WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the grounds of the National Mall, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued its annual report of deaths and injuries involving legal and illegal fireworks for calendar year 2012. Fireworks can have a life-altering impact on consumers, including severe eye injuries, loss of limbs, and even death. CPSC works closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP); the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Fireworks, and Explosives; the Department of Transportation; and the Department of Justice to enforce federal safety standards and raise awareness about the dangers of fireworks.

Last year, CPSC received reports of six men who were killed by professional-grade, homemade or banned firework devices.  In addition, an estimated 8,700 consumers were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments for fireworks-related injuries.

Between June 22, 2012 and July 22, 2012, more than 5,000 consumers were treated in hospital emergency rooms due to fireworks-related injuries. Sixty percent of all fireworks injuries occur during the 30 days surrounding the July 4 holiday. More than half of these reported injuries involved burns to the hands, head and face. About 1,000 reported injuries involved sparklers and bottle rockets, fireworks that are frequently and incorrectly considered safe for young children.

Follow-up investigations of incidents showed that most injuries were associated with malfunctioning fireworks or improper use. Malfunctioning fireworks often resulted in unexpected flight paths and dangerous debris.  Improper use included igniting fireworks too close to someone, lighting fireworks in one’s hand and playing with lit or used fireworks. Most victims recovered from their injuries or were expected to recover completely; however, several victims reported that their injuries might be long term. 

 “These figures represent more than numbers; they represent the lives of real people who have been affected well beyond the Fourth of July” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “The federal government is working hard to keep the public safe by monitoring the ports, the marketplace, and the transportation of fireworks.  Now, we need consumers to do their part and celebrate safely.”

Working with CBP, CPSC conducts surveillance on imported fireworks. During 2012, the agencies collected and tested shipments of imported fireworks for compliance with the Federal Hazardous Substance Act (FHSA). About 30 percent of the tested products were found to be in violation of the law and were immediately stopped at the U.S. port. This import surveillance program strives to keep violative and dangerous fireworks off of U.S. store shelves and roadside stands.

“The solid partnership between CBP, CPSC and other agencies at the Import Safety Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center (CTAC) enables greater sharing of information and targeting to ensure the safety of imported fireworks,” said CBP Assistant Commissioner Allen Gina.  “Interagency collaboration at the CTAC results in the identification and interdiction of potentially unsafe imported merchandise, including non-compliant fireworks, and truly exemplifies working together as one U.S. Government at the Border to protect American consumers.”

At the national level, CBP, CPSC and the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) work side-by-side at the CTAC in Washington, DC to effectively combat the importation of illegal fireworks.  The CTAC provides a platform for the agencies to share data, analyze import trends and conduct joint risk-based targeting to identify fireworks shipments that pose a safety risk.

“Fireworks are explosives. Protecting the public means making sure that our safety regulations work when these explosives are being transported,” said PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman.

“As the federal law enforcement agency charged with enforcing federal explosives laws, ATF actively works with other federal agencies, such as CPSC, through its fireworks enforcement program to protect the public from the dangers of illegal explosives devices,” said ATF Acting Director B. Todd Jones.

Consumers who decide to purchase legal fireworks are urged to take these safety steps.

  • Make sure the fireworks you want to buy are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Parents may not realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees ─ hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Always have an adult closely supervise fireworks activities if older children are allowed to handle devices.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device to prevent a trash fire.
  • ATF encourages the public to report the manufacture or sale of illegal fireworks to your local law enforcement agencies or to the ATF hotline at 1-888-ATF-BOMB (1-888-283-2662).

Source: USCPSC

Note: Please pay attention to these tips.  During my high school days, some boys threw some type of firecracker at a girl, and it broke her foot.  She paid for their prank with pain and discomfort.  As the article says, these are explosives; leave the handling of them to the experts. pb


As stated in yesterdays’ post, there is more to the beauty business than meets the eye.  As in any profession, health risks are involved.  Our salon workers are exposed to certain chemicals as well as ergonomic issues.  We want to share with you a couple of more things to think about the next time you want to enhance your beauty! 

