Everything You Need to Know About Solar and The Urban Heat Island Effect

As cities grow, open spaces, trees and other greenery, and other naturally occurring surfaces diminish, replaced by concrete and asphalt surfaces. When this happens, the heat absorbed by these surfaces has nowhere to go, and so is radiated and reflected into the immediate surrounding areas. This creates an urban heat island.

This leads to an increase in heat in the immediately surrounding areas, making temperatures a few degrees hotter than the actual weather. This causes discomfort to residents of the area and can also incur damage in the form of heat-damaged structures.

There is also a human cost associated with urban heat islands. Heat-related medical emergencies such as heat stroke become more prevalent in such areas as the heat can go up to dangerous levels. The EPA has taken stock of this phenomenon and is now advising cities to take steps to mitigate it. One such way is the use of Los Angeles solar as a means of making cities cooler and more comfortable to live in.

How does solar minimize this effect?

Cool Roof Strategy

A cool roof strategy is a one that seeks to use heat absorbing and/or dissipating roofing materials and technologies. Typical roofs use materials that either reflect or absorb and radiate back heat. Conversely, cool roofs, like solar, can help absorb sun rays and convert them into beneficial energy.

Solar excels at this because of the way the cells are designed and organized to absorb the maximum amount of sunlight. Solar roofs are also designed to trap this heat rather than radiate it back into the environment, something that can help reduce the amount of secondary heat being released into the environment.

Reduced Construction

When solar roofs are implemented, there is usually a reduced need to construct structures that support the traditional electric grid. Such a scenario can play out in several ways. If a new estate is being built with nothing but solar power, there is a possibility that some open spaces can be retained as fallow ground in places where utility implements would have been installed.

While the gains at this level would be marginal, implementation of this strategy across several thousand estates can help move the needle in reducing the urban heat island effect.

Combination Approach

This approach offers the greatest promise of reducing heat in urban settings. By combining the cool roof strategy with other strategies like green roofing, planting more trees and vegetation, cool paving and general smart city growth, a lot of ground can be covered.

Planting more trees and vegetation will go a long way in reducing heat in urban settings.

All these strategies have one thing in common in that they all absorb and dissipate heat in an efficient and sustainable manner. The EPA recommends these measures, among others, to cities grappling with the urban heat island effect or anticipating it as open spaces and greenery levels go down.

Many cities have a high incentive to deal with this issue because of its effect on residents and visitors to the area. If street-level temperatures are unbearable, it is possible that tourists and potential new residents may shy away from the area in favor of other cooler cities.

Ways to Live a Stress-Free Life in College

Everybody knows that college is not just about long lessons, wise teachers and interesting acquaintances. Sometimes it’s get harder to be in a harmonious and amicable mood when everything starts to fall apart, and students are trying to fix it but at the same time making the situation much worse.

The most common reasons of stress in college are as follows:

  • Different conflict situations with teachers and other students;
  • Huge lack of sleep and ineptitude to manage time;
  • Getting low grades and not completed homework and tasks;
  • Fears of the unknown and uncertain future;
  • Large amount of educational materials to study;
  • Difference between expectations and reality of chosen profession;
  • Intensive mental activity with a huge quantity of information.

There are some ways and tips how to live without stress at college, which can help you tackle with stressful situations by yourself.

Think about your time-management

Try to do all the complicated lessons first and don’t leave your homework until midnight. Start with compiling a task list every week. Write down at least three important, short-term goals that you want to achieve. No matter what kind of your goals are, stick to them and do your best to achieve them! You can do more and you will feel better without delaying things “later”. Make small changes in your life and self-organization —find a place for each thing. Self-pity is a waste of time.

Acquire colorful and bright stationery

It will always make you smile in any way. Notebooks with your favorite flowers or animals will bring you peaceful mood and it will help you to be concentrated on pleasant thoughts. Buy some nice pens, pencils and other stationery and you will feel the difference and motivation to do something with these cute things.

Eat only healthy and wholesome food

“We literally are what we eat”, says chief editor at Pro-Papers. If you feel stressed, instead of reaching a pack of biscuits or the nearest fast-food chain restaurant, try to eat something healthy and it will help you manage the stress. For example, avocado and bananas are loaded with potassium, a vital mineral which can keep blood pressure within normal parameters. Feeling low? Eat some almonds, pistachios or walnuts and your immune system will be boosted by vitamins and zinc!

Sleep well, at least 8 hours per night

Lack of sleep can cause bad mood, concentration problems and a general severe fatigue. It also affects our ability to perceive and memorize information, which can cause a strong stress when you have to learn a lot. If you have good sleep, it increases your attention, self-confidence, memory, social skills, and appetite.

