Keeping safe during everyday tasks

By Samuetta Hill Drew

There are some simple and easy safety decisions the everyday person can make about items used in their everyday lives; items which can impact the average person’s safety in various ways, which if ignored, can potentially impact their entire family’s safety.

Let’s start with a basic daily activity -brushing ones teeth; an action everyone uses everyday if not multiple times a day. Always rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after brushing. Allow your toothbrush to air dry. Don’t store your brushes in enclosed containers, since bacteria thrives in moist environments. Do soak your toothbrush in antibacterial mouthwash after using, since this may decrease the growth in bacteria.

It is strongly recommended that you toss your personal and family medication once a year. The FDA Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee advocates that you throw away out of date (expired) medications on prescription and over the counter (the expiration date guarantees that, with proper storage in a cool, dry place, the drug will retain 90 percent of its origin potency until the date). Afterwards, the medication may have degraded enough to lose potency or, worse, contain harmful degradation-related byproducts (tetracycline is one drug whose byproducts can cause injury if it’s been sitting around for too long, but it recommends checking with a pharmacist about individual’s meds). Medication doesn’t stop working after the expiration date but, it’s safest to follow the guidelines.

Best rule of thumb is to toss makeup after three months to one year depending upon the product. Many of us are guilty of keeping makeup too long because it’s our favorite lipstick color, foundation base or our favorite eyeshadow. The best rule to go by in tossing your everyday items is the following – if mascara (3-6 months), eyeliner (3-6 months), eyeshadow (3-6 months), lipstick (1 year), face powder ( 1 year). Remember after these times, the makeup is more at risk for growing bacteria or mold – especially if not closed tightly, and kept in a cool dry environment.

Where there are no serious health concerns, but more of an impact on the flavor of our foods, it is important that your herbs and spices are kept only 1-4 years. Ground spices should be kept 3-4 years, whole spices four years, leafy herbs 1-3 years and bottled seasoning blends 1-2 years. If the color is faded and if there is a loss of aroma the flavor of your food will be impacted negatively.

It is important that we always Keep an Eye on Safety in our everyday lives in everyday practices and daily activities.