Nail Salons:  Note that the risk to chemicals is very low, because three OSHA-regulated ingredients – dibutyl phthalate (DBP , toluene, and formaldehyde ), have been eliminated from leading nail polish brands.  A European Union ban on these products is given credit for this action.  The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics contends that the U.S. ban was the result of a coalition of 160 organizations that organized salon workers and pressured polish makers to remove harmful chemicals.  The director of this campaign states that cosmetics requirements in this country have not been significantly updated since the late 1930’s.  Very little research on nail salon workers or customers has been done.  Due to this Campaign, several hundred cosmetics companies have taken a voluntary pledge to avoid chemicals banned by health agencies outside the U.S. and to fully disclose product ingredients. 

Massage Salons:  Because spas are among the fastest growing elements of beauty business, massage is the main attraction.  A knowledge of ergonomics is important to massage therapists because many of them have experienced pain or musculoskeletal symptoms related to massage work.  Overuse syndrome and tendonitis affecting the neck, wrist and lower back have been reported.

 Massage therapists can prevent injury by keeping their bodies in a neutral posture.  An example of this is: head over the shoulders, shoulders over the hips, hips over the knees and knees over the ankles.  Keeping the body “stacked” in this way helps maintain the normal curves of the spine and it ensures that the muscles alone aren’t holding one upright.  It is also important for massage therapists to maintain good overall health. 

Through the information we have provided, last but not least, is the responsibility of the employer.  They have an important role to play in keeping their personnel injury-free and working longer.  Training is of vital importance and keeping the workplace free of clutter to prevent employees from tripping and falling are expected from the owners.

We all owe a debt of thanks to our beauticians, who not only serve as hair stylists, and more, but also have to be our therapists as well, listening to all our problems.  They are very patient and strive to please their customers, therefore building their clientele. 

Congress is currently considering two proposed laws to make safer cosmetics.  Let’s hope these laws will keep all workers in this field of service to the public safer.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission


Beauty salons alone generate more than $60 billion in annual sales in the U.S. and employ about 1.5 million people.  It is reported that nail salons have experienced a nine per cent over-the-year growth rate, with cosmetology and barber schools the fastest growing industry in 2011.  Massage businesses are also popping up all over the country. 

As these industries grow, attention has increased about the risks for those who maintain American’s nail, hair, faces, and bodies.   Compliance Reports focus on the safety and health of massage and salon workers.  Even though their job tasks differ from other types of jobs, the familiar descriptions of other occupations apply: chemical exposure, ergonomics and hazards.  

Hair Straightener:  Headlines were made when it was discovered that some hair smoothing/straightening products may contain formaldehyde.  These products also may release formaldehyde at levels above OSHA’s permissible limits and could be mislabeled.  OSHA states that all three put workers at risk. 

Some of these products are advertised as formaldehyde-free and containing no harsh chemicals, and the Material Data Safety Sheets list no hazardous ingredients.  Stylists, however, reported symptoms similar to those of formaldehyde exposure, including burning nose, eyes, and throat, as well as respiratory problems.  These smoothing/straightening products may release formaldehyde at levels above OSHA’s permissible limits, and could be mislabeled.  All three put workers at risk. 

Here is a brief explanation of health effects of exposure to formaldehyde exposure:

Health Effects

Formaldehyde, a colorless, pungent-smelling gas, can cause watery eyes, burning sensations in the eyes and throat, nausea, and difficulty in breathing in some humans exposed at elevated levels (above 0.1 parts per million). High concentrations may trigger attacks in people with asthma. There is evidence that some people can develop a sensitivity to formaldehyde. It has also been shown to cause cancer in animals and may cause cancer in humans.  Health effects include eye, nose, and throat irritation; wheezing and coughing; fatigue; skin rash; severe allergic reactions. May cause cancer. May also cause other effects listed under “organic gases.” 