Think of your new hobbies

Do you know the best way to put an end to all the stressful situations? Knitting and painting increases the activity of the prefrontal cortex and improve your creativity skills. Scientists have found that gardening improves mental health and physical health, as well as reduced levels of depression. Cooking is a rather meditative exercise and a great way to deal with stress. Everything that you need to do — is to find your own hobby and get the benefits from it!

Listening to peaceful music

Music not only affects our mood, but also inspires, relieves stress, calms and even heals. Gentle music with a harmonic tune will help reduce the level of the stress hormone cortisol, which causes damage to our mind and body. Just turn on the new album of your favorite band and start relaxing after nervous day at college.

Go to shopping

Sometimes all we need to feel happy is a new dress or new sneakers, isn’t it? According to psychologists, shopping is one of the most effective ways to help relieve depression.

The main thing is not to get nervous about some little things. It’s undeniable that these little things cause a serious stressful condition which is too destructive for our nervous system and mental health. Avoid contact with people who are sources of negative emotions, thoughts, moods. If you think, “I will never finish on time,” stop thinking that way. Better imagine your success — visualize how you will feel, shaking the hand of your professor, how he says that you have done a great and important job.

Your hard work will pay off as soon as you leave the tears and regrets behind you. Do not accumulate anger and negative, make a decision, shake off the burden of negative emotions and go on. When you arrange your priorities properly, you will become more organized and have your stress relieved by focusing more on your success. Only then, you are likely to become a confident student for whom studying is just a piece of cake.

4 Challenges Students with Autism Face in College

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are complex mental development disorders characterized by social maladaptation and inability to socially interact, communicate, and behave according to the existing stereotypes (repetition of the same actions). Back in the middle of the last century, autism was a fairly rare disease. However, over time, more and more children suffering from this disorder began to appear. Statistics show that the incidence of ASD in children over the past 30-40 years in countries where such statistics are conducted has risen from 4-5 people per 10 000 children to 50-116 cases per 10 000. At the same time, boys are more susceptible to this disease than girls (the ratio is about 4:1).

The Main Causes of ASD

Until now, scientists around the world studying the causes of autism have not come to a consensus. Many assumptions are being put forward. Among the possible factors for the appearance of this disorder in children, some hypotheses are called:

  • genetic predisposition;
  • impaired development of the nervous system (autism is seen as a disease caused by impaired brain development in the early stages of child growth);
  • influence of external factors: infections, chemical effects on the mother’s body during pregnancy, birth injuries, congenital metabolic disorders, the effect of certain drugs, and industrial toxins.

But whether these factors can actually lead to autism in children has not yet been clarified. Autism is seen as a developmental disorder that affects all areas of the human psyche: intellectual, emotional, sensitivity, motor sphere, attention, thinking, memory, and speech.

The most basic and commonly encountered types of ASD are:

  • Canner’s syndrome;
  • Asperger Syndrome;
  • Rett syndrome;
  • Child psychosis;
  • Atypical Autism.

Depending on the kind of ASD, and the degree of development of cognitive and motor functions, a teenager with this disease can study at colleges and universities. Although it is worth noting that training is not easy for them, and the percentage of those who ultimately drop out is very high – 80%. Often, a person is simply not able to withstand the load (large crowds, noise, certain time frames, etc.) that awaits them.

Despite the mentioned above, there are still people with ASD who managed to graduate from the college or/and university. If you just have this endeavor ahead, and you are determined to challenge yourself and your ailment, here are some tips from those who deserve the highest praise for willpower and fortitude – people with ASD who have acquired higher education and are engaged in what they love.

Challenges that Await a College Student with ASD

Organization Issues

A young person with ASD may experience extreme overload following a typical student routine. It is very difficult for them to follow the time frame of classes, the amounts of homework. In addition, collective tasks can be especially difficult, since the teenager experiences anxiety before communicating with others.

Organizing a workday can be a problem too. Things like a class schedule, maintaining health issues, studying, and living in a dorm are difficult tasks, but doable. The main thing is never to be afraid to ask for the help you need.

The need to decide for yourself

When a child with ASD is in school, his parents/guardians, counselors, and tutors decide for the child how to live in this world and how to function. Entering college, a teenager on the spectrum must start advocating for their needs on their own. In the first stage, it can be deeply shocking and overwhelming to the young mind. It is vitally important that they remember that they are not abandoned and that they, as well as at school, can receive support and help when they long for it. The only thing one has to do is to inform about difficulties in time. If a student with ASD has problems with academic papers, for example, they can find assistance at the essay writing service.

