Testing For Radiation in the Home and Office

It’s been 10 years since the Fukushima nuclear reactor was crippled by massive earthquakes, in Japan. In that 10 years, nothing much has changed as this recent article shows us: Radiation levels at Fukushima plant far worse than was thought. Considering radioactive materials can last for tens of thousands of years, it’s not surprising.

The rollout of 5G continues unabated. While 5G will change our lives with the advent of driverless cars and remote control surgeries, there are some worrying aspects of the new bandwidth of radiation it uses and the nature of it vs. 4G. The need for many, many more cell towers, risks us to more and more ambient radiation in our daily lives. Here is an excellent article on the risks of our new 5G tech: Are 5G Towers Really More Dangerous?

Recently we’ve got a new risk on the horizon. A nuclear power plant less than 80km from Hong Kong, The Taishan Facility, reported a leak. Actually, the French operator reported the leak to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. This was highly unusual, but they felt the need to do so, because of the refusal of the Chinese regulator to do so. Here is a brief article on the need for more transparency when there are millions of lives that can possible be affected: China’s handling of nuclear plant leak shows need for transparency

Our need to understand how radiation can affect our health and what we can do about it has never been more urgent. We are literally surrounded by radiation at all times. While much of it is benign, much of the manmade version isn’t so much.

This entry will try not to get too wonkish and focus on the types of radiation in our environment, how to measure it, and suggestions on how to limit our exposure as much as possible.

Types of Radiation:

There are two main types of radiation. The first type of radiation is non-ionizing radiation. This is mainly from visible light, microwaves, radio waves and electromagnetic waves. All electrical appliances give off this radiation, from our cell phones to our hair dryers. While some people may be sensitive to this type of radiation, most people go through their lives fairly unaffected by it.

That is not to say, it may not be harmful. Increased exposure to this type of radiation can cause health problems, particularly to our eyesight, and may increase our chances of cancer, especially skin cancers. Some symptoms of too much exposure to this radiation is fatigue, nausea and headaches. Which are common enough to be assigned another source. Pregnant mothers should also try to avoid overexposure to this type of radiation. We should also try and avoid resting our laptops (despite their name) and tablets on our laps.

The second type is the ionizing type of radiation which, aside from cosmic rays (background radiation), is usually from man-made activities. Nuclear power plants, nuclear bomb tests, radium paint, and x-rays are a few of the man-made sources of ionizing radiation. Gamma rays, X-rays, alpha particles, and beta particles are the chief sources of ionizing radiation.

Ionizing radiation is the deadliest form of radiation, in that it literally ionizes the atoms it is exposed to. Including the atoms in your body. Ionization is the separation of electrons from atoms, which, in high enough doses, can lead to radiation burns and cancer. Luckily most of us have limited exposure to this type of radiation in our daily lives.

Here is a fact sheet from Rutgers University on the sources of ionizing radiation

Here is another article from 2015 about Hong Kong’s high background radiation levels:

HONG KONG’S BACKGROUND RADIATION LEVELS ‘ASTOUNDING’, SAYS FORMER TOP OFFICIAL

Why should we test the radiation of our surroundings?

Know, don’t guess.

Why should we just take it for granted that microwave that came with our apartment isn’t leaking dangerous levels of radiation?

Shouldn’t we know how much radiation our cell phones or tablets are giving off at work and at home? Or those cell towers outside our window?

What about the fish or fruit we bought from the market? Where was it caught or grown?

How do I measure the radiation in my home and office?

Non-ionizing Radiation:

There are several ways to measure the types of radiation in the home. For non-ionizing radiation or radiation to the left of high energy UV radiation and X-rays, an EMF detector is the product of choice.  

Peek Concepts has painstakingly researched the various EMF detectors and Geiger Counters on the market and available for dropshipping and we have decided that the best values for money are:

The GDVA Digital EMF Meter Electromagnetic Radiation Tester – Electric Magnetic Field Dosimeter Detector

This EMF Meter uses 3 AAA batteries, and measures the non-ionizing spectrum of radiation. Check your cell phones, computers, microwaves, refrigerators, WIFI and any other appliances to ensure they are within safe levels of radiation.

While there are no international standards of what levels of EMF are dangerous vs. acceptable, here is a great resource from the WHO (Won’t Get Fooled Again): https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/radiation-electromagnetic-fields

The key takeaway is that our daily exposure is usually far below guideline limits. That doesn’t mean there aren’t circumstances where our daily exposure may increase sharply. A leaky microwave oven or a bunch of 5G towers outside our windows can increase our exposure without us knowing it.

Apparently they can be used for ghost hunting as well: Paranormal Technology: Gadgets For Ghost-Tracking

Ionizing Radiation:

For ionizing radiation, you need a Geiger/Muller counter, sometimes shortened to a Geiger counter. Geiger counters can run into the thousands of dollars. Luckily you probably don’t need one in that price range. Here is a great Geiger counter for the home or office:

BR-9B Portable Geiger Counter Personal Dosimeter Handheld Digital Display Nuclear Radiation Detector

This compact Geiger/Muller nuclear radiation detector/dosimeter, detects X-rays, Gamma, Alpha, and Beta radiation is small and compact enough to carry around at all times and to detect the radiation levels of any object or environment. You can use it for detecting radiation in toys, jewelry, antiques, construction materials, marble, food, and water.

That’s right, toys, jewelry and antiques… Along with furniture, clothing, jewelry, dishes, and other treasures sold at thrift stores and antique shops, you might find some items that contain radioactive material.

