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					                                        Strengthening Oklahoma Families
                                               KAY COUNTY         P. O. Box 430, Newkirk, OK 74647
                                                         580-362-3194 FAX 580-362-2268
                               County Website: County Email:

                                                              March 2010

Inside this issue:     Follow food safety guidelines with bagged salad greens
                                             Pounds the news
                          It seems every few months with Small,       Consistent Steps washing salad greens
                                                                       including E. coli, by
Chemicals That       is saturated with concerns about the safety        before using them.
May be Dangerous     of the food consumers buy. Once again                  “This includes those greens that are
                     bagged, prewashed salad greens are                 packaged as ‘prewashed’ or ‘triple
Online Health
Information: Can
                     making news.                                       washed.’ Rinse lettuce just before serving
You Trust It?            This time it is not for a foodborne            because bacteria grow more quickly in
                     illness outbreak, but a study conducted by         greens that are stored wet,” she said. “If
Haiti Earthquake:    national consumer magazine did a study             you need to clean it ahead of time, be sure
FTC Warns
Consumers to
                     to learn the microbial count on packaged           to dry the greens well either in a salad
Give Wisely          greens, said Barbara Brown, Oklahoma               spinner or pat dry with a clean towel.”
                     State University Cooperative Extension                 To clean greens the right way, Brown
Foods for Thought    food specialist.                                   said to start with clean hands. Wash your
Smart Strip Power
                         The study found bacteria that increase         hands for 20 seconds with warm water and
Strip Shuts Off      the risk of illness. In some cases the             soap before handling the greens. In
Juice to Idle        bacteria levels found were very high.              addition, wash out your sink with a
Electronics          Results also varied widely from sample to          sanitizing solution of one teaspoon bleach
Is Popularity
                     sample, from brand to brand, and even              mixed into one quart of water.
Important            from bag to bag of the same brand.                     Wash the greens in a sink full of fresh,
                         The study showed that bags of greens           cool water, swishing with your hands. Lift
                     that were closer to their use-by date              greens from the water and drain in a
                     contained higher levels of bacteria than           colander. Repeat the process with clean
                     those that were further away. The type of          water until no grit remains. Washing with
                     package, whether it is a plastic bag or            soap, detergent, vinegar or produce
                     plastic box, did not make any difference.          washes is not recommended.
                         Researchers at the University of                   Cut away damaged, rusted and wilted
                     Georgia studied E. coli contamination on           pieces, along with those that look slimy.
                     lettuce and learned that the bacteria cells        Dry the lettuces before using in a salad as
                     attach to the surface and inside the holes         dressing will slide off wet leaves. Be sure
                     the various lettuce varieties use to breath.       to store salad in the refrigerator.
                     They also found E. coli cells in higher                “While there’s no absolute way to
                     numbers on cut edges of lettuce pieces             eliminate the risk of foodborne illness
                     and in bruised areas.                              associated with greens, following these
                         Brown said consumers can reduce                few steps can help consumers reduce the
                     their risk of illness from bacteria,               risk of getting sick,” Brown said.

