Archive for March, 2014

Electronic Pest Control Devices

Electronic Pest Control Devices

Numerous electronic pest control devices are readily available in Alaska and just about every where. They are advertised on late night television “infomercials”, through mail order catalogs, and on the internet. Hardware stores and garden centers usually stock some sort of electronic device advertised to repel a variety of pests. Although these devices have been around for at least 20 years, they have only recently become popular and widely advertised, probably due to their environmentally friendly claims. There is a wide range of opinion about these devices, some people claim that they work for them, others claim they are not effective at all. While electronic pest control devices remain a controversial topic, there has never been any scientific evidence proving them as effective. Since these devices are not regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the EPA does not require the same kind of efficacy testing that it does for chemical pesticides. Adequate testing for adverse health effects as well as performance data for these devices are seriously lacking.

Types of Devices
There are basically two types of electronic pest control devices widely available, these are Ultrasonic and Electromagnetic.

 

Ultrasonic devices operate by emitting short wavelength, high frequency sound waves too high in pitch to be heard by the human ear ? that is, all frequencies greater than 20,000 Hz. Humans can hear frequencies from 20 to 20,000 Hz but as we age, we become less sensitive to the higher frequencies. (Long wavelength, low frequencies ? below 20 Hz ? are called infrasound and are also inaudible to humans.) Although it’s implied that ultrasound has special properties that make it more repellent than audible sound, there’s no evidence to support this.

 

We can’t hear ultrasound because our eardrums can’t vibrate fast enough, but some animals such as dogs, bats and rodents can hear well into the ultrasonic range. Some insects, such as grasshoppers and locusts can detect frequencies from 50,000Hz to 100,000 Hz, and moths and lacewings can detect ultrasounds as high as 240,000 Hz produced by insect-hunting bats.

 

Insects detect sound by special hairs or sensilla located on the antennae (mosquitoes) or genitalia (cockroaches), or by more complicated tympanal organs (grasshoppers, locusts, moths and butterflies).

 

But just because they can detect ultrasonic waves doesn’t mean that they’re controlled or repelled by it.

 

Cockroaches, for instance, initially respond by moving about a bit more than usual, but don’t appear overly eager to escape from the sound waves. This includes devices that emit uniform frequency as well as changing frequencies of ultrasound. Rodents adjust to the ultrasound (or any new sound) and eventually ignore it. At best, ultrasonic waves have only a partial or temporary effect on rodents. Numerous studies have rejected ultrasonic sound as a practical means of rodent control.

 

Ultrasound has not been shown to drive rodents from buildings or areas, nor has it been proven to cause above normal mortality in rodent populations. Some people that have used them claim that they work for them, so we cannot rightfully say that should never be used, but the evidence points toward these devices not being worth the money, time or effort.

 

Tests of commercial ultrasonic devices have indicated that rodents may be repelled from the immediate area of the ultrasound device for a few minutes to a few days, but they will nearly always return and resume normal activities. Other tests have shown that the degree of repellence depends on the frequency, intensity, and the pre-existing condition of the rodent infestation. The intensity of such sounds must be so great that damage to humans or domestic animals would also be likely. Commercial ultrasonic pest control devices do not produce sounds of such intensity.

 

Electromagnetic pest repelling devices claim to alter the electromagnetic (EM) field of your household wiring to turn your whole home into a giant pest repeller, driving all pests out of the walls of your home. One such device called Pest Offense® is widely advertised on late night television using pseudoscientific jargon and scare tactics, such as reading the warning labels from pesticide containers which were obviously selected from agricultural chemicals, not household pesticides available to the general public.

 

Electromagnetic fields are present in every appliance that operates on electricity. When an appliance is switched on, a very weak electromagnetic (EM) field develops around the current-carrying wiring in your home.

 

An Australian test lab looked at the electronics of one of these devices. When plugged in, it generates a pulse in the electrical current (which also makes the little indicator light switch on and off). This causes the electrical current in the house wiring to fluctuate, which in turn makes the EM field fluctuate. This supposedly creates an intolerable environment for the pests.

 

However, this device draws only a very small amount of current compared to normal household appliances. Even an incandescent light bulb draws considerably more current than the pest device. This means that the EM field strength generated by the device is very small even when compared to a light bulb.

