Tips for Improving or Protecting Well Water

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Water wells provide an excellent source of good-tasting, safe drinking water for millions of Americans, but for those with water quality problems, most such issues are easily addressed.
A key to improving water quality is knowing the basics about water testing, well maintenance, water treatment, and groundwater protection, says the National Ground Water Association (NGWA).
Water testing 101
Unlike public water systems, private well owners are responsible for testing their own water. NGWA recommends well owners test annually for bacteria, nitrate, and anything of local concern. Most county health departments do some water testing, and many well owners are within reasonable distance of a drinking water testing lab.
Groundwater contaminants of local concern can be naturally occurring, such as arsenic, or manmade, such as chemicals or heavy metals from industrial or waste sites. The county health department or an area drinking water testing lab are good places to start to find out what might be of local concern.
Designed specifically for household well owners, the NGWA website www.WellOwner.org contains more practical information about water testing.
Well maintenance
Modern, drilled wells are closed systems to keep bacteria and other external contaminants out of the well and the groundwater. But poor maintenance can result in well system breaches, allowing contamination to enter.
Well owners should get periodic inspections of their well systems to catch any maintenance problems before they threaten water quality, says NGWA.
Water treatment
Home water treatment systems are available at a cost within reach of most well owners. But one size does not fit all, so it is important to match the treatment system to the specific need. Well owners should have their drinking water lab test results in hand when considering water treatment to make sure a system is a good fit.
Groundwater protection
Groundwater quality can be affected by contamination in the vicinity of the well. So well owners should be on guard for potential contamination sources such as animal or human waste from animal enclosures or failing septic systems, the improper storage or application of chemical products, and improper disposal of hazardous household substances.
Visit www.WellOwner.org to learn more about water testing, well maintenance, water treatment, and groundwater protection.

Post-Hurricane Matthew: What to Do to Prepare Your Home

Waves break over the church and the castle in Camogli, Italy

Risk mitigation.

It’s a term that typically comes up after every major storm —Hurricane Matthew being the latest to wreak havoc — as homeowners are warned that many houses are simply no match for high winds, and that prudence dictates that they act to help protect themselves and their property from future tempests.

If you think those warnings are needlessly alarmist, so too did all those New Yorkers who got pummeled by Hurricane Sandy.

So what should homeowners do, proactively, to increase their odds of beating Mother Nature?

Read on.

How to Improve Your Overall Well-Being

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – Proper nutrition is vital for good health, but — if it’s overall well-being you’re shooting for — maybe it’s time to try chiropractic care.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be.

Watch the video at:https://youtu.be/5FU5nLNNLpI

How Safe Is Uber? It Depends on Gender

Modern luxury executive car on a white background

It’s shorthand for the potential danger faced by women using app-based, ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft. And if you’re already dismissing how dangerous it can be, you’ve obviously missed the rash of headlines like these from across the country.

• “Uber Driver Charged With Rape Ordered Held After Dangerousness Hearing” (Boston Globe, August 2016)

• “Police Had Tip That Lyft Driver Charged With Sexual Assault Planned To Flee Country” (Dallas Morning News, November 2015)

• “Police: Uber Driver Returns to Rape, Burglarize Passenger at Her Home” (FOX-TV New Orleans, January 2016)

Which Home Upgrades Really Pay Off?

(NewsUSA) – Sponsored by GAF – If you don’t care about blowing tens of thousands of dollars on upgrades that add little or nothing to your house’s value, you might as well stop reading this and go Google "Pokemon Go" for updates on the latest weird mishaps to befall distracted players. But if you do care — and you’d especially better if you intend to ever sell — then Remodeling magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report for 2016 is must reading.Still there? Thought so.So let’s begin by acknowledging what’s perhaps the report’s biggest takeaway: All the academics and real-estate pros are right to "tout the value of projects that promote curb appeal." Read on to see why, and where else your money is or isn’t well spent.* Worth it: a new front door.You’re looking at returns on investment of 91.1 percent for a steel one and 82.3 percent for a more upscale (and expensive) fiberglass one. Of course, a fresh coat of paint on your existing door can help spiff things up too.* Not worth it: upscale bathroom remodeling.You may think everyone shares your dream of a huge bathroom with a whirlpool tub, heated towel bars, and stone countertops. Not so, warns Patsy O’Neill, a sales associate with Sotheby’s in Montclair, New Jersey: "You could spend $60,000 or so on it, and it still might not suit a buyer’s taste." Which helps explain why it has one of the worst returns on investment.* Worth it: fiberglass attic insulation.A huge win for greenies. The magazine finally agreed to add an energy-efficiency project, and it topped the list by recouping 116.9 percent of its cost.* Not worth it: composite deck addition.Another also-ran — and, no, Alaska didn’t skew the results. But be aware that sometimes even the seemingly coolest upgrades may simply be out of whack for a particular neighborhood. "You can turn your house into a palace, but the payoff will be small if it’s the only mansion on the block," Craig Webb, Remodeling’s editor-in-chief, tells Time.com.* Worth it: a new roof."Buyers pay a premium for one already in place," according to Credit.com. No kidding. A perennial Remodeling magazine A-lister, it’s the ultimate curb appeal enhancer when you consider that your roof is the first thing prospective buyers notice even before exiting their cars.And if yours looks like something out of "Twister"? "It’s a huge turn-off," says O’Neill, "and makes buyers predisposed to find even more things they don’t like." If your roof needs replacing, check out the Value Collection Lifetime Designer Shingles from GAF (gaf.com), North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, which have the look of luxury shingles at a very affordable price. And remember: Don’t be afraid to use a new roof as the "negotiating tool" with buyers that Credit.com says it is.Watch the video here.* Not worth it: an upscale master suite.Those same "taste" issues aside, returns of only about half your investment make this yet another expensive miss. 