The possibility to be unnoticed by a teacher

For the most part, students are noisy young people who like to talk, discuss, and gather in interest groups. All this is very repulsive and incomprehensible to a teenager with ASD. In addition, tutors prefer open to dialogue and discussion students. There is no need to conceal that it is precisely such students who enjoy the attention of tutors most of all.

That is why a young mind with an autism disorder may turn out to be invisible to their professor, taking into account the fact that college students with ASD are very few today. To avoid this problem or to correct its consequences, a personal meeting with the professor is required, at which an amendment to the classes plan, or their form will be approved.

Same requirements for everyone

College tutors place the same requirements and restrictions on all students. There are certain rules for measuring performance, conducting tests and exams, as well as activity in the classroom. For students with ASD, these rules and restrictions can be overwhelming and unworkable. Nevertheless, there is a solution to this problem. Every young mind with an autism disorder has to inform about their disability, thus, they can win some easing or a partial revision of the rules.

By bringing to the knowledge the appropriate authority in college, a teenager may obtain, for example, an exam in a quiet environment, familiarizing himself with a tutor’s notes, or they may be allowed to spend more time on a specific task.

Each student with ASD needs to remember that they have every right to the above-described relief in the rules. Colleges and universities are subject to the law, and they can provide you with these accommodations – it is your right to demand them since you pay for tuition, and they are included in this fee. The only thing, young minds need to understand that, in any case, they must obey educational standards and do everything in their power to get as much as possible closer to them.

We wish patience and fortitude to those young people who, in spite of everything, want to get a higher education and get closer to their dream. You are amazing, and you definitely have to be proud of yourself! Good luck!

Recycling of EPS Foam Packaging

Municipalities and organisations are facing a growing problem in disposal and recycling of EPS foam packaging and products. EPS foam (Encapsulated Poly-Styrene) packaging is a highly popular plastic packaging material which finds wide application in packaging of food items, electronic goods, electrical appliances, furniture etc due to its excellent insulating and protective properties. EPS foam (also known as polystyrene) is also used to make useful products such as disposable cups, trays, cutlery, cartons, cases etc. However, being large and bulky, polystyrene take up significant space in rubbish bins which means that bins becomes full more quickly and therefore needs to be emptied more often.

Polystyrene is lightweight compared to its volume so it occupies lots of precious landfill space and can be blown around and cause a nuisance in the surrounding areas. Although some companies have a recycling policy, most of the polystyrene still find its way into landfill sites around the world.

Environmental Hazards of EPS Foam

While it is estimated that EPS foam products accounts for less than 1% of the total weight of landfill materials, the fraction of landfill space it takes up is much higher considering that it is very lightweight.  Furthermore, it is essentially non-biodegradable, taking hundreds perhaps thousands of years to decompose.

Even when already disposed of in landfills, polystyrene can easily be carried by the wind and litter the streets or end up polluting water bodies. When EPS foam breaks apart, the small polystyrene components can be eaten by marine organisms which can cause choking or intestinal blockage.

Polystyrene can also be consumed by fishes once it breaks down in the ocean.  Marine animals higher up the food chain could eat the fishes that have consumed EPS, thus concentrating the contaminant.  It could be a potential health hazard for us humans who are on top of the food chain considering that styrene, the plastic monomer used in manufacturing EPS has been classified by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a possible human carcinogen.

Styrene is derived from either petroleum or natural gas, both of which are non-renewable and are rapidly being depleted, creating environmental sustainability problems for EPS.

Trends in EPS Foam Recycling

Although the Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers have reported that the recycling rate for post-consumer and post-commercial EPS in the United States have risen to 28% in 2010 from around 20% in 2008, this value is still lower than most solid wastes.  According to USEPA, auto batteries, steel cans and glass containers have recycle rates of 96.2%, 70.6% and 34.2% respectively.

Because it is bulky, EPS foam takes up storage space and costs more to transport and yet yields only a small amount of polystyrene for re-use or remolding (infact, polystyrene accounts for only 2% of the volume of uncompacted EPS foams). This provides little incentive for recyclers to consider EPS recycling.

Products that have been used to hold or store food should be thoroughly cleaned for hygienic reasons, thus compounding the costs.  For the same reasons, these products cannot be recycled to produce the same food containers but rather are used for non-food plastic products.  The manufacture of food containers, therefore, always requires new polystyrene.  At present, it is more economical to produce new EPS foam products than to recycle it, and manufacturers would rather have the higher quality of fresh polystyrene over the recycled one.

