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5 Household Chemicals to Avoid

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  1. Chlorine bleach is commonly used to treat drinking water, sanitize swimming pools and to whiten laundry, and is a strong eye, skin, and respiratory irritant. Mixing chlorine bleach with other cleaners like ammonia can release dangerous chlorine gas. Exposure to chlorine gas can cause coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, or other symptoms.
  2. Ammonia is often included in glass cleaners and other hard-surface cleaners, and can be irritating to the skin, eyes, throat, and lungs. Ammonia can burn your skin, and can damage your eyes (including blindness) upon contact.
  3. Triclosan and Triclocarban are commonly added to household cleaning products such as hand soap and dish soap as well as a broad range of other products from toothpaste to socks. These chemicals are persistent in the environment, and are linked to hormone imbalance, and potential increased risk of breast cancer.
  4. Ammonium quaternary compounds (“quats”) are found in household cleaning products like disinfectant sprays and toilet cleaners, and some have been identified as a known inducer of occupational asthma. Certain quats have also been linked to decreased fertility and birth defects in mice.
  5. Nano-silver can be incorporated into textiles, plastics, soaps, packaging, and other materials, giving each the natural antibacterial property of silver metal. Nano-silver particles can penetrate deep into your body and have been shown to be toxic to the liver and brain.

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The House Centipede: Get Rid of Them, or Let Them Be?

The house centipede is a fairly common household pest. That said, it’s also pretty heinous. When you’ve had one crawl up your leg in the middle of a lecture in a 200-person auditorium, you know that screams often follow their arrival. If you’ve seen more than your fair share of them at home, here’s some good info:

The house centipede has a gazillion legs and two long antennae that stick far out of their bug bodies. Like the silverfish, they like dark, damp places like the basement or under the bathroom sink. They move quickly, like to come out at night, and have no interest in scary humans. Did I mention how prehistoric and ugly they look?

Here’s why you should leave them alone though: they kill other bugs. Like other centipedes, the house variety has poisonous venom that takes out roaches, moths, flies, and termites— you name the creepy crawly, and this centipede probably offs it. They even take care of bed bugs!

And that’s pretty much all they do (aside from scaring the bejeezus out of you). They don’t carry disease, or nibble on your wooden siding. They don’t go after human food. Just bugs.

That said, I wouldn’t pick one up with my bare hands. You read the part about poisonous venom right? Even if you are bitten, it might sting a bit but you’ll be fine. But there’s no reason you need to touch them. If one’s in plain sight, just sweep it into a container and return it outside or to your basement, and all will be well.

PREVENTION

The best deterrent is to make the conditions less ideal for them and getting rid of any means of entry into the home.

  • Do your best to get rid of any other household pests that they feed upon.
  • Use a dehumidifier.
  • Install a better bathroom fan for showers.
  • Seal any cracks or crevices to keep them from entering the home, or laying eggs while they’re in there.
  • Clear the perimeter around your home of leaves and other damp debris.

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10 Household Plants That Are Dangerous to Dogs and Cats

Asparagus FernAsparagus Fern
The asparagus fern (also called emerald feather, emerald fern, sprengeri fern, plumosa fern or lace fern) is toxic to dogs and cats. The toxic agent in the plant is sapogenin — a steroid found in a variety of plants. If a dog or cat ingests the berries of this plant, vomiting, diarrhea and/or abdominal pain can occur. Allergic dermatitis (skin inflammation) can occur if an animal is repeatedly exposed.

 Corn Plant
Corn plant (also known as cornstalk plant, dracaena, dragon tree or ribbon plant) is toxic to dogs and cats. Saponin is the offensive chemical compound in this plant. If the plant is ingested, vomiting (with or without blood), appetite loss, depression and/or increased salivation can occur. Affected cats may also have dilated pupils.

 DieffenbachiaDieffenbachia
Dieffenbachia (commonly known as dumb cane, tropic snow or exotica) is toxic to dogs and cats. Dieffenbachia contains a chemical that is a poisonous deterrent to animals. If the plant is ingested, oral irritation can occur, especially on the tongue and lips. This irritation can lead to increased salivation, difficulty swallowing and vomiting.

Elephant Ear Elephant Ear
Elephant ear (also known as caladium, taro, pai, ape, cape, via, via sori or malanga) contains a chemical similar to that in dieffenbachia, so an animal’s toxic reaction to elephant ear is similar: oral irritation, increased salivation, difficulty swallowing and vomiting.

Stargazer Lily Lilies
Many plants of the lily family are toxic to cats, and some are toxic to dogs. Cats are the only animals in which the Easter and stargazer lilies are known to be toxic. Generally, a cat’s first reaction to this plant includes vomiting, lethargy and lack of appetite, but kidney failure and even death can quickly follow if a cat is untreated. The peace lily (also known as Mauna Loa) is toxic to both dogs and cats. Ingestion of the peace lily or calla lily can cause irritation of the tongue and lips, increased salivation, difficulty swallowing and vomiting.

Cyclamen Cyclamen
Cyclamen (also known as sowbread) is a pretty, flowering plant that is toxic to dogs and cats. If ingested, this plant can cause increased salivation, vomiting and diarrhea. If an animal ingests a large amount of the plant’s tubers — which are found at the root, generally below the soil — heart rhythm abnormalities, seizures and even death can occur.

 Heartleaf PhilodendronHeartleaf Philodendron
Heartleaf philodendron (also known as horsehead philodendron, cordatum, fiddle leaf, panda plant, split-leaf philodendron, fruit salad plant, red emerald, red princess or saddle leaf) is a common, easy-to-grow houseplant that is toxic to dogs and cats. This philodendron contains a chemical that can irritate the mouth, tongue and lips of animals. An affected pet may also experience increased salivation, vomiting and difficulty swallowing.

Jade Plant Jade Plant
Jade plant (also known as baby jade, dwarf rubber plant, jade tree, Chinese rubber plant, Japanese rubber plant or friendship tree) is toxic to both cats and dogs. The toxic property in this plant is unknown, but ingestion can cause vomiting, depression, ataxia (incoordination) and bradycardia (slow heart rate; this is rare).

Aloe Plant Aloe Plant
Aloe plant (also known as medicine plant or Barbados aloe) is a common succulent that is toxic to dogs and cats. Aloin is the toxic agent in this plant. The bitter yellow substance is found in most aloe species and may cause vomiting and/or reddish urine.

Satin Pothos Satin Pothos
Satin pothos (also known as silk pothos) is toxic to dogs and cats. If ingested by a cat or dog, the plant may irritate the mouth, lips and tongue. The pet may also experience increased salivation, vomiting and/or difficulty swallowing

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Grow Edible Plants Indoors

This article is great for those people that don’t have an outside area to grow a garden and for those that might not want all the work that comes along with a garden.  Learn how to grow 16 edible plants in the convenience of your indoor space.

Grow Me!!

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THE 21 BEST PLACES TO CAMP IN THE U.S.

Camping is an outdoor recreational activity involving overnight stays away from home in a shelter such as a tent, a caravan, or even a motor home. Generally participants leave developed areas to spend time outdoors in more natural ones in pursuit of activities providing them enjoyment.

If this describes you here is a great read from HiConsumption

CAMP IN THE U.S.

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Ask Jorge The Professional Mover

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Q: What’s the biggest pet peeve when you show up for a moving job?

Jorge: The biggest pet peeve is when you show up to move someone and they are still not done packing. It slows things down and stresses out the person being moved and the movers.

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