Knowledge is your best bet for protection you and your family from the possible harmful effects of radiation. There are products out there, like stickers, that purport to protect you from radiation. They are likely a scam and several studies have confirmed it:

SmartDot radiation-protection phone stickers ‘have no effect’

For those who may be sensitive to EMF radiation or live uncomfortably close to a source of EMF radiation, like high tension wires, cell towers or power plants, here is something to think about:

Same with phone cases. According to this site, they may actually expose you to higher levels of radiation. The site also has some good information and neat products if you want to ship from California.

https://techwellness.com/blogs/expertise/anti-radiation-phone-shield-case-review

If you do want to shield yourself from emf radiation coming from cell phones, laptops, and tablets, you need a Faraday case. It will also shield them from receiving a signal, so turn them off before placing inside. It will also make it harder to track you.

There is a lot of information out there regarding this subject. Most of it is dry and scientific. I’ve tried to touch on some of the more important points and help provide some products that will be of help to those who wish to arm themselves with a few tools to help them keep safe.

Knowing if you have a leaky microwave or an old clock, or child’s toy that’s kicking off an unacceptable level of radiation is half the battle.

Turn off the Wi-Fi when not using it, keep your cell phone away from your head, and your laptop away from your lap.

Hong Kong’s Department of Health has an informative, if dated, page on Radiation health: https://www.dh.gov.hk/faq_eng.html

Hong Kong Observatory, also, constantly monitors the background radiation levels:

https://www.hko.gov.hk/en/radiation/monitoring/hk_radiation_level.html

Lastly it’s probably a good idea to have some Potassium Iodide on hand in case of over exposure to radiation. There are tablets available at iHerb: Life Extension, Potassium Iodide Tablets, 130 mg, 14 Tablets

None of this is meant to be medical advice. All the information provided is readily available and backed up by links provided.

***These are dropship products. While we work hard to get our suppliers to ship to Hong Kong within the 3 days, we can’t guarantee it. Please allow 7-10 business days for delivery****

Stay safe and healthy!

Please contact us with any questions: hello@peekconcepts. Follow us on instagram.

Cell/WhatsApp: +852 9302 8179

Fire Safety Products Every Home Should Have

Fire Safety is an especially important subject when living in apartment blocks and high rises. Although you may be extremely careful in your own home, there is nothing you can do about a careless neighbor smoking in bed or overloading a power strip.

We at Peek Concepts, try to keep up to date on the latest products for safety in the home or office, but some items never go out of fashion. Here is a list of the fire safety items we offer and why we offer them.

Smoke Alarms:

We offer two models of smoke/fire alarms. If it isn’t obvious why every home should have at least one smoke/fire alarm, we will sum it up as, by the time you smell smoke, you already may have precious little time to either control the source of the smoke or evacuate the premises. You also need something to wake you up before the smoke asphyxiates you.

The Kidde Smoke Alarm features an advanced photoelectric sensor, designed to alert you and your family to the dangers of smoke and fire. The unit is UL Listed and accepted by the Hong Kong Fire Services Department. It comes with a 5-year manufacturer’s limited warranty.

Our Hochiki Smoke Alarm features a detection sensor that catches scattered light is optimized by optical simulation. The sensitivity for flaming black smoke with small particles is enhanced, while the sensitivity for smoldering white smoke with large particles is reduced. This achieves almost even sensitivity to various types of fires and allows early and accurate fire detection. Further, as it has low sensitivity for steam with large particles, the chance of raising a false alarm is significantly reduced even when steam enters. It also includes a 3 V Lithium Battery that has a 10 year life.

Carbon Monoxide Alarm

How do you protect your family from a hazard that you can’t see, smell or taste? Leading American brand – Kidde has been making Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms, with electrochemical technology, for years. Peace of mind against a silent killer.

This Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarm provides you and your family with a loud warning signal against the dangers of elevated carbon monoxide levels in your home. The digital display feature adds an advanced level of protection showing CO levels in PPM (parts per million) allowing you to see if levels change. Made for the Hong Kong market, instructions come in both Chinese and proper English (minimal writing on the device itself is in Chinese). Comes with multiple mounting options to allow installation on a wall or tabletop.

Fire Extinguisher

A safety essential for your home. This fire extinguisher is approved by the Hong Kong Fire Services Department for commercial and residential use. Protects against Class A, B, and C type fires for apartments, homes, offices and trailers. Expect nothing less when the lives of your family, helper colleagues, and pets are at stake.

For protection against ALL COMMON CLASSES OF FIRES, choose A B C type extinguisher – Powder type
Be sure that you understand which types of extinguishers are appropriate for which classes of fire.

fire-extinguisher-classes

Fire Blanket

Another safety essential for your home. Manufactured in the UK, this fire blanket is approved by the Hong Kong Fire Services Department for commercial and residential use under the heavy duty category. You can trust this product to provide the highest quality safety protection. Expect nothing less when the lives of your family, helper and pet are at stake.

*Hook it to your kitchen rail for quick and easy access
*Smother a small fire in the home by starving it of oxygen
*Wrap around a person whose clothes are on fire
*Cover your children during a fire escape

Below is a demonstration of how to use your fire blanket.

Smoke Mask

A smoke mask should be an essential item when living in a high rise block. The Senje TZL 30 filtering mask is an atmospheric, air-purifying negative pressure filtration device with a flame-resistant hood. According to the National Public Security Standard GB21976.7-2012, this smoke mask is made for escaping from a fire disaster. The mask has passed the type test by China National Fire Equipment Quality Supervision Center. This mask provides breathing, head and eye protection to help the wearer to evacuate from the harm of toxic smoke, fog, carbon monoxide, hot gas flow, heat radiation and sparks. It effectively protects you for a minimum of 30 minutes* from smoke and toxic gases. *The effective period changes depending on the environment. See the Specs tab for chart information.

First Aid Kit

While not specifically a fire safety product, a first aid kit is essential in treating burns until help arrives. Our first aid kit complies with regulations of the Hong Kong Labour Department. It has all the essentials necessary for the home or office.

While not an exhaustive list of items for fire prevention and safety, we feel that these are the basics of what every home or small office should have. If you think we have left something off this list, please let us know. We always like to hear feedback and suggestions. It means somebody’s reading…

Here is the link to our Fire Prevention and Safety products.

