) - While the spring season might be synonymous with cleaning your home, it doesn't mean that you're tackling it in the right way. So, if you're concerned about the allergens in your home, getting rid of a dust bunny (or two) and Fido's ferocious dander may not be enough.
In fact, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) supports this claim, stating, "When it comes to cleaning, many people may actually be doing it wrong, stirring up the very allergens they are trying to remove from their homes."
However, while keeping up with cleaning is vital for controlling indoor allergens, there is such a thing as being too diligent.
Take Jesse Tyler Ferguson, an actor on the hit show "Modern Family," who lives with allergies himself. Ferguson thought that obsessively cleaning his space was the way to go.
"Everyone knows I'm a neat freak, [but] I learned from AAFA that, like most of America, I was actually doing some things wrong and stirring up allergens instead of removing them," he said. "Now I look for Certified asthma and allergy-friendly products like Febreze
Fabric Refresher Allergen Reducer (Unscented) and Swiffer
Dry Dusters and Sweepers (Unscented) to help me clean the right way and reduce common allergens in my home."
The asthma- and allergy-friendly Certification Program was created by AAFA and the international research organization, Allergy Standards Limited (ASL), as the first program of its kind in the U.S. in order to reduce confusion about product claims targeting the asthma and allergy market, raise standards for these products, encourage innovation in the production of these products and raise issue awareness about asthma and
With these things in mind, Laura Dellutri, cleaning expert and author of "White Couch with Kids?" and "Speed Cleaning 101," offers the following tips revealing the places inanimate allergens -- from pollen, pet dander and dust mite matter -- may be accumulating and some cleaning advice that can help you remove them:
* Window dressing. Everyone cleans their windows, but few remember to dust window blinds and drapes -- places that can be havens for dust mite matter and other inanimate allergens. Using a Swiffer Duster (unscented, of course) can trap inanimate allergens two times more than a typical dusting cloth and three times more than a feather duster because it picks up dust and locks it away with thousands of flexible, fluffy fibers, designed to reach into nooks and crannies.
* Favor your fabrics. You may clean your couches, decorative pillows, upholstered furniture and carpets with a quick vacuum, fluff of a pillow or dusting. But spraying these hard-to-wash fabrics with something like Febreze Fabric Refresher Allergen Reducer (unscented) can help reduce inanimate allergens that can become airborne from fabrics as well. This nifty product reduces up to 95 percent of inanimate allergens like pollen, pet dander and dust mite matter that can become trapped in fabrics and soft surfaces.
* Clean smarter, not harder. Technology can be a beautiful thing, and it has revolutionized household cleaning with lots of gadgets and tools that make cleaning easier, faster and more effective. For instance, when it comes to removing inanimate allergens from your wood floors, using a Swiffer Dry Sweeper to trap and lock the dirt and dust, is two times more effective than a typical dusting cloth.
For more information, visit febreze.com and swiffer.com.
) - As the weather warms and schedules become packed with summer sports and activities, it can be easy to let your heart healthy diet slide to the bottom of the priority list. With a dash of planning and a spoonful of creativity, summer meals can taste as good as they are nutritious and give you the fuel you need to take advantage of the wonderful weather.
Here are some tips for keeping your meals and snacks heart healthy in the summer months:
Go Lean with Protein
Being on the go doesn't mean you need to sacrifice muscle-building protein in the summer. For dinner options, choose lean meats, poultry or fish. Select lean proteins for refreshing and easy-to-make sandwiches such as Simply Delicious sandwich meats from Land O' Frost
. The entire line of Simply Delicious products meets the American Heart Association's nutrition requirements for heart healthy foods.
Become a Fruit Fanatic
Summer is the season for fresh fruits that are chock full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. They make a great substitute for traditional desserts that are high in fat and calories. Wash and slice any combination of juicy melons, berries, or other fruits and add them to your favorite yogurt or sorbet and blend for a cooling and healthy treat. Larger fruits such as peaches or pineapple also pair nicely with grilled items.
