Healthy Home

Healthy Home: Showered With Bacteria

Hopefully you remembered to change the batteries in your smoke
detectors when you changed your clocks.  But did you think
about
changing your showerhead?


In this HHTV Healthy Home report, a new study reveals some nasty surprises.


A study of 45 shower heads in nine cities revealed 20% of those tested contained mycobacterium and in some cases, at levels 100 times more than expected.


For the average person this microbe is of little concern but for the one in 4,000 with lung disease, those with an immune system disease or cystic fibrosis, the study suggests changing your showerhead every six months.

 

Healthy Home: 4 Common “Sick Rooms”

You know the saying “home is where the heart is.”  Well, did you
also know that it’s where 65-percent of colds and more than
half
of food borne illnesses are contracted?


In this month’s Healthy Home, we look at four common sources of illness in the home and how to combat them:


The kitchen is, in fact, the dirtiest room in the house. That’s because of the raw meat and bacteria that is often put on countertops.


Most people wipe countertops off with a sponge, which becomes a breeding ground for E. coli and other bacteria.


By wiping off surfaces with this common tool, you’re actually spreading the germs.


The answer is dipping sponges in a solution of bleach and water before wiping down surfaces. You can also microwave it for one minute each week to kill the germs.


It’s important though, once you’ve used the sponge, to let it air-dry. Dryness kills off organisms.


Running the vacuum to pick up dirt, dust and hair may leave our floors looking clean but scientists say plenty of dust filled with pesticides, heavy metals and other chemicals still remain.


Experts recommend finding a vacuum cleaner with a high efficiency particulate air – or HEPA filter. HEPA filters are able to retain the small particles and prevent them from passing through and contaminating the air you breathe in your home.


Did you know a mattress can double in weight over ten years because of the accumulation of human hair, perspiration, animal hair and dander, fungal mold, bacteria, chemicals, dust, lint and insect remains?


Not only is that gross but all those things in bed with you can exacerbate your allergies or asthma.


You should allergy proof your bed and mattresses with special coverings that you’ll find in bedding stores.


Scientists also recommend that you wash your sheets each week in hot water.


When the temperatures start to drop here, many people open their windows to let the fresh air in.  But you’re also letting in a combination of seasonal allergens and pollution.


The Environmental Protection Agency lists poor indoor air quality as the fourth largest environmental threat.


If you’re allergy prone, the recommended solution is to shut the windows and run the A/C. All air conditioning systems have filters that help clean the air inside. You might also consider investing in higher efficiency filters that remove particles that can be inhaled.