What is sarin gas?

gas-mask

If you’ve been following the news, you would know that on Monday, President Obama warned Syria’s dictator, Bashar Assad that using chemical weapons against the Syrian rebel forces is “totally acceptable” and that he will face consequences if he does so. Despite this warning, the Syrian government has already begun loading components of sarin gas into bombs near airfields. Sarin is a highly toxic man-made nerve agent, and as a gas, can pose risks to a great amount of people. According to the CDC, even a small drop of liquid sarin on the skin will cause sweating and muscle twitching on contact. It is extremely dangerous to anyone that comes into contact with it.

“Within a few seconds of sarin gas exposure, victims will start to experience eye pain, drooling, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea and irregular heart rates.” – TIME Health & Family

“If exposed to a large amount of sarin in either gas or liquid form, victims can experience more severe and painful symptoms such as convulsions, paralysis, loss of respiratory functions and even death.” – TIME Health & Family

110810_bashar_assad_syria_605_ap

If Assad should decide that he will use these weapons against the Syrian rebel forces, there is no doubt that the U.S. will intervene and make him pay for the destruction and loss of lives that these chemical weapons are expected to cause.

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Carbon monoxide exposure hospitalizes 43 elementary schoolers

CO-molecule

Carbon monoxide (CO) is also known as the silent killer because you cannot see or smell it. According to the CDC,“carbon monoxide, or CO, an odorless, colorless gas can cause sudden illness and death. CO is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned in a furnace, vehicle, generator, grill, or elsewhere. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces and poison the people and animals in them.” In other words, it is extremely bad for you.

This passed Monday on December 3, 2012, 43 students and 6 staff members of an elementary school in southwest Atlanta, Georgia were hospitalized after they were exposed to deadly carbon monoxide fumes. It turns out that like most schools, the school did not have carbon monoxide detectors.Surprisingly, they are not required by state or local laws and currently only Connecticut and Maryland have laws that require CO alarms in schools.

carbon-monoxide-gas-safety

Any establishment that has appliances, for example that burn fuel, may be at risk for a carbon monoxide leak. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website features a webpage on carbon monoxide and any questions that you may have about what it is, how to detect leaks and symptoms of poisoning as well as poisoning prevention. If you do not have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, you should strongly consider getting one. Once it hits the air, it can be deadly.

Physical inactivity is very bad for you.

lazy dog

Winter time means less sun. Less sun means less energy. Less energy means less physical activity. So how physically active are you currently? A study developed over the summer has shown that physical inactivity can be as detrimental to your health as smoking. Yes, smoking!  According to the WHO, physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality causing an estimated 3.2 million deaths globally. This is why it is very important to be physically active everyday. Unfortunately, physical inactivity has become a global public health problem. It is believed that global urbanization has produced environmental factors that discourage participation in physical activity. We must remember that regular moderate physical activity such as walking, cycling, or participating in sports all have significant health benefits.

“Inactivity plays a role in almost every chronic disease there is.” – John P. Thyfault, PhD

“Every time you get up it gets better. Every time you sit down it gets worse.” – James Levine, MD, PhD

woman walking

Are you seeking ways to be more physically active that wont take much effort and time out of your busy day? Take a look at these ten simple ways that you can become more physically active. Being physically active can also boost your energy and help break that winter lazy syndrome! Sure it may be too cold for some people to do outdoor activities, but you can always take a brisk walk inside the mall or play a dancing video game. There’s so much that you can do to avoid inactivity! Make it fun and enjoy the benefits!

Natural remedies for cigarette addiction

burning cigarette

I won’t sit and bore you with all of the health risks of cigarettes or how it totally destroys your lungs and body. We all know cigarettes are bad. Sadly, before people realize how terrible they are, they are already addicted. Most people can’t bear to just stop smoking cold turkey so they use other methods to get their fix without smoking. There are all kinds of methods out there that help people stop smoking. One of the most famous is the Nicorette Nicotine patch that helps you quit smoking by giving you small doses of nicotine as you wear it. Theres also Nicorette Gum that you chew to get your nicotine and avoid smoking.

