Posts Tagged ‘safe’

Is it safe to have sex in a hot tub?

June 28th, 2009

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Yes.
You don’t have to worry that the bacteria or chemicals in the water will cause infections; the natural self-cleaning system will prevent that. But you do need to keep few things in mind.
Unfortunately, getting passionate in a whirlpool may lead you to soak for longer than 20 minutes, which ups your risk of dehydration and even heat stroke (hot tub temps can reach 71 degrees).
Having underwater sex for example in a hot tub may also increase your chances of getting pregnant or an STD.
Contrary to popular belief, neither the heat nor chlorine will kill sperm or infection-causing viruses. Wearing a condom isn’t a guarantee either, as water makes it more likely to slip off or break.
Finally, keep in mind that sex in a hot tub may sound a whole lot sexier than it feels. The water can dry out and irritate the vagina, so you may want to use a lubricant. Choose one that’s silicone-based because water-based lubricants will just rinse away.

Quest for safe plastic

May 1st, 2009

Most of us went to school with our food safely packed in tightly sealed plastic containers and today we send our our kids to school with a lunch box. We were certainly proud of our lunch boxes, especially those with three or more compartments and wonderful designs on them.

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At home, we have containers with leftover foods and sliced fruits and veggies are a common sight in the refrigerators. Today, to-go plastic containers became a commercial packaging break-through, prevailing over the ubiquitous, but unsightly, Styrofoam. Both are disposable items mass-produced by industries that cater to modern society’s throw-away mentality, but more frugal consumers prefer to-go plastic containers. They are arguably better than Styrofoam, which is non-biodegradable. They are also cheap, reusable, better-looking, good for organizing and storing all kinds of things and perhaps even recyclable.

Recent studies in the U.S., however, have raised concerns about the safety of some plastic containers. When exposed to heat, plastic containers may leach a harmful chemical called Bisphenol A (BPA) into food and drink. BPA may cause brain problems in foetuses and children, as well as prostate and breast problems in adults, according to the National Toxicology Program, a division of the US National Institues of Health.

Other scientists disagree. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to authorize the use of BPA. Based on the studies reviewed by FDA, adverse effects occur in animals only at levels of BPA that are far higher orders of magnitude than those to which infants or adults are exposed. Therefore, the FDA sees no reason to ban or otherwise restrict the uses at this time.  That is what the FDA spokeswoman Stephanie Kwisnek said in a report.

Just because the jury is still out on whether plastic food containers can leach harmful chemicals into your bodies doesn’t mean you should totally ignore possible risks from the use of plastics.

First, get to know your plastics. Look at the bottom of the plastic containers you have, including those that contained food from grocery. You will notice number inside a triangle. The triangle is a mark that the plastic is recyclable. The number indicates the type of resin used to make the plastic container.

Here are the types of containers according to the number at the bottom of the container and what they mean:

Polyethylene terephthalate (PETE)

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Used in soft drink, water and liquid medicine bottles. Generally okay for single use for food.

High-density polyethylene (HDPE)

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Used in milk, shampoo and liquid soap bottles. Very safe; transmits no known chemicals to food.

Vinyl, polivinyl chloride (PVC)

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Used to pack cooking oil. Has softeners called phthalates, a known human carcinogen said to interfere with hormonal development.

Low-density polyethylene (LDPE)

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Used in plastic (cling) wrap and sandwich bags. Very safe, transmits no known chemical to food.

Polypropylene (PP)

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Used in yogurt cups. Very safe, transmits no known chemical to food.

Polystyrene (PS)

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Used in disposable coffee cups and take-out containers. Can leach a possible human carcinogen called Styrene, into food, disrupt hormone production and affect reproduction.

Others, including polycarbonate (PC), acrylic, polylactic acid and fibreglass.

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Used in baby bottles, 5 gallon water bottles and linings of canned goods. Contain hormone-disrupting BPA, which has been linked to a wide variety of problems such as cancer and obesity.

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Like it or not, plastic containers are here to stay. With scientists stilldivided on the safety of certain plastics, it is best to be protective of your family’s health. Learn to minimize your exposure to toxic plastic.

Should all males be circumsized?

