Friday, May 18, 2012

Chicken dinner!

There’s Poison in Your Poultry
Did you know that when a chicken is processed for food, manufacturers grind up the feathers and create an animal-meal feed additive that is then fed to other animals? Did you also know that recently scientists found arsenic, a potent poison, in all of the samples of feather-meal products they tested? What’s more, this same form of arsenic is actually fed to poultry on a routine basis.
Johns Hopkins University researchers published these findings in the February 2012 issue of the journal Science of The Total Environment. The researchers state that arsenic drugs, specifically roxarsone, are used in poultry production, which results in the accumulation of arsenic in the feathers of the chickens.
According to Robert S. Lawrence, MD, director of the Center for a Livable Future at Johns Hopkins University, chickens are fed roxarsone to make them grow bigger and have a more appealing skin tone. Lawrence says roxarsone is an organic form of arsenic, but recent research demonstrates that in chickens it is converted into the inorganic form of arsenic that is toxic.
“Inorganic arsenic is a human carcinogen and is also associated with increased risks of several noncancer endpoints, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neuropathy, neurocognitive deficits in children and adverse pregnancy outcomes,” explains Lawrence.  He also notes that roxarsone is used in turkey and swine feed, and has been detected in animal waste sold as fertilizer.
The only way to avoid roxarsone exposure in foods is to buy products labeled with the USDA Organic seal. In a New York Times expose, Keeve E. Nachman, PhD, a researcher involved in the recently published roxarsone analysis, was asked what foods he buys for his family. He responded, “We buy organic.”

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Greener redecorating

When summer comes around people start to complete projects around the house or redecorate.  Here are some tips to keep your indoor air cleaner.
Reducing paint pollution
Reduce pollution from paint application by using brushes and rollers instead of sprayers. If you are determined to use a sprayer, use a High-Volume/Low-Pressure (HVLP) spray gun. As the name suggests, a high volume of air at low pressure is used to atomize paint and this reduces over spray and improves transfer efficiency. These guns are capable of a transfer efficiency of 65 percent of greater.

Green building
You can source green building materials to help your health and the environment. Choosing lower-impact products for home-improvement projects can reduce toxins in the home and environment, reduce waste and preserve natural resources.

Paint storage
If you have leftover paint, you save it for future use. Properly sealed and stored, paint will last for years. Just clean the lip of the can thoroughly, secure the lid tightly, and store the paint can upside down to create a tight seal around the lid and keep the paint fresh until you need it again. If you cannot clean the lip and lid thoroughly, transfer paint to glass jars. Finally, store your paint in a cool place, but where it won't freeze. Even when you can't use it or don't want it anymore, leftover paint can be donated.

Floor coverings
Use wool floor coverings instead of synthetic alternatives; they are more durable and easier to clean. Wool can be expensive, though. Find bargains on wool carpet by looking through remnants at local carpet outlets. Remnants are often marked down by as much as 60 percent or more and the sizes can be adequate to carpet an average room-or have the edges bound to create an area rug.