Salads are also a go-to for the summer months but accompanying oily dressing and cheese can load them down with fat and calories. Choose low-fat or light dressing options and steer clear from cream-based diet spoilers. Minimize added sodium and fat by sprinkling low-fat varieties such as Swiss, Mozzarella, Parmesan or cottage cheese.
With these guidelines in mind, your summer meals will be every bit as heart healthy as they are tasty! For coupons and more information about Simply Delicious products from Land O'Frost, visit www.landofrost.com
) - Smokeless tobacco is as much a part of baseball as the Cubs' disappointing run at the World Series year after year.
While Major League Baseball is urging its players to reconsider a habit as old as the sport itself, there is also a history to think about -- one that has linked the two together in the hearts and minds of Americans.
This begs the question: Is there life to baseball without smokeless tobacco?
To come to a conclusion, we have to look at the history of smokeless tobacco and how the two have become inextricably linked together.
In the mid-1800s, when baseball was first getting its footing in America, chewing tobacco was extremely popular, and baseball players used it for the same reasons other men did -- pure pleasure. Soon, however, players found added benefits to using smokeless tobacco products, such as, creating more saliva in the mouth in a dusty environment. This, in turn, helped players to moisten their gloves with spit.
It also helped the smokeless tobacco industry when cigarettes -- which threatened smokeless tobacco companies in the early 20th century -- were attributed to fatigue and bad luck among players. In this way, snuff and chew, continued to gain ground.
"Chewing tobacco is a tradition in baseball," says Everett Dickson, CEO of FLASR, a company that has created accoutrements for the smokeless tobacco user. "It's a part of the game, seeing a pitcher or hitter at bat with a small piece of tobacco tucked into his cheek. Having said that, we also understand the concerns of the general public, and support any decision by policymakers and Major League Baseball."
Until then, however, FLASR
wants those who do use smokeless tobacco (players included) to know there are products that are discreet and help with the more inconvenient and messy aspects for users.
One such product is FLASR's pocket-sized, portable spittoon, which has an advanced closing mechanism, ensuring that it stays closed when not in use. This eliminates the risk of spills and leaks often seen with cups and bottles. FLASR reusable spittoons also feature the exclusive Thumb-Lok Twist Cap for one-handed ease of use making it an ideal solution for taking snuff, dip or chew into the bullpen or on long road trips.
For more information, visit www.flasr.com
. Market listing: FLASR (OTCQB: FLSR).
) - It's scary to imagine a life without proper plumbing. In fact, most people seem to take modern-day plumbing for granted. But the plumbing industry has grown by leaps and bounds
throughout the years.
Before the introduction of modern-day plumbing luxuries such as sewage drainage and disposal systems, flushing toilets and water treatment systems, diseases ran rampant due to the lack of clean water. Diseases such as polio, cholera, and even the black plague took the lives of far too many people before modern plumbing was introduced as we know it today.
There was a time when waste was dumped onto streets, or even into rivers, instead of being properly disposed. This unfortunately contaminated drinking water, which helped spread those killer diseases. However, that's a thing of the past. In today's world, clean water is easily accessible thanks to modern-day plumbing luxuries.
Although the plumbing industry has grown by leaps and bounds throughout the years, the industry continues to look for new ways to improve. The industry is now focusing on improving efficiency, conserving water and reducing costs for homeowners. And the way to accomplish those goals may involve a greater focus on "green" technology.
Mr. Rooter Plumbing is an example of a company dedicated to improving the plumbing industry.
"Mr. Rooter Plumbing is dedicated to protecting the health and safety of customers and the nation, through sanitation and continuously seeking ways to improve through industry innovation," says Mary Kennedy Thompson, president of Mr. Rooter Plumbing. "We are working to be recognized as the world's leading company in the plumbing and drainage service industry."
The future of plumbing will look to find new ways to reduce water usage without sacrificing performance or aesthetic appeal. With a great deal of home technologies turning to solar power, the plumbing industry may follow suit. For example, traditional water heaters may eventually be replaced by solar-powered water heaters, which would use free energy from the sun to heat water for showers, dishwashers and washing machines. In addition, other plumbing fixtures such as flush valves could also incorporate solar power technology someday.