The cost of transporting bulky polystyrene waste discourages recyclers from recycling it.  Organizations that receive a large amount of EPS foam (especially in packaging) can invest in a compactor that will reduce the volume of the products. Recyclers will pay more for the compacted product so the investment can be recovered relatively easier.

There are also breakthroughs in studies concerning EPS recycling although most of these are still in the research or pilot stage.  Several studies have found that the bacteria Pseudomonas putida is able to convert polystyrene to a more biodegradable plastic.  The process of polystyrene depolymerization – converting polystyrene back to its styrene monomer – is also gaining ground.

Medical Waste Management in Developing Countries

medical-waste-managementHealthcare sector is growing at a very rapid pace, which in turn has led to tremendous increase in the quantity of medical waste generation in developing countries, especially by hospitals, clinics and other healthcare establishments. The quantity of healthcare waste produced in a typical developing country depends on a wide range of factors and may range from 0.5 to 2.5 kg per bed per day.

For example, India generates as much as 500 tons of biomedical wastes every day while Saudi Arabia produces more than 80 tons of healthcare waste daily. The growing amount of medical wastes is posing significant public health and environmental challenges across the world. The situation is worsened by improper disposal methods, insufficient physical resources, and lack of research on medical waste management. The urgent need of the hour is to healthcare sustainable in the real sense of the word.

Hazards of Healthcare Wastes

The greatest risk to public health and environment is posed by infectious waste (or hazardous medical waste) which constitutes around 15 – 25 percent of total healthcare waste. Infectious wastes may include items that are contaminated with body fluids such as blood and blood products, used catheters and gloves, cultures and stocks of infectious agents, wound dressings, nappies, discarded diagnostic samples, swabs, bandages, disposal medical devices, contaminated laboratory animals etc.

Improper management of healthcare wastes from hospitals, clinics and other facilities in developing nations pose occupational and public health risks to patients, health workers, waste handlers, haulers and general public. It may also lead to contamination of air, water and soil which may affect all forms of life. In addition, if waste is not disposed of properly, ragpickers may collect disposable medical equipment (particularly syringes) and to resell these materials which may cause dangerous diseases.

Inadequate healthcare waste management can cause environmental pollution, growth and multiplication of vectors like insects, rodents and worms and may lead to the transmission of dangerous diseases like typhoid, cholera, hepatitis and AIDS through injuries from syringes and needles contaminated with human.

In addition to public health risks associated with poor management of biomedical waste, healthcare wastes can have deleterious impacts on water bodies, air, soil as well as biodiversity. The situation is further complicated by harsh climatic conditions in many developing nations which makes disposal of medical waste more challenging.

The predominant medical waste management method in the developing world is either small-scale incineration or landfilling. However, the WHO policy paper of 2004 and the Stockholm Convention, has stressed the need to consider the risks associated with the incineration of healthcare waste in the form of particulate matter, heavy metals, acid gases, carbon monoxide, organic compounds, pathogens etc.

In addition, leachable organic compounds, like dioxins and heavy metals, are usually present in bottom ash residues. Due to these factors, many industrialized countries are phasing out healthcare incinerators and exploring technologies that do not produce any dioxins. Countries like United States, Ireland, Portugal, Canada and Germany have completely shut down or put a moratorium on medical waste incinerators.

Alternative Treatment Technologies

The alternative technologies for healthcare waste disposal are steam sterilization, advanced steam sterilization, microwave treatment, dry heat sterilization, alkaline hydrolysis, biological treatment and plasma gasification.

Nowadays, steam sterilization (or autoclaving) is the most common alternative treatment method. Steam sterilization is done in closed chambers where both heat and pressure are applied over a period of time to destroy all microorganisms that may be present in healthcare waste before landfill disposal. Among alternative systems, autoclaving has the lowest capital costs and can be used to process up to 90% of medical waste, and are easily scaled to meet the needs of any medical organization.

Advanced autoclaves or advanced steam treatment technologies combine steam treatment with vacuuming, internal mixing or fragmentation, internal shredding, drying, and compaction thus leading to as much as 90% volume reduction. Advanced steam systems have higher capital costs than standard autoclaves of the same size. However, rigorous waste segregation is important in steam sterilization in order to exclude hazardous materials and chemicals from the waste stream.

Microwave treatment is a promising technology in which treatment occurs through the introduction of moist heat and steam generated by microwave energy. A typical microwave treatment system consists of a treatment chamber into which microwave energy is directed from a microwave generator. Microwave units generally have higher capital costs than autoclaves, and can be batch or semi-continuous.

