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Diseases & Disorders

Children in Homes with Vinyl Flooring & Furniture Have Toxins in Their Blood & Urine

Children living in homes with vinyl flooring and furniture are vulnerable to diseases

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Bad indoor air quality can harm children. Photo Credit: Pixabay
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Children living in homes with vinyl flooring and furniture treated with fire-retardants have concentrations of toxic compounds in their blood and urine. Vinyl floorings contain semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) such as benzyl butyl phthalate, and flame-retardant furniture are treated with SVOCs such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs).

Researchers from Duke University found children raised in homes having these flooring and furniture can have high amounts of the SVOCs used to produce the flooring and furniture in their body. The researchers presented this discovery at the conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) last week in Washington.

Potential Effects of Exposure to PBDEs and Benzyl Butyl Phthalate

Children who get exposed to PBDEs are prone to any of the following conditions –

  • Obesity
  • Neurodevelopmental delays
  • Cancer
  • Endocrine and thyroid problems, etc.

Children who get exposed to benzyl butyl phthalate may equally be infected with –

  • Respiratory issues
  • Skin irritations
  • Myeloma – malignant tumor of the bone marrow
  • Reproductive disorders, etc.

Heather Stapleton, an environmental chemist at Duke, said SVOCs are widely used in electronics, furniture and building materials. She said these chemicals can be detected in indoor air and children who spend most of their time indoors can get exposed to them.

Children Living in Homes with Vinyl Flooring and Treated Furniture Are At Higher Risks of Exposure

Scientists from Duke University, Boston University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted an experiment to see how exposure to SVOCs can impact children. The study ran for three years and included 203 children from 190 homes.

The researchers were interested in knowing if exposure occurred through breathing of charged indoor air or skin contact with products containing the chemicals. So they analyzed indoor dust, air and furniture foam in the participants’ homes. They also took samples of urine and blood from the participants to test for SVOCs.

“We quantified 44 biomarkers of exposure to phthalates, organophosphate esters, brominated flame retardants, parabens, phenols, antibacterial agents and perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS),” Stapleton said.

Ultimately, they found that children living in homes whose furniture were treated with PBDEs had six times concentrations of the chemicals in their blood. Those living in homes with vinyl flooring had 15 times the amount of the benzyl butyl phthalate metabolite in their urine – as against those whose homes do not have vinyl flooring.

This post was originally published on Health News Office

Richard Owens studies Physiotherapy at the University of Leeds in the UK. He works as a physiotherapist in Los Angeles but writes on health topics in his spare time. Fortunately, his work has been featured in major magazines across the country. He loves to drive around the country when he is not seeing patients or writing.

Diseases & Disorders

4 Uses of Silicone

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You probably learned about silicone in school, and promptly forgot what it really was. In fact, silicone is everywhere and is one of the most popular materials used in everyday life. Here is a brief explanation of silicone and a few of its many uses:

What is silicone?

Silicone is a man-made polymer consisting of oxygen, silicon, hydrogen, and carbon. It is incredibly stable, water and heat resistant, and has a low toxicity. This makes it perfect for a number of different uses and industries, from electronics to cosmetics. Silicone can also be produced in a variety of different forms; gels, liquid, rubber, and resin, and is easy to manufacture, adding to its appeal. 

  1. Cooking

Silicone is a popular choice for cookware and utensils, as it is durable and heat resistant. Wooden utensils are becoming less of a common choice, as they stain, burn, and can splinter over time. Using silicone utensils means that your spatulas and spoons will not melt or tarnish, and they will also not heat up over the stove like some metal types do. Long-wearing, easy to clean and inexpensive, silicone cooking utensils are essential for any modern kitchen. What’s more, the low toxicity of the material makes them safe to use around food. 

  1. Medical industry

In medicine, silicone is used both in machinery and treatments. Electrical appliances such as MRI scanners use silicone to insulate the wiring due to its heat resistant capabilities. Silicone is also used in medical storage, respiratory equipment, syringes, and hearing aids. Anything that comes into contact with skin, from silicone wound dressings to prostheses, usually has some silicone component. This is again due to the non-toxic nature of silicone. Silicone is also used to replace latex-based adhesives due to the common latex allergy. It very rarely irritates the skin or body, whether applied internally or externally. 

  1. Cosmetics 

Silicone is also commonly used in the cosmetic industry. It can be found in many items, from skincare to lipsticks, and also has some health benefits. Silicone-based products can be great for acne prone skin as they do not irritate the skin when applied. As with the medical industry, the low toxicity of silicone allows it to come into contact with the face, a very sensitive area, with little to no reaction. Silicone also affects the appearance of makeup on the skin. It is smoother to apply, lasts longer, is less cakey, and creates a barrier on the skin which still allows it to breathe. 

  1. DIY

Silicone-based paints are a common option for redecorating, as they are self-cleaning, water repellent and mold-resistant. Silicone is also used in sealant products, so using paint with silicone can help cover up cracks in the wall while providing great paint coverage at the same time. It is also used to insulate electrical wiring, preventing wires from touching and short-circuiting appliances. It is also available in aerosol form to assist with sealing windows and is present in defoamers, glazing, and adhesives. Using silicone-based products in your home can also make it more energy-efficient due to its insulating properties. 

