
It appears best and safest to give directly to the official Navajo Nation Covid-19 Relief Fund through their governmental web site. They take monetary and non-monetary donations. Donations are tax deductible. Some other fundraising activities may or may not be legitimate, and may take a percentage.
At the Donate Button linked page it explains:
“Navajo Nation COVID-19 Relief Fund
The Navajo Nation COVID-19 Fund has been established to help the Navajo Nation respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the Navajo Nation’s only official COVID-19 fundraising and donation effort.
The Navajo Nation is accepting monetary and non-monetary donations to address immediate medical and community needs. Charitable donations to the Navajo Nation are deductible by the donor for federal income, estate, and gift tax purposes…” Read more here, including
Getting quality sleep is a major issue for many of us during this lockdown phase of the pandemic.
I’m not simply talking about falling and staying asleep but this is also referencing what’s going on in our heads once we are asleep. On top of the tossing and turning into the wee hours of the morning, recent polls discovered that many of us are having some strange and upsetting dreams, as well as recurring nightmares to boot!
The stress, anxiety, and fear caused by the pandemic — ushered in by social distancing, self-isolation, drastic changes in our daily life, loss of employment, to mention a few — have seeped into our subconscious and are wreaking havoc with our ability to get a good night’s rest.
While this may not seem like a huge deal, getting the proper amount of quality sleep is an integral part of a healthy body and a robust immune system.
Therefore, no matter what your daily plans in lockdown are, getting at least eight hours of uninterrupted sleep should top the priorities!
One such “unprecedented psychological state” includes phases of adjustment.
The country — and most parts of the world — are experiencing what psychologists call “phases of adjustment” as we transition from our normal life and routine into lockdown. This includes massive readjustment to accommodate the shelter-in-place guidelines — from homeschooling to working from home to new exercise routines to creating strange virtual social parameters with friends and families.
On top of these “phases of adjustment,” the change in daily routine has also made our circadian rhythm go a bit haywire.
Your circadian rhythm “is an essential internal ‘clock’ that plays a key role in regulating our sleep pattern,” by controlling “body temperature and hormones in order to make us feel alert during the day and tired a night.”
From the moment you wake up in the morning to the last cup of coffee to your commute home that evening walk or jog, dinner and then your relaxation time, these are all landmarks throughout the day that help define your circadian rhythm and signal the production of sleep hormones — such as melatonin and serotonin.
Why Should We Focus on Sleep?
The three pillars of a healthy body come down to nutrition, exercise, and sleep. In fact, some scientists even put sleep above these other two pillars in some cases.
Getting quality sleep is linked to a slew of health benefits including healthy weight management, better concentration, more productivity, increased athletic performance, reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, — due to healthier glucose metabolism — decreased risk of depressive feelings, lower rates of bodily inflammation, and an improved immune system.
This last health benefits may be the most important to focus on right now.
According to research, “even a small loss of sleep has been shown to impair immune function.” The study found that “those who slept less than [seven] hours were almost [three] times more likely to develop a cold than those who slept 8 hours or more.”
This was upheld by an analysis of 15 years of sleep-immune system research, which “accumulated surprisingly strong evidence that sleep enhances immune defense, in agreement with the popular wisdom that ‘sleep helps healing.’”
Even though you may not have a reason to go to sleep or wake at specific times during lockdown, these parameters give your body cues to begin releasing those sleepy-time hormones and obtain good-quality, adequate sleep!
Of course, this knowledge isn’t helpful when you’re lying awake at one in the morning staring at your bedroom ceiling.
Luckily, there are a few active steps you can take — starting from the moment you wake to the hours before you sleep — which will help train your body to grow sleep. Here are a few tips to get you started down the road to quality sleep!
While your morning routine dictates the vibe of your day, a bedtime routine dictates the quality of your sleep!
This is especially important during lockdown as it “can help you separate your workday from your evening,” signaling your body that it’s time to begin “cooling down.” Try to turn off all screens — phone, computer, and television — at least an hour before you want to fall asleep. Integrate peaceful activities such as a puzzle, reading, or relaxing yoga, meditating, or breathing exercises into this time. This also includes stopping all work at least an hour before bed!
4. Choose Late Night Snacks Wisely
Part of your bedtime routine should be a food cutoff time.
It’s recommended to not eat within at least three hours of when you will lay down. This rule is great for those suffering from heartburn, but it’s also just a great rule to follow if you’re looking to fall asleep easier. You don’t want your digestive system hard at work when you’re trying to get some shut-eye!
With that said, if your stomach is really asking for a little bit of something, choose wisely!
You’ll want to avoid alcohol, heavy metals, and sugar. Instead, focus on getting magnesium-rich foods, foods that promote serotonin and melatonin, and naturally calming agents — such as lavender and chamomile.