Chemical processes use disinfectants, such as lime or peracetic acid, to treat waste. Alkaline digestion is a unique type of chemical process that uses heated alkali to digest tissues, pathological waste, anatomical parts, or animal carcasses in heated stainless steel tanks. Biological processes, like composting and vermicomposting, can also be used to degrade organic matter in healthcare waste such as kitchen waste and placenta.

Plasma gasification is an emerging solution for sustainable management of healthcare waste. A plasma gasifier is an oxygen-starved reactor that is operated at the very high temperatures which results in the breakdown of wastes into hydrogen, carbon monoxide, water etc. The main product of a plasma gasification plant is energy-rich syngas which can be converted into heat, electricity and liquids fuels. Inorganic components in medical wastes, like metals and glass, get converted into a glassy aggregate.

Will Whitening Mouthwash Help or Hurt the Results of My Teeth Whitening Treatment?

According to a study published in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, more than 90 percent of dental and orthodontic patients also request tooth whitening. The fact is, as no less than Inc. magazine recently reported, having a bright white smile you love to show off is important for every goal you have in life. People who smile more tend to make more money, receive more frequent promotions, look younger, have more friends and connections, feel better, live longer, lead better and be happier.

No wonder there is so much demand for teeth whitening services! But how can you tell all the different options apart and figure out which is best for you? And how can you maximize the results of your in-office teeth whitening? Should you use over-the-counter options like whitening mouthwash or will that hurt your results? Find out in this blog post.

How the Teeth Whitening Process Works

The American Dental Association (ADA) highlights how important it is to understand how the process of teeth whitening really works.

Once you understand the basic underlying mechanism behind teeth whitening you will be in a much better position to maintain your teeth whitening results long term.

The ADA explains that there are two basic types of teeth whitening and both are bleaches. The two types are carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide.

Regardless of the bleaching type you choose, the way they work is basically the same. Once applied, the bleaches go to work to dismantle tooth stains bit by tiny bit, almost like a tiny eraser.

How Do Tooth Stains Develop?

Marc Lazare, teeth whitening expert in New York, notes that tooth stains can develop in any number of ways and for a wide variety of reasons.

Different stains may be easier or harder to lift. Generally, lighter stains such as yellowing are easier to bleach away, while gray or brown stains are more resistant to whitening efforts. Some stains, such as those caused by mouth trauma or injury, may not respond to bleaching much if at all.

As well, it is important to be aware that teeth whitening treatments generally do not work on dental prosthetics such as implants, bridges, veneers or crowns.

The most common reasons include these:

Food and drink

If you have ever had to go to the sink to wash dark blueberry stains off your fingertips, you already understand how food and drink can stain your teeth.

Over time and with repeated exposure (such as that daily morning cup of coffee) your teeth will become increasingly less white.

Smoking and nicotine use

Smoking, vaping, snuff, gum and other sources of nicotine can stain your teeth quite badly over time, and the brown stains are some of the harder stains to lift.

Injury or trauma

If you have experienced an injury or trauma to your mouth or teeth, injured nerves and blood vessels may cause tooth discoloration.

Medication use

Medications used to treat cancer such as chemotherapy and radiation are some of the best-known drugs that can cause tooth discoloration. Another common culprit is the acne medicine tetracycline, which can cause lasting tooth discoloration.

The natural aging process

The natural process of aging can also cause the tooth enamel to wear thin and look less white and more yellow over time.

Will Whitening Mouthwash Help or Hurt?

To date, research shows that whitening mouthwash is not harmful to teeth that have been professionally whitened.

While a whitening mouthwash is unlikely to deliver comparable results to the outcome of a professional teeth whitening treatment, even when used consistently over time, it is equally unlikely to degrade or interfere with the results you get from professional teeth whitening.

Too-frequent use of any product designed to bleach and whiten teeth can sometimes cause temporary tooth sensitivity. Patients who experience tooth sensitivity from any tooth whitening product generally find that this side effect fades after a few days of not using the product.

How to Choose a Whitening Mouthwash

According to the ADA, the best whitening mouthwash will also provide other important oral health benefits, such as helping to control tartar and plaque buildup on teeth, guarding against decay and dental caries, fighting back against gum inflammation and infection (gingivitis/periodontal disease) and, of course, improving breath.

The ADA specifies two different categories of mouthwash: cosmetic and therapeutic. It is important to note that a mouthwash can serve both purposes, such as a whitening mouthwash that also provides health benefits such as the ones just mentioned here.

Some of the best whitening mouthwashes will themselves require a prescription from your dentist or orthodontist. These mouthwashes are often recommended as a follow-up to a professional teeth whitening treatment and for daily use after preventative dental care or dental treatment.