This article is not intended to prevent anyone from working in a salon, or being a client.  Its’ purpose is to convey the risks involved for persons who choose this type of work, as in any other industry.

Tomorrow we will look at other occupational hazards in the beauty world: Nails and Massage

OSHA/US Environmental Protection Agency


Cycling to work is one of the best ways to start your morning. By the time you get to the office you will feel nice and refreshed and you’ll be ready to get down to business straight away. You will also save lots of money because you’re not paying for gas, and you will help the environment. Those are all pretty good reasons to swap your car for your bicycle, but there is a hidden danger you must watch out for. You definitely don’t want to get into any road traffic accidents.

If you get hit by a car there is a much greater chance of seriously injuring yourself and sometimes much worse. You don’t stand a chance because you have nothing to protect yourself against a powerful machine moving at great speed. It’s unlikely you will be hit, but that is only if you’re very careful and you know what you are doing. If you make a mistake you could be in danger, so we’re going to look at some of the ways you can stay safe on the road while cycling to work.

Don’t ride against the traffic

You shouldn’t be cycling into oncoming traffic at any stage in your journey. I know you’re not going to cycle all the way to work in the wrong lane, but you might be tempted to do it at some point. Maybe there is only 50 meters between you and the work entrance and you will chance your luck. Don’t take any chances and just walk with your bike on the path.

Don’t pass on the right

You should never pass on the right-hand side of a vehicle because it might not be able to see you. When a driver is turning into the right they definitely don’t consider that someone could be foolish enough to drive straight in front of them. They will hit you and you won’t enjoy the fall. If they’re driving at a decent speed it could be even more serious than a few bruises.

Keep your eye on the drivers

When you drive around in your car do you look for cyclists? Maybe you do because you’re a cyclist yourself, but most drivers won’t even think about it. You need to start looking directly into the drivers’ eyes and you can only be certain they know you are there when they look back at you. It’s an easy way to prevent yourself from getting injured because you assumed you were safe.

Watch out for road hazards

If you’re driving along the road and you hit a little rock you probably won’t realize you hit anything. Now go over the same rock when you’re cycling at high-speed and it could throw you into oncoming traffic. There are a huge number of dangerous objects that could be lying on the road when you cycle to work and the only way you will see them is by concentrating.

Use hand signals

Everyone knows that you should use hand signals when you’re cycling on the road, but how many people actually use them? Most people would rather keep their hands on the handlebars, but if any drivers are not skilled in the art of mind reading they won’t have any idea what you’re going to do. Some will wait to see what you do, but others won’t care about you.

Please stay safe

There are obviously a hundred different things you can do to stay safe and we’ve just covered a few of them today, but please stay safe when you are ever out on your bike. Remember that common sense goes a long way.

Today’s guest author, Jenny Wadlow, is a freelance blogger and she has previously worked for a well known personal injury lawyer in Atlanta. She thinks that it is important to take steps and ensure safety while traveling to and from work.  She is a fun-loving person and her hobbies include reading and cycling.

Jenny: I might add that all riders should wear helmets and some type of high-visibility gear to help to be seen by drivers. Thanks, Pat



Spend the Fourth of July with Friends and Family This Year, Not in the Emergency Room

Prevent Blindness America Urges the Public to Celebrate Safely, Leave Fireworks to the Professionals

June/July are Fireworks Safety Months 

Nearly 6,000 Americans spent part of their Fourth of July holiday in the emergency room in 2009 due to fireworks injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in a report issued in 2011.  Of those, fireworks caused an estimated 1,600 eye injuries. The injuries included contusions, lacerations and foreign bodies in the eye.  Some injuries even caused permanent vision loss.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, “safe and sane” fireworks cause more injuries than illegal fireworks, especially to preschool children.  For children under the age of 5, half of the total injuries were from sparklers. Children ages 15 and younger make up a significant number of fireworks injuries, accounting for 39 percent. 