A very popular guilty pleasure is turning your comfy, big bed into an “everything” space. Some of us eat, work, and watch television in bed. While this may have worked before lockdown, when we all had the daily rigmarole to deal with, during lockdown this will wreak havoc with your brain’s ability to recognize the bedroom as a “sleep zone.”
Therefore, make sure to “remove electronic devices and make the room cool, dark, and quiet.”
Don’t eat in bed.
Don’t work in bed.
Don’t watch television, use your phone, or have your laptop in bed.
If you have to have electronic devices in the bedroom — as most of our alarms are on our phones now — make sure to set these devices to “night” mode or “airplane” mode.
6. Avoid Napping
When it comes to napping during the day, it’s important to find a happy balance. Keeping in mind that we’re all suffering from slight forms of pandemic-bred trauma, mourning, and grief, it’s okay to let your body recuperate by getting a few moments of extra shut-eye during the day. With that said, too much napping during the day will throw off your natural circadian rhythm and can interfere with the release of “sleep time” hormones such as melatonin and serotonin.
Basically, if you nap too much during the day, then you may be up all night.
7. Stop Drinking Caffeine after Noon
That cup of coffee in the morning may be the one thing getting you going during lockdown. It may also be part of a healthy, positive morning ritual.
Definitely don’t sacrifice your coffee!
With that said, caffeine — in all forms including coffee, tea, and energy drinks — does have a nasty habit of messing with the natural production, release, and flow of our sleep hormones including serotonin and melatonin.
Most cities have specific lockdown guidelines. These include leaving the house for essential trips — such as medical appointments and grocery shopping — many cities are still allowing their residents to enjoy the outdoors as long as they respect the rules of social distancing.
Take advantage of this leniency!
Getting outside not only breaks up the day and provides a great excuse for physical activity, but “exposure to both natural light and dark during this time will help us keep our circadian rhythms in balance, and make us tired.”
Try to integrate outdoors time first thing in the morning to help you wake up, as well as a nice evening stroll at twilight to signal your brain that the sun has gone down and therefore it’s time for bed!
You probably knew this one was coming! So, here it is.
Physical activity of any kind — walking, Pilates, gardening, running, weight lifting, yoga, stretching — have amazing benefits for the health of your body and your mind. This is especially prevalent when it comes to the health of your brain! In fact, it’s been found that regular exercise can actually make a brain more youthful.
This is also linked to your brain and body’s ability to fall asleep.
With that said, make sure “avoid vigorous exercise one hour before bedtime as this may reduce our sleep duration, quality, and make it more difficult to fall asleep in the first place.” Choose to integrate exercise first thing in the morning, midday, or late afternoon. If you were addicted to the gym or those butt-kicking classes, try some of these online services offering lockdown deals!
As with any supplement, it’s important to speak with your doctor before integrating it into your diet.
With that said, if you’re having trouble sleeping and nothing else is working, incorporating melatonin into your evening routine may help get your circadian rhythm back on track in a more natural way.
There are two types of melatonin: the melatonin hormone released “in the brain [which] is connected to time of day, increasing when it’s dark and decreasing when it’s light” and melatonin supplements created in a lab to mimic natural melatonin hormone. A melatonin supplement is far preferred over sleep medications due to the fact that “you are unlikely to become dependent on melatonin, have a diminished response after repeated use (habituation), or experience a hangover effect.”
For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has released new guidelines for pet owners and coronavirus. After two cats tested positive for the coronavirus in different parts of New York, the new guidelines are out to share with pet owners how to care for pets in the pandemic and how to keep them safe.
Public health officials stated that there is “no evidence” that pets are part of spreading the virus. The CDC stressed the importance of the need for additional information and testing to be able to provide specific guidelines for pet owners. The CDC recommends treating pets like family members and to practice social distancing for animals too. In the meantime, the CDC has reocmmended:
“Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.
Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals.
Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.”
If you’re sick with coronavirus, suspected or confirmed, follow the CDC guidelines and let someone else care for your pet while you’re sick, avoid contact until you’re well and use face coverings and hand washing if you must care for your animal during your illness.
IDEXX Laboratories said it would be providing a COVID-19 test to veterinarians. The agency also said it would continue to provide updates as more information was available.
Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.
Interested in joining the dairy-free and meatless train? We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
change.org Erin Fickas started this petition to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and 2 others
I think during this crisis all the food delivery services like Instacart and Shipt should accept EBT as a form of payment for the food, and offer EBT customers reduced or free shipping. Most of us people on food assistance are disabled and at high risk for catching COVID-19. Some states allow EBT recipients to order groceries on Amazon, but most states don’t have this option. Please share so people with disabilities can also get food safely!! It’s a problem when the people most in need of grocery delivery cannot access this much needed service and use their EBT card to pay for their food. Offering a waived or reduced delivery fee would help ease the burden of the most vulnerable population of our society. My husband and I are both disabled and at risk for catching COVID. We have a toddler as well who would suffer greatly if I brought home this terrible illness. My physical limitations also make grocery shopping difficult and incredibly painful. Offering grocery delivery services to people who are on EBT helps us to continue being responsible and practicing social distancing.
