My Wellness Drawer

Archive for April 2013

Never put open cans in the fridge, as the metal may transfer to the can’s contents – place the contents in a storage container or covered bowl instead. This is the NHS UK recommendation. Read more about how to store food safely.

Interesting talk about us, our conscious living/conscious healing. To watch follow the link below.

Blog photo

…and another fascinating talk about genes in Where Mind and Matter meet:

What are the Potential Health Risks of Mould?

There is a relationship between indoor mould, damp conditions and increased:

  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Coughing and phlegm build-up
  • Wheezing and shortness of breath
  • Symptoms of asthma
  • Allergic reactions

If you suspect that you or your family’s health is being affected by mould, talk to your health care provider as soon as possible.

People respond to mould in different ways, depending upon the amount of exposure and the person’s overall health. Some people are more vulnerable to the effects of mould than others. This includes children, the elderly and those with a weakened immune system or other medical condition(s), such as asthma, severe allergies or other respiratory conditions.

What is Mould?

Mould is the common word for any fungus that grows on food or damp materials. Mould can be black, white or almost any colour. It often looks like a stain or smudge and it may smell musty.

In order to grow, mould needs moisture and a material it can live on. It then releases “spores” into the air which are small enough that people can actually breathe them in. Breathing in large amounts of these spores and the by-products they produce can negatively impact your health.

Common places for mould to grow indoors are on window sills, fabrics, carpets, and walls in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry areas.

Recognize – Recognizing Mould

 Recognizing mould is an important step in protecting your health and your family’s health. Check your home often.

Common sources of moisture

  • Condensation on surfaces due to excessive humidity, lack of ventilation, or low temperature
  • Steam or excess moisture in the air from baths/showers and cooking
  • Water leakage, such as from a roof or plumbing leak, a cracked basement, or flooding

Common household materials mould can live on

  • Drywall
  • Wood, such as window sills, wall framing and firewood
  • Paper products such as cardboard boxes
  • Damp materials such as carpeting or furniture

Find out if you have mould in your home. Check:

  • The basement
  • Under or behind stored items
  • Under the kitchen or bathroom sink
  • On the wall or floor next to the bathtub or shower
  • At the bottom edge of windows
  • Closets
  • Other damp places in your home

Not all mould is obvious. It can grow inside walls or above ceiling tiles. Check for mould in damp places or where water damage has happened.

Take Action – Get Rid of Mould
Read more on Health Canada

Household dust is a great breeding ground for microscopic house dust mites, which like indoor environments and feed on old human skin flakes. It’s the mites’ droppings that cause allergies. Eradication measures should focus on the bedroom, as that’s where we spend a lot of time asleep in bed – with the house dust mites.

Dust mites feed on organic matter, but mostly dead skin that is found in furniture, house dust, bedcovers, clothes, cloth toys, carpets, and mattresses. They also absorb moisture through their skin, and this means the more humidity in your home, the more favorable the dust mite growth.

House-dust mites may be effectively killed by high temperatures (1–3). We sought to investigate the effects of various forms of heat deliverance to household items at varying temperature upon the survival of house-dust mites.

Cultures of Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus were used in four separate sets of experiments. In experiment 1, mites were plated in Petri dishes, and the effects of dry heat (incubator heat) and wet heat (hot water) at various temperature settings (40, 50, 60, and 70°C) at 10, 20, 30, and 40 min were examined. In experiment 2, the effect of exposure to dry heat upon the behavior of mites placed in polyester membrane was examined. In experiment 3, we examined the effect of dry heat applied by ironing upon live mites placed on a cotton sheet and on a comforter of 2.5 cm in thickness. Temperatures at various fiber layers of the comforter were measured. Mites were examined at various layers of comforter fiber layer. Experiment 4 was set to examine the effect of sunlight and of vacuum-cleaning upon live mites seeded on to a straw mat. The survival of mites was determined by examining their shape and mobility. All experiments were performed in triplicates.