 

One has to wonder whether insects and rodents can even detect these low level EM fields. Supposedly, it’s the fluctuations in the current that drives out these pests but if they can’t detect the low level EM field then they couldn’t possibly detect the fluctuations, and even if they could, one needs to question whether or not they are repelled by them.

 

Scientific Evidence
We searched the peer-reviewed scientific literature and found no scientific test data or University tests giving any evidence that these devices actually operate as advertised. According to the National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides (NCAMP), Dr. William B. Jackson, of Bowling Green State University conducted several tests of an Ultrasonic device called Pest Patrol®. These tests reportedly showed a “statistically significant decrease in mouse activity in two of the [Pest Patrol®] chambers.” However, we cannot verify this information since, when contacted Dr. Jacksons’ office referred us to an attorney. At the time of this writing, the manufacturers of the Pest Patrol® (Lentek International) are in litigation with the FTC regarding alleged false advertising cliams about their devices. (see: FTC Charges Lentek with making false claims)

 

We contacted several major manufacturers of the devices available locally in Alaska for scientific data to back up their product’s claims. None of those contacted would (or could) provide us with any useful test data. One of the manufacturers claimed they had the data, but “misplaced it”. The one manufacturer that did supply us with data submitted physical test data, that is, they provided frequency ranges, wattage usage rates, fire safety test data, and customer testimonials, but no scientifically proven pest repellent efficacy test data. In light of this lack of evidence, we decided to conduct our own field test.

 

We purchased several of the devices available in local Alaska hardware stores and garden centers. We spent an average of $19.00 per device, with prices ranging from $4.99 to $35.99.  Each device we tested were advertised to repel insects and rodents. We placed them in Alaska homes, restaurant kitchens, and warehouses, where known insect or rodent infestations existed. We installed the devices according to the manufacturers directions. We allowed the devices to work for a minimum of 3 days, and a maximum of one month. During this time we took glue trap counts daily to monitor actual insect and rodent populations and compared them to the numbers of these pests caught before the devices were plugged in. In all cases average trap counts after the devices had been in operation did not deviate significantly from average trap counts taken before the devices were installed.

 

Conclusions
There is no electronic pest control device, either ultrasonic, electromagnetic, or any combination of these, scientifically proven to repel, mitigate, irritate, kill, or otherwise effect any animal or insect to any degree that would be effective enough to justify their use. Rodents may be temporarily repelled, but they simply avoid the sound by going behind objects that deflect it. Eventually, says the Federal Trade Commission the rodents get used to it.

 

Pets can hear the ultrasonic devices and a study done by the Purdue University Veterinary School found the devices cause hearing loss in dogs and cats.

 

Some gadgets claim to create an ”electromagnetic field” to repel pests, these devices do not produce a field of such intensity required to have any effect. There is no scientific evidence that any of these devices will work.

 

Ultrasound has not been shown to drive rodents from buildings or areas, nor has it been proven to cause above normal mortality in rodent populations. Some people that have used them claim that they work for them, so we cannot rightfully say that should never be used, but the evidence points toward these devices not being worth the money, time or effort.

 

Tests of commercial ultrasonic devices have indicated that rodents may be repelled from the immediate area of the ultrasound device for a few minutes to a few days, but they will nearly always return and resume normal activities. Other tests have shown that the degree of repellency depends on the frequency, intensity, and the pre-existing condition of the rodent infestation. The intensity of such sounds must be so great that damage to humans or domestic animals would also be likely. Commercial ultrasonic pest control devices do not produce sounds of such intensity.

 

Since these devices are often expensive and of questionable effectiveness, they cannot be recommended as a solution to rodent or insect problems.

 

FTC Cracks Down on Manufacturers
In May 2001, the Federal Trade Commission sent warning letters to 60 companies selling these devices warning them not to make claims without scientific evidence. see: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2001/05/fyi0128.htm

 

In August of 2002, the FTC has charged Lentek International with making false claims that their electronic mosquito repellent devices repel mosquitoes. see: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2002/08/lentek.htm
 
Sources: National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides. Pesticides and You”, Volume 22, Number 2, Fall 2002, page 2.
Federal Trade Commission. News Releases, www.ftc.gov
Consumers Choice, Australian Consumers Group www.choice.com.au.

What is EECP? Enhanced External Counter Pulsation EECP

What is EECP?