PETITION TARGETS: NY State Health Commissioner Howard A. Zucker, M.D., J.D.; NYC Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot; and NY Governor Andrew Cuomo New York state should lead the world by example. How? By immediately closing down and permanently banning all cruel and dangerous live animal “wet” markets. New York is the epicenter for the global COVID-19 pandemic, and just like the wet markets in China that gave birth to the crisis, more than 80 dangerous live animal markets are operating today in New York City alone, despite the New York State of Pause Executive Order. Soaked wet with blood, guts, feces, and other bodily fluids and parts, these markets are ideal environments for the incubation and spreading of zoonotic diseases, as a mix of animals are jam-packed into tight cages awaiting slaughter. NYC is particularly susceptible to a new, even more uncontainable virus spreading through its population of over 8 million people, as all residents live in relatively close quarters. As live animal wet markets remain open, public health and safety are at risk. In addition to the current uncontained COVID virus, new variants of COVID could emerge, reinfecting humans and causing a global viral pandemic relapse. Such introductions could be more deadly, and plague even more people globally. The facts are clear: live animal markets — whether in Wuhan, China or on the streets of New York — are breeding grounds for deadly zoonotic diseases that then become communicable human-to-human viruses. The government must immediately shut them all down in the interest of public health and safety. Sign this petition urging lawmakers to do everything in their power to shut down all live animal markets in the state of New York.
Health experts tell us to wash our hands often. But depending on the way we dry them, we could be defeating the purpose altogether. TOLEDO, Ohio — Health experts have been telling us the best way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus is by washing our hands. Soap, warm water, 20 seconds, move on. You know the drill when it comes to cleaning your hands, but you may be surprised to learn what could happen when you dry them. One viewer sent in a question asking if public, automatic hand dryers are a public health hazard during the coronavirus pandemic. Our sources include research from the American Society for Microbiology as well as ProMedica Dr. Brian Kaminski, who takes many of his cues from the World Health Organization. WTOL WTOL “Paper towels generally do the best job in terms of transmitting pathogens on to other surfaces or around the bathroom and then eventually on to other people,” Dr. Kaminski said. “So they (World Health Organization) recommend against hand dryers. The theory there is that you put your hands under forced heat and that blows some particles around. If your hands are still moist, that’s going to blow droplets around, it’s going to deposit those droplets onto other surfaces.” That’s right in line with data from a 2018 report from the American Society for Microbiology. WTOL The group’s research discovered “many kinds of bacteria…can be deposited on hands exposed to bathroom hand dryers and that spores could be dispersed throughout buildings and deposited on hands by hand dryers.” That means YES, you can, in theory, contract COVID-19 — and other illnesses — if you use an automatic hand dryer. So follow doctors’ orders and use some paper towels instead.
This is a frightening time in America and it is wise for everyone to remain calm and take the precautions advised by the Centers For Disease Control. -Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. -If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. -Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. -Avoid close contact with people who are sick -Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick. -Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick. -Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. -Throw used tissues in the trash. -Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
-If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick. -If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
-Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. -If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. -To disinfect: Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.
-Options include: Diluting your household bleach. To make a bleach solution, mix: -5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water OR 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation.
Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
Alcohol solutions. Ensure solution has at least 70% alcohol. Other common EPA-registered household disinfectants. Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens pdf icon[7 pages]external icon claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
When it comes to housecleaning, here’s how to tackle the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. These are strange times, and when times are strange, the internet does what it is so uniquely good at: It spreads a lot of misinformation. Recently we’ve seen all kinds of far-fetched claims about how to kill the virus responsible for COVID-19 – some of them so dangerous that we’re not even going to repeat them here. Suffice to say, people are panicking and hungry for ways to protect themselves. Fair enough. But we thought it would be prudent to take a look at some of the things proven to be effective for destroying the new coronavirus at home.
The Centers for Disease Control notes that current evidence suggests that the virus may “remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials.” They add, “Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.”
Fortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency tells us that coronaviruses are some of the easiest types of viruses to kill. “It has an envelope around it that allows it to merge with other cells to infect them,” Stephen Thomas, M.D., chief of infectious diseases and director of global health at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, tells Consumer Reports.
“If you disrupt that coating, the virus can’t do its job.” The difference between cleaning and disinfecting Cleaning is the removal of germs and dirt from a surface. It does not kill germs, but removing them depletes their numbers and thus lowers the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting means using chemicals to kill germs on a surface. Unlike cleaning, disinfecting does not remove dirt or germs. By cleaning first and then disinfecting, the risk of spreading infection can be lowered. Surfaces should be cleaned using detergent or soap and water – and allowed to dry for at least 10 minutes – prior to disinfecting. General tips for cleaning and disinfecting households If anyone is coming in and out of the house, routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces is warranted, these include tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, et cetera.
