Did You Know That... - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/28/04

Did You Know That...

You probably shouldn't drink the water--not in some foreign country, but on that next airline flight. In a recent study by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) they found contamination of the water supply on 20 out of 158 (17%) of randomly selected airplanes tested positive for coliform or disease-producing microorganisms.

The Air Transport Association (ATA) is working with the EPA to clean up the situation and sterilize water holding tanks.

While the ATA says that there has never been an outbreak of disease traced to an airline, the EPA counters that it is almost impossible to connect tummy upsets to a particular flight. Stick to bottled drinks whenever you leave home to be sure that a brief illness does not ruin all your plans.

Teflon has made our lives non-stick for 60 years now. But, new research is asking whether or not the chemical, perfluorooctanic acid (PFOA) is sticking in our environment. PFOA has been found in people and animals all over the world-in sea otters and polar bears as well as 96% of the children tested in 23 states.

The trouble is that this chemical or a variety of it has been used throughout our environment. While we recognize it in our fry pans, we don't realize that it also makes our clothes and carpets stain resistant. It may even be in those take out boxes from McDonalds or Burger King. The 3M Company has voluntarily removed its Scotchgard from the market. DuPont, the developer of PFOA, denies any risk associated with the chemical.

While research has yet to find a direct link between Teflon and Teflon-related chemicals, some worry that it has subtle health effects which are very hard to identify. Is it responsible for changes in our immune system? Or is this chemical just a slippery red herring? Only time and a lot more research will tell.

Walk away from Alzheimer's is the latest advice from researchers in Hawaii. In an eight year study of 2, 257 men between the ages of 71 and 93, researchers found that those who walked less than ¼ mile a day had twice the risk of dementia (including Alzheimer's) of those who walked two miles a day.

Exercise has a direct effect on the blood flow to the brain and promotes cell growth and better connections. This should be a big motivator to get all couch potatoes moving.

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