Tag Archives: bacteria

Don’t wash your hands with hot water – use cold water to save energy and water

More on saving water, from the N.Y. Times:

In its medical literature, the Food and Drug Administration states that hot water comfortable enough for washing hands is not hot enough to kill bacteria, but is more effective than cold water because it removes oils from the hand that can harbor bacteria.

But in a 2005 report in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine…(subjects) were instructed to wash and rinse with soap for 25 seconds using water with temperatures ranging from 40 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 degrees, the various temperatures had “no effect on transient or resident bacterial reduction.”

 

How does this save water? There is no need to run the faucet until the hot water comes, avoiding all that wasted water, and by using cold water you save the energy needed to heat the water.

I’ve long thought that washing my hands with soap and cold water does the job. The same for washing dishes. Strange that for most of my life I thought hot water was absolutely necessary. I looked on the CDC and Mayo Clinic websites and found nothing. One says use cold or warm water and the other says nothing at all.

This means that switching over to cold water with soap is a reasonable step if you’re looking to conserve water and energy. Of course, you can still use warm water, but I find I don’t really need it. In the end, my goal is to live a Zero Waste, low-carbon lifestyle and this is one small step in that direction.

 

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Beach Report Card – for Los Angeles, San Diego, & Orange County (2012)

San Diego County

San Diego continued to exhibit excellent beach water quality, with 93% of all monitoring locations receiving an A grade during summer dry weather.

Winter dry weather water quality was also excellent with 93% A grades. During wet weather 77% of locations received an A or B grade, besting both the five-year average for San Diego (68%) and this year’s statewide average (64%).

 

Orange County

Water quality in Orange County was excellent this year with 94% A or B grades (89% were A grades). Beach water quality during the winter dry weather was also very good with 87% A or B grades. Wet weather grades were fair (69% A or B grades) and bested the five-year average by 15%. Two Orange County beaches appear on the dreaded Beach Bummer list: Doheny State Beach at San Juan Creek outlet and Poche Beach.

 

Los Angeles County

Summer dry weather water quality in Los Angeles improved 7% from last year with 82% A or B grades. Winter dry water quality was nearly the same as summer dry water quality with 81% A or B grades (besting the five-year average by 13%). Wet weather water quality in Los Angeles continues to be poor overall with 49% of monitoring locations receiving F grades this year (27% worse than the state average).

Los Angeles County was also host to seven out of the 10 beaches on the statewide Beach Bummer list this year: Topanga State Beach at the creek mouth (No. 10), Escondido State Beach at Escondido Creek (No. 9), Cabrillo Beach harborside (No. 6), Dan Blocker County Beach at Solstice Creek (No. 5), Surfrider Beach at the Malibu Lagoon outlet (No. 4), Puerco Beach at the Marie Canyon storm drain (No. 3) and Avalon Harbor Beach on Catalina Island (No. 1).
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Why is Dentistry so out of date?

Brushing, flossing, white strips and mouthwash: Thanks for all the help, but your services may no longer be required. The end of the cavity could be upon us.

UCLA microbiologist Dr. Wenyuan Shi has developed a mouthwash that completely eliminates the most malevolent of the 1,000 species of bacteria that can live in your mouth—after just one use. In a clinical study, 12 subjects who rinsed just one time with the mouthwash experienced a nearly complete elimination of the baleful bacteria, Streptococcus mutans. Four days after the first rinse, their mouths remained mutans-free.

Shi’s mouthwash is currently being tested by the FDA . If the mouthwash passes that hurdle, it will be the first cavity fighter approved since fluoride 60 years ago.

“I actually had no dental training,” Shi recalls, laughing. But once he began teaching, he was struck by how, in a country where we can reduce the risk of heart attacks and diabetes, battle cancer and lower cholesterol, dentistry remained out of date. The scientist-scholar resolved to work toward converting dentistry from a surgical model to a medical model.

“Last year in American health spending, heart disease was No. 1, cancer was No. 2 and dentistry was No. 3,” Shi notes. “We spent about $100 billion. In part, because it’s so old-fashioned. Mechanical removal is still the primary tool.”

via UCLA Magazine