Enhanced External Counter Pulsation EECP

For people with angina or heart failure, even simple activities — such as going to the mailbox or walking the dog — can be challenging.

If you are one of these people, take heart. There is a non-invasive treatment called EECP® Therapy that clinical experience has shown to be safe and to have benefit for the treatment of angina and heart failure. Approximately 80% of patients who complete the 35-hour course of EECP® Therapy experience significant symptom relief that may last up to three years.

EECP® Therapy is an outpatient treatment for angina and heart failure. Treatments are usually given for an hour each day, five days a week, for a total of 35 hours. During the treatment, you lie on a comfortable treatment table with large blood pressure-like cuffs wrapped around your legs and buttocks. These cuffs inflate and deflate at specific times between your heartbeats. A continuous electro cardiogram (ECG) is used to set the timing so the cuffs inflate while the heart is at rest, when it normally gets its supply of blood and oxygen. The cuffs deflate at the end of that rest period, just before the next heart beat. The special sensor applied to your finger checks the oxygen level in your blood and monitors the pressure waves created by the cuff inflations and deflations.

25 Simple Steps to Prevent Alzheimer’s

One may always just dismiss or delete such emails on ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE as if it is “so far off” or/and may never happen to big “I” or Me…
 
Yet we know that 70-80% of the elderly all suffer from some degree of this dreaded Disease, which becomes worse or more evident when one passes beyond the golden 60-yr barrier..
 
Plse read or forward it to anyone you think may benefit from this article… 

 
25 Simple Steps to Prevent Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s strikes fear in all of us. The thought of losing your mind as you grow older is terrifying and made worse by the fact that, before now, there appeared to be little we could do to slow down or avoid Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia.
 
However research has found a lot of factors that raise or diminish the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Following these tips, you could slash your chances of developing the disease:
1. Check out your ankle
Low blood flow in your foot is a clue to trouble in your brain and a simple test can reveal its cognitive state and your likelihood of stroke and dementia. The theory is blood vessel health is similar throughout the body. The degree of clogged arteries and blood flow in the feet can suggest atherosclerosis in cerebral blood vessels. Ask your doctor for an ankle-brachial index (ABI) test which involves an ultrasound device and a blood pressure cuff that compares blood pressure in your ankle with that in your arm. To remedy any impairment of blood flow your GP may advise stepped-up exercise or a change in diet/medication.
 
2. Anti-oxidant-rich foods
Certain foods infuse your brain with anti-oxidants that can slow memory decline and help prevent Alzheimer’s. All fruit and vegetables are good but top of the list are black raspberries, elderberries, raisins and blueberries.
 
 
3. Beware of bad fats
The type of fat you eat changes your brain’s functioning for better or worse. Stay away from saturated fats which strangle brain cells causing them to become inefficient. Buy low fat or fat-free dairy products including milk, cheese and ice cream. Cut down on deep-fried foods.
4. Grow a bigger brain
Your brain starts to shrink when you reach 30 or 40 so it takes longer to learn. However scientists now believe you can increase the size of your brain through the act of learning. Try studying, learning new things or broadening your circle of friends for stimulation.
5. Chocolate Treat
Cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, has sky-high concentrations of antioxidants called flavanols, which possess strong heart and brain-protecting properties. Drinking cocoa increases blood flow to the brain. Cocoa powder has twice as many flavanols as dark chocolate which has twice a many as milk chocolate. White chocolate has zero.
 
6. The oestrogen evidence
Sixty-eight per cent of Alzheimer’s patients are women, possibly as mid-way through life they lose the protection of the hormone oestrogen which boosts memory. Unless your GP says otherwise, start taking oestrogen immediately at the time of menopause  – starting any later risks dementia and strokes.
7. Raise good cholesterol
It’s well-known that having high good-type HDL blood cholesterol protects you from heart disease. But it can also save your brain. Researchers claim it blocks sticky stuff that destroys brain cells and acts as an anti-inflammatory to lessen brain damage. Ways to ramp up good cholesterol include exercise, drinking moderate amounts of alcohol and losing weight.
8. Google something
Doing an internet search can stimulate ageing brains even more than reading a book.
And MRI scans show that savvy surfers have twice as many sparks of brain activity as novices. Go online to search for information, things to buy or games to play. Although it’s not known how much it will benefit your brain, it’s better than passive pursuits.
9. The ApoE4 gene
One in four of you reading this has a specific genetic time bomb that makes you three to 10 times more susceptible to developing late onset Alzheimer’s. The gene is called apolipoprotein E4. If you inherit a single variant of ApoE4 from one parent, your Alzheimer’s risk triples. If you inherit a double dose from both parents, your risk rises by 10 times. Ask your doctor about a DNA test to reveal your ApoE4 genotype.
 
