Why old pillows and traditional light bulbs are bad for you. By Sasha Gonzales
Can’t remember the last time you replaced your bed pillows? Or still have traditional light bulbs installed in your rooms? These often neglected household items are bad for you – here’s why.
Old pillows can trigger an allergic reaction – and are bad for your neck and back
Protect your pillows against dust mites to prevent allergic reactions. (Photo: ErikaWittlieb / www.pixabay.com)
Can’t imagine sleeping on something filled with bacteria, dust mites and other nasties? That is what your old pillow contains. In the worst cases, up to a third of the weight of your pillow can be made up of dead skin as well as dust mites and their faeces, says dermatologist Dr Low Chai Ling of The Sloane Clinic. Some have even been found to contain potentially fatal E. coli bacteria!
About 0.4mm in length, dust mites are microscopic creatures that feast on flakes of human skin. Their faeces contains a substance called Der P 1, a very potent allergen. People allergic to dust mites may display asthma-like symptoms, eczema or chronic sinus problems, says Dr Low.
If you’re not sure whether you have a sensitivity to dust mites, ask yourself: Do I have persistent sniffles and sinus headaches? Do I often wake up with itchy eyes? Do I sneeze repeatedly first thing in the morning? If you have these symptoms, consider seeing an allergist to test for a positive reaction to dust mites.
What type you buy is not as important as you protecting your pillows with special dust mite-proof covers. The new ones are made of old-fashioned typewriter ribbon material. Soft to the touch, it has a tight weave that does not allow them through. Consider investing in these to prevent further allergic reactions, says Dr Low.
Traditional light bulbs are a waste of energy and are bad for the environment
Save money and the earth by replacing old light bulbs. (Photo: Comfreak / www.pixabay.com)
A standard incandescent light bulb relies on an electric current to heat its filament wire to a high temperature, causing it to glow and give off light. Such light bulbs are inexpensive and work well with dimmers, but they consume large amounts of electricity, which translates to high electricity bills. In addition, because only 10 per cent of the energy produced by traditional bulbs is needed to produce light, the remaining 90 per cent is wasted as heat.
Switching to an energy-efficient light bulb will not only save you money, but is better for the environment too. Energy-saving incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) typically use 25 to 80 per cent less energy than traditional bulbs, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and slashing your bills. And, as they last longer than regular incandescent light bulbs, you won’t need to replace them as often. More savings, and better on your pocket!