Is Mold Exposure Putting Your Child At Risk for Asthma?

Mold Exposure in Babies Identified As Key Risk Factor for Asthma

mold exposureMold exposure in babies has been identified as a key risk factor in developing asthma later in life. Results of an ongoing study of mold effects on humans revealed exposure to mold as a baby more than doubles the risk of developing asthma.

While the study doesn’t prove that mold exposure causes asthma, it does link exposure to mold in babies to respiratory problems including:coughing, wheezing and inflammation of the airways in the lungs. The study is part of the ongoing Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study.

Findings of the study suggest that mold exposure in babies under 12 months of age play a key role in children developing asthma. The risk of developing asthma is even greater if either parent has asthma.

The study visited the homes of infants in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky from 2001 to 2003. At least one of the parents had allergies to common airborne allergens. In all, the homes of 176 children underwent mold inspection at ages one and seven.

Half the homes had visible signs of mold and the other half had no signs of mold growth. Mold inspection was conducted by visually inspecting the homes and smelling for the telltale musty odor of mold. In addition samples of dust were taken from rooms the infants frequented the most and sent in for lab analysis for 36 different types of mold. The study said that it is the airborne mold that you don’t see that poses the greatest risk factor.

The study concluded that the children who were exposed to mold as babies were at much higher risk for asthma by the age of seven, although this doesn’t predict if a child will get asthma.

Eliminating Mold Exposure Is Important To Protect Your Child’s Health

Mold is present everywhere and there is some in all homes. But mold needs moisture to grow and reproduce. This is why damp environments are not healthy and can have mold problems.

The study suggests that if you are expecting or already have young children you should take steps to prevent mold growth in your home and protect your children from mold exposure.

Since mold needs moisture and humidity to grow any plumbing leaks or other sources of water intrusion such as leaky roofs should be corrected. Keeping the humidity level inside your home 50% or lower is also important to prevent mold from growing.

Not surprisingly, the children who developed asthma generally lived in homes without air conditioning. In this area, as well as many other parts of the country, humidity levels are high during the warmer months and the combination of warmth and moisture can cause rapid mold growth and increased . Air conditioning can lower humidity levels inside the home but if they are improperly maintained and cleaned they can actually make a mold problem worse.

You should look for signs of mold in your home but it is not always visible. Look for tea colored water stains on ceilings or walls as they can indicate a mold problem. Mold also has a characteristic musty or earthy smell and if you can smell it there is a 90% chance you have a mold problem somewhere in your house.

If you do find mold growing you need to correct the moisture problem and remove it. There is no good type of mold if it is growing in your home so there is no need to have it tested.

If you can’t find any visible signs of mold but can detect its odor you may want to hire a certified mold inspection company to find it. If they do find mold, unless the area is less than 10 square feet, you will want a mold removal company to deal with the problem. That is because there is danger of spreading the mold and also health risks in being exposed to concentrated amounts.

If you think your child may have been exposed to mold or they show symptoms of asthma you should get them in to see an allergist who can evaluate the risks, identify mold allergies and develop a treatment plan.

Mold doesn’t only make children sick it can impact the health of everyone in the family including pets.  Please visit Black Mold Removal 101 where you can get more information about finding mold,  preventing mold,  mold removal and eliminating mold exposure.

Electric BBQ Grills Are Ideal For Condos or Apartments

Electric BBQ Grills – Enjoy BBQ Season Even If  You  Live in a Condo or Apartment

Electric BBQ Grills - dimplex powerchef TBQ-120Electric BBQ grills will allow you to enjoy the  summer grilling season even without a backyard to barbeque in.

With the arrival of Memorial Day weekend comes the start of barbecue season and you want to be able to enjoy it and make the most of the season.

But thanks to the International Fire Code for multi-unit dwellings if you live in an apartment or condo chances are that open flame grilling is no longer allowed.

You may not have heard of this yet but the insurance companies and your landlord certainly have.

The only option for apartment or condo dwellers is electric BBQ grills now that gas and charcoal grills can’t be used anymore.

Electric BBQ Grills Will Allow You to Enjoy Outdoor Grilling Legally

But don’t despair because electric barbecue grills will let you enjoy outdoor grilling and enjoy real mouth-watering BBQ taste all summer long.

Outdoor electric BBQ grills have come a long way from the indoor counter top grills you may already be familiar with. They are like indoor grills on steroids

Thanks to advances in technology and design these hopped up electric barbecue grills will cook as well as a gas grill and cost much less to run.

Electric Barbecue Grills Are Convenient

* No messing around with lighting charcoal or waiting for it to heat up.

* No more lugging around or storing bulky bags of charcoal or heavy propane bottles.

*No more worries about running out of gas or charcoal before you’re done.

