Vivisection and Why We Don’t Use Products Which Have Been Tested on Animals

In 1933, one unlucky cosmetics company caused the death of an even less lucky woman with a mascara they produced, as well as injury and blindness in many other users[1].
In 1937, a pharmaceutical company of equally bad luck accidentally fed a toxic strep-throat remedy to the world that killed hundreds of people[2].

Understandably, these cases led to the regulation of safety tests to be carried out before any chemicals go to market – this includes food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and cleaning products, among others. This came in the form of the 1938 Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act, which required all drugs to be tested on animals.
In 1966 the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) swooped in to regulate the treatment of laboratory animals, and is still used today as a standard. Unfortunately for rats and mice, they are not considered as ‘animals’ in the AWA, and therefore are not covered by the Act’s requirements of humane care[3].

The issue of what is ‘humane care’ is interesting, considering that despite this act, cats (and kittens), dogs (and puppies), rabbits, chimpanzees and many other animals are still subjected to mutilation and infection every day. This is called vivisection; where living creatures are operated on for the purpose of scientific research, particularly when they are dissected or cut open. But even when we put aside any moral or ethical considerations, animal testing is still pretty pointless. It is expensive, time consuming and not altogether that reliable. This renders the entire process highly inefficient.

For one thing, other species of animal are biologically very different to humans. What works to cure human disease in a bunch of guinea pigs, isn’t necessarily going to help in humans. As an example, check out any information on the drug Vioxx, which was shown to be safe on rats and mice, but went on to cause heart attacks, strokes and even death in humans and has since been withdrawn from the market.[4]
An article on adapt.org puts this in perspective: ‘After talking with several veterinarians… I asked them, “When you were in vet school studying feline leukaemia, which animal did you study upon?” They all replied, “Cats.” I asked them why they didn’t use dogs for feline leukaemia research. They replied that studying dogs for feline leukaemia didn’t make too much sense scientifically. I then asked why dogs, cats and other animals are used for human leukaemia research. Their silence revealed the scam.’[5]
Furthermore, John J. Pippin of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) explain that there are ‘significant and immutable differences among and within animal species (including humans) regarding anatomy, physiology and drug metabolism.’4 This includes chimpanzees, even despite sharing most of our DNA with them.

Another point in favour of not testing on animals, is that there are several more reliable alternatives which are already being used or are currently being developed. One of these methods is to grow live human skin cells in a lab.[6] This would obviously be more effective, as the skin cells used to test the product come from the same species as those going to use the product. This is just one of many alternatives, others including 3D printing technology, human clinical studies, in vitro (e.g., in a test tube) research, in silico (computer-based) techniques and advanced imaging methods, to name a few.[7]

So why, with all of these cheaper, more reliable and more ethical alternatives, do scientists and doctors still test on animals? Probably because it has been done that way for so long.
Remember Grace Hopper, American computer scientist and pioneer, and US Navy rear admiral, and her poignant quote: “The most dangerous phrase in the language is: ‘we’ve always done it this way’.”

It is up to us as consumers to make educated decisions regarding the products we buy and where they have come from. There are plenty of resources online which can help us to make conscious decisions, such as leapingbunny.org and even choice.com.au. If you are unsure about a certain product, do a quick google search and check out what the company has to say about animal testing.

At Flash, we are proud to clean windows with products that are not tested on animals.

 

 

[1] http://ssrn.com/abstract=2819163

[2] http://www.medicaldaily.com/animal-testing-long-unpretty-history-247217

[3] http://ssrn.com/abstract=2819163

[4] http://www.pcrm.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/research/testing/exp/COX2Report.pdf

[5] http://adaptt.org/animal-rights/whats-wrong-with-vivisection.html

[6] http://www.bbc.com/news/health-27129861

[7] http://web.b.ebscohost.com/abstract?direct=true&profile=ehost&scope=site&authtype=crawler&jrnl=09767126&AN=118973252&h=saOV64Fz9s05lj%2b55CDV6oP5FZCa6XTHEcmP%2f4ueBHc%2bJBOIiPo0YwW3JsjXAWJlOZxN51mfeEZIYolK9paifA%3d%3d&crl=c&resultNs=AdminWebAuth&resultLocal=ErrCrlNotAuth&crlhashurl=login.aspx%3fdirect%3dtrue%26profile%3dehost%26scope%3dsite%26authtype%3dcrawler%26jrnl%3d09767126%26AN%3d118973252

Image: Warren Photographic
http://www.warrenphotographic.co.uk/26735-ginger-kitten-with-cavapoo-pup-and-lionhead-rabbit

Flash wants you!

Flash Window Cleaning is hiring! Do you fit the bill?

What we are looking for:

  • Strong work ethic
  • The ability to ‘go the extra mile’ for customers and co-workers
  • Able to effectively communicate with customers, staff and members of the public.
  • A critical eye for implementing and following OH&S standards
  • No experience required, but a positive attitude and willingness to learn is essential.
  • Current drivers license (manual)
  • Reflect and implement Flash’s core values

You will be responsible for completing high standard window cleaning work across Melbourne. You will learn to be not only a window, gutter and pressure cleaning expert, but a professional in customer satisfaction.