The CDC recommends household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface. Be sure to read and follow instructions for safe and effective use, and pay heed to those instruction, for example, wearing gloves and making sure there is sufficient ventilation. If your household is home to someone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, please see cleaning instructions included in the CDC’s recommended precautions for household members, intimate partners, and caregivers. Products that can kill the coronavirus Soap and water Hand sanitizer could practically be a new form of currency at this point, but do not overlook the wonders of good old soap. “It isn’t possible to disinfect every surface you touch throughout your day,” says Thomas. “The planet is covered with bacteria and viruses, and we’re constantly in contact with these surfaces, so hand-washing is still your best defense against COVID-19.” Perry Santanachote writes in Consumer Reports that the action of scrubbing with soap and water can break that aforementioned protective envelope. “Scrub like you’ve got sticky stuff on the surface and you really need to get it off,” says organic chemist Richard Sachleben.
Isopropyl alcohol The CDC notes that alcohol solutions with at least 70 percent alcohol should be effective against coronavirus. Apply undiluted alcohol and let it sit on the surface for at least 30 seconds to disinfect. Note that it may discolor some plastic surfaces.
But NOT vodka Despite what some are suggesting, an 80-proof product is only 40 percent ethyl alcohol, compared with the 70 percent required to kill the coronavirus.
NOT distilled white vinegar While vinegar may be a TreeHugger favorite, there is no evidence that it is effective in killing the coronavirus.
Hydrogen peroxide Santanachote reports that as per the CDC, household hydrogen peroxide (3 percent) can kill rhinovirus (the dreaded virus that causes the common cold). “Rhinovirus is more difficult to destroy than coronaviruses, so hydrogen peroxide should be able to break down coronavirus in less time,” he writes, recommending that it can be poured undiluted in a spray bottle and used from there; just be sure to let it sit on the surface for one minute before wiping. It should be OK on metal surfaces, but can discolor fabric. “It’s great for getting into hard-to-reach crevices,” Sachleben says. “You can pour it on the area and you don’t have to wipe it off because it essentially decomposes into oxygen and water.”
Common commercial disinfectants The CDS has a list of products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims that are expected to be effective against COVID-19. They have not specifically been tested against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, but they are expected to be effective based on demonstrated efficacy against harder-to-kill viruses. Some of these look pretty intense and would be my last resort, but then again, I am not living in a household with someone who is infected. As always, use caution and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.
Bleach You may have a no-bleach household, like many of us TreeHuggers, but if there were a time to break the no-bleach rules, this might be it for some. The CDC notes that “unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.” As per CDC instructions, make a bleach solution by mixing five tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water or four teaspoons bleach per quart of water. Keep in mind: Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Do not keep the solution for longer than a day. Precautions when using bleach The federally funded clinical and educational center, Western States Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit at UC San Francisco, has a great information sheet on using bleach. Among other things, they note: Bleach can irritate the skin and eyes. Exposure to bleach can make asthma worse in people who already have asthma. Mixing bleach with other chemicals containing ammonia, quaternary ammonium compounds (found in other disinfectants), vinegar or other acids can create a toxic gas. Bleach corrodes many metals. It should never be used on stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass, marble, or granite. Bleach is neutralized by dirt and other organic material, so it isn’t very effective when used on a surface that hasn’t been cleaned.
A note on wearing gloves And lastly, make sure you are following good glove protocol. The CDC recommends wearing disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, and to discard them after each cleaning. But since disposable things break our TreeHugger hearts, we will also note that the CDC gives advice for reusable gloves, recommending that they “should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other purposes.” And always remember to clean hands immediately after gloves are removed. Also see: Laundry in a time of COVID-19 See more on cleaning and disinfecting from the CDC here, and for more COVID-19 coverage, see related stories below. When it comes to housecleaning, here’s how to tackle the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you have had the fortune to smell the aroma of peppermint after it has been distilled fresh from the farm, or I should say after the distillation process which takes quite a bit of time. The surrounding area just permeates peppermint for weeks, and the aroma is nothing like the aroma that comes from the essential oil bottles you buy from manufacturers. Trust me, the aroma is quite unique and very strong.
Soothing, cool, and refreshing, peppermint oil smells great and offers many health benefits. Peppermint can ease congestion, support oral health, repel pests, soothe headaches, and even relieve stress. Peppermint oil is a must in your essential oil collection — especially if you like to create chemical-free, do-it-yourself home and healthcare products.
Found in candy canes and peppermint candies at Christmas, or year-round in chewing gum, toothpaste, and soap, its culinary uses are well-known. But, don’t overlook the power of…
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard