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Medical Waste in Our Water!?

Many terms are interchangeable with medical waste, including infectious waste and health care waste. Medical waste is created from the process of diagnosis and treatment of or the immunization of people and animals. It is considered infectious waste when the waste itself is contaminated with an infectious disease that can be transmitted from being in proximity of the item. Wastes can include sharps (needs and sharp surgical tools like scalpels), laboratory materials, blood and blood products, and any waste whatsoever that comes from a patient who is in isolation because they are carrying an infectious disease. Chemical waste and other hazardous materials are also medical waste.

You’ve seen the sharps containers on the walls of clinics, maybe in hotel rooms. There must be strict/// regulations and procedures, right? To understand the medical waste concern, you first have to know the history of the issue. In the late 1980s, several coasts of the United States had syringes wash up on their beaches. From this incident, the MWTA was created (Medical Waste Tracking Act). The MWTA was meant to implement standards for managing medical waste, but few states adopted the standards and it expired in the early 1990s anyhow. From then forward, each state was left responsible for its own medical waste and how it was handled and disposed of.

Over the course of the following decades, the conversation continued as concern about the increased treatment of HIV and AIDS in clinics grew. One of the greatest accomplishments was OSHA’s blood-borne pathogen standards that required certain precautions of medical professionals such as wearing masks and gloves during certain procedures and when coming into contact with bodily fluids. This started important conversations about what materials were considered infectious and which were not. Over-all, after the blood-borne pathogens standards were put into place, more materials were considered infectious than ever before. This, organizations agree, is the very first place the medical waste management movement should begin; by properly classifying infectious wastes from other wastes.

A very small percentage of hospital and clinic waste is actually ‘medical waste’. Most of it is actually trash, cardboard, plastic, food waste, etc. Perhaps this is the reason the medical waste issue has not been as big a deal as it should have been all these years. None too helpful is that fact that there is little documented cases of disease transmission from contact with medical waste.

Wastes are classified in three categories: biological, chemical, and radioactive. Properly classifying the waste and then “deactivating” it in a corresponding way is an important step of keeping our populations and future generations safe. In 2002 there were 100 different methods and technologies that could make medical waste not hazardous to human and environment health. Popular treatments of waste include steam sterilization and incineration.

Although standards have been put in place now by several acts and agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of Transportation, the Clean Air and Water Acts, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the fact that there are hundreds of ways of disposing of the toxic waste and that there still has not been one conclusion between all these agencies and acts raises healthy concern.

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Good Water Makes Good Coffee

For many people, the first thing they consume in the morning is a cup of coffee. A good cup of coffee would taste like coffee and look like coffee. A good recipe for good coffee starts with good water.

Good water can come right out of your kitchen faucet. If you’re lucky. Water hardness can vary depending on your geographical location. Water quality can vary from town to town. Call your water supplier for the most recent water report to learn how good your water is. The water report should also tell you how hard your water is. The United States Environmental Protection Agency requires the monitoring of 91 contaminants.

You know you have hard water if you see mineral deposits on your pots, sinks, and toilets. Hard water can leave whitish deposits on your coffee maker parts that do not wipe off. These deposits are from calcium and magnesium and do not pose a health risk. Over time mineral deposits can clog the tube and drip arm resulting in an uneven or failed brew. These minerals can also leave a slime floating on top of your coffee. Clean your coffee maker by running vinegar through a brew cycle. Be sure to run a cycle of water through after that to rinse the vinegar out.

Water that makes bad coffee? Pretty much the same culprits that make bad tasting drinking water can make bad coffee. How about hydrogen sulfide, that rotten egg smell. The presence of iron can give your water a metallic taste. How about too much chlorine?

Coffee shop chains use a filter system that treats their water so essentially a cup of their coffee tastes the same no matter where the coffee shop is located.

A better cup of coffee for you might just involve using a pitcher type water filter product. These can reduce chlorine taste, odor, and contaminants. Be sure to read the instructions on how often to change the filter. Keep the pitcher and parts clean and store your water in the refrigerator to inhibit bacteria growth.

Using bottled water can make a good cup of coffee but the expense makes this not such a good idea. Lugging several gallons of water from store to car to house can be a lot of work.

If you need a more advanced filter system call your local professional water treatment company for their advice and solutions. If you already have a water system in place a regular inspection is a good idea to make sure it is working properly and maintained correctly.

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3 Tips to Save Money With Water Purification Devices

Some of the water purification devices on the market are not really purifiers, at all. If you aren’t careful about which water purification device you choose, you could waste a lot of money and end up with little or no protection. Here’s how to tell the difference.

1. High Priced does not always mean high quality.

Most of us are used to paying more to get more, but when it comes to a water purification device; price has nothing to do with quality. The most expensive systems on the market include a reverse osmosis (RO) step.

Now, I’m talking only about systems that are designed for use by homeowners with a public provider. If you have a private well or other private source, you need laboratory testing to determine contaminants and then you can design an effective system.

If reverse osmosis is your only choice to remove specific contaminants, then you will also need to include other steps. Some companies’ advertisements make it seem that RO is all that you need, when nothing could be further from the truth.

People who are serviced by a public provider do not need an RO step in their water purification devices. There are less expensive, more effective options.

2. Low Priced might not do the job

On the other end of the spectrum are cheap products like the Brita water purification device. While the system does remove chlorine and some other common contaminants, it does not remove chlorine byproducts, commonly referred to as THMs.

THMs or trihalomethanes are known carcinogens. For many years, we were told that the amount released during the chlorination process was safe for consumption. The first studies that showed an increased cancer risk from this level of consumption were withheld from the public.

Now, we know that one of the reasons we need water purification devices in our homes is because of THMs and the increased cancer risk that accompanies them. If a water purification device does not include a multi-media adsorptive block, don’t buy it. No matter how cheap it is, it is still a waste of money.

3. The Best Water Purification Devices.

The best systems include several steps to remove the widest range of contaminants. First, granular carbon to reduce chlorine and other chemical contaminants, then a multi-media block to further reduce chemicals and get rid of the ones that are not trapped by carbon, alone.

The block should have a sub-micron sized porous structure to prevent water from circling around the granules, which would result in less effective contaminants removal. The structure also removes illness causing parasitic cysts that can be deadly.

The best water purification device also includes an ion exchange step to remove lead and other metallic ions. Heavy metals are exchanged for potassium and sodium, to both improve the taste and the healthfulness of your water.

These are not the most of the least expensive systems. The price is around a hundred dollars for a kitchen counter top purifier. People who install water purification devices like these save thousands of dollars per year by not buying bottled. It’s the safest and most economical choice for your family.

5 Coolest Natural Water Sources In The U.S.

According to U.S. News’ list of 18 best places to visit in the U.S., these 5 natural water sources show up near the top. All the best places to visit and live include a body of water, perhaps for its soothing quality you look for in a vacation. Whether your focus is historical, affordable, nature, exercise, shopping, or dining, there is a perfect destination for you and your family. Consider one of these 5 spots that include an amazing natural water source for your next vacation.

Grand Canyon/Colorado River

The Grand Canyon is voted #1 adventure vacation spot in the U.S. Available activities include hardcore hiking, horseback riding, white river rafting, and a viewing from small plane. The making of the canyon itself was an adventure, being carved out by the raging Colorado River over a period of centuries. If you don’t appreciate crowds or are looking for a natural get-a-way from man, this might not be the spot for you. The Grand Canyon makes a popular addition to people’s Arizona or Las Vegas vacations and can be quite crowded. You can save money by taking this vacation in late August when the crowds die down a bit.

The Ocean Surrounding Maui

Maui is voted #1 romantic, relaxing, and luxurious vacation destinations in the U.S. The Island is sandwiched between The Big Island and Molokai. It’s considered a very safe destination, with a low crime rate and is rich in history and wildlife, satisfying any type of vacationer and their desires. Kaanapali Beach offers wildlife you wouldn’t see from any other beach in the United States. 5 species of sea turtle and whales swimming in the distance are common. Surfing and snorkeling are popular “to dos”. You can save yourself some money on this trip by visiting the beach, rather than staying on it in a hotel with an ocean view.

Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park has been voted #1 in affordable vacation destinations and has several water sources worth finding, photographing, and enjoying. Among them is Old Faithful, the most famous geyser in the world. A geyser is a hot spring that water boils inside until it erupts a stream of water into the air. Old Faithful is named this because it erupts every 35 – 120 minutes for 3-5 minutes straight. Other bodies of water worth viewing at Yellowstone include a lake, other hot springs and waterfalls. Although Yellowstone is a popular spot for hikers and nature enthusiasts, you won’t likely run into many people during your visit other than at Old Faithful. You can save money by going during a non-summer month when campground rates are highest.

San Francisco Bay

If you enjoy bussleing cities as well as natural water sources, San Francisco can give you both. You can see the famous Golden Gate Bridge, visit the Fisherman’s Wharf and see Alcatraz from a distance, or enjoy sea lions up close on the bay. One advantage this location has over the others is its vote for #1 shopping and dining. If these points are important to you, consider this vacation spot. Again, save money by going in a non-summer month and use public transportation because bringing or renting a car is a big hassle.

The Tidal Basin In Potomac Park, Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. Is ranked a #1 vacation spot for families and a #1 historical and educational destination. While visiting, you can enjoy walking around this 2 mile long pond that was once connected to The Potomac River. One of the most important factors to consider when planning this vacation is season. The pond is lined with cherry blossom trees that are best viewed in bloom in March or April. There is even a National Cherry Blossom Festival you could catch! March 15th through Labor Day you can enjoy the pond by paddle boat for only 14.00 per hour. The park is full of other treasures for your discovery and delight.

Safer Pool Water Options

Some people just cannot stand to swim in heavily chlorinated pools and want more options for safer and more pleasant swimming pools. If you’ve adopted a pool by purchasing a house that has an existing one, you might consider changing systems if heavy chlorine in drinking water or pool water bothers you. Here are the two most popular options compared, chlorine pools versus saltwater pools.

Saltwater Pool Water

Salt is a natural cleaning agent, that through a natural process produces its own chlorine over time. The result is a more natural, pleasant, and cost effective pool experience. The way it works is a certain water to salt ratio must be maintained. The water needs to be tested regularly and salt added as needed. For an example, if it rains the ratio will be off and more salt will need to be added. In the long run, saltwater pools cost less to maintain. They do require a saltwater system to be installed, which might cost you more initially but compared to a chlorine system and maintenance, will pay for itself over a 2-3 year period. If you already have a saltwater system, then you only pay more upfront than a chlorinated pool for the amount of salt added to the pool as a base, but again, in the long run, adding salt through the season will cost you must less than the alternative. A pool season for a saltwater pool could cost you 20.0-30.00 to maintain and a chlorine pool, 50.00-60.00. One of the only disadvantages of the saltwater pool is that if a contaminate did effect your pool, your chlorinated pool can be fixed up within 24-48 hours and the saltwater pool could take up to 4-5 days. Otherwise the pros and cons are comparable and should be matched to your preference.

Chlorinated Pool Water

The one benefit that overrides the benefits of saltwater pools is the fact that it does kill bacteria and germs more efficiently than saltwater, but that’s because it works faster and is made of harsher chemicals that bacteria find it hard to live in. Chlorine can damage your skin, hair, and fade clothing and bathing suits much quicker than a saltwater pool would. It has an unpleasant taste and smell when compared to the saltwater pool. One factor to consider when deciding which pool system is best for you is how often you will use and maintain the pool. If you will religiously test the pool water, you might have the commitment it will require of a saltwater system to keep unwanted bacteria out by keeping the salt and water ratio even. The saltwater pool requires less maintenance, but if the less maintenance is not kept up can turn into days upon days with an out of commission pool. If you will be in the pool frequently for sport or exercise you might want to choose the saltwater pool for the benefits of your skin, hair, and swimwear. But if the pool is for luxury and fun, pool parties here and there, you might benefit from a chlorinated pool. It’s best you weigh the options against you and your family’s lifestyles.

