Posts tagged ‘safety’

How to Dispose of Medicine

By Chad Upton | Editor

You should regularly check your medicine cabinet for expired drugs. Because, if you’re like me, it’s probably more like a time-capsule than a medicine cabinet. Yesterday, my wife excavated a teeth whitening kit of mine that expired almost 5 years ago.

When you come across unused or expired medication, you have two options: keep it or get rid of it. There is some debate about the safety and effectiveness of expired medication, but there is no debate about the risk to pets and children when they get into unused medication. Prescription medication can be extremely dangerous, in fact: the second leading cause of death in 35-54 year olds is accidental overdose.

The best way to get rid of old medication is to give it to an organization that can properly dispose of it.

Your local police department may have take back programs where you can return drugs and they will send them away to be discarded. Some local drug stores have take back programs and others, such as Walgreens, sell special envelopes that can be used to mail your drugs to a proper disposal facility.

If professional disposal is not available to you, the next option is to discard the drugs in your own trash. The FDA, and other experts, recommend putting the discarded drugs in a small Ziploc bag and mixing item with undesirable waste such as coffee grounds or kitty litter. This reduces the chance of pets and children finding them or being interested in them if they do find them.

The FDA also maintains a small list of medications that you can flush down the toilet, because they could be potentially dangerous to pets or children if found in the trash. Some of the common ones include demerol, percocet, oxycontin and morphine.

Although flushing these drugs is better than putting them in the trash, sending the drugs away for proper disposal is always the best option. Professional disposal reduces the probability that the drugs will end up in the water supply that we, and many other species, rely on.

You may also want to read this post: Most Medication is Still Good After the Expiration Date

Broken Secrets

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Photo: Sparktography (cc)

Sources: FDA, Tylenol.com, Smarxt Disposal, Walgreens.com, Sharps

November 15, 2010 at 1:00 am 2 comments

Why U-Hauls Have Arizona License Plates

Most U-Haul vehicles have Arizona license plates. Here’s a typical example.

The following picture was taken in the Toronto area, the information on the side is about Newfoundland and the license plate is, of course, from Arizona.

That might seem unusual, but most U-Hauls in Canada actually have Arizona plates too. The fact is, all corporate owned U-Haul rental vehicles in the lower 48 States and Canada have Arizona license plates. That’s right, Alaska and Hawaii don’t have Arizona plates, but all of Canada does. There are actually a few good reasons for this.

When I first noticed this trend, I assumed that U-Haul got a sweetheart deal in Arizona. It turns out their head office is in Phoenix, so it seems reasonable that they would register vehicles there. They also get a really sweet deal there, but this deal is not exclusive to U-Haul, it’s good for anyone with a billing address in Arizona. (more…)

April 8, 2010 at 11:19 pm 12 comments

You Shouldn’t Drink Hot Water From Your Tap

Household tap water is usually heated in a hot water tank or by an inline water heater. Water tanks particularly, collect sediments overtime and are breeding grounds for bacteria. You might be thinking that bacteria cannot survive in hot water, but you need water above 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill most bacteria. That’s why your meat thermometer recommends you cook chicken until that internal temperature is reached.

Hot water also dissolves contaminants such as lead that may be found in the solder of your hot water pipe. Newer copper tubing and fittings or PEX (plastic) pipes would be safer in this respect.

If you’ve ever read the manual for your coffee maker, it clearly states that you should make coffee using cold water.  This is not because the temperature of the water makes better coffee, it’s because you should only consume tap water from the cold side of the tap.

If you need water that is always hot, there are food grade water heaters that you can use. For example, you may have a water cooler/heater or an installation under your kitchen sink for dispensing water that is always hot. Otherwise, always use cold water and then heat it in a kettle, microwave, pot…etc.

BrokenSecrets.com

Sources: MIT, Everything2.com, CooksRecipes.com

Photo: Malla Mi (Creative Commons)

December 10, 2009 at 1:34 am 9 comments

Rear Fog Lights

Most North American cars have one set of bright lights on the back, of course those are the brake lights.  But some American cars and most European cars have other bright lights on the rear: rear fog lights.Rear fog light on an Audi

If you’re not familiar with this concept, then you probably assumed their lights were malfunctioning or their break lights were “stuck.”

Rear fog lights make it much easier for the vehicle behind you to see your car when fog, rain or snow is heavy.

Some rear fog lights are a pair of lights mounted low on the rear bumper.  Other cars have a single light, mounted near the driver’s side rear turn signal.

There are debates about the validity of rear fog lights.  Some claim they can be confused with brake lights, others agree but believe that is still safer than not seeing the vehicle until it is too late.

In the photo of the instrument cluster, the icon on the left is the front fog light indicator and on the right is the rear fog light indicator.

Some cars have separate switches for front and rear fogs, other cars have one switch that activates both.

Studies have shown that in North America more people inappropriately use their fog lamps in dry weather than use them properly in poor weather

BrokenSecrets.com

Photo Credit: mroach (Creative Commons)

Sources: DriveAndStayAlive.com Wikipedia SAE

December 1, 2009 at 1:35 am 2 comments


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