10. Say yes to coffee
Coffee is emerging as a tonic for the ageing brain. It is anti-inflammatory, helps block the ill effects of cholesterol in the brain and cuts the risks of stroke, depression and diabetes, all promoters of dementia. It is also high in anti-oxidants and caffeine which stop neuronal death and lessen diabetes, high blood pressure and strokes that bring on dementia. For most people, a moderate daily intake of coffee, two to four cups, won’t hurt and may help.
11. Dangers of underweight
Unexplained weight loss after age 60 or so may be a sign of Alzheimer’s. A study showed that women with the disease started losing weight at least 10 years before dementia was diagnosed. Among women of equal weight, those who went on to develop dementia slowly became thinner over three decades and, when diagnosed, weighed an average 12lb less that women who were free of Alzheimer’s. Talk to your doctor about unexplained weight loss after 60.
12. Drink wine
A daily glass of wine may help delay dementia. Research says that alcohol is an anti-inflammatory and raises good cholesterol which helps ward off dementia. High anti-oxidants in red wine give it additional anti-dementia clout. Such anti-oxidants act as artery relaxants, dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow which encourages cognitive functioning.
13. Know the early signs
Memory problems are not the first clue. You may notice a decline in depth perception, for example you reach to pick up a glass of water and miss it. Or you misjudge the distance in walking across a street.
Doing a jigsaw puzzle or reading a map may also be confusing. Losing your sense of smell can also be an early clue, as well as asking the same question repeatedly or misplacing belongings in odd places (like putting keys in the fridge). Be aware of memory problems as the earlier the signs are spotted, the more successful lifestyle changes and medications are likely to be.
14. Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet, no matter where you live, can help save your brain from memory deterioration and dementia. Studies consistently find that what the Greeks and Italians eat is truly brain food. Following this diet  –  rich in green leafy vegetables, fish, fruits, nuts, legumes, olive oil and a little vino  –  can cut your chances of Alzheimer’s by nearly half. Rather than depending on just one food or a few nutrients, it is a rich menu of many complex brain benefactors, including an array of antioxidants, which shield brain cells from oxidative damage.
obesity
15. Middle Age Obesity
Your brain cares if you are fat. A study showed obese people had 8% less brain tissue and overweight people had 4% less brain tissue than normal weight people, which according to one scientist hugely increases the risk of Alzheimer’s. Moreover, brain shrinkage occurred in areas of the brain targeted by Alzheimer’s, and which are critical for planning, long term memory, attention and executive functions, and control of movement.
Tackle signs of rising weight early, when you are young or middle aged. Oddly, being obese after the age of 70 does not raise the risk of Alzheimer’s but that doesn’t mean you should neglect exercise as it is the best way of stimulating cognitive functioning and may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s at any age.
16. Get a good night’s sleep
A lack of sleep is toxic to brain cells. Sleep has surprising powers to protect your brain against memory loss and Alzheimer’s. It is a wonder drug that helps manipulate levels of the dreaded brain toxin peptide beta-amyloid, a prime instigator of Alzheimer’s, which according to one scientist puts you at accelerated risk. Research has also found that sleeping an average of five hours or less a night is linked to large increases in dangerous visceral abdominal fat, which can cause diabetes and obesity that can lead to Alzheimer’s. Take naps and seek treatment for sleep disorders.
17. Have a big social circle
Studying the brain of a highly sociable 90-year-old woman who died from Alzheimer’s, researchers in Chicago found that having a large social network provided her with strong “cognitive reserve” that enabled her brain to not realise she had Alzheimer’s. Why this happens is a mystery but interacting with friends and family seems to make the brain more efficient. It finds alternative routes of communication to bypass broken connections left by Alzheimer’s. So see friends and family often and expand your social network. The stronger the brain reserve you build through life, the more likely you are to stave off Alzheimer’s symptoms.
18. deal with stress
When you are under stress, your body pours out hormones called corticosteroids, which can save you in a crisis. But persistent stress reactions triggered by everyday events like work frustration, traffic and financial worries can be dangerous. Over time, it can destroy brain cells and suppress the growth of new ones, actually shrinking your brain. Sudden traumatic events like the death of a loved one or a life-changing event like retirement can leave a hangover of severe psychological stress that precedes dementia. Be aware that chronic stress can increase older people’s vulnerability to memory decline and dementia. Seek professional advice. Anti-depressants, counselling, relaxation techniques and other forms of therapy may head off stress-related memory loss if treated early.
19. Take care of your teeth
Bad gums may poison your brain. People with tooth and gum disease tend to score lower in memory and cognition tests, according to US dental researchers who found that infection responsible for gum disease gives off inflammatory byproducts that travel to areas of the brain involved in memory loss.
Consequently, brushing, flossing and preventing gum disease may help keep your gums and teeth healthy but also your memory sharper. In another study, older people with the most severe gingivitis   –  inflamed gums  –  were two to three times more likely to show signs of impaired memory and cognition than those with the least.
 