           Poison Prevention Week                           and react with chlorinated products (e.g., bleach) to
                                                            produce deadly chloramines gas.
             March 14-20, 2010                                       Antifreeze is ethylene glycol, that is poisonous
How Toxic Are Your Cleaning Supplies?                       if swallowed. Breathing it can cause dizziness. Drinking
          When consumers buy commercial cleaning            antifreeze can cause serious brain, heart, kidney, and
products, we expect them to do one thing: clean. We         other internal organ damage, or death. Ethylene glycol
use a wide array of scents, soaps,                          has a sweet flavor, so it is attractive to kids and pets.
detergents, bleaching agents,                               Antifreeze typically contains a chemical to make it taste
softeners, scourers, polishes, and                          bad, but the flavor is not always sufficient deterrent.
specialized cleaners for bathrooms,                         The sweet smell is enough to lure pets.
glass, drains and ovens to keep our                                  Household bleach contains sodium
homes sparkling and sweet-smelling. But, while the          hypochlorite, a chemical that can cause irritation and
chemicals in these products make our dishes, bathtubs,      damage to the skin if spilled on it and the respiratory
and countertops gleaming and germ-free, many also           system if inhaled. Never mix bleach with ammonia or
contribute to indoor air pollution, are poisonous if        with toilet bowl cleaners or drain cleaners, as dangerous
ingested, and harmful if inhaled or touched. In fact,       and possibly deadly fumes can be produced.
some cleaners are among the most toxic products found                Drain cleaners typically contain lye (sodium
in the home.                                                hydroxide) or sulfuric acid. Either is capable of causing
          In 2000, cleaning products were responsible for   an extremely serious chemical burn if splashed on the
nearly 10 percent of all toxic exposures report to U.S.     skin. They are toxic to drink. Splashing drain cleaner in
Poison Control Centers, accounting for 206,636 calls.       the eyes can cause blindness.
          Cleaning ingredients vary in the health hazard             Laundry detergents contain a variety of
they pose. Some cause acute, or immediate, hazards,         chemicals. Cationic agents, if ingested, can cause
such as skin or respiratory irritation, watery eyes, or     nausea, vomiting, convulsion, and coma. Non-ionic
chemical burns, while others are associated with chronic,   detergents are irritants. Many people experience
or long-term, effects such as cancer.                       chemical sensitivity to dyes and perfumes present in
          If you have questions, call Oklahoma Poison       some detergents.
Control at (800) 522-4611. To report hazardous                               Mothballs are made either of p-
products, call the Department of Environmental Quality                       dichlorobenzene or naphthalene. Both
at (800) 522-0206                                                            chemicals are toxic and cause dizziness,
          Many common household chemicals are                                headaches, and irritation to the eyes,
dangerous. They may be reasonably safe when used as                          skin, and respiratory system. Prolonged
directed, yet contain toxic chemicals. They may degrade     exposure can lead to liver damage and cataracts.
over time into a more dangerous substance. Here’s a list             Exposure to the hydrocarbons in motor oil can
of some of the most dangerous household                     cause cancer. Many people are unaware that motor oil
chemicals, including ingredients and the                    contains heavy metals that can damage the nervous
nature of the risk.                                         system and other organs.
          Air fresheners may contain any of a number of              The danger from oven cleaner depends on its
dangerous chemicals. Formaldehyde irritates the lungs       composition. Some oven cleaners contain sodium
and mucous membranes, and may cause cancer.                 hydroxide or potassium hydroxide – extremely corrosive
Petroleum distillates are flammable, irritate the eyes,     strong bases. These can be deadly if swallowed. They
skin, and lungs and may cause fatal pulmonary edema in      can cause chemical burns on the skin or in the lungs if
sensitive individuals. Some air fresheners contain p-       the fumes are inhaled.
dichlorobenzene, a toxic irritant. The aerosol                       Wiper fluid is toxic if you drink it, plus some of
propellants used in some products can be flammable and      the poisonous chemicals are absorbed through skin, so it
can cause nervous system damage if inhaled.                 is toxic to touch. Swallowing ethylene glycol can cause
          Rat poisons (rodenticides) are less lethal than   brain, heart, and kidney damage, and possibly death.
they used to be, but remain toxic to people and pets.       Inhalation can cause dizziness. The methanol in wiper
Most rodenticides contain warfarin, a chemical that         fluid can be absorbed through the skin, inhaled, or
causes internal bleeding if ingested.                       ingested, and damages the brain, liver, and kidneys, and
          Ammonia is a volatile compound that can           can cause blindness. The isopropyl alcohol acts as a
irritate the respiratory system and mucous membranes if     central nervous system depressant, causing drowsiness,
inhaled, cause a chemical burn if it is spilled on skin,    unconsciousness, and potentially death.