Without the benefits of modern plumbing, the world would not be able to sustain life as it is today. Thankfully, the plumbing industry is continuing to find new ways to improve, and new ways to save homeowners money by conserving water.
For more information, visit MrRooter.com/45th-anniversary.
) - Looking to spend more time out on your boat than stuck at the dock? Well, a new web app, which you can access from any mobile device and makes maintaining your boat a (summer's) breeze, may help you do just that.
The app, called MyTaskit
, connects boat owners with service techs, offering a convenient way to communicate directly with boat yards about service appointments, repair jobs or routine maintenance -- all of which means more time on the water and less on dry land.
"There's transparency around which tasks have been assigned to which people," says Kevin Hutchinson, founder and CEO of MyTaskit. Whether the MyTaskit app is used on a mobile device or accessed via a desktop computer, "boaters can see the status of projects that are open, in progress, waiting authorization or estimate approval, or completed. The last thing you want to realize is that something needs fixing and you're five miles off shore."
When users post an online task on MyTaskit, they can explain any issue to a service pro; they can attach photos or videos to describe the problem, too.
"Boats are complex possessions, with multiple moving parts that need frequent service and attention," Hutchinson says.
And even if your boat just needs a little TLC or maintenance, the app can come to the rescue. It conveniently stores manuals for everything on a boat, from its icemakers to its engines. Once you enter the specific type of engine your boat has, for instance, MyTaskit will automatically send a service reminder at manufacturer-recommended intervals.
The app is free of charge to boat owners, captains and their crews, and includes up to 1GB of storage (owners can purchase more storage as needed).
What's more, the app is making waves in other ways. Got a problem with your plumbing or electricity at home? MyTaskit will soon be able to connect with those service providers for your home or even RV.
"Because it's highly task-oriented, MyTaskit can help people stay coordinated with all their service providers," Hutchinson says.
The ease-of-use extends beyond consumers to service professionals, who say the MyTaskit "Pro" side of the app helps them to coordinate business with their existing customers online in a manner that strengthens the bond and fosters greater customer loyalty.
For more information, visit www.mytaskit.com
) - Experts say communication is key when dealing with prescription medicine.
Research has shown that a gap in communication between health care providers (HCPs) and patients about the potential risks of prescription medicines can result in adverse drug events. Increasing communication about prescriptions can help ensure that patients avoid such events, improve adherence to their medicine regimen(s) and live healthier lives.
The National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) launched a campaign earlier this year called "Talk Before You Take,"
aiming to spark this necessary patient/HCP engagement and encourage more conversations between patients and HCPs.
"It's imperative that health care providers and patients keep the lines of communication flowing," says Ray Bullman, NCPIE executive vice president.
Bullman and his colleagues' research for the campaign was developed by Johns Hopkins University and Ipsos Healthcare, with support from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly half of Americans take prescription medicines, and over 20 percent of Americans take at least three. However, the research found that approximately 62 percent of patients were not aware of any safety warnings about their medicines. Ten percent of patients unaware of the possibility of a severe side effect actually experience a serious reaction.
"It is important for patients to understand how to take their medicines safely so they experience all the benefits and minimize the potential risks," said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "Talk Before You Take encourages more discussion about medications between patients and their health care providers and pharmacists, which can improve the health of patients and our health care system."
In addition, the campaign offers four tips for patients and caregivers to guide conversations with HCPs:
* Talk to your health care provider and ask questions about the benefits and potential risks of prescription medicines you take.
* Tell your health care provider about all of the medicines you are taking -- including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and dietary supplements.
* Tell your health care provider about any allergies or sensitivities that you may have.
* Read and follow the medicine label and directions.
For more information, visit www.talkbeforeyoutake.org
. This work is supported by FDA grant number 5U18FD004653-03.
