Tuesday, August 11, 2020

More than a third of US adults are using cleaning products incorrectly

In trying to prevent the transmission of the novel coronavirus, more than a third of U.S. adults are putting their health at risk by using cleaning products incorrectly, according to a recent report. The report stated a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that:

  • 39% of adults in the U.S. reported using cleaning products and disinfectants in potentially dangerous ways while intending to limit exposure to the deadly virus;
  • 19% of respondents applied bleach to food items, such as fruits and vegetables;
  • 18% used household cleaning and disinfectant products on their hands or skin;
  • 10% reported misting their body with a cleaning or disinfectant spray;
  • 6% said they inhaled vapors from household cleaners or disinfectants.

One-quarter of the approximate 502 U.S. adults who participated in the national online survey, which was commissioned by the CDC, experienced adverse reactions to cleaning products or disinfectants. Those effects included light-headedness, headache and irritation of the eyes, skin, nose and sinuses, as well as nausea and breathing problems. Those who didn’t use the products safely were two times more likely to have detrimental effects than those who did not, according to the report. The survey authors found significant gaps in knowledge surrounding the proper use of cleaning products among the adults surveyed. The largest gaps they found involved keeping hand sanitizers stored away from a child’s reach and how to safely prepare disinfectant and cleaning solutions. The researchers cautioned that “mixing of bleach solutions with vinegar or ammonia, as well as [the] application of heat, can generate chlorine and chloramine gases that might result in severe lung tissue damage when inhaled.” The study authors also stressed the importance of storing products away from pets. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)


A 9-year-old saved his father from drowning in Florida

After diving into shallow waters, a man had emerged on his stomach and was unable to turn over because he had broken his neck. His 9-year-old son, who has received no formal swimming training, just acted and was able to turn his dad over, allowing him to breathe again. Despite a 100-pound weight difference between the father and son, the boy channeled a bit of superhuman strength to turn his dad over and ensure he wasn’t at risk of drowning, since he had very obviously just suffered a debilitating neck injury, he managed to tug his dad all the way to shore. The father underwent surgery and, although he cannot feel his arms and legs yet, doctors said that his injuries are not life-altering and he should be able to walk again. (Pensacola News Journal)


All dressed down with no place to go

As the pandemic transformed millions of sharply dressed office inhabitants around the world into sweatpant-sporting remote workers, the fashion industry began to unravel. Big chains like J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, Brooks Brothers, and Gap shuttered stores or filed for bankruptcy. Stay-at-home orders instantly rendered even the most voracious consumers of fashion with little reason to maintain, curate or upgrade wardrobes. The result? In April, U.S. clothing sales plunged 79% — the largest decline ever. Sweatpants sales, however, soared by 80%. (The New York Times)


Discovery could lead to more potent garlic, boosting flavor and bad breath

A team of Virginia Tech researchers recently discovered a new step in the metabolic process that produces the enzyme allicin, which leads to garlic’s delectable flavor and aroma, a finding that upends decades of previous scientific belief. Their work could boost the malodorous characteristics that garlic-lovers the world over savor. The discovery of this pathway opens the door for better control of production and more consistent crops, which would help farmers. Garlic could be sold as strong or weak, depending on consumer preferences. The researchers found that allicin, the component that gives garlic its smell and flavor, was produced by an entirely different biosynthetic process. Allyl-mercaptan reacts with flavin-containing monooxygenase, which then becomes allyl-sulfenic acid. Importantly, the allicin levels can be tested, allowing farmers to know the strength of their crops without the need for genetic engineering. Greater flavor can simply be predicted, meaning powerful garlic could simply be bred or engineered. (Phys.org)


Hookers for Jesus wins fresh round of funding from Trump administration

Las Vegas, Nevada-based nonprofit “Hookers for Jesus” has won a fresh grant from the U.S. Justice Department, less than a year after union officials filed a whistleblower complaint with the department’s internal watchdog protesting federal funds awarded to the organization. The group, run by a born-again Christian survivor of sex trafficking, operates a safe house for adult trafficking victims known as Destiny House. It was the target of a complaint last December by the American Federation of State which asked the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate whether politics factored in to a grant award for the group. It was the second such complaint filed by the union in 2019 raising concerns about the grant-review process. Hookers for Jesus is now set to receive $498,764 in fresh federal funding, part of $35 million in grants to help provide housing for trafficking victims unveiled at the White House by Attorney General William Barr and Trump’s daughter, Ivanka. That is on top of the $530,190 that Hookers for Jesus was awarded in 2019 over three years to help expand services to trafficking victims. (Reuters)


