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News & Events
Active Adults Should Know How Things Change and Become Dangerous
Every day, something new is deemed dangerous or toxic for us. And every other day, someone maintains that it is not toxic after all. Navigating the information can be daunting. We often must discern for ourselves what to eat or buy or use.
But, even in homes as great as the ones at Westminster Village, there are things that we bring into them that, although aren’t initially dangerous, could become dangerous. What do you know about these everyday items that have expiration dates or chemicals that change over time?
Moth balls, after time, will change from a solid to a gas. You should avoid breathing the gas from moth balls. Always wash clothes that have been stored with moth balls. Use cedar chips instead; they are safer.
All medications that we take have an expiration date. After that date, medicines will lose their effectiveness. Taking them for a serious illness might cause more harm than good. It is best to discard medications that are past the expiration date. (And, you might find your medicine cabinet is much less cluttered!)
Food is probably the most dangerous if used after the expiration date, but it also the most obvious. It’s easy to see mold and spoilage on food. But how many people see the beginning of mold on food like bread and simply cut around it? Even though there’s only a little mold, the process has started and the food is probably bad even without the obvious green color. Of course, if you eat most of your meals at the Westminster Village dining room, you won’t ever have to worry about any of this.
I know that many Westminster Village residents probably take advantage of the cleaning services for your residence, but you may have cleaning supplies on hand for those small jobs. If so, don’t worry, because cleaning supplies are probably the one thing in your house that doesn’t change and become toxic.
Cleaning supplies will break down after several months but few become any more toxic than they already are at purchase. They will become less effective. Bleach, liquid detergent, multi-surface cleaners, metal polish all last either 6-24 months if stored well. Vinegar and baking soda have no expiration date. Baking soda can lose some of its effectiveness after about 20 years.
Carpeting that has not been shampooed for years can have mold and mildew in it that causes respiratory problems. But old carpets, even cleaned, can hold onto dirt, dust mites and allergens. You won’t find expiration dates, but cleaning carpets regularly keep then healthier and looking better.
Old make-up and cosmetics can also break down over time. Most makeup has a shelf life of at least three years. Perfumes may lose their scent, but fungal or bacterial growth can develop in make-up. Many of us may have more than one type of eye shadow or foundation and it sits on the shelf longer than three years. Makeup can be more of a problem when it’s shared. It’s very easy to also share viruses or infections especially with lipstick, mascara or eye pencils. If you have questions, ask your stylist at the salon if he or she can advise you.
-Elaine of the Westminster Village Blog Team