Prevent Blindness America, the nation’s oldest eye health and safety organization, supports the development and enforcement of bans on the importation, sale and use of all fireworks and sparklers, except for authorized public displays by competent licensed operators. The non-profit group believes it is the only effective means of eliminating the social and economic impact of fireworks-related trauma and damage. 

If there are specks in the eye,

  • DO NOT rub the eye.
  • Use an eye wash or let tears wash out specks or particles;
  • Lift the upper eyelid outward and down over the lower lid;
  • If the speck doesn’t wash out, keep the eye closed, bandage and see a doctor or go to the emergency room.

If the eye or eyelid is cut or punctured,

  • DO NOT wash out the eye with water.
  • DO NOT try to remove an object stuck in the eye.

Cover the eye with a rigid shield without pressure.  The bottom half of a paper cup may be used.  Seek medical help immediately.

“We encourage everyone to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday this year without using consumer fireworks,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America.  “Whether you’re attending community events, family picnics or public displays by fireworks professionals, we wish you and your family a safe Independence Day.”

Suggestions for fun options rather than doing fireworks include everything from face-painting, to making patriotic desserts, to creating glow-in-the-dark t-shirts and hats with special paints and markers.  If it’s noise they want, let them create their own instruments with pots and pans.  Have a first aid kit handy.

For more information on fireworks safety, call (800) 331-2020 or log on to preventblindness.org.


The kitchen is, after the bathroom, the most dangerous room in the house—and with the average kitchen’s complement of knives, exposed heat sources, glassware, ceramics, and household poisons, perhaps that is unsurprising. Kitchen accidents cause millions of disabling injuries and tens of thousands of fatalities every year. Here are a few ways to make your kitchen safer, without overhauling your routine or spending a lot of money.

Falling – Slipping and falling incidents in the kitchen are common, and the presence of hazards on countertops can make the resulting injuries much more serious. A newly-cleaned floor or a fresh spill can make it easy to lose your footing, and sustain concussions and lacerations from the floor and countertops. The involuntary flailing associated with a fall can also spill hot liquids, shatter glassware, or bring the arms in contact with stovetops or knives.

To mitigate the risk of a falling injury, never cook on a wet floor, and clean spills thoroughly as soon as they happen. Turn the handle of any pots and pans over the stovetop, so they’re less likely to be knocked over in the event of a fall.

Knives – Lacerations from kitchen knives are so common that the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System actually subdivides them by the item being cut. A blade slip while cutting raw chicken is the most common form of kitchen laceration, followed by potatoes, apples, onions, and bagels. Those five categories alone account for over 15,000 emergency room visits every year, with patients experiencing extreme blood loss and potentially permanent nerve damage.

Cutting injuries are mostly the result of dull knives, badly-secured cutting boards, and improper knife technique. As much as possible, use sharp, high-quality blades, especially on slippery items like raw meat. Invest in a non-slip food cutting-board or slide a wet towel underneath the board to secure it. While cutting, keep your hands as dry as possible, firmly grip the knife, and always curl the fingers of your free hand.

Stovetops – Improper use of a stovetop (particularly a gas range) can result in fire, burns, and scalding. Loose sleeves, neckties, or long hair can ignite in contact with the burners, so it’s important to keep hair tied back and any loose-fitting clothing away from the range. Never leave a stovetop unattended, especially while using a glass casserole dish; they can explode violently from the heat, and spray shards of glass all over the kitchen. Also be sure to keep small children away from the range, and turn your pot handles over the stovetop so as to be out of reach.

Liquids on a stovetop can also be extremely dangerous, especially if they boil over or spill. It only takes a second of exposure to boiling water to inflict third-degree burns, and potentially permanent loss of the affected tissue. Don’t use a receptacle that is too small to accommodate the liquid, and never leave a boiling pot unattended.

