Summer health and safety tips

Consumer Reports News: June 22, 2010 12:23 PM

How much sunscreen should you use?
Sunscreen labels sometimes recommend using a "liberal" amount. How much is that? For the average adult, the appropriate amount is a full palmful.That's a little more than a teaspoon each on the chest and stomach combined, the back, and each leg; and a little more than half a teaspoon each on the head and neck combined (including the ears) and each arm. (See more about children and sunscreen.) While that may seem like a lot, studies have shown that most people get only about one-fourth to one-third of the labeled Sun Protection Factor (SPF) from sunscreens because they don't use enough. Reapply the screen every two hours and after you've gotten wet and dried off. See the full Health blog post.

Is it safe to drink from the garden hose?
Maybe not. Many garden hoses are made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) that often uses lead as a stabilizer. The brass fitting on the end of the hose is also likely to contain lead. Based on some testing Consumer Reports did a few years ago, water left standing in the hose can absorb worrisome amounts of lead and turn your first gulp into a health hazard. See the full Safety blog post.


  • Deciphering sunscreen labels
  • Inflatable pool hazards

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