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The Health Benefits of Air Mattress Beds

An air mattress bed is an air-filled sleeping pad made out of PVC vinyl plastic. It is an inflatable mattress that can be rolled up into one compact piece, making it very easy to bring along anywhere. Aside from its portability, air beds are more known for the number of health benefits that it offers. So if you want to know what exactly these are, keep on reading and find out.

Comfort

This is perhaps one of the top reasons why many people prefer air mattress beds over the traditional foam or spring beds. Since they are completely filled with air, the mattress can easily conform to the natural shape of your body, allowing you to sleep in the most natural and comfortable positions. Apart from that, most air beds also have knobs that allow you to adjust the pressure so you can easily choose to have softer or firmer mattresses by simply releasing or adding in air.

Relief from Back Pain

One of the major causes of back pains are overly soft or overly hard mattresses. Air mattress beds however, can give back sufferers that much needed relief from this kind of condition. As mentioned before, air mattresses can easily conform to your body's natural curves so you'll never have to sleep in awkward positions that lead to back pains later on. Air mattresses can also provide relief from neck pains, stiff joints and even spinal problems.

Flexibility

Another great thing about an air mattress is it contains different air chambers which can be controlled individually. This is a great feature to have when there are 2 or more people sleeping in the bed. With air mattress beds, you can easily adjust the firmness or softness of different sides of the mattress according to your preference and comfort requirements.

Say Goodbye to Mites and Bed Bugs

Mites and bed bugs normally live around the coil and the foam of mattresses. However, air mattresses are purely supported by air so there is practically place for these insects to live and breed. This way, you can peacefully rest away without bed bugs ever bothering you in your sleep.

Dust-Free

As mentioned before, air mattress beds are mainly made up of PVC vinyl plastic. This kind of material is practically dust-free - a great thing to have for those who have asthma or dust allergies. This also makes the entire mattress very easy to clean and maintain. All you need to do is wipe it with a damp cloth and you should be good to go.

New Self-adjusting Technology

Most of the airbed mattresses today make use of a self-adjusting technology that can evenly distribute pressure all throughout the body when lying down, regardless of body shape and weight. This is a wonderful feature that promotes better and more comfortable sleeping patterns.
Air mattress beds are without a doubt, very beneficial to your health. The provide relief from back and neck pains, create better sleeping habits and promote good over-all health. So if you are planning to buy a mattress anytime soon, this is definitely one of the best choices that you can get from the market today.

 


Bedroom Furniture - Trends For Teenagers

If you're the parent of a teen, you know they're picky, exceptionally picky. If you're about to be the parent of a teen, you are going to need to start preparing yourself for this trait.

Teens are among the pickiest of people as they are trying to find out who they are, define their identity, and rebel against anything their parents want, like or enjoy.

When it comes to picking bedroom furniture for a teen, this can be a nightmare. Understand that no matter what you get, it will likely be wrong. They are going to want to personalize their bedroom furniture to be more like them.

This is not a bad thing. It's just the way things are. The best thing you can do, as a parent, is to choose bedroom furniture that is relatively simple and let them add to it, by dressing up the environment around it.

Note we said the environment around it. Bedroom furniture can be expensive. So, you don't want them to be taking their art supplies to the bedroom furniture pieces.

While it may seem impossible to pin your teen down for a few minutes, you should ask them to look over some of the bedroom furniture options you are considering to see which one they can live with.

Don't expect to go shopping with your teen, as most of them want their parents to only drop them off and pick them up from the store, not to be seen in the store with them. Instead, you should do a little online shopping. This way they can shop with you, without looking corny, at least in their eyes.

When choosing the bedroom furniture pieces, let your teen know they can dress up the room around it, but they need to choose furniture they are going to leave as is. They will appreciate that you did this down the road, as this may well be the bedroom furniture they take when they go off to college and move out. At that time, they won't want their goofy high school decorations anymore.

Remember all the uses of this space. Your teen is not only going to sleep in this room, but pretty much live here. This will be their study area and a place where they will bring friends. It will also be the location of the majority of their at-home teen life. Make sure the pieces of bedroom furniture you choose will be able to help them to accomplish everything they need to do.

If you want to make an easy sale, show them some of the accents that most suit their personality for the rest of the room. Once they can picture what it will look like, in their mind, they will be more likely to go with some of the bedroom furniture pieces you are showing.

Finally, don't question their style. Teens are very protective about their creative thoughts and ideas. You should be supportive of these thoughts, even if they are foreign to you.

 


How Organic Cotton Linens Can Offer You A Better Nights Sleep

If you have been experiencing a lot of trouble getting a good night of sleep, did you ever stop to wonder whether or not it might have anything to do with the sheets that you have on your bed? This might be a little confusing at first, as some believe that sheets are sheets and that they could in no way affect the amount of sleep that you could get or the quality of that sleep. However, there is a lot of new information out there that is stating otherwise. Believe it or not, organic cotton linens are the way to go. Sure, you might have tried the bedsheets that are 100% cotton, but if they are not bedroom linens that are completely organic, you are still missing out.

Once you start reviewing the opinions of others regarding organic cotton linens, you might find that there will be some people out there complaining that the organic cotton linens are incredibly hard to get the wrinkles out of. The fact of the matter is that yes, even once out of the dryer, these are sheets that are going to be wrinkled and you really will not be able to fit them on the bed properly without getting those wrinkles out first. However, they are exceptionally easy to iron and you will find that the effort is well worth it.