Stay safe and healthy!

Please contact us with any questions: hello@peekconcepts. Follow us on instagram.

                                                             Cell/WhatsApp: +852 9302 8179

Ideas and Products That Help Prevent the Spread of Disease

We here at Peek Concepts are trying to do our part to help prevent the transmission of all disease, not just Covid-19. There are ways to mitigate the spread of germs, bacteria, and viruses, without toxic chemicals or alcohol. Overuse of hand sanitizers has led to many unintended consequences. Here is a good article on the subject:

https://www.eatthis.com/hand-sanitizer-side-effects-doctors/

My wife swears by a blend of essential oils as a safer alternative to some of the store bought hand sanitizers. Not to say there aren’t great natural products out there. I’m not an expert on this, so here is a quality recipe for one using essential oils:

One of nature’s great destroyers of harmful microbes is copper. It’s as inhospitable to germs as the sun. Copper’s properties for dealing with pathogens has been known for thousands of years:

According to this article in Smithsonian Magazine: Copper’s Virus-Killing Powers Were Known Even to the Ancients. The SARS-CoV-2 virus endures for days on plastic or metal but disintegrates soon after landing on copper surfaces.

Peek Concepts is exclusive supplier of Dr. Cu Antimicrobial Copper Laminate. The powerful laminate is made with EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) approved antimicrobial copper alloys, which kills up to 99.9% of viruses, bacteria and other microbes in minutes and never loses its effectiveness. This is the first time the EPA has recognized solid touch surface materials as having antibacterial properties that support public health claims. This registration established a new standard for evidence-based validation of antimicrobial efficacy. Previously, only sprays, powders, and gases such as disinfectants and sterilizers could make public health claims.

Most importantly, the ions that seek and destroy the DNA and RNA inside a bacteria or virus, prevent the mutations that create drug-resistant super-bugs. “The properties never wear off, even if it tarnishes,”

We put together a PowerPoint that explains it in greater detail if you are interested:

As discussed in a previous blog post, certain masks can be effective against the spread of pathogens. Make sure it is at least N95 and reusable. There are already billions of disposable surgical masks in dumps and oceans. Did I mention they, also, don’t work?

For over a century, UV light has been used as a disinfectant and germicide in medical sanitation, sterile work facilities, and to sterilize drinking water. Short-wavelength ultraviolet (UV-C) light kills or inactivates microorganisms by destroying and/or disrupting their RNA and DNA. Carry around a portable UVC sanitizer as a handy way to disinfect your mask, phone, baby bottles, etc.

CS Light self-cleaning nano liquid is a light activated anti-microbial spray that bonds to surfaces. It’s developed right here in Hong Kong. This non-chemical anti-microbial spray is a water based formula, non-toxic and harmless, non-odorous and non-flammable. Once sprayed it forms a stable nano-coating on the surface of the object which is non-volatile and non-oxidizable. Once sprayed, the validity period exceeds 365 days. The photocatalytic nanomaterial itself will not be consumed while in effect, it is not a disposable product.

Peek Concepts has a whole line of products that can help mitigate the spread of disease without harsh chemicals. Our products are environmentally friendly, affordable and easy to use. It’s also a good idea to test yourselves and others, with our V-Chek Rapid Saliva Antigen Test Kits, before a large gathering. It only takes a bit of spit and 10 minutes.

Please contact us with any questions: hello@peekconcepts. Follow us on instagram.

                                                             Cell/WhatsApp: +852 9302 8179

The Creation of PEEKair

This week, I’m going to share with you how our team created PEEKair, our PM2.5 air quality monitor. I will go though in detail why PM2.5 monitors need to be specifically calibrated for its city of use, in order to be accurate. It all began in early 2015…


I always want to make sure that our children are as safe as possible from the effects of air pollution. Not a month goes by without someone telling me that their child has asthma. I had always wondered whether the air purifiers that we have spent tens of thousands of dollars on, really did anything. Did the filters need changing as often as we were told? Friends asked the same question. Nowhere in Hong Kong could I find a monitoring device that would give me the solution.


With the local air pollution problem and lack of a proper monitoring device never far from my mind, the idea behind PEEKair started to take shape. I wanted to bring a consumer device that would display understandable readings, in real-time, to families in Hong Kong.


My list of demands began…I wanted something that would be immediately usable, straight from the box – no need to setup and program before getting results (The ‘Simple-enough-that-even-Grandma-can-use-it’ test). Consumers should be able to use it to check that they have enough air purifiers to cover every corner of their home (or workplace),and that the purifiers they already have are still effective.


I wanted the device to be accessible to as many families as possible so the device had to be affordable. It had to be effective for households on limited budgets so they could still benefit from only having one device rather than needing a device for every room. This meant that the monitor had to be portable, battery powered and responsive so that it could be moved from room to room, giving an immediate reading. Just a simple to use, real-time, stand-alone device that would fit in the palm.


The device had to be durable as it would be used daily, helping families decide when to turn up their air purifiers if their indoor air pollution is bad. And, when to turn down their purifiers if the air is good – saving electricity and extending filter life. Knowing the indoor air quality and making decisions based on actual readings, was the aim. Hopefully this could then reduce the number and severity of particularly sensitive children and adults suffering from breathing difficulties.


I thought that the ‘journey’ would be as simple as taking an off-the-shelf product and reselling it. How very wrong I was!!


PM2.5 is defined as the total weight of the fine particles in a given volume of air and is measured as a concentration in µg/m3. You should read my blog about air pollution in Hong Kong first if you have not done so already.

I started searching the market worldwide for PM2.5 monitors. I quickly found that most of the manufacturers were based in China. This made sense – what electronic device isn’t made in China these days?