The combination of a temperature of 50°C or over with a duration of 20 min or more was sufficient to cause 100% death of mites by dry heat. For wet heat, a temperature of 60°C or over for 20 min or more was required to kill all mites. Mites were found to migrate into deeper layers of polyester fiber in response to dry heat. Dry heat applied via ironing (40°C for 5 s) killed all mites on a cotton sheet and on the top two fiber layers of a comforter. Mites could survive this process in deeper layers of the comforter (40% and 93% in the third and fourth fiber layers). Direct sunlight for 6 h, vigorous shaking, and vacuum-cleaning of the straw mat were not effective to kill or remove mites from the mat since mites could hide in the cracks or cling very tightly to mat fibers.

In our experiments, dry heat seemed to be more effective than wet heat. With a hot wash of over 60°C, a duration of more than 20 min is necessary to kill all mites. Ironing is effective for killing mites on thin sheets, but not on thick clothes or comforters. A straw mat supports the survival of mites well and should not be used by mite-sensitive individuals. (link)

Health Risks

Dust mites have been blamed for allergies, hay fever, dermatitis, rhinitis, and asthma. Exposure to their feces or body parts can cause asthma in children at risk for the respiratory disorder. If you lay on a carpet that is infested with dust mites, you may develop red itchy bumps as a result of the allergen coming in contact with your skin.

There are various ways to keep a lid on house dust mites:

  • Choose wooden or other hard vinyl floorings instead of thick carpets, and fit roller blinds, which can be wiped clean, rather than draped curtains
  • Remove cushions, soft toys and other upholstered furniture
  • Avoid indoor houseplants, as they are dust traps
  • Don’t use woollen blankets or feather bedding in your home; try synthetic pillows and acrylic duvets instead
  • If you can afford it, buy a high-filtration vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. Most standard cleaners stir up dust as you clean and release most of the dust back into the air
  • Always wipe surfaces with a clean, damp cloth, as dry dusting will spread the allergens further

The most beneficial action you can take is to buy Allergy UK-approved barrier covers for your bedding. These are designed to prevent house dust mites and their tiny droppings escaping from your pillows, mattresses and duvets. They are made from a soft microporous material, which is comfortable to sleep on.

Allergy UK has more information on mite-resistant covers and vacuum cleaners.

Wash your sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases once a week in a hot wash (60°C), then iron your sheets and bedclothes with a hot iron, which will help to kill mites.

Your child may be unhappy about giving up soft toys. You can kill dust mites by machine washing toys once a fortnight and then placing them in the freezer overnight, after which they should be thoroughly tumble-dried.

Acarosides – chemicals that kill house dust mites – are expensive and only offer temporary benefit. The dead mites still have to be removed from carpets and furnishings by intensive vacuuming.

Pets in the home

It’s a common misconception that animal fur causes allergies. In fact, pet allergies are triggered by exposure to their dead skin flakes (dander), as well as proteins in their saliva and dried urine.

With pet allergies, it’s practical to remove the pet permanently from the home. If this proves too traumatic, try the following:

  • Keep pets outside as much as possible or limit them to one room only, preferably one without carpeting
  • Don’t allow pets into bedrooms, as skin flakes (dander) can remain airborne for long periods. Cat dander allergen can also be carried around on clothing into schools or the workplace
  • Try to wash pets regularly – fortnightly if possible
  • Female animals produce less allergen and castration will reduce the production of allergen by male cats and dogs

If you’re allergic to cats and are visiting the home of a cat owner, ask them not to dust, sweep or vacuum on the day you arrive. Disturbing the dust could make your allergy worse as stirred-up cat allergen can remain in the air for over 24 hours.

You should consider taking antihistamine medication one hour before entering a cat-inhabited home. This will reduce symptoms more than taking medication after exposure. (BBC)

Compassion is regarded as a fundamental part of human love, and a cornerstone of greater social interconnection.

In  ‘Conversation on Compassion’  Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher and author, explains it in a beautiful way.

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  • wartica: I can attest to this; eating garbage food , always lead me to eat more - all because I was lacking real nutrients . Great post and I look forward to s