So why are the bedroom linens made from organic material much better than the 100% cotton sheets? Many people assume that these are one in the same, even though they are not. With the organic bed linens, you are going to find that absolutely no chemicals were used in the growing of the cotton or the processing of it. You might not think so, but many have found that the bedroom linens that were made without chemicals allowed them to breathe better at night.

You will also find that the organic cotton linens are simply so much more comfortable to lay on and since you spend a good majority of your time, over the course of your entire life, in your bed, you are going to want to make sure that you are doing everything possible to get the best bed sheets for your money. These sheets may be a little difficult to find in your local department store so you might have no other choice than to shop online for them. Over time though, there is little doubt that more and more retailers will start to carry the organic cotton linens as they grow in popularity.

So what are you waiting for? If you are finally to a point where you want to make sure that you are getting the best sleep possible, then it is time to find yourself the best possible deals on organic cotton linens.

 


What you need to know about car price depreciation

When you come to buy a new car, there are of course many different things you'll need to give careful consideration to. Obviously, price is one of the most important considerations of all - especially at a time when so many of us are struggling to keep on top of our finances. Household incomes are being squeezed by a combination of wage stagnation and steadily rising living costs, and there seems to be no end in sight. You might think, in the circumstances, that buying a new car at this stage might be a bit of an extravagance. However, there are genuinely outstanding deals out there provided you know where to look.

It might well be tempting to splash out on a new car, but it could well be the wrong option for you. The most important thing you need to remember when buying a vehicle is that new cars have a tendency to lose value rapidly, particularly within the first few years of their lifespan. In fact, new cars have been known to lose as much as a third of their value within two or three years. This could mean that if you find yourself having to sell a relatively new car earlier than you might have expected, you may have no choice but to accept a considerable loss on what you originally paid for it. This could leave you out of pocket to the tune of several thousand pounds - which few of us can afford at the present juncture.

This is why you may want to think about buying a pre-owned vehicle instead. While car price depreciation works to the disadvantage of owners, it works to the advantage of owners - so provided you shop around, you should be able to find three or four-year-old cars available for genuine bargain prices. There are countless motorists who keep falling into the trap of buying new cars and then find that they have to sell them for far less than they originally paid. Take a look online, in the classified sections of newspapers or at used car dealerships to get a better idea of just what deals are out there.

You should also think about just what you want to use your car for before you start searching. If you only intend to use it for relatively short commutes, then your best bet may be to simply opt for a small runaround to get you from A to B - it hardly seems worth investing in a 4x4 or a sports car for the purpose, for instance. This should help you narrow down your search, saving you time and effort.

 


SUV Rollovers Pose Serious Auto Accident Risks

The sport utility vehicle (SUV) has the highest rate of death in rollover accidents. According to government tests, SUV rollovers are almost three times more likely to occur than in the average passenger car, and the most stable SUV is still more unstable than the most unstable car. In 2002, nearly 11,000 people died in rollover accidents, 61 percent of which occurred in SUVs.

With the number of people killed in SUV rollovers increasing by 14 percent per year, consumers should be aware of the risks SUVs pose to their families. Even more alarming than the rising rollover statistics is the withholding of rollover information by the government and auto manufacturers.

Sobering Statistics

Though the number of SUV rollover fatalities continues to escalate, but SUVs are not being manufactured to better resist rollover crashes. Not a single SUV earned the federal agency's highest safety rating, according to an NHTSA report in 2003. However, SUV consumption has increased: SUV popularity created a large increase in sales in the 1990s, and because of high consumer demand for these cars, car makers continue to manufacture SUVs. Because the vehicle has changed from simply being an off-road vehicle to a replacement for the family station wagon, manufacturers removed the roll bar that protects drivers and passengers in a rollover situation from SUVs.

Many SUV rollover accidents occur because of the unusual propensity the large car has to roll over when steered hard in foreseeable accident avoidance maneuvers. Also, the size and height of an SUV may increase the danger of rollovers. SUV defects, like weak roofs and safety restraint system failures, are some of the heightened risks involved in an SUV rollover situation. Roof Crush Injury

Roof crush injury is most often the result of rollover automobile accidents. Roof crush injuries kill 10,000 people every year. Vehicle design is supposed to depend on a structural support system that creates a "survival space" that protects car occupants in a crash from injury due to roof crush. When a vehicle does not have the proper roof pillar strength, it will cause the roof to cave into the passenger compartment during an accident. A weak roof makes a vehicle defective, and roof crushes can cause serious and fatal injuries, including disabling brain and spinal injuries.

Safe Roof Designs

Safe roof structure designs have been documented from as early as the 1930s. Vehicles with the safety features mentioned above would reduce the number of roof crush accidents. Despite the availability of safer designs and structures, manufacturers claim it is the force of the impact that leads to injuries and death, notwithstanding the fact that the relationship between rollover crashes and injuries from roof crush was observed and noted as early as 1932.

Safe roofs are equipped with strong roof pillars and full-length closed sections, windshield headers and side sections, internal baffle plates, strong tubular cross-members, and reinforcing gussets at the connections. Some use rigid foam within the tubular cross-members to help strengthen the structure. These different safety precautions can significantly minimize the fatal results of roof crush.