* Save Money – generally cheaper to buy and much cheaper to run

* Compact design makes electric grills easy to move around

* Compact and easy to store

Electric BBQ Grills Are Simple To Use

Barbecue without many of the headaches of conventional grilling. Now you can relax and just enjoy cooking outdoors again.

With an electric barbecue grill you just plug it in, wait a several minutes for it to heat up and start grilling. Outdoor electric BBQ grills can reach searing temperature for steaks and you can also easily control the temperature to slow cook whole chickens or roasts.

* Accurate temperature control

* Eliminate dangerous flare ups

*Hot or cold spots are eliminated

Electric Barbecue Grills Can Make You A Better Cook

Electric BBQ grills can actually make you a better cook. Many have sensors or timers that can be preset for various foods. When they are ready an alarm will sound. You can enjoy your family or guests without being constantly having to mind your grill.

* No more over or under cooked foods.

* Just set it and forget it.

* Easy as using a microwave

Outdoor Electric grills offer convenience, ease of use, and lower operating costs. You can find an outdoor electric BBQ grill that will fit your budget and meet your grilling needs.

If you live in an apartment or condo an electric barbecue grill will allow you to enjoy grilling safely and legally this summer. Even if you can use a gas or charcoal grill you owe it to yourself to check out the energy savings and easy grilling electric barbeque grills have to offer.

You can find out more about which electric BBQ grills are best at Best Electric Grills

Marijuana Growers Host First Farmers Market in Seattle

Marijuana Growers Host First Farmers Market in SeattleMarijuana growers held their first farmers market in Seattle today. About 600 people showed up to browse tables laden with jars of exotic cannabis strains with names like orange crush, lemon ice and purple haze and of course there were the cupcakes, brownies and other edible treats that looked as innocent as something your grandma made on a Sunday afternoon.

The idea started in Tacoma and the markets will be rotated between Tacoma, Olympia and Seattle with the next farmers market in Seattle on March 13. The idea is to provide legitimate medical marijuana users with options and safe access to the drug.

Some medical marijuana users still have trouble getting access to the drug because they can’t grow it themselves or have difficulty getting to a big city co-op for a legal supply. This event allows them to network direct with legal growers and gives them more options and better choices.

The medical marijuana laws in Washington are still vague when it comes to providing it to another individual and different police departments interpret the law differently which sometimes leads to supply problems. Many are hoping the legislature will soon clarify the law.

Only those with proper identification and a doctor’s authorization to use marijuana were able to make purchases. The police were not even evident at the event. A police spokesman said this is not a priority for law enforcement.

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La Nina Arrives Late as Snow Storm Slams Washington

La Nina Arrives Late as Snow Storm Slams WashingtonLast year weather forecasters predicted that this would be a very strong La Nina year in Western Washington, bringing with it a colder, wetter and snowier winter.

Most of Winter 2010 in the Puget Sound area was rather unremarkable with the predicted weather extremes failing to materialize, that is until now. Forecasters had said they may have overestimated the effect La Nina would have on the area. But did they?

Now the snow and cold temperatures have arrived as a late February snowstorm slammed into the state leaving behind two feet of snow in some areas. Skagit and Whatcom Counties were the hardest hit areas.

Record low temperatures have been recorded throughout the area and what little snow melt did occur has refrozen the slush into hard, slippery ice which is making getting around difficult. Most major roads are in good shape but getting off the icier side streets where cars are buried in snow has been much harder.

And there could be more snow on the way. Some hard hit areas may pick up an additional 3 inches tonight and temperatures will not warm significantly until next week and even at best they will still be below normal. Currently light snow is falling in some areas already.

Western Washington is known for its erratic weather. Locals joke that if you don’t like the weather here you just wait ten minutes and it changes.

The state’s weather is often hard to predict because you have a predominantly warm moist pattern from the Pacific and Arctic cold from Alaska and Canada mixing with it. Then too there is the rain shadow caused by the Olympics which can greatly affect the amount of precipitation that falls and fluctuating freezing levels that affect the type of precipitation.

The results can be surprising and varied like the current snowstorm. Experts will have to decide if the current weather is related to La Nina or not. But even in a state with unusual weather this storm stands out as unusual. Normally one would see daffodils and not snow drifts at this time.

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Marijuana Munchies May Benefit Cancer Patients

Marijuana Munchies May Benefit Cancer PatientsAnyone who has used marijuana has no doubt experienced the “marijuana munchies” and the fact that it can make food taste better. Now it appears this fact has not gone unnoticed by medical researchers and they are using THC to induce hunger in an effort to help cancer patients on chemotherapy.

This is the first study done on the “marijuana munchies” and the effect of THC on the appetite of cancer patients. Although the initial study was small the results were promising and researchers want to conduct a larger scale study. The study was published in the European medical journal Annals of Oncology.

It is common for those on chemotherapy to lose their appetite and many foods no longer taste good to them. This can cause severe weight loss in some cancer patients and impair recovery.

