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Flowers in the Bedroom

Flowers in the bedroom

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In my opinion, it is best not to leave flowers, whether the beautiful garden lilies, roses or whatever, in the bedroom overnight.

Living plants normally use carbon dioxide and release oxygen, but flowers, once cut off, start decomposing and producing increasing amounts of carbon dioxide and for those parts under the waterline also methane gas. Every day, the process of decay switches increasingly in higher gear. This means still more carbon dioxide and methane are produced. Methane is, on top of everything, 23 times more aggressive than carbon dioxide, depriving the person sleeping of oxygen which he or she so desperately needs for a good sleep.

There seems to be a medical study published in the Telegraph in 2008 using various scents for a couple of seconds, claiming that scents have an effect on people sleeping. That may well be true, but mind you, that this is not the same as having a bouquet of flowers all night in the bedroom.

A small bud vase could be ok if the ventilation is optimal. My advice: do not use, even living plants in the bedroom and most certainly not cut flowers.

Various Posts

Watch TV in the Dark

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Watching TV in the Dark



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Many people are watching TV, whatever TV or work on the Computer in total darkness. This is very bad for the eyes, as the contrast from the screen and its surroundings, may run up to 10:1. Permissible is 3:1. It is a better way, utilizing a lamp with indirect lighting on both sides of the TV, computer or dimmed lighting in the room. Even in Cinemas, which the people want to mimic, there are normally some backlight lamps next to the screen.

I worked on an illumination project in an office building and saw two units doing their work in front of the Computer while the rooms were in complete darkness. Asking what the reason for this was, I was told that the group works on publicity projects for a local Company and they need to distinguish true colors. Knowing that this was not good, I started measuring the contrasts between the screens and the surrounding walls.

What I suspected was clearly shown by the readings of the meter. The contrast was 9 to 10:1, while the allowable contrast is 3:1 max. The people complained of headaches and dizziness after work. The management changed the set up after the study was presented. I installed indirect solid-state lighting of a suitable intensity and color rendition index (CRI) and there was no problem distinguishing colors.

This is just one of the actions, which do not present the reaction immediately. The complaints are coming in overtime and are sometimes not immediately recognized. It is better to prevent, as certain damages to our eyesight are not always reversible.

Last modified: 18-Sep-2012

Various Posts

Eat Less Meat

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Eat Less Meat

it is good for you and good for the environment
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 It is advisable to eat less meat In the first place an adult needs only 75 grams or less than 3 ounces, to get all nutritional benefits. It is proven that eating too much meat is one of the causes of obesity and raised risks of coronary diseases, the latter, especially with red meat. See also facts about meat nutrition
Furthermore eating less meat allows fewer cattle, which is better for the environment. One cow is contaminating up to four times as much as a car, in this case with principally Methane, the second most important gas causing the greenhouse effect. It is however 21 to 25 times more aggressive than Carbon Dioxide, also called Global Warming Potential.

When we need to breed fewer cattle, the effect on the environment is huge. Fewer forests will be slashed to convert into pastures, fewer resources like fuel, gas, soil, water, grains, etc, will be needed to feed and service the greater livestock. According to the FAO, about 60% of the world’s agricultural land is used for grazing almost 400 million cattle and 600 million smaller ruminants.

Livestock produces lots of contaminants as ammonia, and the globally affecting greenhouse gases as Carbon Dioxide, Methane, Nitrous Oxide and Hydrogen Sulphate, contributing to global warming. Methane is some 23 times as aggressive as Carbon Dioxide. Not to speak of secondary pollution by pesticides used on livestock.


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Various Posts

Fluorescent Lamps


Fluorescent Lamps

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Fluorescent lamps, although saving electrical energy, must be handled with precautions as they contain varying amounts of Mercury and smaller amounts of other metals, as Nickel, Zink, Cadmium, Lead and Manganese. Furthermore some bad quality lamps and also older lamps, may leak Ultraviolet light, with a wavelength of 253nm in the lower part of the spectrum and invisible to human eyes. Specially watch out for the larger size fluorescent tubes which soon might loose the phosphor coating at the extremes of the tube.

It is advisable to avoid working closer than 30 cm from and looking into the light of fluorescent lamps, the Ultraviolet light is invisible to us, but nonetheless can cause skin and eye damage.

Fluorescent lamps come in different models, such as linear tubes, measured in various lengths in increments of one foot. up to eight feet. The diameter of the tubes are measures in increments of octaves of an inch. So a T2 is 2/8 of an inch and T8 is 8/8 of an inch or one inch. The larger diameter tubes like T12 are in fact already obsolete and should be phased out. They contain too much Mercury, are less efficient, more prone to leakage of Ultraviolet light and are difficult to handle. Newer linear tubes have a diameter of 5/8 of an inch. Their length is however different from the other tubes (116 cm)

There are also U-bend, circular and compact fluorescent lamps or CFLs. The latter also may be encapsulated.

Leaking Ultraviolet light is just one of the three concerns which are involved with the use of fluorescent lamps The two other concerns are in a case such a lamp breaks. A cut of the glass may cause a problem with bleeding as the phosphor inhibits the coagulation of the blood and the broken lamp will leak Mercury gas if it is still hot or in liquid form if it cooled off. See at the bottom of this writing how to handle these lamps.

A constant effort to lower the Mercury content is possible through improved technology. The European Union banned incandescent lamps of higher wattages ever since September 01 2009 and will ban fluorescent lamps with content higher than 5 mg per September 01 of 2012. Although the quantities of Mercury in the individual lamps are going down, the mere quantity of the total lamp population is growing rapidly.

The mercury gas in these lamps is ignited when switched on and produces Ultra Violet light. The powder coating of phosphor at the inner wall of the tube filters this light and converts this into white light. Depending on the formula of the coating, the lamp produces light of various color temperatures, measured in degrees KELVIN. Below 4000 degree, the light popularly is called warm white. The higher the degree the term goes to cold white up to daylight around 7000 degrees KELVIN.

Unfortunately, most of these lamps, at the end of their life cycle, are dumped in the garbage, where they easily break and contaminate those who are handling the garbage, the soils, the waters and the animals and humans who are at the end of the food chain.

The amounts of Mercury is beyond what should be permissible. Compacts contain some 4 to 10 mg of Mercury, while linear lamps contain up to 40 mg. Get informed on how to handle these lamps, especially if one breaks in the house or office, from the site of the EPA. Never handle these compact lamps by the spiral, which is the weakest part. Grab the base instead.

Due to the ever-increasing quantities of these lamps used, the trashing of these lamps in the landfills is not a good practice. The Government and private enterprise should work together to provide possibilities to recycle the lamps and inform the users about the necessity to recycle. The manufacturers of the lamps should be obliged to post short guidelines on the packages to inform the general public how to handle these lamps safely.

Another type of lamps, known as solid-state lamps with LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are in development and the technology is progressing at a high speed. For some applications, it is already possible to substitute existing lighting, with even greater energy savings possibilities.


Last modified: 18-Sep-2012