Dirty Water Brings Clean Water to Those in Need

Around 2 billion people lack access to clean water and 4000 children die daily from waterborne disease. While many water charities struggle to obtain donations by asking nicely, UNICEF has tried a different approach. Last Friday, the organization set up colorful vending machines in Manhattan’s Union Square to raise awareness.  Not just any vending machines. These contained bottles of dirty water, each one labeled with the name of a different disease, including cholera, dysentery, typhoid and hepatitis. The bottles were sold for a donation of $1, which UNICEF claims is enough to provide a child with safe water for 40 days. Each machine also displayed a mobile phone number to which people could text a donation.

UNICEF produced a promotional video about the campaign. At the end, one girl asks which bottle will give her a tapeworm and make her lose weight… obviously the organization still has a long way to go in this campaign. Do you think their shock and awe methods will work better than those of other water charities?

Improve Indoor Air Quality with Mold-Detection Dogs

Oreo – the first certified Mold Dog in the Northeast

Dogs have been trained for years to sniff out dangerous things like drugs and bombs. Now, they’re trained to sniff out mold (which is almost as dangerous).

Mold not only produces unpleasant odors; it also gives off gases containing carcinogens such as benzene and other chemicals that cause an array of health problems, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. By the time the odors are detected by the human nose, the problems have escalated beyond repair.

Moisture causes mold growth which is often hidden and difficult to detect, especially in modern construction. Air sampling is the traditional method for detecting mold, but this method is flawed for several reasons. Even if the test detects a high mold spore count, another inspection is often needed to locate the source, and this can be invasive and require cutting holes into walls. Some mold spores do not become airborne or stay aloft easily, which can lead to inaccurate test results. Though spores can’t penetrate walls, the gases they give off can, and are easily detected by dogs that have been specially trained to sniff them out.

1-800-GOT-MOLD offers a mold detection service using specially-trained, mold-sniffing dogs. Once they find out where the mold is hiding, they see to it that a remediation contractor removes the problem.

Mold exists everywhere. Though not all homes have serious mold problems, it is safe to say that some mold probably exists somewhere inside – under the kitchen sink, behind the bathtub, or anywhere where moisture is contained. When surfaces containing mold spores are disturbed, the spores can get into the air and cause mild allergies or respiratory problems. To help prevent the development of a larger problem that would require the use of dogs to detect, it is a good idea to regularly change the air filters in your home. Like the folks at 1-800-GOT-MOLD say: “It just makes scents.”