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Top 5 Reasons To Drink Adequate Water Daily

Because our bodies are made up of between 55-75% water, it’s essential we care about the quality and amount of water we drink daily. You can test the quality of your water by inviting a local water treatment company to your home. After you receive the results, you’ll better know if you need to treat your water to be ingesting more pure water with the necessary mineral profile for optimal health. More importantly, the most common recommendation is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. Here’s why.

  1. It Reduces Fatigue

If you’re feeling tired, there is a good chance you might be dehydrated. Feeling less energized is often the first sign of dehydration because the lack of water causes the heart to work harder and all the other systems of the body work less efficiently.

  1. It Improves Mood

Studies show that even a small amount of dehydration can affect your mood and your ability to think clearly. A good indicator that you are well hydrated is a light yellow or clear colored urine. If you are slightly or severely dehydrated you’ll have yellow to dark yellow colored urine.

  1. It Minimizes Headaches and Constipation

A huge contributor to headaches and migraines is lack of water consumption. Drinking water when you first feel a headache coming on should take effect immediately. When the body is dehydrated your body will pull moisture from your stools to make up for the lack of hydration and cause you to become constipated. Drinking your daily water intake will aid your digestion and prevent constipation and its associated discomfort.

  1. It Aids Healthy Weight Loss

For many reasons changing your water drinking habits is the very first step toward healthy weight loss. Often when we think our body is hungry, the fact is we’re often only thirsty. You’ll find that drinking 1-2 glasses of water before a meal can suppress that false hunger. Drinking water also promotes fat burning and elimination within the body.

  1. It Flushes Toxins

Having adequate supply of water within the body let’s the body sweat and release toxins through urine. Water supports proper liver and kidney function, essential filtering organs. If you are predisposed to kidney stones, water dilutes the salts and minerals that form kidney stones. If it’s safe to say water promotes your health, it’s probably safe to say it prevents illness as well. On top of preventing kidney stones and constipation, other illnesses that can be prevented by getting adequate water are bladder infection, asthma, colds, yeast infections, sleep disturbance, skin issues, high blood pressure, heart disease and more.

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Considering Installing A Water Filter?

Okay, you’ve tested your water or know it can be better and you’re considering purchasing a water filter. You’ve seen water filters attached to faucets in other’s homes, but did not realize how many different kinds of filters there are and how differently they can be installed! This quick read article can hopefully assist you in sorting your thoughts and narrow your choices. They are listed from simplest technology to most complicated and basically in order of value as well. If any hesitation regarding the right choice for your home and family, consider calling your local water treatment professionals.

What If I Just Purchase Bottled Water?

What if you’d rather not deal with the fuss getting a water filter that does or doesn’t do the job and just purchase bottled water? After some research you’ll find that bottled water is one of the least cost effective, environmental and healthy options available for clean water. The cheap plastic, often containing BPA and other unhealthy elements, can easily leach into the water itself and the water is not much cleaner than tap water when you consider all its pitfalls.

Pitcher Filters

Water pitchers that contain a water filtration system within the lid can be easy traveling or quick options, but over time the charcoal filters can get very expensive quickly. It does not remove all toxins or the worst kinds from the water and requires constant filling to keep up with your family. Faucet attachments that contain the same filtration (charcoal) are just as ineffective and costly. There are better options on the market.

Reverse Osmosis Filtration

This technology is also a charcoal filter that needs replacement parts over time, but runs the water through more than the previous options. It removes major contaminants, including arsenic, chlorine, heavy metals, and other bacteria. It usually attaches below the sink and has a holding tank. It can be more time efficient than the previous options, but still takes an hour to make one gallon of drinking water. It’s got the same cost con associated with the replacement filters and is worst socially because it wastes a ton of water that it rejects during its process.