Mini-Electronic-CigaretteThe latest most popular form of kicking the ol’ smoking habit is the electronic cigarette, or “e-cigarette”. There are several brands out right now, endorsed by various celebrities and companies. Unsurprisingly, there has been controversy over the health risks of using electronic cigarettes. Let’s just be honest nearly every method endorsed will have some type of side effect.

Really, it’s better to find a natural remedy to help you quit smoking. There are several that you can mix up and use in your daily routine to kick cravings. Most of them are much cheaper than other methods out there and they are beneficial to your overall health. It never hurts to try and if you aren’t a smoker, share them with your smoker friends and family and see how they work out for them. Good luck!

World Aids Day Awareness

This upcoming Saturday (December 1st) is World Aids Day. This day represents the opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against the HIV/AIDS virus and to remember those we’ve lost to the disease. The international theme for World AIDS Day 2011 – 2015 is “Getting to zero: zero new HIV infections. However, locally our theme for World Aids Day is “I am My Brother’s/Sister’s keeper: Fight HIV/AIDS”. All around the world people will be participating in various events that raise awareness about HIV/AIDS.

courtesy of WorldAidsDay.org

How will you “Act Aware” this year?

There are several websites dedicated to world AIDS awareness that you can visit to gain more information on the efforts to fight the disease, events, facts and how you can join the cause.

Here are some interesting links about World Aids Day 2012:

  1. World Aids Campaign
  2. Aids.gov
  3. The Guardian
  4. Presidential Proclamation  
  5. World Bank Blog
  6. HIV Aware UK

Is eating snow bad for you?

As a child, I loved to eat snow. I always went for a fresh soft snow, gently laying in the yard. I would use my bare hands sometime to lick it all up. My mother always thought it was okay as long as I didn’t eat dirty snow that looked yellow or brownish. Winter isn’t officially here yet, however, a late-November snow has already fallen in the northeastern part of the U.S., so the rest of us can expect to experience some snowfall very soon. Is eating snow still safe though? As the saying goes, “What goes up, must come down,” so the toxins and pollution in our atmosphere come down with rain will most likely do the same with snow. Still, pollution is not the only worry when it comes to eating snow.

In a snow study published in Science, researchers tested 20 samples of snow taken from several different parts of the world, and discovered that bacteria levels were high in all of the samples. Snow contains large quantities of Pseudomonas syringae, a type of bacteria that causes diseases in certain types of plants, but it is not known how this bacteria affects human health.

Here are some safety tips on snow listed on SafetyIssues.com™:

• Licking the snow off the kid’s glove is likely to be fine. A “meal” of snow is probably not a good idea.

• Refrain from eating a lot of snow. It also contains particles from ordinary air pollution.

• Catching a snowflake with the tongue is OK. Eating snow that’s on the ground is not OK.

So what is the final answer?

So is it bad for you or not? To answer this question, we’ll rely on the fact that there are currently no published reports of people becoming ill from eating snow. If you really want to know how clean the snow in your yard is before you eat it, just take a sample and test it. When it snows, grab a container and collect a good amount of snow in it. After the snow melts, take a coffee filter and put it over the container, let it run through and allow the melted snow to collect any dirt or particles. You may need a magnifying glass to see anything!

 

Let’s talk cell phones and cancer.

Everyone owns a cell phone. EVERYONE. Some people can’t leave the house without them and others almost nearly have panic attacks if they misplace them. Cell phone are our lives! But this may be a curse for us. In case you didn’t know, cell phones emit radiofrequency energy. In other words, radiation. The tissues in your brain can absorb this radiation and put you at risk for brain cancer. In other words, as you talk on the phone, your cell phone is slowly frying your brain like a slow cooked egg. A recent government funded study has already shown that cell phones cause changes in brain activity, but did not conclude whether it could cause cancer. However, in a court case last month, the supreme court in Italy ruled that cell phones do cause brain cancer after a 60-year-old man developed brain tumors from heavy cell phone usage. The National Cancer Institute provides in-depth fact sheet on cell phone usage and cancer risk. It affirms that there is an evident risk for cancer, but leaves the topic open for more research as phone technology is ever-changing.

