Today’s Headlines: The Best Way to Kill Ticks, Why Your Clothes May Put Your Thyroid at Risk, and How Your Marriage May be Affecting Your Health

Get ticks off your clothes quickly by putting them in the dryer. Ticks don’t like dry environments and can be eliminated with a simple, quick spin in the dryer. “The study…says just six minutes spinning dry clothes in a hot dryer should kill all the ticks and reduce the risk of tick-related illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends washing tick-infested clothes and then drying them for one hour. The recent research found that drying time can be significantly reduced if clothes aren’t washed first…Ticks that survived washing took 70 minutes to kill in dryers on low heat and 50 minutes at high heat…By comparison, all ticks and nymphs dried with dry towels were killed in four to 11 minutes, depending on the temperature.” While drying your clothes will help, researchers urged that more precautions, such as repellent, be used as well. (WSJ)

Flame retardants may increase a woman’s risk for thyroid disease. These chemicals are commonly found in clothing and upholstery to make them fire-resistant. “The chemicals – known as PBDEs, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers…disrupt the endocrine system by interfering with the body’s production of the hormone estrogen. The thyroid, which controls metabolism, can malfunction without the right amount of estrogen. Compared to women with the lowest blood concentrations of flame retardants, women with the highest levels in their blood were 48 to 78 percent more likely to have thyroid problems, the study found.” Only a correlation was discovered and more research needs to be done in order to prove the link. (Reuters)

How you emotionally react to your spouse may affect your health in the long run. A small study was done on married couples to assess how their emotions towards each other correlated to health issues over time. “During that time, 45 to 65 percent of the men and 60 to 76 percent of the women experienced cardiovascular symptoms, such as high blood pressure, chest pains or other heart problems. Also, 15 to 29 percent of the men and 30 to 36 percent of the women had musculoskeletal symptoms, such as back pain, stiffness in muscles or joints or severe leg or arm pain. People who consistently expressed anger during interactions with their spouse were more likely to have cardiovascular problems than were those who did not get angry. Those whose behavior during the interactions was described as stonewalling — meaning they suppressed their emotions — were more likely than the others to have musculoskeletal problems.” These health problems did not become apparent immediately, but were rather the result of dealing with a relationship over an extensive amount of time. (Washington Post)