Water Distilling At Home

Water distillers are very effective at removing chlorine, heavy metals, bacteria and other toxins from your drinking water. Unfortunately they are large and expensive. They use a lot of electricity which only adds to its cost. Due to a loss of mineral deficiency from using certain filters, you can experience negative side effects. This is something to consider when going with this or any of the previous filtration options.

Solid Block Carbon Filters

This technology is the answer to previous issues with other filters. The pitcher filters and faucet filters use the same kind of technology except the charcoal in theirs is not solid and that’s where they remove less toxins. Solid block carbon filtration systems are units that take up some counter space, but remove the most toxins with the least amount of replacement. The unit itself can be costly, but the filters cost less than previous options do over time. The best thing about this option is that it does not require electricity or running water and will make any water safe, including rain water, pond water, and even salt water. It even removes food coloring from water and comes out clear!

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Reasons To Call A Water Treatment Professional And What To Expect

The loudest indicator you may want to get your water checked out is if it contains a funny taste, color, or odor. There may not be anything wrong with the water, just like seemingly clean water may have unwanted contaminants. Water that smells might have high levels of hydrogen sulfide or sulfur bacteria. Taste and color can vary along with many properties found in water. All these things can easily be explained with quick and simple testing.

If you’ve moved into a new home, especially if you’ve purchased a home, it’s a great time to test your water and make any adjustments necessary to optimize your water supply. If over time you realize that your water use appliances are working less efficiently or have residue build up, this is another indicator that your water levels should be checked and optimized for the life of your appliances, as well as other fixtures around the home. Another instance you may want to call a professional is if there is a resident in the home with a compromised immune system and you want to take the most precautions possible.

If you’ve found yourself in any of these situations, you can find yourself a local water treatment professional and make an appointment for them to come to the home and test.. Another option is to take a sample of the water yourself and mail it to a qualified laboratory for testing. If done in the home, the test only takes but ten minutes. Some of the things being tested for are the following: bacteria, micro-organisms, hardness, PH, acidity, alkalinity, sulfur, nitrite, nitrate, metals, chlorine and pesticides.

Once the results are obtained, you or your water treatment professional will be able to compare what you’ve got against the recommendations for safe levels of each element. From there you will be given the appropriate suggestions to modify your home to eliminate or balance any issues. This may include installing water filters (of many sizes, placements, types and purposes) or a water softener, and further water testing appointments in the future!

Somewhat common and potentially poisonous elements that could be found in your water include fluoride, chlorine, many types of pesticides and gasoline additives. These things can cause serious damage to vital organs with long term exposure. Testing is an excellent first step and beyond that, you may decide to just use the water for certain purposes and purchase drinking water you know is pure. A simple test is worth the time and expense if you aren’t already aware of what kind of water you are working with!

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Things You Did Not Know About Storing Water

People may store water for various reasons: in the case of emergency, to avoid shopping more frequently, to use in their garden or to save money spent on store-bought water to name a few. You may have thought that any container will act as enough of a barrier from toxins and bacteria, that if you store it in a cool, dry place and drink it within an allotted time frame the water will always be safe. Here are things you want to know before beginning to store your own water at home.

Water is Best Stored in Certain Plastics

Water bottle companies and rain barrel makers have the right idea when choosing specific plastics to store water safely. The types of plastics are numbered and the safest for water is #1, #2 and #4. To find out if your containers are one of these three plastics, look for the recycling symbol on the bottom and the number inside it that indicates its plastic type. These plastics are polyethylene based and make the best plastics because they are UV-resistant and food grade. Added benefits of some containers can be non-translucent blue, a color that resists the growth of bacteria and light exposure and indicates by color that it’s safe for human consumption.

Furthermore, drinking water is best from glass containers because they contain none of the chemicals or potentially dangerous materials that plastics contain and can be 100% recycled until the end of time. More importantly to some, the container will not contain any flavors from its previous contents.