Roof Crush and Rollover

Roof crush injury risks are higher in vehicles with a greater propensity to roll over. Because they are taller and narrower, SUVs, or sports utility vehicles, are three times more likely to roll over in an accident than are other passenger cars. In 1973, the government passed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 216, creating a standard roof strength test to measure the integrity of roof structure in motor vehicles. This test was to apply to motor vehicles weighing six thousand pounds or less. Many SUVs weigh more than this, and are therefore exempt from compulsory safety standards that may be crucial to preventing roof crush injury. In light of SUV roof crush injury risks, consumer advocacy groups have urged the federal government to modify standards so that they include any vehicle weighing ten thousand pounds or less.

Roof pillars appear strong to the average consumer, but most of them consist of just sheet metal that is hollow on the inside at the cross sections. When an accident occurs involving roof structures with a filled inner space, the outcome has been shown to be safer due to a lesser amount of roof crush.

Pillars filled with high-density foam can reduce the severity of a roof crush significantly, saving lives and reducing serious injuries. Overall, federal safety standards fail to provide roof strength requirements that adequately protect people from suffering roof crush injury in a rollover automobile accident. Despite federal standards, many vehicle roofs will easily crush a foot or more during a rollover accident. More stringent testing standards and minimum industry safety standards must be employed if the government hopes to adequately protect people from sustaining serious roof crush injury in automobile accidents.

If You've Been Injured in an SUV Accident

Though rollover accidents are regarded as highly survivable events, the integrity of a vehicle's roof structure during impact is crucial. Windshield reinforcement is a critical component of vehicle design: when a windshield is destroyed in the course of an accident, the strength of the roof is instantly reduced by 33 percent. As a result, roof crush injuries are often extremely serious. Common roof crush injuries include neck fractures and other spinal injuries. Sometimes a brain injury may result from the roof crushing in on the vehicle occupant. These head and neck injuries can also cause paraplegia, quadriplegia, or other life-altering conditions.

If you have suffered injury due to a roof crush car crash, you may be eligible for monetary compensation due to faulty automobile design. Contact an experienced crashworthiness attorney as soon as possible. Your crashworthiness lawyer will help you assess your claim, file a law suit, and get the compensation you deserve.

 


Making the Power Tool Battery Decision: NiMH vs. NiCad vs. Li-Ion

If you've ever wondered about the difference between NiMH vs. NiCad vs. LiIon you're not alone - there are thousands of DIY home improvement types out there wondering the same thing as you, and wondering how to make the best decisions for their next power tool purchase.

Here's a question you may be asking yourself: "What is the difference between NiMH and NiCd. How do Lithium Ion batteries work compared to the others?"

To tackle this question we have to look at the criteria for making the power tool battery decision. And then bring Lithium Ion into the equation to round out the choices when you're next making a power tool purchase decision.

Read closely - your power as a consumer lies in your understanding of the products available!

Criteria for Making Your Power Tool Battery Decision
According to Building a Better Power-Tool Battery you should be looking at a battery's run time, life cycle, volts and amp-hour rating.

Run Time:
Quite simply run time is the amount of work a tool can do before its charge runs out.

Life Cycle:
Life cycle is how many times the battery can be recharged during its life time.

Volts (Power):
Volts will determine work output of the tool. John Sara, cordless product manager for Milwaukee Electric Tool, says "Individuals currently using a 18-volt NiCad battery, should see 2 - 21/2 times more work output from a V28."

Amp-Hour Rating
The higher the Amp-Hour rating the longer the battery lasts - be aware that power tool batteries of the same voltage will often have different Amp-Hour ratings.

NiMH vs. NiCad vs. Li Ion: Picking What's Right for You

Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) Batteries:
I don't think I could define it better than wiki pedia: 'A nickel metal hydride battery, abbreviated NiMH, is a type of rechargeable battery similar to a nickel-cadmium (NiCd) battery but has a hydrogen-absorbing alloy for the anode instead of cadmium. Like in NiCd batteries, nickel is the cathode.'

Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) advantages:
-- lighter than NiCad
-- 2-3X capacity to equal size NiCad

Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) disadvantages:
-- fewer life cycles compared to NiCad
-- shorter run time
-- performs the worst in cold temperatures, so keep that in mind if you plan to use tools powered by NiMH outdoors in cold weather
-- higher self-discharge level than NiCad
-- voltage drop at near-discharged levels

Nickel cadmium (NiCd) Batteries:
According to Wiki pedia: the 'nickel-cadmium battery (commonly abbreviated NiCd and pronounced 'nye-cad') is a popular type of rechargeable battery for portable electronics and toys using the metals nickel (Ni) and cadmium (Cd) as the active chemicals.'

Nickel cadmium (NiCad) advantages:
-- longer life cycles
-- performs in cold temperatures (perform well to 20F)
-- lower self-discharge level than NiMH
-- no voltage drop at near discharged levels

Nickel cadmium (NiCad) disadvantages:
-- Heavy, making it harder to use for longer periods of time
-- May suffer from 'Memory Effect' or 'False Bottom Effect' if constantly discharged half-way and then recharged (wiki pedia)

The Lithium ion (Li-Ion) Battery:
The new comer to power tool batteries, Lithium Ion are hot because they have 'one of the best energy-to-weight ratios, no memory effect and a slow loss of charge when not in use,' according to Wiki pedia.

