CDC researchers recently published a study of contaminants found in public pools (in the metro-Atlanta area). It's worth reading if you plan to take a dip in a public pool this summer. Here are the highlights:
During the 2012 summer swimming season, filter concentrate samples were collected at metro-Atlanta public pools... Escherichia coli, a fecal indicator, was detected in 93 (58%) samples; detection signifies that swimmers introduced fecal material into pool water. Fecal material can be introduced when it washes off of swimmers' bodies or through a formed or diarrheal fecal incident in the water. The risk for pathogen transmission increases if swimmers introduce diarrheal feces...
The detection of E. coli in over half of filter backwash samples indicates that swimmers frequently introduced fecal material into pools and thus might transmit infectious pathogens to others... A single diarrheal contamination incident can introduce 107–108 Cryptosporidium oocysts into the water, a quantity sufficient to cause infection if a mouthful of water from a typical pool is ingested.
The frequent occurrence of fecal contamination of pools documented in this study... underscore the need for improved swimmer hygiene (e.g., taking a pre-swim shower and not swimming when ill with diarrhea). This study also found that the proportion of samples positive for E. coli significantly differed between membership/club and municipal pools. This finding might reflect differences in the number of swimmers who are either diapered children or children learning toileting skills.
London's Attendant Cafe, which opened last month, has a concept that it hopes will attract the curious. It's situated in a former public lavatory, and instead of trying to play that down, it's playing it up. So none of the old toilet fixtures have been removed. Instead, countertops were installed around them. Patrons can munch on "super gourmet sandwiches, salads, coffee and cakes" while perched in front of a urinal.
The challenge for the restaurant will be to overcome what psychologists call the law of contagion. "Once in contact, always in contact." That is, once an object is associated with something offensive, such as a urinal being associated with urine, it will always maintain that association in our minds, no matter how clean the urinal is. [nydailynews]
Marvel Whirling Spray was a feminine hygiene product marketed in the early 20th century. It stopped being made and fell into obscurity for 100 years until the early 21st century, when it earned a place in comic-book history.
Alan Moore included a reprint of one of the Marvel Whirling Spray ads in an issue of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Vol. 1, #5). An executive at DC (publishers of the comic) saw the ad and became worried that their rival, Marvel Comics, would take offense — even though Marvel Whirling Spray was a real product that existed before Marvel Comics. So he ordered the entire print run destroyed. The few copies that survived are now considered rare collector's items. More details at recalledcomics.com.
The take-home from the article is that a) pubic hair grooming injuries are on the rise, mostly because more people are watching porn, inspiring them to want to look like porn stars down there, so they start grooming, sometimes with bad consequences; and b) razors were responsible for most of the injuries. The authors recommend using clippers instead.
Having your mouth washed out with soap is traditionally thought of as a punishment, but Dr. Gerald Judd doesn't think so. He's leading a campaign to convince everyone to stop using toothpaste, and brush their teeth with soap instead. He writes:
Teeth are best cleaned by brushing with any bar (not liquid) soap. Bar soap does an excellent job in cleaning tooth surfaces, enabling the enamel to thicken and causing the teeth to become less sensitive.
Toothpastes containing glycerine—which most do—are very sticky, requiring over 20 rinses to remove it from tooth surfaces. Glycerine-containing toothpastes leave a residual film, preventing the teeth from proper re-enamelization. Soap, on the other hand, is removed with two rinses.
Maybe he's onto something. I have no idea. But for now I think I'll stick with toothpaste.