Florida man who survived gator bite attacked by shark

A Florida man who loves to spend his free time on the water now has two wild stories to tell, one involving a shark and the other involving a gator, plus he has the scars to prove it. The man said he and his family went to the Florida Keys to catch some spiny lobsters as part of the mini season but his fishing experience was cut short when an 8-foot lemon shark took a bite out of him instead. It all started when he dove down to some rocks to retrieve an injured fish. “I put (the fish) in a hole, and right before I surfaced, wham,” he said. “I felt the skin more than the shark. It rolled me over and I saw it swimming away.” Now with a gaping wound on his leg, he swam back to the surface and alerted his family and fishing buddies to get out of the water. He said once they were back on the boat, they were able to assess the damage and perform first aid measures that included applying gauze and bandages to stop the bleeding. He tied it off and actually lost very little blood. It was pretty deep, but no bone, so he was very lucky, no tendons were cut. He ended up going to a hospital in the Keys where he received nearly two dozen stitches. he did say that it’ll take more than that to keep the seasoned fisherman and diver away from the water. He was once gator hunting with two friends and had the gator roped when the reptile opted for some revenge. “As he rolled he kind of clamped on my leg, you know?” he said. “One good clamp and then one real good clamp.” Despite the apparent bad luck, he remains optimistic. (Click Orlando)


Onions may be in short supply as U.S. grower expands recall

A food scientist says Canadians may have to seek out new sources of flavor as U.S.-grown onions are pulled from produce sections because of concerns about salmonella contamination. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says Thomson International is expanding its recall of red onions to include the yellow, white and sweet yellow varieties. The Public Health Agency of Canada has identified the California-based grower’s red onions as a likely source of the salmonella outbreak across the country. For Canadians unsure what to do with their supply, the watchword in food safety is “if in doubt, throw it out.” In most cases,  cooking kills salmonella. But there’s concern that the bacteria could be on the outside of the onion and spread to kitchen surfaces and other ingredients. Experts say it shouldn’t be too long until grocers restock their shelves with onions from other countries, such as Mexico, and growing season will soon get underway in Canada. Until then, the one-time chef suggests using alternatives such as leek and garlic to add some zest to your recipes. (CP 24)


FBI apprehends wanted man four decades after he escaped Colorado prison

After more than 40 years on the run and living under an alias, a prison escapee was apprehended Wednesday in New Mexico, the FBI said. The 77-year-old fugitive was wanted on a 1977 federal arrest warrant on a charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution/confinement, according to an FBI news release. The criminal was convicted in Denver in 1973 for shooting a police officer, and the next year he escaped from a Colorado Department of Corrections facility, the release said. For decades, he hid out in Española, New Mexico, under a different name, the FBI said. The initial warrant for his arrest became inactive in 2018, and a new one was issued June 30, the release said. The escaped convict will be returned to Colorado. “This arrest should send a clear signal to violent offenders everywhere: The FBI will find you, no matter how long it takes or how far you run, and we will bring you to justice,” said the FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge. (Federal Bureau of Investigations)


Men use spaghetti sauce to try to start fire after burglary

Two men are accused of breaking into the home of a man they both dated, stealing several items, then leaving spaghetti sauce boiling on the stove with a washcloth placed near the burner in an attempt to start a fire, according to the Volusia County, Florida Sheriff’s Office. The victim called 911 because the security cameras in his home in DeLand, Florida detected motion and he believed someone was breaking in because a towel had been placed over one of the cameras, the report said. Deputies went to the residence and saw a red Lincoln Navigator attempting to leave the area. A stop was conducted and the 28-year-old male driver and a passenger told the deputy that they had just picked up some clothes from the victim’s home, according to the affidavit. The victim that a man was wearing a bull costume. The deputy said she could see a marijuana grinder in the center console and a vacuum, window A/C unit, flat-screen television and heater in the back seat. An empty jar of Ragu spaghetti sauce was also on the passenger’s seat, the report said. Deputies said both men initially denied burglarizing the victim’s home, instead saying that the passenger lived at the home and needed a ride there to retrieve some clothes and other items. Evidence at the scene revealed that the two broke into the home, covered the security cameras, stole the items, then put the spaghetti sauce on the stove in an attempt to start a fire so the evidence would be destroyed, according to authorities. Both men were charged with unarmed burglary, grand theft and arson. The driver is being held on $25,500 bond and and the passenger is being held without bond because officials say he violated his probation. (Click Orlando)