Lithium ion (Li-Ion) advantages:
-- High performance in cold weather - to 0F - great for winter outdoor use
-- Light weight. You can lift tools powered by Lithium Ion over your head all day.
-- Increased life cycles over NiCad and NiMH, so it keeps going past other batteries
-- more rapid charge times that get you back on the job more quickly

Lithium ion (Li-Ion) disadvantages:
-- less tested than other battery formats - in early stages of development
-- has a shelf life based on life of battery, not related to charge or charge time
-- can sometimes erupt or explode in high heat - hot cars, direct sunlight, etc, or sometimes after tampering. a more dangerous battery than the others
-- permanent damage to battery if stored at too-low discharge level, so be careful and keep these charged well

What battery is right for your power tool decision? Clearly there are many different options, and many different pluses and minuses for each battery type. That's why it's imperative that you come to your purchase prepared with knowledge that will help you make the right decision for your situation.

Plus you are certain to impress the guys at the big box tool depot when you display your knowledge about the different types of batteries and their different merits.

Now you know what to look for - life cycles, run time, volts and Amp-Hours and you know the three major battery types. I hope that with that information you'll be better equipped to make the decision between a NiCD, NiMH or Li-Ion battery!

 


5 Tips For Buying Jewelry Online

While jewelry sales at brick-and-mortar locations far outnumber online jewelry purchases, the trend for online jewelry shopping is quickly gaining popularity. Purchasing jewelry online offers may advantages, the biggest being saving a ton of money. While the reward increases, the risk increases as well. When purchasing diamond jewelry online you should feel safe and secure about the retailer you're purchasing with and the transaction security. There are simple precautions you can take to safeguard yourself against not-so-honest online retailers and ensure you get exactly what you paid for. Below are 5 simple methods to ensure a safe experience when buying diamond jewelry online:

1- Know the exact details of the item you are purchasing. Many online jewelry retailers do not provide all the necessary information about the product they are selling. Factors such as Total Carat Weight, Diamond Color and Clarity, the number of diamonds included in the item, the quality of gold or metal, etc. should all be clearly identified. If you are missing just one of these pieces of information, you may not end up with the item you believe you are purchasing.

2- Always check the return policy. Even if you have all the specifications of the item and are quite confident it is exactly what you want, you should always have the option to return it. Be sure to examine the Return Policy closely and ensure you can return the item even if you just don't like it. Some online retailers only allow returns if the item is damaged, some charge a restocking fee and many online retailers will only provide 5-7 days to return the ring. The optimal policy will allow you to return the item within 30 days with no questions asked.

3- Does the company offer any type of warranty? What happens if a diamond falls out 2 days after you receive the jewelry? It is then most likely a manufacturer's defect and you should not be held responsible to repair it. Make sure the company offers some sort of free protection plan or warranty to cover manufacturer's defects.

4- Is the online retailer a member of the Better Business Bureau? Don't just assume they are if they show the seal! A 1 minute online inquiry with the BBB will show if the company is an accredited member and if they've received any complaints within the last 12 months. Also look to see if the company belongs to any industry organizations. Any reputable jewelry retailer will have membership to jewelry organizations.

5- Is the site secure? Make sure the site uses SSL encryption software and has a privacy policy in tact. They should state clearly that they do not share or sell your personal information with any outside sources. If they don't state the security features prominently, most likely it's because they don't have it!

Purchasing jewelry online can save you a lot of money and afford you a beautiful piece of jewelry. Be cautious and follow the above practices and you should have a safe online shopping experience!

 


School Vending Machines, Choice Versus Regulation

So much emphasis today is about portion control versus value. These seem to be the most fraught battles festering between folks interested in making legislation to fight obesity and folks afraid that regulating large food corporations is just step one towards a nanny state of restricted choices for citizens. Still, on either side of the argument there seems to be some agreement to basics on both sides of the debate. No one for example is looking to take away school vending machines all together. Instead the emphasis is generally on what said vending machines should stock and how large those items should be.

Recently when New York mayor Michael Bloomberg started talking up a wide spread ban on extra large sodas people had a bit of a tizzy. Some worried that this was the first step towards making the full scale banning of sugary drinks and snacks justifiable and legal. Still others thought that the law would only be a band-aid on a nationwide health wound that was becoming worse and worse each day. In this debate school vending machines were not even brought up. While over the past several years school districts through out the country have begun to close budget gaps with snack and soda vending in schools the specter of a tightening on these machines availability or at least what they offer has grown along with their popularity.

Luckily for the vending machine manufacturers of the world soda and candy companies seem eager to comply prior to being reined in by legislation. Soft drink companies have taken to reducing the sizes of their servings and offering more and more low calorie options. The candy and chip companies seem willing to play ball in these areas as well. Should all of those efforts fail though the folks working on and stocking vending machines will likely shift their businesses to all health conscious options. As time marches on it seems in spite of the push and pull of the debate that it will become less and less common to see piles of sugary candy and sodas in vending machines.

Of course this does nothing to address the actual problems that a lack of personal restraint can cause. This is why it is perhaps more important to teach children how to wisely use snack vending machines as opposed to simply cutting them off from these options. Either way the debate about our collective health and our ability to make decisions rages on.