  Home Cleaning Chemicals and Asthma                          How do I find reliable health information online?

                                                                       As a rule, health websites sponsored by Federal
         We’ve all done it. We’re cleaning the bathroom
                                                              government agencies are good sources of health
with a household cleaner, such as those that contain
                                                              information. You can reach all Federal websites by
bleach, thinking that we’re doing a good thing.
                                                              visiting Large professional organizations
Suddenly, you take a deep breath, accidentally inhale
                                                              and well-known medical schools may also be good
some of the aerosol, and can’t stop coughing. Could this
                                                              sources of health information.
actually lead to asthma?
         Quite possibly so. A study published in 2007         Places To Start
looked at the association between the use of household        An excellent source of reliable information is the
cleaners and the development of asthma. This study,           National Institutes of Health ( You can
which was performed in Europe, included more than             start here to find information on almost every health
3,500 people who frequently used various household            topic, including:
cleaners. None of the people had asthma at the
beginning of the study.                                           •   heart disease (
         For those people who used household cleaners at
least once a week, asthma symptoms occurred 50 percent            •   deafness (
more often than was expected for people without
exposure to these chemicals. When household cleaners              •   dentures (
were used four or more days a week, asthma symptoms
                                                                  •   Alzheimer’s disease
were more than twice as likely to develop.
         The household cleaners most likely to result in
asthma symptoms were glass cleaners, furniture polish,        In addition, you can visit the National Library of
and air fresheners. Only the spray forms of the cleaners      Medicine’s Medline Plus ( for
caused the problems.                                          dependable information on more than 700 health topics.
         The moral of the story? Protect yourself. Read
the labels, especially the warnings. Be very careful          You can also visit
when you use household cleaners. Never mix one with           (—a website with health
another. And keep them safely away from children and          information designed specifically for older people.
                           ~~~                                What questions should I ask?
 Online Information: Can You Trust It?                            As you search online, you are likely to find websites
                                                              for many health agencies and organizations that are not
A group of older adults are gathered for their weekly         well-known. By answering the following questions you
computer class. They are learning to use the Internet to      should be able to find more information about these
find health information. Maria’s husband had a stroke         websites. A lot of these details can be found under the
the month before so she’s searching the web for some          heading, “About Us” or “Contact Us.”
basic facts about stroke rehabilitation. Walter has
questions about what causes Alzheimer’s disease                   1. Who sponsors the website? Can you easily
because he thinks that’s what his mother had. Shirley                identify the sponsor?
and Howard are trying to find out if the cataract surgery            Websites cost money—is the funding source
their eye doctor suggests really is as safe as he says. The          readily apparent? Sometimes the website address
whole group has one big worry—“How can we trust the                  itself may help—for example:
health information we get on the Internet?”
                                                                      .gov identifies a government agency
                There are thousands of health-related                 .edu identifies an educational institution
                websites on the Internet. Some of the                 .org identifies professional organizations (e.g.,
                information on these websites is                      scientific or research societies, advocacy groups)
                reliable. Some is not. Some of the                    .com identifies commercial websites (e.g.,
                information is current. Some is not.                  businesses, pharmaceutical companies,
                Choosing which website to trust is                    sometimes hospitals)
                worth thinking about.