) - What is it about Father's Day that can hang up the savviest gift giver? For Mother's Day, the presents are easy and unfailing: perfume, Godiva chocolate, dinner, flowers or a gift certificate for a massage. Dads, however, seem to always end up with the short end of the stick.
"This is the time you can indulge Dad and get him those things he's ogled, but hasn't gone to buy on his own," says Byon Penn, a manager at Jerry's Home Improvement Center in Eugene, Ore. "But the ole, traditional necktie doesn't quite cut it these days."
Eric Garland, a father of two, agrees.
"There's less of an emotional hoopla around Father's Day traditionally, because men were considered more self-reliant," Garland told USA Today in an interview. "We don't expect a lot, frankly. We don't ask for it ? that goes to the image of men as the strong, silent provider who don't need the open emotional support and affirmation of even those who are closest to them, which are their families. But I think that's changing."
To help you find the perfect gift for the perfect man, the following tips might help:
* The Stylish Dad. A bottle of his favorite Scotch, some cufflinks made from the wood of his favorite baseball park, or if you must get a tie, perhaps a silk tie from Brioni or Turn-bull & Asser will be sure to please.
* The Tobacco-Loving Dad. Cigars or pipes, will do for the gentleman who appreciates a good smoke now and again.
And for those dads who would rather indulge in smokeless tobacco, consider accoutrements like a portable spittoon. FLASR (www.flasr.com
), an Atlanta-based tobacco accessory producer, has created a one-of-a-kind, pocket-sized spittoon that allows dads to take snuff, dip or chew anywhere they are. It's perfect for everyday use or while hunting, fishing or any other outdoor sporting or leisure event. FLASR
reusable spittoons feature the exclusive Thumb-Lok Twist Cap for one-handed ease of use. This innovative closing mechanism ensures that it stays securely closed when not in use, eliminating the risk of spill and leaks often seen with cups and bottles.
* The Outdoor Dad. Barbecues are a classic gift for those who fashion themselves Master of the Grill. Anything hobby- and leisure-related, such as a tackle box or digital fishing scale for the fisherman, or a 10-in-one tool that will saw tree limbs or open a bottle of wine for the rugged outdoorsman are also great ideas.
) - Running a community association can be a rewarding but difficult task -- a minefield for even the most savvy, seasoned and well-intentioned arbiter.
Federal, state and local laws are changed, passed, or modified; buildings age; interest rates are as solid as a two-celebrity marriage; budgets, insurance companies and community elections present their own challenges.
If you are one of the more than 66 million Americans who live in a homeowners association or condominium, you might be thinking of becoming a board member, or perhaps you already serve on an association board. Either way, educating yourself is of paramount importance to you, your neighbors and community.
Which is why Community Associations Institute
(CAI), a national education and advocacy group, is offering a new, comprehensive education course that will help community association board members better understand association operations, management and governance.
"We know from national surveys that association board members are dedicated volunteers doing their very best to serve their communities and neighbors," says CAI Chief Executive Officer Thomas Skiba, CAE. "But that doesn't mean they know everything they need to know. Many boards get in trouble because they don't know what they don't know. That's why this course can be helpful."
A Big Commitment
Although board members certainly go in with eyes wide open about the amount of time they will be volunteering and devoting to the association, Skiba points out that the role also requires a commitment to understand the legal, leadership and operational obligations of the position.
"The information and insights conveyed in the workshop can save association leaders time, money and unnecessary headaches, perhaps even help them avoid costly, divisive lawsuits," says Skiba. "Even with a skilled community manager or attorney, board members can find themselves facing the unanticipated surprises and traps that association boards inevitably encounter."
CAI has tapped experts in the community association business to develop a workshop that is available both as an online course and a classroom workshop by CAI chapters. The curriculum, Skiba says, is for both self-managed communities and those association boards that rely on a professional community manager or an association management company.
Highlights of the Workshop
The Board Leadership Development Workshop provides association board members with information and perspective on the critical elements of community association operations. So whether you're a first-time board member or a tenured officer, there's something for everyone. Here is just a sampling of what the program includes:
* The functions of president, secretary and treasurer.