 


Living Green

In these times of economic crisis and concerns over climate change and global warming, our thoughts are turning more towards reducing our ecological footprint to a more sustainable living, simply put, living green.

Sustainable living goals can be said to have begun back in 1954, with the Helen and Scott Nearing publication, "Living the Good Life" opening the way to the "back to the roots" movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Whereas the early pioneers of green living advocated a simpler lifestyle, with reduced dependence on luxurious home comforts, modern technology, for all its faults, has enabled green living without the necessity to drastically change our lifestyle. We can, as it were, have our cake and eat it too.

We can achieve green living in many ways. Storing rainwater, using solar powered water heaters and investing in composting toilets can have a significant effect on our water usage. Even the simple trick of placing a brick or weighted plastic bottle in the toilet cistern can reduce the amount of water used when flushing by as much as 70%.

We can purchase green bedding, towels and washcloths. These days there are many household products developed using sustainable and renewable resources, such as organic cleaning materials. There are even organic cosmetics available. We can use more eco-friendly methods to heat our homes, such as geothermal heat sources and insulate our homes more to reduce the energy losses from the heat we do produce.

We also have a plethora of green appliances and fittings available for our homes, low energy light bulbs, more efficient freezers, stoves, dishwashers, refrigerators and LED or LCD flat TV screens. When you need to upgrade that out-dated home appliance, check out the Energy Star ratings before you buy. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awards Energy Stars to new appliances that are at least 10 - 15% more efficient than the minimum federal standard.

If you have a small plot of land, or even a balcony, you can consider growing some of your own food. Herbs and many vegetables don't need a lot of space to grow and your summer excesses can be dried, bottled or frozen for use throughout the year.

But despite all these advances, we should not be complacent. There are still a number of areas that can be improved. We can and should demand less unnecessary packaging for the goods that we do buy, and we can try to reduce waste as much as possible by cancelling junk mail, through composting food wastes or recycling goods that have reached the end of their lives. Remember the three 'R's, reuse, reduce and recycle.

 


The facts surrounding Payment Protection Insurance

Payment Protection Insurance is also known as credit insurance or loan repayment insurance. It is sold along with loans and overdrafts by banks and credit companies. It covers a variety of different types of loan such as car loans, mortgages and credit cards. It is a kind of insurance which will cover the consumer in the case of the loss of a job, illness, disability, death or any other circumstance which would mean that the borrower was unable to earn in order to repay their debt. It usually covers the consumer for a period of 12 months and after this they will need to find their own means of repaying the debt.

It has recently emerged that there has been a huge amount of Payment Protection Insurance policies which were fraudulently sold to people. The payment protection insurance tended to bring in far more capital for the credit companies and banks than the actual interest from the loans themselves.

Credit companies and banks often sell the product at the same time as the overdraft or loan and often only specified in the sales script that the loan was "protected". They failed to mention anything about what the insurance was or how much it was going to cost a consumer. For this reason many consumers were totally unaware that they even had this type of insurance. If customers did ever ask any questions about the insurance some companies even falsely stated that it would improve people's chances of getting the loan or that it was compulsory to get it.

In April 2011 it was decided in court that the allegations of the mis-selling of payment protection insurance were correct and many large companies were fined huge amounts of money.
These companies include Alliance and Leicester, Capital One, Egg and HFC.

There are also a number of new rules which have been set up which credit companies and banks must now abide by when selling Payment Protection Insurance. A quote and information about the policy must be given to the consumer. It is no longer legal to try and sell the policy at the same time as the setting up of the loan or overdraft.

There are now a number of different companies which have formed in reaction to this which offer advice and help in making a claim with regards to mis-sold PPI. These companies usually work on a no win no fee basis. They will do all the work involved in order for you to regain any mis-sold PPI payments which you made.

 


Not All Safety Vests Are The Same

If your job requires you to do any kind of work outside in areas where there might be motorized traffic or other hazards, wearing a safety vest is an absolute must. If your employer doesn't provide one for you, how do you know which kind is right for your situation? Here is a description of the different kinds of safety vests available on the market today and the appropriate contexts for their use.

Most safety vests are made from highly durable polyester mesh or water-resistant nylon. They are not designed to provide any kind of protection from the heat or cold: they are strictly meant to help the wearer be seen. All safety vests are reflective, of course, but that degree of reflection varies depending on which "class" the vest falls under. The higher the number of reflective tapes a vest displays, and the broader the width of those tapes, the higher the designated class it is intended for.

-- Class 1: Class 1 vests are appropriate in environments where the worker retains a large degree of control over his surroundings such as on a loading dock, in a parking lot, or in a warehouse. In these kinds of settings, motorized vehicles are at a minimum or are traveling at low rates of speed. Also, the worker himself is in a position to keep an eye on traffic and is not so absorbed in his tasks that he can't look out for his own safety.

A valet driver is a perfect example of someone who would wear a Class 1 vest: he is usually located at curb side near to slow-moving parking lot traffic, and he is occasionally walking in the parking area itself.

-- Class 2: Class 2 vests should be worn by those who need to work near traffic going around 25 miles per hour or less, such as in a residential neighborhood. Utility workers doing sewer work on a residential street are perfect candidates for Class 2 vests. They are at higher risk than Class 1 workers because of the potential speed and proximity of traffic and may be too absorbed in their duties and tasks to pay close attention to what is going on around them.