Lights, Camera, Action — Holiday Style

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – In only minutes, you can ensure your Christmas tree will meet the “merry and bright” standard. Your holiday lighting dreams can surpass expectations with just a bit of advance planning.
“Test Your Lights” Tuesday begins November 22 and runs every Tuesday through Christmas. Mark your calendar to test your holiday lights.
“There’s nothing more frustrating than gathering the family to decorate the tree or house only to find some of your light sets don’t work,” says John DeCosmo, CEO of Ulta-Lit Technologies, maker of the LightKeeper Pro, a one-of-a-kind tool that not only finds the bad bulb on a string of lights but also illuminates the rest of the working bulbs.
“With just a few pulls of the trigger, you can reclaim your special family moment and become the hero who saves Christmas,” DeCosmo says.
At $19.99, the LightKeeper Pro is both economical and eco-friendly. In many, many instances, users save money by reducing the need to replace an entire string of lights simply because of a couple of bad bulbs. Old sets of lights don’t need to end up in a landfill.
Ask for help — at no charge: Should your holiday lights darken, Ulta-Lit’s lighting pros answer questions every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas at (888) 858-2548. To better assist they also take calls year-round during standard business hours. Or, refer to the Ulta-Lit website at Ulta-Lit.
With over 100 years of experience with light sets, here are some tips from the pros:
* Measure: Using your two hands, touch your pointer fingertip to your other pointer fingertip. Then take your thumb tip to your other thumb tip. Bring all four tips together to create a maximum 1/8″ diamond. While standing no less than 10 feet away from your lit tree, peek through that diamond and scan the tree from side to side, top to bottom. This will assist in finding dark spots where you may want to add more lights for a fully lit tree.
* Quality vs. price: Commercial-grade light sets are more reliable for outdoor use because of their durability and thicker insulation.
* Decide on LED vs. incandescent: LEDs are more expensive than incandescent lights, but they last longer. The use of a tree with 1,000 incandescent bulbs can cost $10 over an average holiday season, while the same tree with LEDs would cost approximately $1.50.
* Replace and repair: If you notice one or two unlit bulbs within a section that is primarily operating properly, replace those bulbs ASAP. Two burned-out bulbs can decrease the lifespan of the light set by 39 percent, four burned-out bulbs by 67 percent.

Company Continues Foray Into Biologics, Stem Cells As Next Generation Therapy

biotechstemcellscBiotech stocks can be controversial and tend to have their ups and downs among the investment community. However, the biotech industry is getting a shot in the arm with news of biologics flooding the wires.

Biologics are different from traditional drugs because they are manufactured in a living system, such as a microorganism or plant or animal cells rather than being made with synthesized chemicals. And because of the strides made in this biotechnology specialty, it is attracting the attention of big pharma.

Why Your Attic Is Key to Pre-Winter Roof Check-Ups

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored by GAF – There’s no need to risk breaking your neck this autumn when you’ve got a perfectly good attic.
Meaning what? Well, as any responsible homeowner surely knows, this is one of the two times each year when you’re supposed to check the health of your roof. (Among other reasons, because it’s key to a home’s energy efficiency.) But who wants to be climbing a ladder 25 feet or so into the sky when the weather is turning sharply colder and nastier?
That’s where your attic comes in.
According to Jason Joplin, program manager of the Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence, that space you’re probably using mainly for storage can substitute, as a fallback, for the eyeball roof check normally recommended to be done every pre-winter and spring.
“Roofs actually create an insulated barrier that helps trap heat inside, and most attic spaces are located right below them,” says Joplin. “That makes them perfect for spotting potential problem areas and damage without worrying about falling off a ladder.”
Here’s what to look for while you’re up there:
* Water leaks. As sure as tweeting at 3 AM is generally a bad idea, it will soon storm. And when it does, shine a flashlight up in the attic to check not only for dripping water and condensation, but also for water stains on the ceiling, walls and floors. All signal that H2O is finding its way beneath your roof’s shingles or behind its flashings.
* Ventilation. “Think of the attic as the lungs of the house,” advises Joplin. “It has to be able to breathe in order to function properly.” Which is to say, vents stuffed with debris need to be cleared.
* Animal damage. You know those “If you see something, say something” homeland security ads? Well, to avoid the havoc refuge-seeking birds, bats, squirrels and raccoons can create, warning bells should likewise sound — followed by a call to a pest-control pro — if you spot any of these telltale signs: nests, droppings and gnawed wood, wires or insulations.
* Structural problems. The mere hint of a sagging roof — look up for this one — could indicate potential structural weakness requiring professional repair.
And if prolonging your roof’s life is your goal, experts say it pays to consult a professional roofing contractor who’s insured and uses quality materials such as the latest triple-layer line of Glenwood Shingles — the thickest of its kind, with an authentic wood-shake look — from GAF, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer. A free service that makes it easy to find a factory-certified contractor in your area can be found at gaf.com.