I found that devices with built-in microbalances which can weigh the particles in real-time were far too expensive and designed for the lab. Light scattering (or nephelometers) was by far the only technology which met my criteria by being affordable, real-time and small enough to be moved from room to room. The technology works by measuring particle concentrations based on the light scattering produced by those particles. It assigns an average weight to those particles to provide a PM2.5 concentration measurement. The device doesn’t actually need to weigh the particles, reducing the cost and size of the monitor dramatically.


I started ordering samples of these devices. A lot were eliminated because they were designed for an industrial setting so were too ugly and expensive. Others would continuously send a variety of collected measurements over the Internet, connected to apps which track your location and god knows what else!!! – which was a step too far for my privacy-concerned self. Some didn’t give readings that could be easily interpreted so I excluded particle counters. In the end, I had a handful of devices to choose from.

As each sample arrived, I went from excitement to a sulky “grump-lump”; like my children coming off a sugar high. None of the monitors were accurate compared to the Hong Kong Government’s air quality monitoring stations. The worst were the monitors that used infrared as a source of light, commonly found built into household air purifiers. They sometimes gave very clean readings when the pollution was confirmed to be terrible but detected cigarette and cooking smoke quite well. Monitors using laser light sources gave me readings that seemed to move with the pollution levels but the numbers were just wrong when compared to official government measurements. The manufacturers kept on telling me that their products were accurate in Beijing and against expensive reference instruments calibrated to industry standards based on the same light scattering technology.

I refused to sell a product that simply did not read accurately. The issue is that they assume that PM2.5 particles have the same mass regardless of which city you live in – this assumption is WRONG. Pollution composition is different between cities. This means that the average particle mass will be different between cities. A monitor which reads accurately in Beijing will never read accurately in Hong Kong. 26% of the PM2.5 pollution observed in Beijing is from coal burning versus only 3% in Guangdong just over the border.

But what about those instruments calibrated to industry standards costing tens and thousands of dollars that I kept hearing about? They are calibrated using Arizona road dust! Yes, ground up dirt from the USA! They even give this dirt a special name – ISO 12103-1, A2. It resembles nothing like pollution in most parts of the world. A study from Harvard shows how a deployment of a group of factory calibrated TSI DustTraks (which many Chinese monitor manufacturers use for calibration) read up to two times higher than reality in Baltimore, MD and Boston, MA. Similar US studies showed the same result with a different magnitude of error depending on the city.


We would take the best off-the-shelf monitor and have our team of engineers customize the calibration specifically for Hong Kong.


We used the Hong Kong Government’s air quality monitoring stations as the real levels of pollution. Their automated machines use a microbalance to weigh a sample of particles in the air every hour. These machines are regularly checked against a manual method where a filter of a known weight captures PM2.5 particles, which is then reweighed after a known amount of air passes through it, making sure that they are accurate to within 10%.

Readings of air pollution were collected from areas adjacent to various Government monitoring stations with our numerous devices, collecting data to correlate later. With these data points, our team could formulate a calibration curve for the range of pollutants we experience in Hong Kong. PEEKair was born.
We focused the sensitivity of the calibration on the range (0-125µg/m3) that we predominately experience in Hong Kong.

Guidelines on the Estimation of PM2.5 for Air Quality Assessment in Hong Kong

Having cracked the calibration, our final step was to customize the device for our audience. We worked with programmers, designers, third party manufacturers and printers to produce a product that would operate intuitively, look elegant, conform to Hong Kong safety standards, with a clear and concise operating manual.


So how well does PEEKair work? It’s very accurate and it is the only consumer monitor calibrated specifically for Hong Kong at the time of writing.

After the best part of a year of work, I pleased to bring a unique household PM2.5 air quality monitor for Hong Kong. Affordable for most families; aesthetically complimentary to your home and most importantly, putting you in control of the air your family breathes.

Click here to purchase PEEKair.

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PEEKair was created for indoor use, in your home or office. The outdoor readings discussed in this blog post were taken under specific conditions for data collection, calibration and testing purposes.

Please contact us with any questions: hello@peekconcepts. Follow us on Instagram.

                                                             Cell/WhatsApp: +852 9302 8179

CBD Oil for Pets from Organically Grown Hemp Oil in the US

CBD OIL FOR PETS

The reason you are reading this article and that is you are the proud and concerned custodian of either feline, canine, furry or feathered companions, either aging or in some form of physical or emotional discomfort.  Moreover, because we are extremely protective over our beloved family members, we want to provide them with the full range of nature’s resources for a healthy and wholesome life.

What is this latest treatment called CBD?

Cannabis has always been a key supplement for the animal kingdom, with recorded Chinese widespread use over 4,000 years ago for weaponry, parchment, food, and medicine.  Despite being vilified for almost 100 years globally, the new millennium has demonstrated that the natural and healing benefits cannabis as a plant has to offer are astounding. 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most prominent cannabinoids out of over 100 that are produced only in Cannabis plants and only scientifically identified and isolated from plants grown in the wild back in 1940, with its genetic sibling Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC identified in 1964).  Cannabidiol is one of several non-psychotropic chemicals which provide significant health benefits and relief of chronic symptoms to pets as shown below:

Anxiety and stress
Moderate to severe pain
Chronic inflammation
Arthritis & joint pain
Epileptic seizures
Digestion problems
Nausea
Symptoms from cancer

CBD oil should be a key supplement for pets, for health and wellness  

Choosing a CBD Oil

In reality, there are only 3 key components in the constitution of your pet’s CBD Oil:

How was the CBD grown?     

  • Organically: (ideal method with no chemicals – typically a full spectrum extract)
  • Using Pesticides/Insecticides: (risk of toxicity – typically becomes isolate product)

Type of CBD Extraction used?                           

  • Broad spectrum: contains natural compounds in the plant mixed in an oil carrier
  • Isolate: only CBD concentrate is chemically extracted and mixed in an oil carrier

Carrier used in manufacture?