The more you can do to improve your overall oral health by brushing, flossing, gargling with mouthwash and choosing your daily menu with tooth health and color in mind, the longer your teeth whitening results will last.

About “Dentist to the Stars” Marc Lazare, D.D.S., M.A.G.D.

Dr. Marc Lazare, D.D.S., M.A.G.D., is one of just one percent of dentists nationwide who has earned the coveted designation of “Master of General Dentistry.” Dr. Lazare is the inventor of numerous dental apps, author of “The Patient’s Guide to Dentistry” and president of two companies now viewed as leading innovators in the field of cosmetic dentistry.

He is one of just a few dentists in the world who is trained to practice and instruct in Biomimetic Dentistry, a cutting-edge field of dental science that focuses on the preservation and use of healthy intact teeth rather than artificial prosthetics.

In addition to a star-studded international clientele, Dr. Lazare treats men, women, and children from all walks of life who want to achieve and maintain optimal dental health and beautifully bright, white smiles.

Solid Waste Management in Kuwait

Kuwait, being one of the richest countries, is among the highest per capita waste generators in the world. Each year more than 2 million tons of solid waste is generated in the tiny Arab nation. High standards of living and rapid economic growth has been a major factor behind very high per capita waste generation of 1.4 to 1.5 kg per day.

Waste Disposal Method

The prevalent solid waste management method in Kuwait is landfill burial. Despite being a small country, Kuwait has astonishingly high number of landfills. There are 18 landfills, of which 14 sites are closed and 4 sites are still in operation. These landfills act as dumpsites, rather than engineered landfills.

Menace of Landfills

Infact, landfill sites in Kuwait are notorious for causing severe public health and environmental issues. Besides piling up huge amounts of garbage, landfill sites generate huge amount of toxic gases (methane, carbon dioxide etc) and plagued by spontaneous fires. Due to fast paced urban development, residential areas have expanded to the edges of landfill sites thus causing grave danger to public health.

The total land area of Kuwait is around 17,820 sq. km, out of which more than 18 sq. km is occupied by landfills. Area of the landfill sites ranges from tens to hundreds of hectares with waste deposition depth varying from 3 to 30 meters.

All kind of wastes, including municipal wastes, food wastes, industrial wastes, construction and demolition debris etc are dumped at these sites. Infact, about 90 percent of the domestic waste is sent to landfills which imply that more landfills will be required to tackle rapidly increasing volumes of solid wastes.

Most of the landfill sites have been closed for more than 20 years due to operational problems and proximity to new residential, commercial and industrial areas. These sites include Sulaibiyah, Kabed, Al Qurain, Shuaiba, Jleeb AI Shuyoukh, West Yarmouk, AI Wafra among others. Migration of leachate beyond landfill site boundaries is a frequent problem noticed across Kuwait. Groundwater contamination has emerged as a serious problem because groundwater occurs at shallow depths throughout the country.

The major landfill sites operated by municipality for solid waste disposal are Jleeb AI Shuyoukh, Sulaibiyah and Al-Qurain. The Qurain landfill, with area of 1 sq. km, was used for dumping of municipal solid waste and construction materials from 1975 until 1985 with total volume of dumped waste being 5 million m3.

The Sulaibiyah landfill site received more than 500 tons of waste per day from 1980 to 2000 with area spanning 3 sq. km. Jleeb AI Shuyoukh, largest landfill site in Kuwait with area exceeding 6 sq. km, received 2500 tons per day of household and industrial waste between 1970 and 1993. Around 20 million m3 of wastes was dumped in this facility during its operational period.

Over the years, most of the dumpsites in Kuwait have been surrounded by residential and commercial areas due to urban development over the years. Uncontrolled dumpsites were managed by poorly-trained staff resulting in transformation of dumpsites in breeding grounds for pathogens, toxic gases and spontaneous fires.

Most of the landfill sites have been forced to close, much before achieving their capacities, because of improper disposal methods and concerns related to public health and environment. Due to fast-paced industrial development and urban expansion, some of the landfills are located on the edges of residential, as is the case of Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh and Al-Qurain sites, endangering the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Have a Dehumidifier at Home

Air quality is one of those things that many homeowners frequently overlook. We assume that the air indoors is better or less polluted than the air outdoors because we’re not dealing with things like car fumes and pollution.

However, your indoor air can be just as bad as the atmosphere outdoors, particularly when you have problems with humidity. Too much humidity in your air can increase the risk of things like respiratory problems, mould, and even an overflow of dust. Here are 3 reasons to consider bringing a dehumidifier into your property.