 Bacteria – 128,000 Americans are hospitalized with foodborne illness every year. Not all of these incidents begin at home, but you can take steps to design a kitchen that will reduce your risk. Firstly, wash your hands and all cooking utensils before and after preparing food—and do not switch from preparing raw meat or seafood to preparing vegetables without washing. Never put cooked food right back on the plate where you prepared it raw—the blood and juices can easily reintroduce bacteria.

Take special care to sanitize your countertops and cutting boards, and be ready to replace them if they sustain deep gouges from knives—those crevices can be a haven for bacteria, and are difficult to clean properly. If you use rags and sponges, wash and (especially) dry them thoroughly—often they will do more to spread bacteria than to remove it. Also remember that refrigerators slow bacterial growth, but do not stop it. Leftovers can become dangerous to eat without any noticeable change in flavor or odor, so minimize the time your leftovers spend at room temperature, and eat them within (at most) one week of preparation.

Poisoning – Accidental poisoning is an extremely common cause of injury and death in the United States, among adults as well as children. The easiest way to avoid kitchen poisoning is to keep your cleaning and cooking separate, and make sure your cleaning supplies are well-secured under the sink if you have small children. To prevent food poisoning from canned or jarred goods, never eat food from a can that appears swollen, or releases pressurized gas when you open it. Respect the expiration dates on your packaged foods, and never leave an open can or jar at room temperature for more than an hour.

Mike Freiberg is a staff writer for http://www.homedaddys.com, a resource for stay-at-home dads, work-at-home dads, and everything in between. He’s a handyman, an amateur astronomer, and a tech junkie, who loves being home with his two kids. He lives in Austin.

Thank you, Mike, for this enlightening article.  Imagine the thousands of restaurant employees who are injured in the kitchen.  There are many types of personal protective wear such as cut-resistant gloves, and gloves for food handling.


On-site injuries have long been a problem for nearly every construction company, and for good reason. 

Each year, construction companies face hundreds of thousands of accidents related to situations that could be avoidable with the right precautions in place. In 2011 alone, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there were 4,069 workers killed on a construction site, most of which were avoidable. Though some of these problems truly are unavoidable, many of them can be minimized by following simple procedure. Every company is unique, but there are some practices that should be universal for any construction company, whether they are building a high-rise building or a small house.

Here are some of the most common issues that lead to injuries on the construction site: 

Lack of Training 

Every worker, regardless of what he or she is doing, should have a thorough understanding of not only what they will be doing, but also how to operate the heavy machinery they will be using. This might sound redundant, but thousands of injuries every year are caused by careless behavior on the part of the construction manager through lack of oversight. All operators of heavy machinery should have verifiable training on the machine or equipment they will operate. Many construction dealers will offer free tutorials for their machinery, such as videos, user manuals and quizzes. Some even offer a verifiable certificate to each person that passes the course. 

Overhead/ Buried Obstructions 

Before building anything, be sure to thoroughly inspect the construction site for buried or overhead obstructions. One phone call to your local utilities service will ensure that there are no buried pipes or wires, and can potentially prevent thousands of dollars in damages, along with any worksite injury that could occur. If you have exposed cables, be sure to use a cable ramp to ensure that machinery does not interact with them. 

Loading and Unloading Equipment 

Problems arise at every turn of a construction site, even on level ground. When loading and unloading equipment, it is crucial to make sure that no one is in the direct path of any heavy equipment, and that heavy equipment has enough room to comfortably maneuver around the construction site. This often requires a spotter to be nearby at all times. It is also important to make sure that the machine you are working with can clear the ramps that it uses, and that there is no crowding within that machine’s path. Use proper tie-down procedure, and use safety-ties to avoid pieces coming out of place. 

Though construction companies will most likely never be truly inevitable, we have come a long way in terms of construction safety in the past several decades. Since 1970, fatalities related to construction have been reduced by over 60 percent, and with a little bit of luck, this trend should continue.  