  • Organic Hempseed Oil: the best option as the extract macerates naturally
  • Organic Plant Oils: olive, coconut, among others, however they are less bio-efficient

Peek Concepts CBD oil for pets ticks all the boxes. It is broad spectrum (0% THC), derived from organically grown hemp plants from the US, and suspended in organic hemp oil, which is the best oil for optimal delivery.

*NO harsh chemical, NO metal, NO pesticides
*100% organically grown, Non-GMO, US hemp
*Organically grown hemp oil suspension
*Gluten Free
*Broad spectrum CBD oil
*16.6 mg of CBD oil per 1ml

This excellent article from the American Kennel Club, featuring AKC’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Jerry Klein explains CBD oil and how it can affect your dog.

Here is another excellent article which features several other veterinarians commenting on the uses and effects of CBD oil for pets.

Using a full plant extract Hemp seed CBD oil is a terrific way of enhancing your pet’s health and wellbeing.  This is because of the natural bio-efficiency of the medicine in effectively maintaining or restoring their natural balance.

 However anectdotal the myriad testimonials are, they are from experts, vets and pet owners on the positive effects of CBD oil. There are at this time little, if any, proper studies, so it’s always a good idea to consult your veterinarian if you have any questions. And always buy from a reputable source, such as Peek Concepts.

It’s worth trying it on your pet. Despite the lack of studies for myriad reasons, the anecdotal evidence of the benefits is overwhelming.

Here is another article that discusses the anecdotal benefits of CBD oil for pets

As with anything regarding anything medicinal in nature, consult your veterinarian before purchasing and administering to your pet. There are many places to buy CBD oil so go with someone who has made sure their product is the best and safest available.

Please contact us with any questions: hello@peekconcepts. Follow us on instagram.

Cell/WhatsApp: +852 9302 8179

Peek Concepts’ Guide to Weathering a Typhoon in Hong Kong

Bad pun. I know.

The weather outside is a not so gentle reminder that it is typhoon season again. To take your mind off the current Covid-19 pandemic, we here at Peek Concepts decided to remind you of the types of emergencies we can see, hear and smell. The types of routine upsetting, school closing, bar closing nuisances we have grown accustomed to, living in the SAR.

You can google all kinds of websites to tell you how to prepare for an emergency like a typhoon. Some are more helpful than others. This post is designed to target the urban/suburban Hong Konger and the unique situations we may have to face.

While HK is usually well prepared for emergencies such as these, we still can’t prepare for every mudslide, downed tree or flooded MTR station. It’s up to us to hunker down and ride out the storm as safely and comfortably as possible. Mother nature has a lot of pitches in her arsenal to throw at us.

It’s always good to have about 3 days worth of food on hand for each household member, including pets. Instead of rushing out to the store to stock up on whatever is left, buy an extra bag of pasta or a can of food every time you go out to pick something up at the store. You’d be amazed at how much emergency food you have sitting in your cupboards after just a few weeks.

As a storm approaches there are a few things you can do to prepare. Do NOT tape your windows. It does nothing but provide you with a false sense of security. The problem with blown out windows is not the force of the wind it is the pressure differential between the low pressure outside and the higher pressure inside. Just crack a window in the bathroom. That will equalize the pressure and keep your windows from imploding. Won’t do much about a tree branch though.

Aside from filling up jugs of potable water, which is a good idea, fill your bathtub with water. This can be used for anything, including drinking if you filter it and/or disinfecting it by boiling or UV light.

You can also use our Professional Personal Water Filter Straw to drink directly out of the emergency bath you’ve drawn yourself or fill jugs with the attachment. Just make sure there is no soap in it! The filter will not filter soap or salt. The particulates are too fine. So make sure you rinse your tub thoroughly before filling it.

Put your refrigerator and freezer up to their highest settings in case you lose power. Open them very sparingly. A good idea is to vacuum seal fresh food, as it will last 3-4 times longer than stored in an ordinary ziplock. We have a great HK kitchen size vacuum sealer complete with 15 bags.

If you have outdoor space, make sure you secure everything. Lay tables upside down, fold chairs and secure with bungee cords. Secure the bbq lid with bungees or zipties. Bungees and zipties are your best friend in a typhoon.

Close your blinds or curtains. I know storms are fun to watch, but flying debris can crash through even tempered, double pane glass. Stay away from the windows.

Here is a list of emergency supplies every household should have before you even hear about a typhoon out in the South China Sea.

  • Flashlight and extra batteries. Lots of batteries.
  • Portable, battery-operated weather radio and extra batteries. Did I mention batteries?
  • Wine, beer, rum (rum is a typhoon spirit)
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Emergency food and water. 3 days worth.
  • Nonelectric can opener
  • Essential medicines
  • Butane burner
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Sturdy shoes 
  • Pretty sure I don’t need to mention toilet paper.

A good idea is to pre-cook meals and vacuum seal them, so you just have to reheat them while weathering the storm. You can use our Sous Vide stick to get the job done. That way you don’t have to watch the food as it heats up.

Some tricks if the power goes out. A UV light will disinfect surfaces, drinking water and fruit. If water is precious and you have no power to boil water, you can sterilize it with a  UV Wand. It would be a good idea to either have a butane or battery operated hot plate to heat your food up. They are available at Taobao for around HK$200. Butane burns very cleanly, so it won’t be a problem indoors for short periods of time. Just in case, you should have a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket nearby.

Here is a good tutorial on Taobao for English users:

We Hong Kongers are a tough breed and don’t sweat most emergencies like typhoons. That being said, we love to think we are “prepared” by sending our helpers to the stores a day before a typhoon to rustle up a hunk of cheese, some cups of ramen, or a can of beans or whatever else is left on the shelves of our local supermarket or 711.

These simple tips and items will have you laughing and content that you are prepared for the next emergency.

DON’T FORGET THE RUM!

Please contact us with any questions: hello@peekconcepts. Follow us on instagram.

