enjoying your patio this fall

How to Enjoy Your Patio This Fall

enjoying your patio this fall

Summer has come to an end, and if you’re like me, you’re not quite ready to pack up your patio furniture, put away your grill, or move your decorations indoors.

Luckily, you won’t have to this fall! As cooler weather begins creeping in, adding an outdoor heater and colorful fall decor to your patio can help you enjoy your outdoor retreat – even on the chilliest autumn nights. Continue reading…

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5 Most Common Household Allergens and How to Avoid Them

Sneezing Woman with AllergiesAre watery eyes, itchy skin, runny nose, or hay fever symptoms keeping you from relaxing at home? Chances are your home comfort could be compromised by allergens.

Here’s a quick rundown of five of the most common household allergens to help you identify the source and restore the health of your home. Continue reading…

An Expert’s Take On Air Quality and Pollution Risks

Smoke Stacks

I’m an environmental consultant that specializes in air quality, so people are always surprised to hear I live in one of the United States’ major centers for oil refining. It’s known as one of the most air quality-challenged regions of our country, and needless to say, I get a lot of questions around town about air quality and the risks associated with where I live.

Here’s what I know:

Exxon Mobil’s largest North American petrochemical complex is in the middle of my town. This is where plastic ingredients and the specialty chemicals for foods and personal products come from. In fact, most of the other big oil and chemical companies are also within a half hour drive.

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Mold: Evicting the Unwelcome Houseguest

Woman Cleaning MoldHave you noticed a strange pungent odor in your home lately? Perhaps you have been coughing, sneezing, or suffering from other allergy-related symptoms and can’t find the trigger? These can all be signs that your home has a mold problem. Before you condemn your home and call a demolition crew, here are a few tips for identifying a mold problem, treating it, and avoiding future issues.

Most mold experts agree that small amounts of mold are present in every home. However, large amounts of mold can cause hay fever symptoms and be particularly irritating to people with allergies, immune suppression, and asthma, according to the CDC.

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Is That Artificial Air Freshener Harming Your Daughter?

Artificial Air Fresheners May Pose Health Threat To Young GirlsMy mother, a long-time smoker, loves every product on the market that makes her house smell “clean” and “fresh”. As for me, I’m not so sure. The intellectual part of my brain eschews this whole concept of corporate fragrance, but those smells from a bottle do fill my heart.

“What’s the harm?” My emotional brain pleads with the intellectual brain.

For the longest time, Intellectual Brain could only argue that those fragrances were so strong and artificial, there simply had to be something wrong with them. Science will figure it out someday.

Well folks, that day is here. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has linked dichlorobenzene, one of the chemical common to air fresheners, to early puberty in girls.

In the past 100 years, the age of a girl’s first menstrual cycle has decreased about 4 years, with the average onset now around 12 to 13 years. In the 1990s, nearly every American tested was positive for the presence of dichlorobenzene in their urine.

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