Patrick Rafferty is the marketing assistant for Brahman Systems, a Louisiana based construction company with a patented all-steel enclosed hose and cable protection

Note: All companies must provide personal protective equipment items.  From hardhats, vests, gloves, safety glasses, to first aid kits, they must be prepared properly.  Pat



One of the unpleasant parts of summertime are those blasted mosquitoes!   Not only do they bite you when you least expect it, if they carry the West Nile Virus, you may become very ill.  Less than one per cent of those bitten by infected mosquitoes are affected.  If you have symptoms that include high fever, stiff neck, or severe headache, contact your health-care provider immediately. 

Persons who have contacted the West Nile Virus have suffered debilitating health problems.  Just this week, our local news featured a man who was paralyzed from the neck down when he contacted the virus last year.  Through hard work and medical treatment, (a year later), he is barely able to pull himself up and stand for 20 seconds!  So this is nothing to ignore.  So if you are getting “buzzed” by a mosquito, get out the swatter and spray! 

Remember the Four D’s for your defense against exposure to mosquitoes: 

Dusk/Dawn are the times of day you should try to stay indoors.  This is the time infected mosquitoes are the most active. 

Dress in long sleeves and pants when you’re outside.  For extra protection, you may want to spray thin clothing with repellent. 

Deet (N/ N-diethyl-m-toluamide) is an ingredient to look for in your insect repellent.  Follow label instructions, and always wear repellent when outdoors. 

Drain standing water in your yard and neighborhood –  reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths on a regular basis.

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside. Use your air conditioning, if you have it. 

Help Your Community West Nile Virus Surveillance and Control Programs

  • Support your local community mosquito control programs. Mosquito control activities are most often handled at the local level, such as through county or city government. The type of mosquito control methods used by a program depends on the time of year, the type of mosquitoes to be controlled, and the habitat structure. Methods can include elimination of mosquito larval habitats, application of insecticides to kill mosquito larvae, or spraying insecticides from trucks or aircraft to kill adult mosquitoes. Your local mosquito control program can provide information about the type of products being used in your area. Check with your local health department for more information. Contact information may be found in the blue (government) pages of the phone book. 

Texas Department of Health/CDC


 Today, Friday, June 21, is the official first day of summer!  Those of us who live in southern parts of the United States are already aware of the fact.  This spring season has been an unusual one, with parts of the Northeastern U.S. experiencing late snows and flooding.  Tornado Alley has expanded from parts of Texas and Oklahoma, throughout the central states.  And to add more misery: it’s now hurricane season!

OSHA is partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on weather service alerts to incorporate worker safety precautions when heat alerts are issued across the United States.  NOAA is including pertinent worker safety information on its Heat Watch Web page.  Because conditions are extremely hot with high humidity this season, companies would be wise to follow all advisories to keep their employees as safe as possible during this trying time.  WATER – REST – SHADE: The work can’t get done without them.  For workers that aren’t used to working outdoors, time should be given to gradually acclimate them to heat exposure.

How much water should we drink?  Water is the body’s principle chemical component and makes up about 60 per cent of your body weight.  Your entire body’s system depends on water.  Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions.  You can become tired and suffer energy loss with even mild dehydration. 

The Mayo Clinic staff suggests that your water needs depend on many factors, such as your health, how active you are, and where you live.  Because water is essential to good health, needs vary by individual.  If you use thirst as a guide for when to drink, by the time you are thirsty, you may already be slightly dehydrated.  As you get older, your body is less able to sense dehydration and send your brain signals of thirst.  Here are some tips to ward off dehydration, and make sure your body has the fluids it needs:

  • Drink a glass of water with each meal and between each meal;
  • Hydrate before, during and after exercise;
  • Substitute sparkling water for alcoholic drinks at social events. 

