Health and Safety
This is a collection of health and safety topics that Bill Wattenburg has mentioned on
his radio program.
- Emergency Numbers for Cell Phones
- Because dialing 911 on a cell phone will connect you with the CHP
in Vallejo, you should program a few of these numbers into your phone
for quicker access to the local emergency dispatcher.
- Great, Cheap Disinfectant for Food
- Spraying vinegar and hydrogen peroxide (from separate bottles) on fruits
and vegetables is one of the best ways to reduce or eliminate dangerous
bacteria (including E. coli). This
article about the discovery by Susan Sumner explains what to do very
clearly. This article
from Science News explains in more detail how the discovery was made.
Further detail can be found from SafeFood
News and Science
News. A commercial
version of this discovery is marketed by Ecolab, specifically for food
- Your kitchen sponges and dishrags are spreading germs!
- Did you know that just putting a sponge through the dishwasher, even with the hottest
temperature setting, doesn’t kill much of the bacteria that sponges collect when used to
wipe down the counter top and cutting board? There is an easy way to kill most of the
bacteria though. Dampen the sponge with plain water, and then put it in the microwave for
a minute or two (long enough to generate steam). The boiling off of the water will kill a
significant portion of the bacteria and lessen the numbers of bacteria being spread the
next time you use the sponge to “clean” something. Do this every three days.
- An article in Science News (Sponges
and Sinks and Rags, Oh My!) describes just how filthy kitchen sponges,
dishrags, and cutting boards can be, and how to clean them properly (and why
wooden cutting boards are probably better than plastic ones). A related
story from Science News gives further
- Halogen torchieres can cause fires
- A 300W halogen bulb gets as hot as 970°F–1000°F (paper burns at 451°F!), and 500W
bulbs get even hotter. In fact, the 500W bulbs have almost entirely been recalled because
of the fire hazard. If you have a new halogen torchiere, it will come with a metal wire
grid that fits over the top of the lamp to keep paper and other flammable materials from
touching the bulb. Many stores are offering these guards as retrofits for older lamps, and
some are offering them free of charge. The guards are available from Ames, BJ’s Wholesale
Club, Hechinger’s/Home Quarters, Home Base, The Home Depot, IKEA, Kmart, Lowe’s Montgomery
Ward, Office Depot, Target, and Wal-Mart. Contact the Consumer
Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for more information.
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