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5 Common Habits That Can Make You Sick

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5 Common Habits That Can Make You Sick

Common things we all do that can actually make us sick…

Everyday we do our best to maintain a reasonable standard of cleanliness. But did you know that some of the everyday tasks we carryout in order to keep clean, can be cause of sickness and illness?

Using a sponge

kitchen sponge 5 Common Habits That Can Make You Sick

Using a Kitchen Sponge

Although most households strive to keep the kitchen one of the cleanest places in the house, the reality of the matter is quite the opposite. Phillip Tierno, PhD, director of clinical microbiology and diagnostic immunology at the New York University Langone Medical Center and author of The Secret Life of Germs, explained that the kitchen is in fact, the dirtiest room in everyone’s home:

Thats because we deal with dead animal carcasses on our countertops and in the sink [Raw meat can carry E. coli and salmonella, among other viruses and bacteria.]

Most people use one tool to clean all dishes and surfaces – the kitchen sponge. Ironically, the more you attempt to clean your countertops with a sponge, the more germs youre spreading around.

People leave [the sponge] growing and it becomes teaming with [millions of] bacteria, and that can make you sick and become a reservoir of other organisms that you cross-contaminate your countertops with, your refrigerator, and other appliances in the kitchen, Tierno explains.

Solution – Tierno suggests dipping sponges into a solution of bleach and water before wiping down surfaces. That is the best and cheapest germicide money can buy less than a penny to make the solution so that you can clean your countertops, cutting boards, dishrags, or sponges after each meal preparation.

Make sure you leave the sponge to dry as that will help kill off the growth of other organisms. Tierno also advises microwaving your sponge for around a minute once a week.

Put a little water in a dish and put the sponge in that. That will boil and distribute the heat evenly [throughout the sponge] and kill the bacteria.

Vacuuming

vacuum cleaning 550x543 5 Common Habits That Can Make You Sick

Vacuum Cleaning

Vacuum cleaners are a great solution for a quick clean, especially on carpet. However things aren’t always as clean as they appear. Conventional vacuum cleaners are designed to pick up larger pieces of dirt but the smaller dust particles pass through the porous bag, into the air and (if you’re not careful) right into the lungs.

Pet allergens and indoor dust, which contains the highest concentrations of hazardous materials like heavy metals, lead, pesticides, and other chemicals, are found in higher concentrations in the smallest particles of the dust, explains David MacIntosh, MD, and principal scientist at Environmental Health Engineering (EHE).

The everyday habit of cleaning with a conventional vacuum cleaner results in a burst of particles in the air and then they settle back down over the course of hours,

Solution Look for a vacuum cleaner with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Unlike those in conventional vacuums, HEPA filters are able to retain the small particles and prevent them from passing through and contaminating the air you breathe in your home.

Sleeping With Pillows and a Mattress

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Mattress and Pillows

The average person sheds about 1.5 million skin cells per hour and perspires one quart every day even while doing nothing, and this all has to collect somewhere while we sleep.

Mattresses and pillows soon become a hive for dust mites, and within 10 years the mattress will have doubled in weight thanks to the accumulation of human hair, bodily secretions, animal hair and dander, fungal mold and spores, bacteria, chemicals, dust, lint, fibers, dust mites, insect parts, and a variety of particulates, including dust mite feces.

After five years, 10% of the weight of a pillow is dust mites. This is what youre inhaling while you sleep.

What youre sleeping on can exacerbate your allergies or your asthma, says Tierno.

Solution – Tierno suggests covering your mattress, box springs, and pillows with impervious outer covers:

Allergy-proof coverings seal the mattress and pillow, preventing anything from getting in or out, which protects you,

He also suggests that you wash your sheets weekly in hot water. Make sure the temperature range of the water is between 130 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grilling Meat

bbq meat 550x412 5 Common Habits That Can Make You Sick

BBQ Meat

Unfortunately for meat lovers, BBQ-ing meat creates the cancer-causing compounds polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs). PAHs form when fat drips from the meat onto the hot grill, catches fire, and produces smoke – this is what’s contained in the nice charred black lines we look for on our steaks and burgers.

HCAs form when meat is cooked at a high temperature, which can also occur during an indoor cooking process.

Solution Michael Thun, MD. He is emeritus vice president for epidemiology and surveillance research with the American Cancer Society suggests:

Limiting your outdoor cooking, using tin foil, or microwaving the meat first is a sensible precaution,

When wrapping meat in foil you can poke holes in the base to allow the fat to drip off, the foil will prevent the meat from the smoke.

Sitting In Front of the TV

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Watching TV

Watching TV has become a national pastime, but despite the old wives tales, this habit is not going to ruin your eyesight but it might upset your diet.

When youre sitting there in a trance, you can really pack on some calories, says Thun. Today, more than one-third of the U.S. population qualifies as obese and one-third qualifies as overweight. Thirteen million Americans are morbidly obese.

Excess body weight puts us at greater risk for heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and a host of other diseases, Thun says. That poses a greater health risk than the toxic cleansers under our sinks.

Solution – Simple, find and activity or hobby to keep you occupied, and stay away from the sofa!


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