Water Containers Should Be Stored Away From Chemicals and Off Concrete

Water should be stored in a cool, dry place, but not any cool, dry place will do. The first thought for many is to store their water in the garage where you have an abundance of space for it. This idea is swell, as long as you place your containers atop some wooden planks to keep it off the ground or concrete. The truth about storing your water in plastics, even the safest plastics is that the porous material can leach in any surrounding substances, inside or outside the bottle. The container can absorb oil, gasoline and even components of your concrete. It can also absorb any flavors, scents or components of anything that was ONCE inside the bottle, so putting your water inside an old soda bottle will taint the water with remnants of soda even if you’ve thoroughly cleaned it.

Water Doesn’t Expire

Fortunately for mankind, water does not “go bad” like food does. For peace of mind you can rotate the water or replace it every 6 months or a year, but it is not necessary. As long as you have picked appropriate containers, sealed them properly and kept them from anything that could leach inside through a plastic you will be just fine. In the case of an emergency, there are ways to purify the water again by boiling it or using bleach. Please do your research before consuming any water you might think has been contaminated in the slightest.

Water is an essential to human life and the first thing you might consider when preparing for an emergency or just making daily life run more smoothly for you and your family. The recommendation for emergency water storage is optimally 2 weeks worth and 1 gallon per day kept for each person. For a couple, 1 gallon kept x 2 for 14 days would be 28 gallons of water. The minimum recommendation is three days worth if that seems more plausible for you and your space!

 

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4 Reasons to Buy A Whole House Water Filter Before Christmas

Reasons to Buy A Whole House Water Filter Before Christmas

One of the ways that pollution can affect you, your family or friend in the comfort of your home is your water source. Water pollutants or contaminants may come in the form of harmful chemicals or microorganisms that can prove dangerous to your health and the health of your loved ones. This is the reason why you should own a water filtration system in your home.

With the aid of a water filtration system, you will not have to worry about buying individual filters for your bathroom or kitchen. Just have the water filter fixed in your plumbing system and you get clean water from all water sources inside or outside the house in an instant. Doing this, you are fully prepared for Christmas holiday.

Here are the reasons why whole house water filter is necessary prior to Christmas holiday:

REASON #1: Friendly Water for Laundry Purposes

For homes without water filters installed in their water system, one of the common challenges is washing the clothes without getting the fabric damaged or discolored. A whole house water filtration system is the solution to this. With the use of a filter, harmful chemicals that destroy your clothes are gotten out of the way. Your visitors enjoy cleaning clothes using filtered water.

REASON #2: Guest Friendly Showers and Baths

Another advantage of a water filter in your home is keeping your skin free from harmful bacteria or microorganisms that may be carrying diseases. Without a water filter, these elements can get in direct contact with your skin, causing your skin to feel dry, itchy and even smell bad. With the use of a water filter, you will be able to keep your skin healthy especially when using showers and baths. It is easy to host a guest during a holiday without worry.

REASON #3: Cost Efficient and Safe Water for Drinking

Perhaps the number one benefit a water filtration system can offer you is pure drinking water. The tap water you and I drink is very likely to be contaminated with any of the following: live bacterium and viruses and toxic and carcinogenic chemicals. The list of impurities in our water is enormous. You could pay a lot of money for bottled water that doesn’t solve the problem of your shower water. When you have a water filter for the whole house, there will be no need for you to buy pure drinking water from the market. All you need is to open your faucet and presto! You have clean water ready to drink and use it to prepare healthier coffee or tea.

REASON #4: Get Water Filter Now

A water filter is easily installed on your faucets or shower head creating safe drinking and showering water. In many sections of the country, water coming from the treatment plants is still not properly filtered when it reaches your house. That’s hard to believe, but it’s true. Every day there are stories about people getting sick from the water they drink. To avoid this, just hire an expert to install whole house water filters systems in your home. By putting up a water filtration system for your whole house, you are ensuring the overall health of your entire family and not just your own. It is quietly efficient, and it gives you peace of mind. Get a water filter now for your house to make Christmas holiday more enjoyable.