We are committed to making the best work environment possible for our staff and investing in their abilities. As you progress in experience we will equip you with a EWP Yellow Card, Certificate II in First Aid and more!

 

Wages start at $23.60 an hour!

If you think you have what it takes to be part of our crew, send your resume to nick@flashservices.com.au.

Thanks!

 

Thinking of Cleaning Your Windows? Here’s 5 Reasons You Should Hire a Professional

It might seem cheaper, easier and less hassle to clean your windows yourself. I’m here to tell you that this is often not the case! Here are five reasons you should save yourself the stress and hire someone else to do it.

It’s not as easy as you think it is. Window cleaning is actually quite a strenuous activity. Aside from all of the physical effort involved, it takes extraordinary attention to detail to actually achieve a favourable finish. Window Cleaners are trained to see glass in a different way to the rest of us. That might sound weird but it’s true! I will admit, I, the writer of this post, am not a window cleaner. But on one occasion, one of Flash’s cleaners decided to try to teach me how it’s done. I couldn’t even do one window and my shoulders were tired!

Windex isn’t very good. Windex is marketed as a streak-free, easy solution to cleaning windows, glass and mirrors in your home. I don’t know about anyone else, maybe it’s because I’m not very good at cleaning windows, but I’ve never achieved the streakless finish pictured on the bottle. As well as that, it’s not good for your body to be in such close proximity to all those fumes. Windex contains ammonium hydroxide, which doesn’t just sound scary, but is actually poisonous. You don’t really want to be breathing that in! Flash uses non-toxic cleaning products that won’t hurt your home and wont poison them!

It can be dangerous. Aside from the risk of straining a muscle when trying to clean your windows, there are a few risks involved. Namely, if you have any windows that you need to use a ladder to access, this can really cause issues. Ladders are heavy and unsafe, as well as unlucky! At Flash we have efficient and affective extension poles and water-fed poles which eliminates the need for any ladders. We also have strict OH&S guidelines and liability to help manage any risks. We can also help to retire your ladder with our StreamVac gutter vacuum, where we can clean your gutters with our feet firmly on the ground!

It’s very time consuming. Do you really have three hours to go around, scrubbing all of your windows? You’re a busy person. You have better things to do. Just think of all of the other things you could do in that time. You could catch up on Game of Thrones. You could walk your dog and take your kids to the park. You could cook a gourmet meal. You could learn a new skill. The possibilities are endless.

Honestly, who can be bothered? Seriously, all that fly screen removing, fly screen replacing, cob web brushing, scrubbing, re-scrubbing… it’s all too much. Who can be bothered? Well, the team at Flash Window Cleaning can.

Give us a call today (9887 1822) to book in your next clean!

Or visit us at http://www.flashservices.com.au

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

Why Clean Your Windows?

As mentioned in this article, cleaning your windows can be boring, strenuous and dangerous. So you might not want to bother at all. However, making sure your windows are clean is more important than you might think. Here’s five reasons why.

Removing allergens. The dust on your windows can collect over time and cause hay fever. Most humans are allergic to house dust, so if you find you’re particularly sneezy or your eyes are particularly itchy, maybe it’s time to get your windows cleaned.

Dirty windows are unsightly. This is harsh but true. Windows just happen to look a lot nicer when they’re clean! Your house guests will be jealous of your shiny clean windows and lovely views into the back yard (you’d be surprised what a difference it makes). You will feel house proud and hygienic.

Natural light is good for you. Following on from your shiny gleaming windows being prettier, you’ll be more likely to open up your curtains to let the natural light in. Also, a build-up of dirt can create a film on your windows that might stifle the amount of light that is coming in. By allowing more light in, you’ll get more vitamin D, which is an essential nutrient that the human body cannot produce on its own. Exposing yourself to more natural light will help your circadian rhythms, or sleeping pattern, which in turn will make you a happier, more productive person!

You’ll save electricity. And once you’ve started opening your curtains more often, you won’t need to switch on the light as much! This will save you money on your energy bill, and help the environment.

Avoiding hard water stains. When you regularly get your windows cleaned, you can help to avoid hard water stains. These are drip-like marks on your windows which do not go away with regular window cleaning alone. This can be very expensive to rectify, and could permanently affect your windows!

If you think you’ve heard enough, give us a call! We can help you get your windows clean in a Flash.

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas on a Budget

In a similar vein to Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day gives you the opportunity to show your loved one how much you truly appreciate them, because lord knows you probably don’t do it year-round (this is a joke – you definitely should do it year-round). But even though we don’t really need a single day of the year to spoil our significant others or, better yet, tell someone how you really feel, it’s still somewhat expected of you to acknowledge February 14th. If you’re stuck on ideas for gifts, here’s some inspiration for you that won’t cost your life savings.

Bake something. It’s a widely acknowledged fact that the way to a man’s heart is through his belly. I would say the same is true for females too. This is the cheapest way to make someone feel special and like you’ve really put some effort in. Make some heart-shaped cookies or a decadent dark chocolate brownie. Chuck them in a nice box and voila! You have one dirty kitchen and one happy boo.