20. Get enough Vitamin B12
As you age, blood levels of vitamin B12 go down and the chance of Alzheimer’s goes up. Your ability to absorb it from foods diminishes in middle age, setting the stage for brain degeneration years later. Researchers at Oxford University found that a brain running low on B12 actually shrinks and a shortage can lead to brain atrophy by ripping away, myelin, a fatty protective sheath around neurons. It can also trigger inflammation, another destroyer of brain cells. Take 500 to 1000mcg of vitamin B12 daily after the age of 40. If you or an older family member has unexplained memory loss, fatigue or signs of dementia, be sure to get tested for vitamin B12 deficiency by your GP.
21. Vinegar in everything
There is plenty of evidence that vinegar sinks risk factors that may lead to memory decline, namely high blood sugar, insulin resistance, diabetes and pre-diabetes and weight gain. Researchers in Phoenix, Arizona, have noted in studies of humans and animals that the acidic stuff packs potent glucose-lowering effects. Studies have also found it can curb appetite and food intake, helping prevent weight gain and obesity, which are associated with diabetes, accelerated dementia and memory loss. Pour on the vinegar  –  add it to salad dressings, eat it by the spoonful, even mix it into a glass of drinking water. Any type of vinegar works.
22. Have your eyes checked
If you preserve good or excellent vision as you age, your chances of developing dementia drop by an astonishing 63%. And if it’s poor, just visiting an optician for an eye test and possible treatment at least once in later life cuts your dementia odds by about the same amount. Exactly how vision problems promote dementia is not clear but impaired vision makes it difficult to participate in mental and physical activities such as reading and exercising, as well as social activities, all believed to delay cognitive decline. Be aware that your eyes reflect and influence how your brain is functioning, especially as you age. Don’t tolerate poor vision as often it can be corrected.
curry
23. Eat curry
Curry powder contains the yellow-orange spice turmeric, packed with curcumin, a component reported to stall memory decline. One study showed elderly Indians who ate even modest amounts of curry did better in cognitive tests. Curcumin works by blocking the build-up of Alzheimer-inducing amyloid plaques (deposits found in the brains of sufferers) then nibbles away at existing plaques to slow cognitive decline.
It is recommended to eat two or three curries a week, and make it a yellow curry. Otherwise, sprinkle the spices on your food.
 
24. diabetes control
Having type 2 diabetes makes you more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s. Studies show it may double or triple your risk and the earlier diabetes takes hold, the higher the odds of dementia. Some experts refer to Alzheimer’s as “diabetes of the brain”. The two disorders have similar causes  –  obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high fat and high sugar diets, low physical activity as well as high blood sugar. In short, diabetes can deliver a double whammy to the brain, destroying neurons and increasing inflammation. Do everything possible to keep blood sugar levels low and stick to a low-saturated fat diet and regular exercise.
 
25. Drink more tea
Evidence suggests that tea stalls the cognitive loss that precedes Alzheimer’s and that the more tea you drink, the sharper your ageing memory is. Tea’s secret is no mystery. The leaves are packed with compounds able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier and block neuronal damage.
One particular green tea antioxidant can block the toxicity of beta-amyloid, which kills brain cells. Make a point of drinking black and green tea. Don’t add milk, it can reduce tea’s antioxidant activity by 25%.