* Governing documents.
* Finances and reserve funding.
* Board and annual meetings.
* Rules compliance and enforcement.
or call 888-224-4321 to learn more.
) - Biotech companies are making a big splash in 2015, offering potential investors a compelling roster of options. Among those to watch: Propanc Health Group Corporation (PPCH)
. Propanc is a developmental-stage health care company that is currently focusing its efforts in the field of new treatments for chronic diseases, particularly solid tumor cancers. The company was established in 2007 and is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia.
Propanc recently announced early data from animal studies using its patented formulas. Propanc's in-development proteolytic proenzyme products (described by the company as inactive precursors of enzymes) were not associated with any adverse events in the early studies, and the company is prepared to take the next steps in research. According to the company's website, Propanc "intends to undertake Phase I, II and III clinical trials to assess the safety and efficacy of our product in specific patient populations."
Propanc's proenzyme products, known as PRP and PRP-DCM, have the potential to be game-changers for cancer care by offering an effective option for long-term therapy without the excessive toxicity associated with many current cancer treatments. The research is preliminary, and the findings must be confirmed in clinical trials. However the company's stated development goals focus on the targeting of solid tumors, conditions for which most currently available treatments are limited to stabilizing the tumors or extending patients' lives for only a few months. Solid tumor cancer types include lung cancer, colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer and liver cancer.
As the company states, "In each of these indications, there is a large market opportunity to capitalize on the limitations of current therapies."
Scientists don't yet fully understand how proenzyme products can fight cancer, but early research results suggest that they may contribute to an inhibition of growth factors that cause cancer. In addition, Propanc is exploring a method to shrink tumor masses by targeting the tumor directly with an injectable form of PRP.
Propanc also is working with research collaborators to explore how Propanc's proenzyme products impact cancer cells. The goal of this research is to provide an opportunity for new, patentable drug development by the company.
For more information on PPCH, visit www.propanc.com
) - Maybe you're finally updating your 1970s kitchen to one that's more sleek and modern. Perhaps it's as simple as remodeling a bathroom. Whatever the room, home renovations can be pretty hectic and messy.
To get through your renovation, home organization is the key. The following tips should help you stay on top of the chaos.
* Have files for everything. Paperwork should be kept in one place. Inexpensive file folders that are portable can help you stay structured. Create a file for all receipts, and as you post them to a budget, move them to another file labeled "posted." Permits and papers from the city should be kept together. Just for fun, create a folder of design ideas and pictures from magazines to keep you inspired.
* Cover it up. One word: plastic. No, not credit cards. Use it to cover all heavy furniture that can't be moved from the room. This will prevent dust and debris from getting into the cracks and crevices and keep the finish on the furniture looking shiny.
* Keep a list. No matter how good your memory, things are going to fall through the cracks. Hanging a clipboard on a nail in the area you are working in will help you to stay on task about people you need to contact, or things you need to do or buy for the next day.
* Have a place for everything. If you're doing the remodel yourself, there is going to be a certain amount of chaos and upheaval. One thing that will help reduce your stress level is keeping your tools in one place. Create a space, such as a table, where all small tools are kept. The larger tools can sit on the floor under the table. Every time you're finished with a tool, put it back.
* Contain your stress. If you're a person who turns to cigarettes or smokeless tobacco in times of stress, try your best to keep things clean by going outside to smoke or by carrying a portable spittoon
. After all, you don't want a fresh burn mark or stain from a spill to end up on your brand new floors. FLASR has created a one-of-a-kind pocket-sized spittoon that allows users to open and shut it with just one hand, making it an ideal solution for taking your snuff, dip or chew into any room that's being renovated. In addition, the Atlanta-based company's spittoon, has an advanced closing mechanism, ensuring that it stays securely closed when not in use, eliminating the risk of spill and leaks often seen with cups and bottles. For more information, visit www.flasr.com
. Market listing: FLASR (OTCQB: FLSR).