Why Every Home Should Be Tested for Radon

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – In American homes, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are common devices. But while homeowners may think that these monitors are sufficient for ensuring their families’ wellness and safety, there is another gas that needs to be detected which is equally as important for health and wellness: radon.
Radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second leading cause for smokers, claiming the lives of approximately 21,000 Americans each year. That’s more than five times the number of deaths attributed annually to carbon monoxide poisoning and house fires.
Radon is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas that enters buildings through cracks in floors and walls, construction joints, and gaps in foundations around pipes, wires or pumps. The good news is that the Corentium Home by Airthings makes it easy to detect and monitor radon.
For most U.S. homeowners, radon testing is a faint memory associated with the sale or purchase of a home. But due to the fluctuating nature of radon based on location and time of year, a single radon test is insufficient and will not guarantee the health and safety of your family. Continuous monitoring is essential.
In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency and 11 partner organizations launched the National Radon Action Plan, aimed at reducing harmful radon levels in five million homes, apartments, schools and childcare centers nationwide, thus saving 3,200 lives annually by 2020. This effort is a step in the direction of creating radon-safe environments for Americans; however, all homeowners in the country can do something today to take control of their own air quality.
“The Corentium Home by Airthings radon detector empowers homeowners to measure radon levels in their home on an ongoing basis, providing optimal visibility into the home’s air quality,” says Oyvind Birkenes, Airthings CEO. “Getting this important insight is as easy as inserting three AAA batteries into a monitor and placing it in a frequently used room, such as a family room, basement or bedroom.”
Due to radon’s fluctuating nature, short-term measurements do not take into account spikes and lulls. Airthings recommends ongoing monitoring of your environment as levels are dynamic and change from month-to-month and season-to-season. If the long-term average is above the EPA’s threshold of 4 pCi/L, a professional should be called in to mitigate. If levels fall between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L, solutions as simple as increasing ventilation and air flow can help. Long term, sustained monitoring is the only real way to tell the true level of radon in the home.
Want to know more about radon, its effects on wellness and how you can begin monitoring air quality in your home? Visit http://www.airthings.com/us for information.

Cystic Fibrosis Breakthrough for Patients With Fungal Infections in Lungs

(NewsUSA) – Up to half of all cystic fibrosis patients have fungal infections in their lungs caused by a spore-forming mold named Aspergillus fumigatus. Many of those patients, particularly children and young adults, will develop an allergic reaction to the fungus, Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA), according to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Coughing, wheezing and other symptoms can be severe.Current treatments are oral drugs, including itraconazole. The problem is that high doses are needed to get enough of the drug to the lungs. That causes severe side effects that must be managed and monitored — including liver toxicity.A more promising strategy is to deliver the itraconazole directly to the lungs by breathing it in. That’s the approach taken by Lexington, Mass-based pharmaceutical company Pulmatrix, Inc. (NASDAQ: PULM). Pulmatrix’s innovation was creating small, dense particles that can be easily inhaled, and combining them with drugs such as itraconazole."We’ve urgently needed a way to deliver antifungal drugs directly to the lungs," says Stanford University cystic fibrosis expert Richard Moss M.D. "Pulmatrix’s PUR1900, using the inhaled dry particle technology, meets that need. It could offer major benefits to cystic fibrosis patients with fungal infections in their lungs."That’s why the U.S. Food & Drug Administration has granted the company’s request for orphan drug status for PUR1900, explaining that the designation "is based on a plausible hypothesis that [the] drug may be clinically superior to the same drug that is already approved."While PUR1900 has the potential to improve the lives of cystic fibrosis patients, especially children and young adults, it also could bring significant revenues for Pulmatrix. The estimated cystic fibrosis market alone is tens of thousands of patients a year, and the drug could also find much larger markets treating millions of other pulmonary fungal infections and other immunocompromised patients, making Pulmatrix a strong investment opportunity.For more information on PUR1900, go to ir.pulmatrix.com and watch the video on here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8RgU8YUtjo.