1. They Combat Mould, Mildew and Dust

Damp in your home caused by humidity can lead to mould and mildew. Often, these problems are the root cause of health issues, such as asthma, respiratory conditions, and asthma. What’s more, constant exposure to mildew and mould may even increase your chances of nervous system disorders.

Taking steps to avoid your risk of moisture build-up by keeping your sewer line clear and fixing leaky pipes is great. However, homeowners can consistently keep their risk to a minimum by investing in a dehumidifier. These crucial tools remove the extra unnecessary moisture from the air, so that it can no longer feed mould spores in your home.

Having a dehumidifier can also help you to get rid of other pesky substances like dust on your mattresses, bedspreads, and other furniture too. That’s because it’s easier for dust to cling to your surfaces when there’s moisture in the air. When the air is dry, regularly vacuuming your home will get rid of a larger portion of dust, keeping the risk of allergy to a minimum. Dehumidifiers even eliminate the risk of dust mites by keeping humidity levels at a inhospitable level for those critters.

2. They Reduce Damp and Condensation

Too much humidity in your home causes a “damp” atmosphere. When the air is moist, the most obvious result is discomfort. You might notice that your breathing feels more laboured just because you’re breathing moisture-laden air. Damp doesn’t just stay in the air however, when it reaches excessive levels, it also begins to build up on the surfaces around your home, particularly in the winter when the cold of the outdoors interacts with the warm humidity indoors.

Humidity causes long-term damage to your woodwork and soft furnishings through damp and condensation. Although it’s common to have condensation in your home from time to time, humidity exacerbates it to dangerous levels, potentially causing peeling wall papers, shrinking wood, and stains on your sofas and curtains.

A dehumidifier will reduce the moisture in the air to reasonable levels again, protecting your belongings and your comfort.

3. They Improve Air Quality for Better Health

Finally, the most important reason to invest in a dehumidifier is that they allow you to improve your air quality and eliminate common health problems. Humidity in your home can lead to an increased risk of respiratory conditions, allergens, and even problems with coughs and stuffy noses. As mould and mildew begin to build up, the effects on your health grow even greater.

Placing a dehumidifier into your home does more than just get rid of musty smells throughout your property. It also absorbs the excess moisture that could be harming your health over time. Remember, the quality of the air in your home isn’t just measured by the amount of toxins that you could be exposed to. Your air quality also depends on the level of humidity in the air too.

Dry air is less likely to feed the bacteria in the atmosphere, reducing your risk of catching bugs and respiratory illnesses. According to studies, dehumidifiers are even useful in preventing asthma attacks because they remove asthma triggers like dust mites, mould, VOCs and building wastes.

Should You Get a Dehumidifier?

In a world where indoor air quality isn’t much better than the polluted air that we find outside, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself, your family and even your home. A dehumidifier can help you to improve the air quality that you’re exposed to every day.

By eliminating the unnecessary moisture in your home, your domestic dehumidifier will improve your quality of life, reduce the risk of mould and mildew, and even protect your health.

Air Genius: An Indoor Air Quality Monitor With a Difference

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. Understanding and controlling common pollutants indoors can help reduce your risk of indoor health concerns. Health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later.

Immediate Health Effects

Some health effects may show up shortly after a single exposure or repeated exposures to a pollutant. These include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Such immediate effects are usually short-term and treatable.

Sometimes the treatment is simply eliminating the person’s exposure to the source of the pollution, if it can be identified. Soon after exposure to some indoor air pollutants, symptoms of some diseases such as asthma may show up, be aggravated or worsened.

The likelihood of immediate reactions to indoor air pollutants depends on several factors including age and preexisting medical conditions. In some cases, whether a person reacts to a pollutant depends on individual sensitivity, which varies tremendously from person to person. Some people can become sensitized to biological or chemical pollutants after repeated or high level exposures.

In long-term effects, Other health effects may show up either years after exposure has occurred or only after long or repeated periods of exposure. These effects, which include some respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer, can be severely debilitating or fatal. It is prudent to try to improve the indoor air quality in your home even if symptoms are not noticeable.

Factors Behind Poor IAQ

Gas and respirable particulates in the air are the primary sources that contribute to poor IAQ. Sources can include inadequate ventilation, poorly maintained HVAC systems, cooking stoves, non-vented gas heaters, tobacco smoke, vehicle exhaust emissions, building materials, carpeting, furniture, maintenance products, solvents, cleaning supplies etc.

The actual concentrations of these pollutants can also be amplified by other external factors including poor ventilation, humidity, and temperature.