Canadian researchers studied the effects of THC on 21 patients who had advanced cancer and were subjected to chemotherapy. During the 18 day study the participants were given either capsules containing THC or a placebo.

Following the study 73 percent of those who took the THC said they liked food better and more than half agreed that the food taste better too. Not surprisingly this group also reported sleeping better and being more relaxed.

Those on the THC reported eating more protein than before. Meat is one of the foods that commonly tastes bad to those on chemotherapy. Most cancer patients for this reason are intentionally put on a bland diet and until now no one thought there was anything that could be done about the taste and smell altering effects caused by chemotherapy.

The study concluded that doctors should consider using this treatment to help restore the appetite of cancer patients as the study showed THC was well tolerated by cancer patients and no differences were observed between the two groups.

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Cocoa Prices Soar, Chocolate Lovers May Be Left with Bitter Taste

Cocoa Prices Soar, Chocolate Lovers May Be Left with Bitter TasteCocoa prices have soared to a 32 year high and chocolate lovers everywhere may be left with a bitter taste in their mouth. Usually when commodity prices soar it is because of a shortage caused by a bad crop.

But the Ivory Coast which produces almost half the world’s cocoa beans actually has a bumper crop this year. The rising prices are due to a man made shortage caused by political unrest in the African nation.

More than seven million people there are dependent on the cocoa crop for their livelihood and chocolate makers everywhere both large and small are dependent on their beans.

The problem is being caused by a disputed presidential election there. According to the UN, Alassane Ouattara is the certified winner of the election. But the ten-year incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo refuses to step down. The two sides are entrenched on opposite ends of Abidjan separated by UN troops in a tense and violent stalemate.

Ouattara ordered a ban on the export of cocoa beans to try and force his rival out by cutting off his finances. With world reserves already low this has led to significant price hikes. With so many growers there dependent on the crop this also given rise to a growing black market.

Producers are saying that if the higher prices continue they will have to pass the increase on to consumers. Large exporters in the US are for the most part obeying the ban which could reduce world supply by 10 percent.

While there are cocoa growers in South America, they charge twice as much for their beans as the Ivory Coast. Demand for chocolate is also growing worldwide as China and India are acquiring a taste for it. So if you are a chocolate lover be warned, your favorite chocolate bar may get more expensive or smaller or both.

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EPA Funding for Greenhouse Gas Regulation Cut

EPA funding for greenhouse gas regulation was cut by Republicans in the House on Friday. When the Republicans took office following the last election they were saying they had a mandate from the voters for changing Obama’s policies. But they didn’t mention which voters or policies.

The cuts come despite the fact that polls show the majority of Americans want cleaner air, support the EPA’s efforts and do not want congress meddling with that authority. So the big question is what voters are the Republicans representing or is this just another case of Republicans being in big businesses back pocket?

The bill to cut spending was pushed forward by Ted Poe, a Texas Republican who clearly has a mandate to protect big oil in Texas and not the people who live or breathe there.

A Supreme Court decision gave the EPA the right to regulate greenhouse gases because carbon dioxide emissions were deemed to be a hazard to public health and therefore fell under EPA jurisdiction.

The cut off of EPA’s funds coincides with the launch of new EPA regulations that would require oil refineries, utility companies with coal-fired plants and other large polluters to follow tougher emission guidelines on expansions and new construction projects.

Naturally, coal-producing states, those that rely predominantly on coal for power production and heavy industry such as oil companies are against tougher regulations. They claim the regulations will raise costs and lead to lost jobs.

Environmentalists are making the same claims saying stopping the EPA will cause job loss in a growing green energy industry.

Failing the passage of any kind of national environmental bill, the Obama administration has been using the EPA’s authority to try and control carbon emissions and global warming. It looks like Republicans won this round but the question is at whose expense.

Dumb Crook Robs Surveillance Camera Store

Dumb Crook Robs Surveillance Camera StoreAre dumb crooks are getting even dumber these days? A thief in Des Moines, Washington, came up with the brilliant idea of robbing a surveillance camera store.

The store not only sells surveillance cameras but also has multiple security cameras installed along with prominent notices to would be thieves that the cameras are on 24 hours a day. The security cameras cover virtually the entire store.

The thief didn’t get any money but did run out the door with two used computers. He was in and out of the store in 10 seconds, but not before he left behind clear pictures of himself entering and leaving the store. He was even kind enough to leave the door open so cameras could get footage of the pickup truck he drove away in.

This is a case of awe-inspiring stupidity. The man was unmasked and didn’t wear gloves either. The store owner expressed disbelief saying you would think that a store like his would be the last place on earth a thief would rob.

Now the Des Moines Police have some very good footage of the thief. There have been five other stores burglarized in the area over the past few months. The police now have some solid evidence to work with and it is possible the same man is responsible for all the crimes.

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