2. Is it obvious how you can reach the sponsor?              6. Is your privacy protected? Does the website
   Trustworthy websites will have contact                       clearly state a privacy policy?
   information for you to use. They often have a                Take time to read the website’s policy—if the
   toll-free telephone number. The website home                 website says something like, “We share
   page should list an e-mail address, phone                    information with companies that can provide
   number, or a mailing address where the sponsor               you with products,” that’s a sign your
   and/or the authors of the information can be                 information isn’t private. Do not give out your
   reached.                                                     Social Security number. If you are asked for
                                                                personal information, be sure to find out how the
                                                                information is being used by contacting the
3. Who wrote the information?
                                                                website sponsor by phone, mail, or the “Contact
   Authors and contributors should be identified.
                                                                Us” feature on the website. Be careful when
   Their affiliation and any financial interest in the
                                                                buying things on the Internet. Websites without
   content should also be clear. Be careful about
                                                                security may not protect your credit card or bank
   testimonials. Personal stories may be helpful,
                                                                account information. Look for information
   but medical advice offered in a case history
                                                                saying that a website has a “secure server”
   should be considered with a healthy dose of
                                                                before purchasing anything online.
   skepticism. There is a big difference between a
   website developed by a person with a financial            7. Does the website make claims that seem too
   interest in a topic versus a website developed               good to be true? Are quick, miraculous cures
   using strong scientific evidence. Reliable health            promised?
   information comes from scientific research that              Be careful of claims that any one remedy will
   has been conducted in government, university,                cure a lot of different illnesses. Be skeptical of
   or private laboratories.                                     sensational writing or dramatic cures. Make sure
                                                                you can find other websites with the same
                                                                information. Don’t be fooled by a long list of
4. Who reviews the information? Does the website
                                                                links—any website can link to another, so no
   have an editorial board?
                                                                endorsement can be implied from a shared link.
   Click on the “About Us” page to see if there is
                                                                Take the “too good to be true” test—information
   an editorial board that checks the information
                                                                that sounds unbelievable probably is
   before putting it online. Find out if the editorial
   board members are experts in the subject you are
   researching. For example, an advisory board           A final note
   made up of attorneys and accountants is not           Use your common sense and good judgment when
   medically authoritative. Some websites have a         evaluating health information online. There are websites
   section called, “About Our Writers” instead of        on nearly every conceivable health topic and no rules
   an editorial policy. Dependable websites will tell    overseeing the quality of the information. Take a deep
   you where the health information came from and        breath and think a bit before acting on any health
   how it has been reviewed.                             information you find on the web. Don’t count on any
                                                         one website. If possible, check with several sources to
5. When was the information written?                     confirm the accuracy of your results. And remember to
   New research findings can make a difference in        talk with your doctor.
   making medically smart choices. So, it’s
   important to find out when the information you
   are reading was written. Look carefully on the
   home page to find out when the website was last
   updated. The date is often found at the bottom of
   the home page. Remember: older information
   isn’t useless. Many websites provide older
   articles so readers can get an historical view of
   the information.