The cheesiest, lamest, sappiest object you can find. Rather than giving your better half something meaningful, why not be ironic and head down to the $2 shop and grab a small teddy bear holding a heart-shaped red pillow with some kind of cringe-worthy phrase on it. Nothing says ‘I love you’ like tacky clichés.

A night at the arcade. Because you probably can’t afford a real diamond ring, but if you score yourself enough tickets you might be able to trade them in for some kind of plastic alternative. And your partner will know how hard you worked for it.

Pick some fresh flowers. Getting an elaborate bouquet of flowers can often end up being incredibly costly. Instead of all that, sneak into your neighbour’s backyard where they work tirelessly all year to perfect their manicured lawn and immaculately designed flower bed, and clip off a few of their roses. Hand-deliver them to your lover for extra effect, but just make sure said lover doesn’t go bragging at community meetings about it.

Easter chocolate. Why be traditional when Easter chocolates are already in the supermarkets? Everyone knows Easter chocolate tastes better than normal chocolate, and better yet, they come as super cute bunnies or baby chickens or even bilbies if you know where to go. Plus, I’m pretty sure Coles currently has a two for one deal on mini eggs rn. Everybody wins.

Get their windows cleaned. I know, cheap shot. But hey, there’s nothing more beautiful than your own house, and imagine how thrilled your partner would be to have crystal clear windows for Valentine’s Day. It’s a practical gift that your lover will love. And if you get it done with Flash Window Cleaning, it definitely won’t break the bank!
Better yet, mention this article and get 14% off your next clean, in honour of February 14th!

Valid only for residential cleans booked between 10/02/2017 and 14/02/17.
Terms and conditions apply.

 

Windows of the World: Stained Glass

Religion and art have seemingly always gone hand-in-hand, especially for Catholicism. Commissions for artwork by the church served many purposes; to give a visual depiction of a particular story, to educate the illiterate, dogma, and simply the pure beauty of the artworks at hand. Paintings, tapestries, sculptures; many have stood the test of time and been analysed, interpreted and deconstructed by students of both religion and art, and provided immense wonder and joy to those who stand in the presence of such masterpieces.

Perhaps one of the most fascinating and invariably beautiful of these mediums, is that of the stained-glass window. Light is symbolic in many religions, so it only makes sense that this would be harnessed to bring religious art to life.

Stained-glass windows are created by cutting glass into appropriate shapes and fusing them together with lead, creating a latticework which is called ‘came’. Impurities in glass cause the different colours, hence early glass manufacturers figured out that by adding different metals they could manipulate the results, allowing for a spectrum of different colours. Eventually, artists realised that this method was expensive and impractical, and opted instead for painting neutral-coloured glass. Unfortunately, the colours of these windows deteriorated much quicker than the previous method.

These days, glass is much cheaper and cutting glass is far easier to do. You can probably take a lead-lighting course at your local community centre; a luxury many of the early artists would not have had available to them.

Some of the oldest stained-glass windows are unfortunately under threat from our modern environment and climate. Even throughout various wars, many stained-glass windows were left relatively unharmed, which is either because of their removal and storage in safe places, or sheer good luck. Air pollution and humidity are a significant threat against these beautiful art works. Acid rain, grime build-up and temperature fluctuations also pose a risk to the longevity of stained glass.

Double-glazing is a practical means to protect the glass. As I am sure you would be aware if you’ve ever considered getting your own windows double-glazed, this can help to insulate your home, and would do the same for the stained-glass. It keeps the glass away from the elements, and hence will help to prevent an erosion. In 1861, England’s York Minster was equipped with double-glazing, only with the intention of insulating the building. In turn, this process has definitely helped to preserve the beautiful stained glass. The key is to leave a small gap between the window and the glazing, where humidity can be controlled, much like between a painting and its protective glass in a gallery.

Double-glazing however only offers protection to one side of the window. The other side is subject to modern heating systems; which medieval churches were obviously never built to withstand. Another suggested protective method would be to create a controlled micro-climate around these windows, independent of the heating system inside the church. This is potentially impractical due its complexity and costs, but in order to preserve these stunning artworks, it may be necessary and worthwhile.

Despite the conservation efforts in place, my suggestion would be for anyone who is interested, make sure you give yourself the opportunity to see these amazing windows around the world before the deteriorate to the point of illegibility.

Sources
Elliott, Sara. 2008. How Stained Glass Works. http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/arts/artwork/stained-glass.htm
Frenzel, Gottfried. 1985. The Restoration of Medieval Stained Glass. http://www.icomos.org/publications/93stain5.pdf
2016. The Lead Came Technique. http://www.freepatternsforstainedglass.com/lead-came.html

108 Australia!

Melbourne Window Cleaners are tackling the highest skyline in the nation!

hero_a108_3

The Australia 108 building in Southbank is leading the way in the race to be the highest residential tower in the Southern Hemisphere (319 metres tall). Due to be completed in 2020, this building will be complemented by another seven skyscrapers over 200 metres high that have been approved.

Window Cleaning in Melbourne is set to literally go to new heights, read more here…

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/melbournes-skyline-to-become-tallest-in-the-nation-20160212-gmstuj.html