-- Class 3: These vests are most similar to Class 2, but have the maximum amount of reflective properties available in a vest. Workers who wear these vests generally work in areas where nearby traffic travels at speeds exceeding 50 miles an hour, such as on a freeway. Utility workers and highway construction or repair crews are the most likely wearers of Class 3 vests. They need to be easily visible in snowy and rainy conditions and need to be instantly recognizable when they come within headlight range.

Even athletes such as bikers and runners should wear some type of reflective vest if they choose to travel the busy streets: it's all about staying safe.

 


Product Recall Statistics: An FAQ For Manufacturers

Manufacturers of consumer products selling into the U.S. market are aware of the potentially dangerous and costly consequences when their products contain a major design flaw or manufacturing defect. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Web site indicates that there is indeed reason for caution on the part of all manufacturers: deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the U.S. more than $700 billion each year.

The CPSC's "November 2007 Recalls and Product Safety News" report indicates a wide range of recent recalls that were enacted in order to protect consumers from potential dangers ranging from lead-based paint in toys to collapsing furniture.

Here is an FAQ for those manufacturers who are currently considering a product recall or who operate in industries that face a high degree of risk of product recall-related incidents.

FAQ #1: Which types of consumer products are experiencing highest incidence of recalls?

A: According to an analysis of the "November 2007 Recalls and Product Safety News" report available on the CPSC Web site, 36% of recalls in that month involved baby goods or toys. Following close behind were products in the following categories: jewelry/costume jewelry (13%), electronics/electrical products (13%), furniture (9%), and machines/vehicles (6%). Other product categories represented among the multiple recall campaigns mediated by the CPSC in November include clothing, decorations, outdoor/sporting goods, school supplies, paper goods, storage racks and tools.

FAQ #2: What are the most prevalent potential dangers related to recent recalls?

A: The recalls in the aforementioned November report were implemented in order to avoid a number of potential public and consumer health hazards as indicated by the CPSC. By far the most prevalent potential hazard among recent recalls was that of the presence of lead in the recalled products (47%). Other potential hazards include the risk of fire (19%), collapse/bodily injury (11%), choking (6%), lacerations/cuts (6%), strangulation/suffocation (6%), and electric shock (4%).

FAQ #3: What events typically lead up to a product recall?

A: A product recall can come about in two primary ways. The first is the result of multiple consumer-originated complaints to the CPSC or other government organizations about the same product. (Such complaints can be directed by consumers directly to the CPSC Web site). The second is when proactive or cautious manufacturers or distributors of a given product suspect a defect or flaw and decide to error on the side of caution by instituting their own recall campaign. Either way, the CPSC ultimately gets involved with all consumer product recalls - provided that the product in question is one of the 15,000 product types that falls under the CPSC's domain.

FAQ #4: How should my company determine whether we should issue a recall?

A: The determination as to whether your firm should issue a product recall should depend upon a number of factors, both internal and external to your company. Often, multiple dimensions are to be taken into account when considering whether to issue a campaign. Legal, financial, ethical, technical and political factors are all involved. If you are facing a potential product recall situation and would like to find out more, visit the Business section of the CPSC Web site for information about regulations and industry guidance.

FAQ #5: What are the options available to me to get the message out to consumers and distributors in the event of a recall?

A: The very nature of most product recall situations is one of urgency. Companies have a number of options available to them in getting the word out to affected parties, including direct mail, press releases, e-mail and telephone-based campaigns. The fastest-to-implement media for conducting recalls messaging campaigns are telephone and e-mail-based campaigns. However, telephone-based campaigns are likely the most realistic to implement, given that the typical company's customer database often lacks e-mail addresses for many consumers, while telephone number data is readily available for most or all consumers.

Facing a product recall situation is something that every manufacturer or distributor would like to avoid. However, given that most consumer product categories are potentially at risk for a recall - and given the public health dangers at stake - the decision to implement a campaign is often the least-costly and most ethical choice. If your company is facing a recall situation, it is important to make quick, accurate judgments about whom to contact and how to determine the content of the recall message that consumers will hear. From that point forward, choose a medium for your messaging campaign based upon the following factors: time-to-launch, chances of reaching the highest percentage of affected consumers, operational flexibility, and cost.

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Web Site

 


The advantages of LED strip lights at Christmas

Getting your home ready for the festive period? Want to decorate the inside and out of the property with twinkling, blinking lights? Fancy being a bit more eco-conscious this year by using Led strip lights instead of traditional fairy lights? Led strip lights look just as impressive but they're so much kinder to the environment. Consider Led strip lights from a supplier of led downlights they look lovely and have a number of distinctive advantages over traditional types of fairy lights. Get in the festive spirit with a selection of Led strip lights this year and see what a difference these environmentally friendly types of lights make to your home.

Reduce energy with Led strip lights

Switch on a set of fairly lights and they'll blaze away burning a huge hole in your energy bill. Plug in a set of Led strip lights and they'll lower your energy consumption thanks to their wonderful green credentials. Led strip lights and led downlights use less electricity than standard types of lighting. They still come in a range of colours, just like fairly lights, they're just a lot kinder to the planet. You can plug Led strip lights in knowing you're doing your bit for the planet by lowering your carbon footprint. Led strip lights look lovely and they're the perfect product for putting you in the mood for Christmas thanks to their vibrant, colourful displays.