Air Genius – Best Indoor Air Quality Monitor

Air Genius is a state-of-the-art indoor air quality monitor that you should have at your house or in your office to monitor the air that we breathe. The device, developed by India-based Next Sense Technologies, uses the latest sensors to determine particulate matter, VOCs, total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs), carbon dioxide, temperature, humidity and other important parameters.

We have taken a leap in technological advancement by relaying the data automatically to the server so that you can access the data remotely and in real-time. Through this, one could take initiatives on switching on the Air purifier or by keeping the window open for allowing the fresh air.

Typical Applications for Air Genius Indoor Air Quality Monitor

  • IAQ complaint investigation and analysis
  • HVAC system performance monitoring
  • Air quality engineering analysis
  • Mold investigation and remediation
  • Health and comfort assessment
  • Airport lounges, shopping malls, offices
  • Colleges, schools and kindergartens
  • Hospitals and healthcare establishments

For business enquiries about Air Genius Air Quality Monitor, please visit  http://www.nextsensetechnologies.com/ or contact Mr. Mohammad Hamza on +91-9540990415 or email on enggenvsolution@gmail.com or salman@bioenergyconsult.com

Impacts of Environmental Crisis on Mental Health

Our environment is deteriorating at a rapid pace which is impacting our daily lives in more ways than one. Environmental degradation is associated with many outcomes that may have direct as well as indirect impact on physical health as well as mental health of human beings. In recent years, the deterioration of the environment has emerged as a key contributor to increases cases of psychological ill-health across the world. Environmental change–triggered extreme weather conditions, loss of natural environments, changing climate patterns, contaminated food, water and air are now acknowledged as major contributors to PTSD, anxiety, aggression, depression and breakdown of relationships.

What is Mental Health?

Mental health encompasses emotional, psychological, behavioral, and social well-being of an individual. It decides how a human being adapts to stress of life and impacts how we think, feel, and act. Mental health also determines how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Environmental deterioration can cause and heighten pressure and uneasiness, thus unfavorably affecting psychological wellness and forcing people to seek help of mental therapists and psychologists. For example, hurricanes or severe droughts can cause depression, anger, and provoke sadistic attitude.

Everybody is in danger, yet not every person is influenced similarly. People who are more prone to mental health impacts of environmental changes include children, elderly and women. Among disadvantaged and marginalized groups, those with close bonding to the land, such as farmers and tribal communities, are more at risk.

How Environmental Degradation is Aggravating Mental Health?

Each aspect of the environment has an interrelated impact on mental health of human being. For example, children are more prone than young people to changes in their environment. The nascent mind is most delicate in the womb while early adolescence is sensitive to toxic physical, chemical and biological exposures. The harmful emissions from the transportation sector and industries coupled with waste generation from domestic and commercial sectors are the major contributors to modern-day pollution problem.

Social components, including poverty, education, employment, income, security, social support and housing are also determinants of mental health that likewise alter or overstate the impacts of exposures to physical factors in the environment. The total impacts of toxic environmental exposures over the existence course can cause physiological interruptions that persevere in future, and lead to deep rooted hindrances of physical or mental well-being.

Children can be exposed to toxins prenatally, and when they inhale poor air, drink contaminated water, breastfeed, ingest food and contact polluted soil and items. The major harmful compounds in the natural and built environments that influence neuro-development and the mental health include Lead, Manganese, Cadmium, Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons and Organochlorine and Organophosphate Pesticides. People living in rural agricultural areas are more exposed to pesticides. Overwhelming metal contaminants and pesticides have been found to be agents that help develop Hyperactivity Behavior, including Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Noise and traffic-related exposures in the built environment have been related with poor mental health results.

Major acute mental health effects include trauma and shock, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), compounded stress, anxiety, substance abuse, and depression. Major chronic mental health effects incorporate higher paces of aggression and violence, mental health emergencies, an exaggerated feeling of helplessness, hopelessness, or fatalism, fear, and loss of emotions. Thus, the prevalent environmental crisis can intensify chronic symptoms and lead to more serious mental health issues in all parts of the world.

BetterHelp.com offers access to licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists (PhD/PsyD), marriage and family therapists (LMFT), clinical social workers (LCSW / LMSW), and board licensed professional counselors (LPC).

Final Words

The mental health consequences of the environmental crisis transcend countries, income-groups, race, religion and culture. The psychological wellness of the entire humanity has been negatively affected by rapid changes in the natural and built environments during the last 50 years or so. The urgent need of the hour it to address the wide array of environmental issues and their interconnected mental health effects through broader international and multi-sectoral cooperation, political struggle and a mass movement for environmental stability.