A Health Guide to Using Aerosol Sprays

Aerosol sprays have developed an image problem and concerns about their adverse effects on health have mounted: they harm the environment and they contain CFCs, which destroy the ozone layer. Health advocates suggest avoiding aerosols at all costs. But are all these concerns true? Experts say that in the past, yes. Today, no.

For years, aerosol products contained chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, which were used as spray propellants. In the 1970s, CFCs were found to damage the ozone layer, and in 1978 the United States banned their use in commercial products; other countries (Canada, Norway, and Sweden) shortly followed suit. Records show that by 1996, CFCs were almost entirely phased out. They are currently used only in certain industrial machines (recycled in refrigerators and air conditioners) and medical products (inhalers).

Experts warn, however, that even the new generation of aerosols presents potential health hazards. Many of them contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a group of propellants and solvents that are highly flammable and contribute to smog. The most common VOCs are combinations of propane and butane. VOCs are found not only in aerosols but also in many fast-drying products, including pump sprays, perfumes, and hair gels.

The biggest danger of using an aerosol is inhaling the chemical spray. The spray’s fine particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and are easily absorbed by the bloodstream, possibly causing a variety of health problems.

A growing number of teenagers inhale vapors from aerosol cans in search of a cheap high. The practice, called “huffing,” deprives the lungs and brain of oxygen and can cause brain damage or death. Parents should be aware of the signs of aerosol abuse: changes in a child’s appetite or sleep patterns, a rash or blisters around the mouth, mood swings, and a chemical smell on the breath.

If you must use an aerosol spray, follow these precautions:

– The first basic rule is to be sure to read – and heed – the label.

– Always use aerosols in a well-ventilated area and do not inhale the vapors. The chemicals in the vapor can be absorbed by the lungs and the bloodstream, potentially causing headaches, dizziness, nausea, and respiratory problems.

– Avoid misdirected spray; it can harm the eyes and skin.

– Keep aerosol cans away from heat and flame. Even the heat of a nearby furnace can cause a can’s pressurized contents to expand and explode.

– Dispose of the cans in your regular trash. Even though many of them are now made of recyclable materials, recycling centers do not usually accept them because they may explode. Never disassemble, puncture, or incinerate an aerosol can.

Your Child’s Dental Health Guide

The teeth begin to appear when a child is six or seven months old, and at two and a half years it should have all twenty temporary teeth. When the child reaches the age of six, the permanent teeth begin to appear. The teeth of small children should be cared for and kept clean. They should last until the time comes for the permanent teeth to take their place.

It will be observed that the time of shedding begins when a child is about six years of age and continues until the eleventh year. It will also be observed that the eruption of the first permanent incisors coincides with the eruption of the first permanent molars, taking place immediately after the shedding of the first deciduous teeth at the age of 6 or 7 years.

Parents who are not aware of this coincidence are likely to consider the first permanent molars to be deciduous. This misapprehension may lead them to neglect these molars in case of decay, thinking that they like the deciduous teeth will be replaced soon with new ones. Such a mistake will result in permanent loss, for if cavities are not filled, these molars will be lost with no hope of replacement. This will lead to malalignment of the remaining teeth on that side and will interfere with mastication (grinding) of food for the rest of the individual life.

The work of the teeth is to masticate food; that is, grind it into fine particles, mix it with saliva and so begin its digestion. The teeth also aid in speaking; for when they are lost certain syllables cannot be pronounced clearly. The use of the teeth is important and their condition has an important bearing upon health.

Wine and Health Guide

“Is wine good for you?” – perhaps one of the top 10 most regularly asked questions in our wine tasting events. It’s always interested me that this question is at the forefront of many wine drinker’s minds, and it’s clear this is linked to the increasing interest in what goes into wine, and how it is produced.

It’s regularly notedthat wines (particularly reds), when consumed in moderation help combat cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and even Alzheimers. Epidemiologists for instance have consistently shown that the moderate consumption of alcohol and wine helps lower cardiovascular events such as heart failure. Why? Well although alcohol is a toxic substance, in moderation amongst other things, it is an anticoagulant (which in turn prevents blood clots).