Great for indoors or out

Drape Led strip lights along your staircase, hang them in your hallway, decorate the outside of your home with the lights or place them in conifers or other bushes in your garden. The versatility of Led strip lights make them suitable for a host of indoor and outdoor uses, especially when waterproof varieties are bought through a supplier of led downlights and other led products. Really go to town this Christmas with a selection of Led strip lights and buy different colours for various parts of your home. Due to the long lasting and hard wearing nature of Led strip lights you'll be able to enjoy their colourful displays on countless Christmases in the future.

 


What are the consequences of not having secure payment solutions?

These days the majority the retailers will also have a website or online section of their enterprise. More and more people are starting to do their shopping online, as it has lots of benefits over heading to the high street, whether it's to buy clothes, food or other items.

However, it is important for these enterprises to bear in mind that there are some key things to remember when establishing an online presence. It is not as simple as putting pictures of their products online and then getting people to buy them. They have to do things properly if they want to attract customers and ensure they return with repeat business.

One of the most important things to remember is that secure online payment methods are an essential aspect of running an online enterprise. Without them, the whole system would not work and customers would be left very disappointed and potentially in a lot of financial trouble.

Over the past few years, a growing number of people have found themselves in a situation where their bank details have been stolen and the money has been taken from their account. It is becoming increasingly easy for criminals to do this, because so many people are buying things online and giving out their credit and debit card details.

This is a problem for businesses because it could have some very serious consequences, including a serious loss of business. If a consumer purchases a product from them and their bank details are stolen because the website does not have secure payment solutions in place then it is very unlikely that customer will return. What is more, they are bound to tell their friends and family about the experience they had, which means they will never trust the company either. Not only is the firm losing business from the consumer who suffered, but it is potentially losing a lot more as well.

In the current economic climate this could be a serious issue and just one security breach could make all the difference. This is why it is so important to have secure payment solutions included as part of the website set-up. Although this will be at an initial cost, it will be well worth it further down the line when customers are happy at the way their money is handled whenever they make a transaction. Over all, this is the best thing for both the retailer and their consumers.

 


What Is Herbal Skin Care?

Skin care is not a modern idea, it has been around for thousands of years. The big distinction is that we have changed from traditional herbal skin care to synthetic or chemical based products over the last one hundred years.

Why we abandoned traditional herbal skin care is not completely clear, in fact there may be several reasons. A hundred years ago, people were fascinated by the sciences. They were seen as modern, a break-through, the saviour of mankind's health, an emergence from darkness and old-fashioned ways, despite the fact that a deficiency of regulation led to thousands of sham claims for wonder drugs, lotions and potions.

Another reason could be that millions of people moved from the countryside, where they could collect herbs and spices while they were out labouring in the fields, to the city, where they had to work eight to ten hours a day in a factory and no longer had the chance to make their own herbal skin care products.

These days there is a shift back to herbal skin care products. Some people make their own herbal skin care products and others delude themselves by buying chemical skin care products with wording such as 'with added lemon' in a half-hearted attempt to 'go herbal'.

Commercial herbal products have to have a long self life because they are normally made hundreds of miles away from where they are sold. In order to accomplish this, they have to contain preservatives and this lowers the effectiveness of the preparation. The unfortunate fact is that, despite a growing public interest in herbal skin care, people are reluctant to make their own, so they continue to buy commercial, chemical, skin care merchandise.

So, if you would like to learn more about making your own herbal skin care products, where do you start?

Aloe Vera - is a succulent, a hot climate plant that grows widely around the world. It can be used by snapping a leaf and rubbing the juice straight onto cuts, bruises, burns and dry skin. In Thailand, where aloe vera grows wild everywhere, people also use it for bites and stings and practically any skin trouble.

Banana and Avocado - are well-known for their skin care quality. They are good for moisturizing dry skin.

Dandelion, chamomile, rosemary and lime flowers can be utilized as skin cleansers. Make an infusion with boiling water and apply with a flannel.

Lavender, marigold, thyme and fennel are strong antiseptics. Again soak in boiling water and apply with cotton wool.

Lavender water and rose water are superb skin toners.

Herbal skin care products can be manufactured very easily at home, but people are sceptical because we have been trained, brainwashed, to buy commercial products by hundreds of billions of dollars of advertising over the last one hundred years - that is four generations. That sort of influence will be hard to shift, but you can make your own herbal skin care products and you should try at least one.

So, pick a form of herbal skin care that you would like to test and switch to making your own from a recipe that you can find on the Internet. If that works, and why should it not, then you can try another herbal skin care product.

 


Natural Face Lifts - Is There Such A Thing?

Which woman wouldn't give anything to halt the hands of time moving on when it came to her face? Or better still, to reverse the ravages of time? Let's face it, as we age, our fight with gravity is one long losing battle and the sagging slowly appears, dragging our spirits down with it.

That's the time it hits us - why can't we do something about it? Unless we are in the entertainment business or in the public eye, most women just dreamed about it and then let it go. Not so anymore. There seems to be a trend emerging as the older women refuse to let their faces and their bodies age. Suddenly they are fighting back and managing to really turn back the clock. There are two courses open to a woman when it comes to her face - should she go under the knife or not? The problem is that surgery comes with its own ensuing problems. The great news? The option - facelifts without surgery are viable and what's more, there are options! What they promise is this: bringing back the elasticity to the face, erasing wrinkles and fine lines, removing scars and lifting sagging muscles.