                                                             Cell/WhatsApp: +852 9302 8179

The Latest in Covid19 Rapid Antigen Home Tests Using Saliva

Study Builds Case for More COVID-19 Antigen Testing

As the world begins to emerge from its congested 1st year of managing SARS-COVID, we enter into a ‘next phase’ of wishful management, often described as vaccination.  Now despite the brazen approach of our friends at Big Pharma, in concert with hallowed medical and research ‘eager-beavers’ institutes around the globe, all wanting to be ‘’the Winner’, we remain none the wiser as to whether a mass vaccination (one or more products even being used) would ‘contain the contagion’.

Upon one approach you can be certain…that of the necessity for ‘post vaccination’ continual screening using unintrusive rapid testing.  We are not referring to the, falsely titled, ‘Gold Standard’ RT-Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests, where false positives are possible, the ‘isolated RNA’ is questionable (i.e. there could be a bunch of viruses identified as SARS-CoV-2), chain of custody questions, and in a split second you can find yourself in a ward with people who are positive.

Instead, and more pragmatically we are referring to rapid Antigen tests, which since their emergence in the second half of 2020 (discarded in the main by medical science for their availability to the general public, under the guise of not being 100% accurate) have undergone phenomenal improvements in specimen collection and in performance. 

Here is a recent article from Forbes highlighting that more and more countries are adopting rapid home testing as another tool against the spread of this disease:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/williamhaseltine/2021/06/01/united-kingdom-data-show-population-based-rapid-antigen-tests-are-a-potent-covid-control-tool/?sh=35beb894e26a

What is the difference between the Antibody test and the Antigen test?

In short, the antibodies tell us if you have already had the virus. The antigens tell us if you are currently fighting the disease (even if you are asymptomatic).

This article discusses the two types of tests and their accuracy:

https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-tests-are-pretty-accurate-but-far-from-perfect-136671

One of the observations that stood out was particularly germane to this discussion:

False negatives could occur if a person is tested too early or too late during their infection and there isn’t a lot of virus in their cells. And finally, errors can happen if a sample sits too long before being tested, which allows the viral RNA to break down.

This is particularly disturbing in that PCR tests performed at a hospital or doctor’s office can be expensive and the sample can breakdown by the time it is tested at a lab.

With the rapid antigen tests, even if a test is a false negative, a new test can be administered hours later to double confirm the negative result. The V-Chek test‘s accuracy and cost ensures that multiple tests can be administered at different intervals with no chain of custody issues, at a fraction of what one test would cost at a private medical center.

To order the V-Chek tests, please contact us at +852 9302 8179 on Whatsapp. Sorry for any inconvenience.

The need for the antibody tests is not nearly as urgent as the need for the antigen tests. The antibodies test can help those already recovered breathe easier, knowing that they probably have some level of immunity to the disease. There are a few documented cases of reinfection, but I am not sure if they are conclusive.

Since we are currently focused on selling the antigen tests and keeping our schools, businesses, restaurants, and bars open, we will discuss them and our suggestions in greater detail.

Nasal Swabs may be history:

Originally a patient would be tortured with a nasal swab which, in the hands of many ‘health professionals’ made the Inquisition seem tame and/or brought on severe sinusitis.  These experiences, akin to my memories of dental nurses in the 70s, hardly encourage potential patients to volunteer to be tested.

Peek Concepts, in its dogged pursuit to find cutting edge, effective, and affordable products, has scoured the globe to get our corner of the world back to the ‘new normal’ and we are proud to identify the latest in testing technology for rapid antigen testing, our V-Chek Rapid Saliva Antigen Tests which require nothing more than spitting saliva into a tube, shaking it around and dropping a few drops on a strip. 10 minutes later, you have your results.

Saliva Tests:  NOBODY can mess up this one

It’s as easy as that and 99% specificity, with no false positives. Finally, a non-invasive test that’s not painful or uncomfortable at an extremely affordable price.

These are also CE Authorized, which means they can be sold into the European Union. Most of the products you see in the stores locally have not gone through the rigorous testing and quality assurances required for this certification. A CE Marking process includes a rigorous examination of quality manufacturing procedures and indicates to the public that the marked device meets the standards set by the Union for products and medical devices.

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_2483

If you were wondering about efficacy of the saliva tests, we’ve searched and found a comprehensive article published in ‘The Scientist’ which details comparisons between nasal and saliva tests, but ALSO goes further to suggest that are old nemesis SARS-CoV-2 hangs around in Saliva for many days…even in the Tropics!

Article:  https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/covid-19-diagnostics-how-do-saliva-tests-compare-to-swabs–68035

How long does it take to get results for an antigen test?

Currently there are several tests on the market. The PCR test is the most common, but requires a minimum of 24 hours and a lab to perform it. This would, actually, be quite laughable if it weren’t so serious. The best way to contain an outbreak is to detect this disease when a person is most infectious.

According to this very comprehensive and excellent, FACT SHEET COVID-19 disease (SARS-CoV-2 virus)  written by scientists from the Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases Unit of Sciensano:

Viral load in the upper respiratory tract is highest around the day of symptom onset, followed by a gradual decline over time (97–104). A recent meta-analysis of 21 studies aiming at understanding antibody and viral RNA detection kinetics during SARS-CoV-2 infection, found that detection of RNA from upper respiratory tract samples was higher at symptom onset.

So, time is of the essence, when testing a person who has begun to show symptoms. This can only be ensured with a rapid antigen test kit.

The V-Check Rapid Saliva Antigen Tests are the fastest, cheapest and most accurate tests on the market. At 99% specificity and results in under 10 minutes, we are asking ourselves why aren’t more schools and businesses opting to purchase these test kits? Why aren’t these being used at airports?

We think it is important that everyone from a family of four, to a restaurant group, to a school, all the way up to an airport or hospital, should have access to these tests at a reasonable price.

These kits also ensure privacy when testing you and your family, if done from home.

Stay safe! Get tested! Know, don’t guess!