This post was originally published on Health News Office

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Diseases & Disorders

Steps to Take if You’ve Had a Work-related Injury

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Sustaining an injury can prevent you from getting on with your daily life. If you have had an injury at work, then there is more than just the physical pain to deal with. Being on a company’s property means they could be held accountable, and you must know what to do in this situation. Unfortunately, this can add stress on top of your physical pain, but there are some simple steps you should take to make it easier.

1: Seek Immediate Medical Attention 

The first thing you should do, of course, is seeking medical attention. Even if your injury doesn’t seem too bad, if you leave it unchecked, it could get progressively worse. If you can let your boss know as soon as it happens, the better, but make sure you prioritize seeing a doctor and following their instructions to the letter.

If you are a migrant, then seeking medical attention may not be as simple, especially if you wish to get treated in your home country. Using a medical reparation service provider can help with this immensely, ensuring you can get the treatment where you need it as soon as possible.

2: Report your Injury at Work

Your workplace will have an accident report book, so you must make sure your injury is documented in there as soon as possible. Try to be specific about what happened, including where, how, and what injury was sustained. If your injury goes undocumented at work, then it could cause issues for you later down the line if you seek compensation.

3: Consider Hiring a Lawyer 

Depending on the severity of your injury, you might want to consult a lawyer. This may seem like a big step, but if you end up making a compensation claim, they will be able to deal with the process, handling the details and making it much easier for you to focus on healing. They can also help with gathering evidence for your claim.

4: Write Everything Down

You should keep a notebook and write down everything that happened. This means everything. Note the time your injury took place, where it happened, what you did straight afterward, how many workdays missed, any conversations you may have had revolved around it, and notes from your doctor. If you need to make a compensation claim, this will make the process much smoother.

5: Take Enough Time off to Rest

At the end of all of the stress, you must allow yourself time to rest. An injury won’t get better quickly if you are constantly banging it at work. Don’t think about pushing yourself, especially if you have a physically demanding job, and let yourself at least enjoy some rest. Hopefully, your boss will understand that you need paid time off, and you can rest up, ready to get back to work once you are fully healed.

An injury at work can be both painful and stressful, but following these steps will ensure that the process is as seamless as possible.

This post was originally published on Health News Office

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Diseases & Disorders

How to Balance Your Fitness Routine

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Have you ever taken the time to balance the style of exercise that you do each week? Creating a healthy fitness routine can involve more than just going to the gym and burning cardio for an hour. While it may seem logical that exercise should primarily be grueling and intense, it’s also important to satisfy the different natural speeds of the body. This includes stretching, relaxation, and less intense activities that get you moving without too much strain.

Below we explore three styles of exercise and how you can introduce balance into your routine so that you’re not just hammering your body into fatigue.

Slow & Easy

If you haven’t yet discovered the benefits of Tai Chi, Pilates, or yoga, now might be a good time. These practices not only help release tension, but they can also improve energy flow. Designed to stretch and mobilize the joints, these practices — if done three or four times a week — can go a long way towards increasing relaxation and providing you with more energy overall. 

If you want to ease into it, begin with simple stretching first to get accustomed to the slowness of these activities. YouTube also has thousands of videos that you can explore — everything from 15-minute Pilates stretches to a full 1-hour yoga session. The important thing is that you’re using the time to give your joints a rest and a stretch while maintaining a practice of relaxation. Your body will be grateful for the pause and the relief that stretching provides!

Middle of the Road

It’s also essential to have a middle-ground when it comes to exercising. These types of exercises could include dance classes like Zumba, brisk walking, or even bodyweight exercises on a mat. Gyms often offer a range of moderate classes like these, so if you’re unsure and want someone else to take the lead, why not sign up to a facility like The Club Fitness Facilities? They have an extensive studio schedule, which includes classes like Barre and Les Mill’s Body Flow, which will give you a workout without too much intensity.

Depending on your schedule, level of fitness, and what your aims are, try doing middle of the road activities two or three times a week.

Strong and Powerful

At the other end of the field are exercises that many fitness addicts tend to gravitate towards. These include HIIT (high-intensity interval training), cycle spin, intense weightlifting sessions, long-distance running, and more. While these activities are great for boosting energy, improving stamina, and getting you fit, it’s essential to do these in moderation. High-intensity exercise can be hard on the body, and when done to excess, it can lead to burnout and weaken your immune system. 

If you enjoy these kinds of workouts, it might be sensible to keep it to once or twice per week unless you’re incredibly healthy and fit.

Final Thoughts

Especially during these times of Coronavirus, it’s essential to introduce balance in your life and ensure that your body not only stays fit and healthy but also relaxed and mobile. While it may be tempting to just hammer it out in the gym every day, try to incorporate a more balanced approach and note any changes to how you feel. 

This post was originally published on Health News Office

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