It’s not only alcohol however – phenolic compounds present in wine are also known to be beneficial. One of these, Resveratrol (seemingly the wonder compound) seems to have an extraordinary breadth of benefits, from attacking cancer cells, protecting the heart and brain from damage, reducing inflammation, and lowering the instances of diabetes. Resveratrol has even been credited with reducing age related illnesses. Interestingly, 100 times more resveratrol is absorbed by the mouth than by the stomach. Because of this, it’s recommended you sip wine, rather than knock it back.

On this point, it’s not just how much you drink, but how you drink that matters. A further study (in Italy) has shown that consuming wines with a meal significantly reduces the risk of a heart attack.

THE FRENCH PARADOX

The perceived benefits of wine drinking are not new however. The well known French Paradox (essentially the observation that the French have a relatively low incidence of coronary disease, despite having a diet rich in fat) was first brought to light by an Irish doctor by the name of Samuel Black in 1819.

This phenomenon was revisited in 1991 on 60 Minutes, a CBS news program in USA, with the suggestion that red wine decreases the incidence of cardiac arrests. The follow-on? A 44% increase in red wine consumption, with US based wineries lobbying for the right to label their wines as “health foods.” The reaction from the American public was so great that wine brand Gallo had to put their Hearty Burgundy wine on allocation.

Inevitability, there have been dissenting voices, not least the statistics collected between 1990-2000 by The World Health Organisation who have shown coronary disease in the French may have been underestimated, and may be similar to those of neighbouring countries in Europe.

Despite all the research, as usual it’s all about moderation. Moderate drinkers have been defined by some as those who consume two 5 ounce glasses of wine a day, although sex, age, build, and general health all make generialisations risky. We know where the limits are – go overboard and all the adverse effects of excessive drinking are yours for the taking (liver disease, pancreatitis, cardiovascular disease..).

Musculoskeletal Health Guide

Good posture is an essential and integral part of a person’s overall health. In fact, a person is not on top of their game if they do not observe correct posture. This is because improper posture can compromise one’s health and prevent them from functioning 100%.

Causes of Bad Posture

Most people are unaware that they are slipping into bad habits and would only realize it when their health is already compromised. This can be seen while watching TV for prolonged periods of time, doing sedentary work such as desk jobs and wearing of restrictive clothes or shoes which can result to injuries or accidents. Lack of exercise also contributes to weight gain, weak muscle as well as lack of sleep due to poor sleeping supports.

Bad posture can lead to a person experiencing fatigue, aching muscles as well as pain. Lack of exercise compounds the problem and limits the muscle’s mobility. A person may also develop imbalance which makes them susceptible to accidents and degeneration of other body parts compromising the musculoskeletal health. Not only does poor posture affect the musculoskeletal system, it also creates havoc in the body’s other systems such as in the respiratory system where prolonged periods of sitting can cause shortened front muscle that leads to difficulty of breathing. It can also cause poor blood circulation, indigestion and back and neck problems. Poor posture can happen in three areas of the body – lower leg area, lumbar area and the upper extremities of the body.

Correct Body Posture

Good posture happens when the whole body is in perfect alignment meaning that the joints are aligned and are properly supported by their own support network and balance is created. To be able to correct one’s posture, it is first important to determine and assess one’s body position. This way one would be able to remind oneself if they fall into the incorrect posture. There are simple to advanced exercises that one can follow to improve their posture including stretching and yoga poses. Although improper posture can be self-corrected, it takes a great sense of dedication and repetitive action to develop the habit.

Taking a picture of the correct sitting position and sticking it to the place where you work can help prompt you to prevent slouching and remind you of the correct way of sitting. When you are sleeping, it is important to level your head with your spine; one can do this by using a small pillow below their head. Do sleep on your side to keep your spine aligned. For bending motions, it is best to bend your knees and keep your back straight before lifting or reaching.