Please contact us with any questions: hello@peekconcepts

                                                             Cell/WhatsApp: +852 9302 8179

Peek Concepts Guide to Vacuum Sealing and Sous Vide Cooking

Sous Vide is a French term, that can be translated as “under pressure”. It’s somewhat ironic, since it can be a source of great pressure relief.

Sous Vide cooking takes all the pressure off knowing when something is the right temperature. A medium rare steak is the perfect temperature every time, because it can’t be over cooked under the sous vide method. To finish it, you just need to sear it in a pan for a few seconds on each side.

There are myriad cookbooks on the sous vide method and many creative ways of using the method to make the perfect dish. For purposes of this blog, we are going to focus on the safety, storage and usefulness of vacuum sealing food and cooking it via the sous vide method.

Vacuum sealing food is a great way to keep it fresh for 3-4x longer than conventional Ziplock bags. Whether you are keeping nuts in the cupboard, fruit in the fridge or meat in the freezer, a vacuum sealed perishable will be fresh as the day you sealed it for weeks, months and even years, depending on where you store it.

Vacuum sealing and sous vide go hand in hand for both quality of your meals and safety of keeping food fresh and cooked to the right temperature. It is important to note that vacuum packaging is not a substitute for refrigeration or freezing. It is more of a complement to keeping food stored under these conditions fresh for longer.

The process of vacuum sealing keeps food from getting freezer burn by eliminating most of the moisture that causes crystals to form on food and tear at it. Make sure your food is dry before vacuum sealing. Pat down meats with a cloth.

Products such as dried nuts and crackers can be stored at room temperature. I personally don’t need to vacuum seal these though, since they don’t last very long in our household. Here is a great article from the National Center for Home Food Preservation, that helps explain proper vacuum sealing procedures: https://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/uga/vacuum_packaging.html

Essentially, just like all food prep, maintaining a clean environment and using proper hygiene is always advisable.

Here is another helpful article on vacuum sealing fruits and veggies: https://www.crazyvegankitchen.com/guide-to-vacuum-sealing-fresh-produce/

One of the takeaways I got from this article, even though it is directed toward vegans is that marinating meats in a vacuum sealed bag is a great way to reduce the time needed for the marinade to really infuse. For dense meats like steaks and chops, I liked to dry rub and/or marinate and put in the fridge overnight.

For the times when an impromptu party pops up at your place, you can cut that time down to a fraction by dry rubbing or marinating in a vacuum sealed bag. Use that pressure to relieve the pressure of serving a bland roast!

Now that you have vacuum sealed and froze all your meat and produce, it’s good to cycle through it every so often, eat it and replace it with new products. This may even be the source of your impromptu party.

Trying to do too many things at once is a great way to do nothing correctly. This is where using a sous vide cooker comes in handy. You can take out your meat and veggies and put them all in the same pot, set your slow cooker to the temperature you want and go about whatever else you need to do.

Once the food achieves the temperature of the bath, it is up to you to decide how to finish it. If you want to make sure your meat is the right temperature, you can use our Sous Vide Thermapen 3 Thermometer. It has a superfine probe to penetrate the bag and let you know if the internal temperature of your dish. After measuring the temperature, you can reseal the hole with our Sous Vide Tape. You can then put your steaks in a pan to sear, cover your asparagus in melted butter or cheese, cut open and serve your ratatouille as is.

Sous viding your food is a great way to get you 90% of the way to a fantastic meal. Keeping it vacuum sealed and in the freezer is a great way for your food to taste like it was butchered or picked fresh that day.

Some other great ideas for vacuum sealing and using the sous vide method for cooking are:

Avoid panic buying during emergencies. Have a variety of vacuum sealed, frozen fresh foods on hand in case of any dilemma.

Make a big pot of stew, mac n cheese, or chili and place them in individual sized vacuum sealed bags. This is a great way to save money and avoid waste. You or your helper can just pop a bag or two into a pot of water, set the sous vide stick to the desired temperature and your kids have a healthy meal that was just as easy as a microwaved, store bought meal full of MSG and other strange ingredients.

Spices and herbs tend to lose their potency and flavor rather quickly in this environment. Keep your spices in vacuum sealed bags in the fridge or freezer to preserve them. When you need to use them just open the bag use what you need, reseal it and restore it to the cold.

Cook the perfect soft or hard boiled eggs every time. I wouldn’t recommend vacuum sealing raw eggs though…

Buying food in bulk and storing in vacuum sealed individual portions is a great way to save money, prepare for emergencies, prevent waste and make cooking less of a hassle.

You can also vacuum seal non-perishables for storage such as batteries, emergency items, cords and anything else that you want to put away in storage that is susceptible to moisture damage.

Do you keep your winter/summer clothes in storage? Vacuum sealing them will keep them from getting moldy and will also shrink wrap them for maximizing use of space.

I’ve touched on several great uses of sous vide sticks and vacuum sealers. There are many more and searching the internet for uses and recipes is also part of the fun of owning these kitchen devices. You’ll find many more uses in your travels and in speaking with professionals and amateurs alike.

Try our vacuum sealer. Just the right size for the Hong Kong kitchen and our Sous Vide Precision Cooker/Timer. You won’t find a better deal!

Any questions? hello@peekconcepts.com or Whatsapp us at +852 9302 8179

Stay safe and happy cooking!

Does Wearing a Mask Help Prevent Disease?

The not so short answer is yes, but it depends on which mask you wear.

Many times a product that may not be seen as a health and safety product has a dual function. One may not think of a meat thermometer or vacuum sealer as a health and safety product. It may not be a tool’s primary function, but it can be every bit as valuable to health and safety as a smoke alarm.

Our N99 masks serve both to prevent disease from breathing in too much pollution to preventing the transmission of viruses and bacteria.

Here is a great article from phys.org that discusses how Covid-19 clouds are dispersed with and without the use of face masks. There are myriad arguments on both sides regarding the efficacy of wearing face masks. This doesn’t weigh in on the politics, fortunately, it merely discusses the Physics of Fluids.

