Weed Dangerous to HummingbirdsWritten by Marilyn Pokorney
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If you love hummingbirds, keep your garden, yard, and property clear of weeds. Especially burdock. The prickly seedheads of common burdock can trap and kill hummingbirds.
During September, 1998, three hummingbirds were caught and died in Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. A fourth hummingbird was rescued by bird watchers.
According to National Park Service biologists, burrs act like Velcro. The barbed points on burrs cling steadfastly to fur, clothing, skin, feathers--almost anything that comes near.
As tiny birds thrash around trying to free themselves they become even more entrapped.
While not much has been written about subject, a consulting ornithologist in Burnaby British Columbia reports that weed does occasionally claim lives of small birds and even brown bats.
Why Your Mattress May Be Killing YouWritten by Mark Sweiger
The organic movement, which started with organic food, is moving to bedroom in a big way. "The bedroom? " you say. Yes, my dear, bedroom, where organic mattresses and organic bedding are becoming an important new trend in quest for a healthier lifestyle.
The organic bedroom trend is motivated by some very recent disturbing discoveries about petroleum-based foam mattresses most of us sleep on every night. Studies of household dust have confirmed that your mattress is likely one of most significant sources of cancer-causing chemicals in your home. The average mattress consists of petroleum-based foam covered in petroleum-based polyester fabric. During its 10-year average lifetime, a foam mattress loses up to half its weight, and lost weight goes on your bedroom floor in form of toxic dust and in air in form of formaldehyde gas which is a by-product of foam breakdown. Those dust bunnies under your bed could be a real threat to your health, unless you use an organic mattress which does not break down into these toxic by-products.
The foam mattress story gets even more scary. The average petroleum-based foam queen-sized mattress is soaked in about a pound of fire retardant chemicals called PDBEs, which have already been banned in Europe, but not in North America. PDBEs are chemicals which are similar to banned PCBs, and they build up in body like DDT and PCBs. The PDBEs are used because they are simplest and cheapest way to conform to United States mattress fire resistance codes. They are also promoted by chemical industry, which recently sponsored tightening of mattress fire resistance codes, which will cause even greater quantities of PDBEs to be used in manufacture of mattresses beginning in 2006. While these new codes will save an estimated 27 lives a year from fires, these new regulations play Russian roulette with future health of 285 million Americans that sleep on these petroleum-based foam mattresses. Those calling for a ban on PDBEs say greater danger is not lives lost in fires, but potentially millions of cases of cancer caused by exposure to these chemicals over coming decades.
The solution to this problem is to remove petroleum-based bedding from your home, and this has spawned burgeoning organic bedroom movement. The cornerstone of this trend is organic mattress, which is same kind of mattresses our ancestors used before rise of petrochemical industry after World War II. It is also interesting to note that current cancer rates are more than 5 times higher than before World War II, when everybody was sleeping on organic mattresses by definition, because there was no petrochemical industry during those times.