Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Human feces taint more than half of swimming pools says CDC study -

Human feces taint more than half of swimming pools says CDC study - 

Human feces taint more than half of public swimming pools, a finding U.S. health officials are using to urge better personal hygiene as the summer months approach.
E. coli, which indicates the presence of fecal matter, was detected in 58 per cent of samples taken from pool filters by the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, according to data released Thursday by the Atlanta-based agency. Pools frequented mostly by children were more likely to test positive for E. coli, which can cause stomach and respiratory illness.
Municipal pools open to all were worse than public pools requiring membership, the CDC said. Acute gastrointestinal illness related to recreational water sports has substantially increased since 1978, with diarrheal incidents and other poor swimmer hygiene being a major contributor, the CDC said.
“Finding a high percentage of E. coli-positive filters indicates swimmers frequently contaminate pool water when they have a fecal incident in the water or when feces rinse off of their bodies because they do not shower thoroughly before getting into the water,” the agency said in a statement.
The CDC tested pool water from filters around the Atlanta area in June through August 2012. It’s unlikely that swimmer hygiene differs in other areas, the CDC said.
E. coli was in 70 per cent of municipal pools tested and 49 per cent of pools that require membership or are at a club. The bacteria was detected in the same percentage of pools whether they were outdoor or indoor, the data show. Pools used primarily by children tested positive 73 per cent of the time.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacteria that can cause rashes and ear infections, was found in 59 per cent of the pools sampled, the CDC said. The contamination comes mostly from dirt, either from humans or pool toys, and underscores the need to clean pools and keep chlorine at proper levels, the CDC said.
The CDC recommended swimmers shower with soap before getting in a pool, don’t swim when they have diarrhea and wash their hands with soap after using the toilet or changing diapers. Also, don’t swallow pool water, the agency said.


Dairy Associations Lobby The FDA To Alter The Definition Of “Milk” To Include Aspartame -

Dairy Associations Lobby The FDA To Alter The Definition Of “Milk” To Include Aspartame - 

It’s not quite as bad as some have reported – cancer-causing artificial sweetening additives such as as aspartame likely would still need to be listed in tiny letters as ingredients. But the milk could otherwise be packaged, marketed, and sold as just “milk.” The stated goal is to reverse the trend of lagging dairy consumption by children, particularly in school.  From the U.S. government’s Federal Register:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing that the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) have filed a petition requesting that the Agency amend the standard of identity for milk and 17 other dairy products to provide for the use of any safe and suitable sweetener as an optional ingredient.

IDFA and NMPF request their proposed amendments to the milk standard of identity to allow optional characterizing flavoring ingredients used in milk to be sweetened with any safe and suitable sweetener—including non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame. IDFA and NMPF state that lower-calorie flavored milk would particularly benefit school children who, according to IDFA and NMPF, are more inclined to drink flavored milk than unflavored milk at school.


Handbags May Have More Bacteria Than A Toilet Seat -

Handbags May Have More Bacteria Than A Toilet Seat - 

Many ladies love their handbags and will spend a lot of money for the latest and greatest, but a new study says what is inside those bags may be covered in germs worse than what you’ll find in the bathroom.

As CBS 2′s Cindy Hsu reported Wednesday, the study said your purse may, in fact, have more bacteria than your average toilet seat.

Some people admit that the inside of the purses is less than orderly. Susan Ecker said hers is a disaster.

“You’ll find chocolate that’s fallen out of its wrapper and all sorts of things that are buried at the bottom,” she said.

Even a toothpick, loose mints and some crumbs were down there.

Clara Fernandez also opened her bag.

“I have a cell phone, I have make-up, candy, my medicine,” she said.

A new study by Initial Washroom Hygiene Solutions said a lot of the stuff we stuff in our bags is covered in germs. Topping the list is hand cream, which can carry more bacteria than a toilet seat.

“That’s gross,” Fernandez said. “I can’t believe that.”

Also up there are lipstick and mascara, and even hand-sanitizer bottles.

Doctor Sorana Segal-Maurer with New York Hospital-Queens said cell phones are also covered in bacteria.

“We don’t want to put it down. It goes into the bathroom with some people — not a good idea,” Segal-Maurer said. “You really need to wipe it down.”

And when it comes to fruit, don’t throw it in your bag.

“Number one, you’re probably not going to wash your hands before you go reaching for it, and number two, it’s floating around next to all the other stuff in your bag and then you want to put it in your mouth — it’s not a good idea,” Segal-Maurer said.

Another thing to keep in mind is the outside of the bag. Very often when we hit the restroom, there is no hook in sight to hang it, so we take our bags and we drop them on the restroom floor.

Segal-Maurer said you should never do that, and you should make sure you use anti-bacterial wipes to clean the bottom of your bag along with the handles. She said there’s no reason to panic, and it’s unlikely you’ll get sick from the bacteria in your bag, but it’s back to the basics of washing your hands

The study also found leather handbags tend to carry the most bacteria because the spongy texture makes a perfect breeding ground.

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