April 27th, 2009

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Some call it genital mutilation. Others, a lifesaving STD stopper ( for men and women ). Whether or not you still have your foreskin, you have a stake in the battle over circumcision. Circumsition, of course is the surgical removal of the penile foreskin from the glans – the fleshy crown of the penis. It is one of the most commonly performed procedures in American hospitals, and except abortion, it may be the most controversial. The procedure has long been known to reduce the spread of a few rare, serious diseases and to prevent a few annoying, uncomfortable ones. But in 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) determined that the risk of surgical complications, though small, nearly canceled out the banefits. They neither discouraged nor recommended the precedure. Since then, 16 states have eliminated. Medicaid coverage for nearly all circumsicions.

But two years ago, a consortium of experts convened by the World Health Organization and UNAIDS ( the United Nations’ HIV program ) announced that circumsicion should indeed “be part of a comprehensive HIV prevention package.” It did so because three separate, meticulous medical trials in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa, involving more than 10,000 men, had proved that circumsicion should reduce the risk of female-to-male HIV infection by approximately 60 percent. This discovery is one that, over the next two decades, could save three million lives in Africa alone.

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Now, no one believes that the potential health benefits for American males are nearly as great or as urgent as they are for men in Africa, where HIV is spread mostly through heterosexual intercourse. Still, similar study results are turning up on this continent, as well. A team of researchers from the CDC, John Hopkins and the Baltimore health department examined the records of more than 1,000 African American males – all heterosexual – who are tested positive for HIV at Maryland clinics. Uncircumsized men were 50 percent more likely to be infected. These result have caused many U.S. doctors to reconsider their positions.

Pain, of course, is the first question that comes to mind whenever the word ‘cut’ and ‘penis’ are used in the same sentence. Ask Marilyn Fayre Milos about pain or better yet don’t. The founder of the National Organizations of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (NOCIRC) first witnessed the procedure in 1979 while training for her nurse’s degree. The unlucky baby, she later wrote, was “strapped spread eagle to a plastic board… struggling against his restraints-tugging, whimmpering and then crying helplessly” while awaiting the knife. Then as doctor began cutting into the penis with a scalpel, ” the baby began to gasp and choked, breathless from his shril continuous screams….” But I think that was in 1979. From what I see back in 2005 in a nursery, it doesn’t look that painful like what had been described.

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Circumsized or not, every man owes his foreskin in a great debt of gratitude for its service in the womb. In the 3rd month of gestation, when the nascent penis begins to bloom, the foreskin forms a little protective blanket under which the rest of the penis can safely grow. But once you and your penis are fully baked, the advantage of a foreskin is not clear. Some scientists speculate that it protected the prehistoric penis as it swung, naked, through thick forest and over tall grasses; and unless you take your penis on that sort of excursion, they argue, you don’t need a foreskin.

That perceived a uselessness may be one reason circumsicion has such a long and varied history. Archeological evidence suggests that the practice may be at least 6,000 years old. Muslims and Jews, along with the aborigines of Australia, the Aztecs and the Mayans of this hemisphere and many other cultures all independently adopted this squirm-inducing practice and it seems unlikely they’d have done so unless they were convinced that it conferred some earthly benefit.

Here in the United States, foreskins were left mostly undisturbed until second half of the 19th century. But it wasn’t until the North Africa campaign of World War II that American doctors turned into enthusiastic circumsicers. More than 145,000 American GIs based there slacked off on their cleaning regimens and came down with foreskin related ouches chiefly balanoposthitis (inflammation of the foreskin and glans), phimosis ( a foreskin too tight to retract over the glans) and paraphimosis (a foreskin stuck in the retracted position). After the war, doctors advanced a theory that circumcision reduces rate of cervical cancer- a hypothesis now confirmed by scientific research.

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Circumcision became routine, but anaesthesia wasn’t part of the plan. That, more than any other factor, may have provoked the fiery anti-circumcision movement that casts its long shadow over the Internet.

So what’s the verdict? Should all males be circumcised? That is for an individual to decide. But whatever you  decide for you and yours, do not let anyone tell you circumcision can’t slow the march of HIV. At a time when billions of American tax dollars are pouring into Africa to fight AIDS, it is extremely important that money is spent on methods that have been proved to help. For millions of men, circumcision could be a matter of life and death.

every safety has its price

every safety has its price