We’ve all heard to consume six to eight glasses of water per day; however, this eight-glass formula doesn’t fit everyone.  The more active a person, the more they will need to replace fluids.  Larger people, pregnant and nursing women, and those who take dehydrating medications also will likely need to add more water to their diet.  For those who are not as active, drinking six to eight glasses daily could lead to over-hydration. 

Many outside workers are exposed to temperatures that are very hot, which causes them to sweat more.  These folks will need to increase their water intake.  Oral hydration solutions, such as Gatorade, Powerade or CeraLyte may help those who are in situations that cause them to sweat heavily.  Some experts recommend that bodies only need a minimal amount to keep the body in balance and give that energy kick.  Sometimes simply taking sips or swishing a sports drink will do the trick. 

At home, select foods that keep you hydrated and healthy.  Strawberries, cantaloupes, watermelon, and peaches are packed full of water and potassium, which is the electrolyte shed when your body sweats.  This is a great way to balance fluids that your body needs, and regulate your heartbeat and circulation.  Plus – they are delicious! 

In addition to allowing for rest and shade for workers, consider the water factor as very important.  Individuals know what their body needs, and they must be diligent about taking the time to stop for a drink of water throughout the day. You can find more information on the OSHA website, as well as NOAA website.  Try to stay cool, take breaks during the day, and stay hydrated!   Stay cool, and stay covered: wear a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and long sleeves.







This post was written by Tony Spezza, president of AAA Heating & Cooling, which has been providing central air conditioning and heating services in the Portland, Oregon area since 1961.

A central air conditioning unit does more than make your home feel comfortable during the warm summer months. It also helps keep the air dust- and allergen-free. To keep your cooling unit running safely and avoid a costly A/C repair bill, you should perform routine maintenance on it. The following simple tips will help you prevent issues like leaking and overheating – and help ensure the longevity and efficiency of your cooling system. 

Central air conditioning safety tips include: 

Don’t neglect the air filter. An A/C system’s air filter is one of the simplest things to forget about, but is crucial to the indoor air quality and efficiency of a system. When an air filter gets congested with pollen and dust, it doesn’t circulate air through the home very well, which can compromise indoor air quality. Depending on your air conditioner, you should wash or replace the air filter monthly or every two to three months. Take a look at the manufacturer’s instructions, and mark your calendar accordingly. 

Clean the condensate drain. As an A/C unit cools the air, condensation forms and water drips into the drain. At the end of spring or beginning of summer, clean this water drain and inspect it for obstructions and leaks. In addition, make sure all the hoses fit properly. Immediately fix a blocked or damaged drain to avoid an expensive A/C repair bill, prevent water damage and reduce the risk of a safety hazard.  

Clean and inspect the ducts. Keeping your ducts clean will help maintain indoor air quality by clearing out excess dust, pollen, mold spores, mites and microorganisms. Duct cleaning isn’t a DIY task; call in professionals who use special vacuum cleaners and tools. When you schedule the cleaning, have the ducts inspected for leaks. When ducts aren’t sealed well, they leak cool air into areas of the home that don’t need it. Consequently, your central air conditioning unit has to work harder and use more energy to keep your home comfortable.  

Keep the air distribution registers unobstructed. The air distribution registers are the duct openings you find in your ceiling, walls or floors; it’s where cool air enters the rooms. Identify the registers in your home and make sure they aren’t blocked by carpets, furniture, curtains or other items.   

Clear the area around the condenser unit. The A/C’s condenser unit is the box on the side of your home. Its job is to move the warm air out of your home with the help of a fan. A set of coils within the unit help with the exchange of heat. Regularly remove weeds and trim back plants that grow around the condenser so they don’t block the flow of air. To clean the condenser, use a soft brush (not a hose) to remove dust and dirt. An A/C repair expert can show you how to do this for your specific model.  

A central air conditioner is an investment in your home. With regular maintenance, the cooling system will cost less to use, be more efficient, last longer and require fewer repairs. To learn more safety and maintenance tips, contact a local heating and cooling professional.