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12 Life Risks / Hazards: Real or Imaginary?

Posted by Jerry De Luca on Friday, July 28, 2017



Much of life is akin to skating on thin ice, with perils and pitfalls everywhere. But are many of these fears and concerns valid, or groundless apprehensions? Here are 12 risks and hazards clarified from reliable sources.

Is It Safe To Use A Fork To Remove Bread From A Toaster?

“The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that the average number of electrocutions from small household appliances between 2007 and 2009 was seven a year. And that includes more than just toasters. But it’s still a bad idea. ‘A toaster is designed to not have anything except toast in it,’ says William Burke, division manager of electrical engineering at the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association). The attempt to dig out a broken piece of Pop Tart risks giving yourself an electric shock and possibly a burn. Even if you thought ahead and unplugged it to remove those risks, there is still a chance you could damage the toaster, which could start a fire the next time you use it.”   “Killer Pigs and 27 Other Menaces That Might Kill You” Popular Mechanics, July / August 2017

Is It Safe To Microwave Plastic?

“If your idea of meal preparation is microwaving leftovers in the plastic takeout container they came in, here's some bad news: Several chemicals in pliable plastic can leach into your food when you heat it, and even if you're diligent enough to transfer the food to a bowl or plate labeled ‘microwave-safe,’ you still may not be protected. By and large, that label means they won't melt or break when heated—but it doesn't mean they're safe …….  To reduce unnecessary risk, experts advise everyone to microwave food in glass or ceramic and replace plastic housewares labeled ‘microwave-safe’ if they have been scratched or if the color has changed. ‘That means a certain area designed not to come in contact with food is coming in contact with food and potentially more chemicals present in that container will migrate into food,’ says Rolf Halden, Director of the Center for Environmental Security at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University.  http://time.com/4229503/plastic-in-microwave-is-it-safe/

Are Teflon Pans Safe?

“Teflon® is a brand name for a man-made chemical known as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). It has been in commercial use since the 1940s. It has a wide variety of uses because it is extremely stable (it doesn’t react with other chemicals) and can provide an almost frictionless surface. Most people are familiar with it as a non-stick coating surface for pans and other cookware. It is also used in many other products, such as fabric protectors …… Other than the possible risk of flu-like symptoms from breathing in fumes from an overheated Teflon-coated pan, there are no known risks to humans from using Teflon-coated cookware. While PFOA is used in making Teflon, it is not present (or is present in extremely small amounts) in Teflon-coated products.”   https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/teflon-and-perfluorooctanoic-acid-pfoa.html

What Happens If My Kid Eats Silica Gel?

“If there's one thing most people know about silica gel, the unseen substance that inhabits those little white packets inserted in new shoe boxes, purses, and Asian snack foods, it's that you're not supposed to eat it. Invariably, the ominous warning ‘do not eat’ is emblazoned across the packet. Often it is accompanied by the edict, ‘throw away.’ In case that's not clear enough, a few varieties depict a skull and crossbones. OK, so, what happens if you eat it? ……. A surprising number of people, especially children, mistake the packets for food. In 2009, some 38,000 people reported ingesting desiccants, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Of those, 34,000 were under the age of six. In most cases, poison control officials simply tell the parents not to worry. But like any other substance, silica gel could conceivably cause problems if eaten in large quantities, especially by small children or adults with neuromuscular problems that make it hard to swallow. The bigger danger, however, is that many children don't just eat the beads; they eat the whole packet. In that case, the hazard isn't poison, it's choking.” http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2011/07/what_happens_if_i_eat_silica_gel.html

Is It Safe To Swim In A River or Lake?

Five signs that a river or lake is not safe to swim in:
1. There’s algae everywhere
2. The current is faster than you can swim
3. There are posted signs near your swimming area
4. You’re near a spot where two rivers merge
5. The water is near a pasture or farmland

How Harmful Are Germs When Swimming?

Any germ can be harmful, but prevention is simple:
----- Don’t swallow the water you are in or on.
-----Don’t swim with open cuts, abrasions, or wounds. Breaks in the skin can let harmful germs into your body.
-----Don’t swim if you have diarrhea.
----- Don’t swim in cloudy water.
-----Be careful about swimming or wading in fresh water in some countries. Infections such as schistosomiasis and leptospirosis are spread by contact with fresh water. These microbes can penetrate your skin, so swallowing water isn’t necessary to cause infection.   https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/safe-swimming-diving

What Can Happen To Me If I Am Struck By Lightning?

1) Deep entry and exit wounds can occur where the lightning strikes the body and then exits the body. 
2) The heat associated with the lightning strike can cause clothing to catch on fire.
3) The force of lightning exiting a person’s foot can easily blow off shoes.
4) The electric discharge of a lightning strike can instantly stop the heart and cause cardiac arrest. 
5) Brain damage and comas can occur if the electric current enters the skull.
Five more effects at:

Can Handling Electronics With Sweaty Hands Kill Me?

“Your body is like a big resistor. Usually, your body’s resistance is high enough to prevent damage when you’re exposed to low voltages. However, certain conditions can lower your body’s resistance, lowering the amount of voltage needed to cause you serious damage, such as giving you a nasty burn. Those conditions might include handling electronics with sweaty palms or trying to change your 12 volt (V) car battery on a rainy day — either can turn a slight tingle into a fatal event  .…… For example, if you have sweaty hands and touch a live wire with one hand while the other hand rests on a metal table, this is a very dangerous situation. Because you have moisture on your hands — which lowers your contact resistance — a higher current will flow through your body for a given voltage. If you have dry hands — one hand touching a live wire, the other hand in your pocket — and your feet on a dry, rubber mat, there’s far less danger from the same amount of voltage because your resistance is higher. However, if a higher voltage comes your way, even with the higher resistance, you could die.”   http://www.dummies.com/programming/electronics/avoiding-electric-shocks/

Are Routine Dental X-Rays Safe?

“A recent report from the National Academy of Sciences concludes that low-doses of radiation from medical and dental X-rays, natural and other manmade sources pose some risk for cancer but that risk is small and shouldn't keep people from seeking care. The American Dental Association recommends that dentists consider exposure risk in diagnosing oral diseases and conditions.

“‘The dentist must weigh the benefits of taking dental radiographs against the risk of exposing a patient to X-rays, the effects of which accumulate from multiple sources over time,’ says the ADA and Food and Drug Administration Guide to Patient Selection for Dental Radiographs. ‘The dentist, knowing the patient's health history and vulnerability to oral disease, is in the best position to make this judgment in the interest of each patient,’ the guidelines say.”

What Are My Chances of Surviving A Gunshot Wound?

“Even so, gunshot victims have a surprisingly high survival rate. Assuming you’re not shot directly in the heart or brain (which has a 9% survival rate), Dr. Vincent J.M. DiMaio, former chief medical examiner in Bexar County, Texas, and author of Gunshot Wounds: Practical Aspects of Firearms, Ballistics, and Forensic Techniques, suggests you have about an 80 to 95% chance of survival (95% chance if you get to the hospital with your heart still beating). Not too shabby! DiMaio found that about 80% of the targets on your body are not fatal areas to be shot, so while the path of a bullet decides your fate, there are plenty of paths that lead to you surviving.”   http://lifehacker.com/what-happens-when-you-get-shot-and-how-to-survive-it-1794896982

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Jerry De Luca is a Christian freelance writer who loves perusing dozens of interesting and informative publications. When he finds any useful info he summarizes it, taking the main points, and creates a (hopefully) helpful blog post.

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