Hold up!

Just when I thought that the use of textual communication through Twitter, Facebook and text messages may be saving our brains from radiation. Unfortunately, cell phones emit radiation even when you are not talking on it. This is why it isn’t a good idea to put them in your pocket for storage. If you are interested in this topic, you may want to learn more about how cell phone radiation works. In the meantime, check out these 5 ways to reduce your cell phone exposure and start protecting your self from cell phone radiation now!

Margarine vs. Butter? It’s a no brainer!

Margarine can look like butter, is often substituted for butter, but no my friend, it is NOT butter! Margarine tastes nasty…period. I can instantly tell when I’m spreading margarine on my bread because it looks funny and even has a plasticy, fake smell. It has a nasty chemical taste that makes my taste buds angry. Margarine can make even the freshest, warmest, most delicious baked bread taste unpleasant. Do you know the disgusting truth about margarine? Margarine is actually a chemical substance that is made from a process that is terribly unhealthy for humans and animals. That’s why animals or insects wont even eat it, so why do we? Are we that dumb? Not me! I’m going to keep avoiding this stuff at all costs!

What are other bloggers saying about it?

“You can easily leave a block of margarine outside for years and no mold, insects or other animals are going to touch it. It’s a “non-food”.” – swedish-diet.blogspot.com click to see full article

“Margarine is something else entirely, a totally unnatural, harmful and inedible product that is in no way should be called food.” – thetruthabouthumanfood.blogspot.com click to see full article

“Butter wins hands down in this turf war! It is a natural product, and we don’t need a chemical lab in order to make it… any kitchen will suffice.” –  simplypurelyhealthy.wordpress.com click to see full article

Are you going to throw out all of your nasty margarine and start spending just a little extra for real butter? It’s really a matter of unnatural vs. natural. Butter all the way!

Let’s have a non-GMO Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is in exactly one week! No doubt people are looking for the best Thanksgiving dinner ingredients at the lowest prices. Food prices are not what they used to be and can really pinch the pocket around the holidays. We all know that the lowest priced food can often mean the crappiest quality, which makes room for GMO foods in your shopping cart. Learn about how you can have a GMO-free Thanksgiving dinner this year. Remember just because it tastes good, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Give thanks for less GMOs in your food this year! Enjoy!

Too bad so sad Mr. Turkey! It’s almost turkey time!

Well the time has rolled around again and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. It’s a time to give thanks for all you have and most importantly, a time to have a massive dinner with your family. When you think Thanksgiving, you think turkey, the symbol of the holiday. Mmmmm… You can just see it now! A healthy slice of oven roasted turkey smothered in gravy right next to the dinner rolls and stuffing. As people are in the supermarkets searching for that perfect bird to cook for dinner, they probably don’t think twice about what turkeys will go through to complete their feast this year.

Most turkeys served at Thanksgiving are factory raised. This calls for severe mistreatment and high risk for health risks in humans. I’d hate to spoil the holidays, but I really think everyone should know the truth about turkey before you chow down on it at the dinner table. I’m pretty sure that it will change your perception of “turkey time”.

This PETA sponsored video gives a glimpse into what factory turkey farming is like at it’s worst. WARNING: This footage may be very, very disturbing!

If you want to learn more about eating wild turkey and farm raised turkey visit the Humane Society’s page on turkeys. If you don’t want to feast on a tortured turkey and are interested in purchasing a farm raised turkey for your Thanksgiving holiday, check labels on turkeys that say this. Try visiting your local farmer’s markets or check local health food stores for more information. Or, just leave turkey off of your plate and enjoy all of those delicious sides! Enjoy your Thanksgiving everyone and don’t forget to give thanks!