Let's take a look at the many routes open to someone who is looking at non-surgical face lifts. Acupuncture is one way to go. They stick needles and pins into you and promise you a young, firm visage. Does it work? Well it's safe and reasonable as far as price goes but the effects do not last very long.

Some beauticians also promise a face lift with masks and peels. Very popular today are the TCA peels which have shown promising results. And it is also effective in a whole host of other skin problems like spots and lines.

A 'quickie' would be the laser face lift where a mild dose of laser rays sees your lines and wrinkles banished. The laser works to get your collagen going and soon you have plumper, firmer skin. You might go a little red in the skin but that's just for an hour or two.

The latest to hit the market is the Thermage face lift. Yes, it does involve anesthesia, takes an hour in all and you're out without any scars or bandages. The method used is radio frequency waves and is guaranteed to give you great results. The only way you can't have it done is if you have a pacemaker.

Yet another method is the Microcurrent face lift. This gets the body's chemical processes going at a cellular level and makes you look and feel young again. It is just a one-hour's treatment and uses a mild current which could leave your face tingling for a while, but other than that, you won't feel a thing!

Are face lifts without surgery the way of the future? Suddenly, it has opened the doors to a younger looking face to hordes of women. Why, many of them will probably go and get it done during a lunch break. No checking into hospital, no being cut up, no bandages. It really is a freedom trail for women who want to look and feel young.

 


Corporate social responsibility - a challenge to business

Recent years have seen a real surge in consumer awareness, with the economic downturn prompting a wide-ranging debate on the ethics of the current system. Perhaps frustrated by the lack of response from politicians, consumer activism has become an increasingly important force in civil society, putting pressure on businesses to reconsider their actions across a wide range of areas - including labour practices in developing countries and environmental issues. The rise of consumer activism is a relatively recent phenomenon and has forced firms to give more consideration to ethics - something that many argue was in relatively short supply in the years preceding the global financial crisis of 2008.

While it might have the ring of a buzzword to it, corporate social responsibility is an increasingly important consideration for many businesses. In previous years, consumers' input in the world of business had been largely limited to price signals. While there have been countless isolated boycotts over the years, they have had a relatively limited impact on changing the way the system itself operates. The increasing importance of big business has complicated matters somewhat over recent years, with competitors being bought out sometimes becoming part-owned by larger rivals.

The essence of corporate social responsibility is the desire to portray a positive public image. No business wants to be seen as a heartless, Dickensian enterprise but the events of the last few years have certainly prompted many people to ask somewhat uncomfortable questions. Needless to say, consumers must be vigilant to ensure that companies observe their obligations in relation to corporate social responsibility so that they don't amount to a public relations exercise, but there is evidence that the consumer activist lobby is becoming an increasingly important force for good in civil society.

Any entrepreneur is no doubt well aware of the importance of good PR, and businesses now have to be seen as if they are acting in the interests of society as a whole. The shareholder maximisation argument, so often held up as the cornerstone of British business, has itself come under intense scrutiny in recent years. Corporate social responsibility has been shown to be effective in a wide range of areas, one of the most prominent of which is the long-running Fairtrade scheme, which aims to ensure farmers and workers in developing countries are rewarded fairly for their efforts. There are now a range of Fairtrade products available in UK stores, and this is just one example of how consumers have promoted ethical business behaviour.

 


A House For The Baby Boomer

There happens to be new home that seniors are buying, and not only do they really know what they want, but it is their last home. These types of homes that the baby boomers tend to be looking for don't have the high-tech 21st century gadgetry as you would expect.

This new style of house is all about energy efficiency, comfort and strength. It's going to endure such acts of God, as hurricanes and earthquakes, along with noise, fire, wind, snow, rain and sun. This kind of home will provide fresh air and comfort twenty-four hours a day. It handles the unusually cold temperatures of the Canadian North with ease as well as the extreme tropical weather of Florida. The floors are body temperature warmed up, and the walls possess three inches of styrofoam insulation on both sides of airtight, steel reinforced concrete cubes. There is a series of pipes that will be positioned five feet underground to pipe in fresh air. Considering that the air is going to be pre-cooled during the summer, and pre-warmed during the winter, there is not any reason to open the windows, which are high-efficiency, Low-E Argon filled.

24 / 7 fresh air will enter into the home, stringently controlled and filtered. The cost for this method of heating is approximately 11% less that conventional heating systems. Numerous houses today have lots of the technology that will be used in this luxury home of the future. It is likely to include tank-less water heater, radiant heating floors, as well as insulated concrete forms. The steel bolstered walls provide safety from fire and wind in addition to earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes. The walls usually are solid enough to offset sirens and traffic noise.

This kind of home will not have rattling windows, squeaking floors, or drafty air coming in. The insulated concrete forms offer energy cost savings in addition to comfort. You could possibly save anywhere between 35% to 60% on your energy monthly bill. The tank-less water heater will certainly provide hot water when needed. It is very convenient plus it is very cost-efficient. You could easily generate your very own energy from this home by incorporating a solar energy system as well.

The cost of this type of home is approximately 10% more than conventional wood framed homes but the long-term savings and comfort certainly outweighs the initial cost. In case you are looking to get a new home, think about getting this type of house and consider if it is worth your while.

 




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