      Haiti Earthquake: FTC Warns                                             Foods for Thought
     Consumers to Give Wisely – Avoid
                                                              What if we could be smarter – just by eating breakfast?
         Fraudulent “Charities”                                        Thinking is a biochemical process. The human
                                                              brain, which is roughly 60 percent fat and uses about 20
In the wake of the devastation caused by the earthquake
                                                              percent of our daily calories, relies on a constant supply
in Haiti, the Federal Trade Commission warns
                                                              of glucose to function efficiently. When glucose levels
consumers to choose carefully when considering appeals
                                                              drop, the symptom is confused thinking. On the other
for aid in the news, online, and at social networking
                                                              hand, high blood sugar is associated with elevated
sites. The best way to provide immediate help is to
                                                              cortisol, a hormone know to impair memory (in high
donate money directly to established national relief
organizations that have the experience and means to
                                                                       Certain foods have been shown to boost
deliver aid.
                                                              alertness, memory and stress resistance, and it is now
                                                              known that mood and mental performance are strongly
The FTC, the nation’s consumer protection agency, has
                                                              affected by B vitamins. Research suggests also that
these tips to help consumers give wisely:
                                                              foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, are necessary for
                                                              optimal brain function.
Donate to recognized charities. Watch out for those
                                                                       Some brain foods are better than others. Here
that have sprung up overnight. They may be well-
                                                              are a few that rank high on most lists of the best-known
meaning, but lack the infrastructure to provide
                                                              brain foods:
assistance. Be wary of charities with names that sound
like familiar or nationally known organizations. Some
                                                                       Eggs. Eggs enhance many “executive” brain
phony charities use names that sound or look like those
                                                              functions. Having a high proportion
of respected, legitimate organizations.
                                                              of nutrients to calories – a
                                                              large egg has 70 calories and
You don’t have to donate to someone who contacts              provides 13 essential nutrients –
you by unsolicited e-mail, phone call, or text message.
                                                              eggs are rich in choline, a fat-like B vitamin. Choline
It’s better to give through a Web site or phone number
                                                              plays an essential role in the development of brain motor
that you know is legitimate.
                                                              functioning and memory. Choline supplementation also
                                                              minimizes fatigue.
Give directly to the charity, not the solicitors for the
                                                                       Coffee. The popular beverage has recently been
charity. Solicitors take a portion of the proceeds to
                                                              found to be the leading source of antioxidants in the
cover their costs, which leaves less for victim assistance.
                                                              average adult American’s diet. Much like its cousin, the
                                                              cacao bean, the coffee bean is loaded with antioxidants,
Do not give out personal or financial information-
                                                              amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Studies have
including your Social Security Number or credit card
                                                              shown that regular coffee consumption may actually
and bank account numbers – to anyone who solicits a
                                                              reduce the risk of mental decline and such brain-related
contribution from you. Scam artists use this information
                                                              diseases as dementia and Alzheimer’s. However,
to commit fraud against you.
                                                              loading that cup of Joe with sugary additives can cancel
                                                              the healthy benefits – and pack on the pounds.
Check out any charities before you donate. Contact the
                                                                       Blueberries. Got the blues because you forgot
Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance at
                                                              where you placed you keys? Compounds in blueberries
                                                              have been proven to reverse short-term memory loss, as
                                                              well as increase the number of cells in the hippocampus
Don’t give or send cash. For security and tax purposes,
                                                              – the part of the brain responsible for memory. Slow on
contribute by check or credit card. Write the official
                                                              the uptake? Blueberries have also been known to
name of the charity on your check. You can contribute
                                                              prevent brain aging; they trigger specific neural
safely online through national charities like
                                                              pathways in the brain to enhance cognition and mental
                                                              processing speed.
Ask for identification if you’re approached in person.
Many states require paid fund-raisers to identify
themselves as such and to name the charity for which
they are soliciting.

