what's the buzz .

what's the buzz .

Candles may contain harmful chemicals

Indoor air quality experts in US have said that scented candles and air fresheners which make our homes smell nice, could contain hundreds of chemicals that are harmful to us.
According to experts at the Oregon Environmental Council, some of those chemicals could have a wide-range of health effects. An example is Portland resident Ashley Henry, who developed asthma last spring, and became hypersensitive to fragrances and other chemicals in her home.

“I was a big fan of scented candles, but I had to eliminate use of those,” she said. “It was a burning sensation.”

According to Jen Coleman at the Oregon Environmental Council, so-called ‘indoor air pollution’ can cause a range of problems.

“Sometimes it can just be a matter of a little bit of a cough and itchy eyes and you don’t know why. That can be an air quality problem,” Jen said.

If smells linger in your house, Jen recommends you avoid masking the smells with fragrance. Instead, try to increase circulation in your home. Many candles and scented products also contain chemicals that companies aren’t required to disclose on the label, and some labels simply list ‘fragrance’ as an ingredient without giving any specifics.

New device to make blood glucose testing easier

ASU engineers and clinicians at Mayo Clinic in Arizona are developing a new type of self-monitoring blood glucose sensor that could help people with diabetes. Many people with diabetes are tasked with the difficulty of managing their blood glucose levels.

It’s recommended that they monitor their own glucose levels, but current monitoring devices typically require patients to perform the painful task of pricking their finger to draw blood for a test sample and many patients must do it several times each day.
The new sensor would enable people to draw tear fluid from their eyes to get a glucose-level test sample.

Glucose in tear fluid may give an indication of glucose levels in the blood as accurately as a test using a blood sample, the researchers said.

“This new technology might encourage patients to check their blood sugars more often, which could lead to better control of their diabetes by a simple touch to the eye,” said Jeffrey T LaBelle, the designer of the device technology.

Inflammation may lead to heart valve disease

A specific inflammatory factor may be important in the development of the heart valve disease aortic stenosis, say researchers. The results suggest that anti-inflammatory medication could be a possible new treatment.

Aortic stenosis is the most common heart valve disease, which is caused by calcium deposits and a narrowing of the aortic valve. This is typically seen in the elderly, but can also be caused by a congenital defect. Aortic stenosis is currently treated by surgical replacement of the diseased valve, but research is on-going for identifying medicines which can delay the progress of the disease.

In a new study, researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden show that specific pathways of inflammation are important underlying factors in the development of aortic stenosis.