Sinus irrigation — the use of a saltwater solution to “wash” the sinuses — is recommended by allergists and other physicians as a mechanism for reducing symptoms of seasonal cold, allergies, and nasal or sinus irritation . Research also suggests that sinus irrigation, generally performed at home using a special sinus irrigation bottle or a device called a neti pot, is safe and isn’t associated with any serious adverse effects .
Each year, nearly one billion people around the world lack access to safe, clean water . Water is essential for life, yet less than 1% of water on the planet is safe to drink. This is especially a problem in developing countries or during natural disasters. Take Hurricane Katrina: back in 2005 when it hit the Gulf Coast, one of the biggest needs for storm victims was access to clean drinking water.
In the United States and Europe, people take it for granted that when they turn on the faucet, clean water will flow out. Indeed, a single flush of a toilet in the West uses more water than most Africans have to perform an entire day’s washing, cleaning, cooking and drinking .
Securing access to safe water worldwide is vitally important. Clean water is essential for agriculture, food and energy production, recreation and reduction of poverty. More than 2 million people, most of them children, die every year from water-borne diseases. And time is of the essence: by 2020, more people could die of water-related diseases than those that have died due to HIV/AIDS .
The water we drink comes from lakes, streams, rivers and underground aquifers. Thus, it’s very important that everyone do their part to reduce the pollution entering waterways that carry our drinking water. This is particularly important with respect to disposal of prescription and over-the-counter medications.
Most people throw out of their unused, unneeded or expired medicines by flushing or pouring them down the drain. Since wastewater treatment facilities aren’t designed to remove pharmaceuticals, the disposed compounds end up in our lakes and streams, and ultimately in our drinking water. Indeed, a 2002 U.S. Geological Survey identified a broad rand of chemicals, including antibiotics and non-prescription drugs, at low concentrations downstream from areas of intense urbanization and animal production .