                  Fish. Eating fish – especially “oily”        Smart Strip Power Strip Shuts Off Juice
                  fish such as salmon and tuna, both of
                  which are high in omega-3 fatty acids        The Smart Strip power strip is a good investment for
                  fights aging in the brain and                those looking to reduce their electric bill and impact on
                  significantly reduces cognitive decline      the environment.
in older adults. High fish consumption has also been
linked to lowered rates of depression and neurosis, and        Description
helps keep moods stabilized. Many people take fish oil         A surge protector, that turns off power to phantom
supplements, proven to be as effective as actually eating           energy users when they aren't in use
fish.                                                          Available in seven and ten-outlet models, with and
          Spinach. Spinach is, quite literally, brain food,        without fax/modem protection
feeding it vital nutrients and enzymes needed to               Provides 1225 joules of surge protection
strengthen synapses and produce healthy levels of              Features a 45-degree, angled plug for space savings
neurotransmitters. Neurologists recommend eating               Includes a 30-day unconditional return policy and a two-
spinach at least three times a week as brain food.                 year guarantee against defects
However, because this little green genie is one of the         Also includes a lifetime return policy for damage caused
most insecticide-laden veggies in the produce section,             by a power surge
experts now suggest buying organic spinach.
          Additionally, the folic acid found in spinach also      The Smart Strip power strip is indeed smart. Just plug
helps control the amount of water retained by the body         your computer or TV into the first outlet, and all of your
and helps eliminate bloating. Spinach consumption has          related accessories (printer, speakers, VCR, DVD player,
also been linked to preventing dementia in women.              etc.) into the remaining outlets; and the Smart Strip will
          Avocados. Almost as good as blueberries for          automatically disable power to these items when your
enhancing brain health, the                                    computer or TV is turned off – a simple way to eliminate
monounsaturated fat-laden                                      the phantom energy users in your home. Then, turn your
avocado promotes increased                                     computer or TV back on the next time you need it, and
circulation and blood flow.                                    your accessories will turn back on too.
Lower blood pressure levels                                       Since the first outlet on the strip (the control outlet)
benefit the brain and are linked to an increase in             receives constant power, you don't have the hassle of
cognitive abilities and intelligence.                          reprogramming your TV each time you turn it on.
          Other “good” brain foods include yogurt, wheat          Need to maintain power to a DVR or modem? The
germ, walnuts, oatmeal, strawberries, broccoli,                Smart Strip has this covered too. Just plug these items
cantaloupe, cashews, and bananas. Are there “bad”              into the designated "always hot" outlets, and they'll
brain foods? Of course! They include white bread,              receive a constant supply of power just like your
high-sugar drinks, corn syrup, artificial food colors,         computer or TV. This is one surge protector that can be
artificial sweeteners, junk sugars and hydrogenated fats.      customized to your needs, whatever they may be.
          When considering brain foods, it’s good to              The Smart Strip costs more than other surge protectors
remember the old saw, “less is more.” Experts suggest          – expect to pay somewhere between $32 and $43 – and
that brainpower can be optimized through grazing:              is not readily available in stores. If you want one, you'll
eating smaller, more frequent meals, say six 200 – to 300      need to shop online or specialty stores.
– calorie meals over the course of a day.
                                                               Saves electricity by eliminating
                                                                   phantom energy users
                                                               Protects electronics from
March 14, 2010                                                     power surges
 Daylight Savings Time Begins                                  Generous spacing between
 Change your clocks                                            outlets
 Change your batteries                                         Customizable to your needs

March 20, 2010                                                 Cons
 Spring begins!                                                More expensive than other surge protectors
                                                               Not readily available in retail stores

            IS POPULARITY IMPORTANT?                                                                   learning how to get along with other people. Parents are
                                                                                                       encouraged to be watchful, particularly if they notice
                         Building Self-esteem                                                          dramatic changes in their child’s behavior. A prolonged
                                                                                                       silence for a normally talkative child or a desire to spend
        Pay attention to behavior you like to see.                                                     more time alone are examples of behaviors that may be
                    Comment on it.                                                                     cause for concern.
                       Reward it.                                                                               Be positive, yet realistic. Encourage positive
                                                                                                       behaviors – help the child build self-esteem by
                                  Most parents want their                                              strengthening his or her interests and skills. If children
                          children to be well-liked, but                                               can learn to be comfortable with who they are, they will
                          struggle with knowing what to                                                have the foundation that can help them build successful
                          do when their child claims “no                                               relationships.
                          one likes me.” The need for
                          recognition, companionship and
                          acceptance is important during
                          developmental years. Parents
                          can help, but should not do the
                          work for the child.
         In many of today’s neighborhoods, playgrounds
are deserted. While this is an obvious lack of physical
activity, the decreasing importance of play also
decreases a child’s opportunity to learn to give and take;
test leadership and problem solving skills; and practice

This newsletter is printed by the Kay County Cooperative Extension Service Family & Consumer Sciences Program. This is one way of communicating educational information. For
subscriptions contact the local office. Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination and no endorsement are implied. Work in
Agriculture and Rural Development, youth development, family and consumer sciences and related fields.
Oklahoma State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, State and Local Governments cooperating. Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, status as a veteran, age or disability and is an Equal Opportunity Employer. This information was produced at a cost of one cent per
page for a total cost of 7 cents.

Editor, Mary Rhyne, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, 4-H, Kay County

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