UPDATE: Deputies arrest woman accused in deadly Burger King shooting

A 31-year-old woman reportedly threatened to get her “man” when her Burger King order took too long. Deputies say he soon showed up and shot a young employee to death. She was arrested on charges of principal to first-degree murder and aggravated assault with a firearm. She was in the restaurant’s drive-thru line August 1st when its manager noticed her becoming angry over the slow service, the arrest affidavit reads. She reportedly got out of her car and started yelling, threatening to bring her husband to the restaurant. She was refunded $40 and asked to leave in an attempt to appease her. Instead, deputies say she was seen in the parking lot for about five minutes before leaving. Not long after, she returned along with another vehicle, a white work truck driven by 37-year-old male suspect. Tormes reportedly started fighting with the 22-year-old Burger King employee victim  and told him, “You got two seconds before I shoot you.” The restaurant manager said he heard a gunshot, and the victem fell to the ground. The young adult started working there two days prior, the arrest report states. The couple took off but eventually were arrested at home. During an interview with investigators, the woman claimed she was on the phone with her husband while in the drive-thru and told the workers he would come to “talk to them.” She reportedly said she then left Burger King and went back home to find her husband’s work truck gone. Mason told investigators she returned to the restaurant where she found her husband fighting with the employee, according to the arrest report. She allegedly saw a gun in the truck, grabbed it but gave it to her husband who was said to have told her, “Give me the fire.” She, too, reportedly claimed during the incident that the victim jumped over the hood of her car as she tried to leave. Moments later, she heard the gunfire. Surveillance video from another restaurant nearby seemed to disprove a part of her story. It showed her sitting in its parking lot after she left the Burger King; she didn’t return home, according to the arrest report. Deputies say she, too, armed herself with the gun and pointed it toward the fight between the two men. And when the husband asked for the gun, she handed it over, deputies said. The husband is charged with first-degree murder with a firearm, destruction of evidence and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Jail records show she remains in the Orange County jail. (WTSP)


C.D.C. Closes Some Offices Over Bacteria Discovery

The nation’s foremost public health agency is learning that it is not immune to the complex effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told employees that some office space it leases in the Atlanta area would be closed again after property managers of the buildings discovered Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease, in water sources at the sites. No employees were sickened. The C.D.C. itself warns that Legionnaires’ disease, a respiratory illness, can be fatal in 1 in 10 cases. Since various jurisdictions in the United States have put in effect lockdowns to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, some experts have been warning of the risk of Legionnaires’ outbreaks when people return to buildings left unoccupied for months. The bacteria that causes the illness, Legionella pneumophila, can form in warm, stagnant water that is not properly disinfected. When sinks are turned on or toilets flushed, the bacteria can then be sent through the air and inhaled. The C.D.C. has published voluntary guidelines to aid building owners and property managers aiming to prevent Legionella from spreading as facilities reopen. (CNN)


Man punches 72-year-old vet in the face over mask comment

Spokane, Washington police say they arrested the 35-year-old man accused of breaking a 72-year-old veteran’s jaw in a hotel lobby. Spokane police say the younger man was arrested at a home after receiving an anonymous tip. The victim told police he made a comment to the man’s girlfriend about not wearing a mask before being attacked. The younger man punched the 72-year-old, partially disabled veteran in the face multiple times. King County prosecutors have charged the man with second-degree assault. His bail was set at $10,000. (KKHQ)


Twitter is exploring a potential acquisition of TikTok

It is likely Twitter will face a challenge in financing the transaction, as most estimates value TikTok in the tens of billions of dollars. As of June, Twitter reported about $7.8b in cash and short-term investments. By comparison, Microsoft has more than $136b in cash, which would give the tech giant ample capital to complete a transaction without the need to find additional backers. Microsoft is considered the front-runner for any potential deal for the platform. The tech giant is reportedly negotiating with ByteDance to take ownership of the app in the U.S., Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Microsoft is also further advanced in discussions. Internally, Twitter believes it may not face the same level of antitrust scrutiny as Microsoft, because it is a smaller company to TikTok. However, TikTok plans to sue the Trump administration over its decision to ban transactions with ByteDance, beginning September 20th. (The Wall Street Journal)

Tuesday Breaks Down With:

  • Global Kinetic Sand Day
  • Ingersoll Day
  • National Hip Hop Day
  • Presidential Joke Day
  • Raspberry Bombe Day
  • Son’s and Daughter’s Day



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