The conclusion is that, yes, wearing a mask greatly reduces the volume and distance of a cough cloud. It also noted that an N95 mask is far more effective than a surgical mask. While masks aren’t a panacea and surgical masks are especially ineffective and terrible for the environment, it’s a good idea to wear at least an N95 on a bus or train or other confined public place.

Our previous article entitled: Understanding Hong Kong Air Pollution, went into detail about how we measure the fine particulates of pollution in our air. Aside from viral and bacterial prevention, it’s a good idea to wear an N95 or N99 mask when venturing outside on a heavily hazy day. Fine particulates can also be a source of breathing issues and disease. Before this pandemic, there was always a strong demand for our masks because of Hong Kong’s pollution.

Peek Concepts is committed to selling quality products that are both good for health and safety and good for the environment. Our Cambridge Masks and Dragon Masks are both N99 which stop over 99.7% of particles as small as PM0.3.

Here is another article, from USA Today that explains why wearing at least an N95 mask is your best protection against both transmitting and receiving coronaviruses:

Basically a virus is usually attached to a larger particle and doesn’t float around by itself. N95 masks also capture particles much smaller than .3 microns.

The other added benefit of using a reusable mask is that they are better for the environment than a disposable one. The Cambridge masks can last for 3-6 months before needing to be replaced. Here is an article from the Cambridge Mask Blog about exercising with a mask on. According to the Mayo Clinic, “It’s safe to wear a mask while exercising. New research has shown that your heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, oxygen level and time of exhaustion are not significantly affected by wearing a mask during moderate to strenuous aerobic physical activity.”

The Dragon masks have replaceable filters which only need to be changed periodically, depending on usage.

According to THIS ARTICLE FROM OCEANSASIA, a Hong Kong based environmental group, over 1.56 BILLION disposable masks entered the marine environment in 2020.

According to THIS ARTICLE FROM NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, “Globally, 65 billion gloves are used every month. The tally for face masks is nearly twice that—129 billion a month. That translates into 3 million face masks used per minute.”

These ‘disposable’ masks are made of mostly polypropylene, a plastic that can take hundreds of years to degrade, and when they do, they just break down into microplastic fibres.

At 199HK$ they are far more cost effective, safer, and environmentally friendly than breathing in plastic microfibres. As our masks are washable, they are far more hygienic and can also be disinfected with our portable UV-C wand.

Lastly here is a piece on skin conditions due to frequent wearing of masks.

Masks can be breeding grounds for bacteria and molds that may cause skin and respiratory problems. When using a reusable mask it’s important to keep it clean and disinfected.

Unfortunately we are not always near a place to where we can properly wash our mask. A great way to disinfect your masks on the go is with a UV-C wand. Apply these to yours and your family members’ masks periodically, to ensure a clean breathing environment.

Peek Concepts has two very portable and very effective models available here and here.

In addition to wearing a mask in public places like buses, one of the best ways to prevent the spread of the disease is to regularly check yourselves and your loved ones before gatherings with our V-Chek Covid 19 Rapid Saliva Antigen Test Kits. These test kits have a specificity of 99%.

According to this article in Forbes, this study was able to “show that rapid testing can and does work when coupled with other mitigation measures.” It would only seem like a bit of common sense to check everyone at a party or other gathering. These tests give results in 10 minutes.

Hope this is helpful and informative. Please drop us any feedback or suggestions to hello@peekconcepts.

Stay safe, healthy and informed! Know, don’t guess.

About Peek Concepts

Peek Concepts was orginally established to provide Hong Kong families with pollution monitors, water testers, cooking thermometers and safety equipment for the home. Keep your family safe. Know, don’t guess.

RETAIL

Our online store exclusively focuses on bringing monitoring, measuring and safety products to your home at affordable prices. Our product range is either unique or hard to find in Hong Kong. Now you can shop from the comfort of your home whilst experiencing the level of customer service available from traditional retail outlets. We are available to answer your questions through email or telephone.

DISTRIBUTION

Our distribution arm focuses on bringing branded household monitoring, measuring and safety products to the Hong Kong consumer. We ensure that your product meets local regulatory requirements and reaches the consumer through the most favorable channels. We view our partnerships as long term commitments, often making significant upfront investments to support your brands with education programmes, trade partnerships, marketing and advertising.

Peek Concepts is the official distributor of Electronic Temperature Instruments Limited (ETI) products, which includes the Thermapen, in Hong Kong. UK based ETI is widely regarded as the world leader in temperature measuring equipment. If your company is interested in joining our reseller or partner programme, contact us at hello@peekconcepts.com

關於Peek Concepts

Peek Concepts成立於香港,並致力向香港的家庭提供最好的產品,例如各類感應器、安全用品、煮食用品等等。Peek Concepts向您提供所需知識—Know, don’t guess

零售

Peek Concepts的在線商店專門致力於以實惠的價格將監視、測量和安全產品帶到您的家中。Peek Concepts提供獨特範圍的產品,或者很難在香港搜購到。客戶可以在家中舒適地購物,同時體驗傳統零售店提供的客戶服務水平。我們可以通過電子郵件或電話回答您的問題。

批發

Peek Concepts的分銷部門致力於為香港消費者帶來品牌化的家庭監控、測量和安全產品。我們確保您的產品符合當地法規要求,並通過最有利的渠道吸引消費者。我們將合作夥伴關係視為長期承諾,通常會進行大量的前期投資,以通過教育計劃,貿易合作夥伴關係,營銷和廣告來支持您的品牌。

Peek Concepts是Electronic Temperature Instruments Limited(ETI)產品的正式分銷商,其中包括Thermapen。英國的ETI被廣泛認為是溫度測量設備的世界領先者。如果您的公司有興趣加入我們的經銷商或合作夥伴計劃,請聯繫我們!

電話: +852 9302 8179