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Awash in Carcinogens

12 Apr 2023

Sir Percival Pott took an interest in the scrota of men. Particularly chimney sweeps. Pott was an eminent surgeon who in 1775 published a seminal paper that for the first time identified an...

Fiber Follies

23 Nov 2022

The scary headline scooted around the internet. “Diets high in Processed Fiber May Increase Risk of Liver Cancer in Some People.” Unsurprisingly, this prompted lots of questions, including one from...

Why is COVID-19 prompting questions about Proposition 65?

19 Aug 2020

The tentacles of COVID-19 reach into every area of life. I’ve been getting a flurry of calls about vacuum cleaners, air filters, and cordless hair clippers. Sales of these items have increased...

Here's My Beef with the Pro-Meat Study

10 Oct 2019

​This article was first published in The Montreal Gazette. The meat controversy is broiling over. Let’s stew on it.

The Secret to a More Flavourful Stew

14 Jan 2019

The secret is the Maillard reaction! In 1912, Louis-Camille Maillard discovered that bread crust, coffee beans, beer and roasted meat all turned brown because of a chemical reaction between sugars...

It's Time to BBQ!

12 Jul 2018

The word “barbecue” derives from the ancient Caribbean tradition of supporting food over a fire with a scaffolding made from green wood which in Spanish was called "barbacoa." The technique itself...

Should there be any concern about working in an environment with continuous exposure to “new tire smell?”

22 Feb 2018

The short answer is that if you note a scent, some of the chemicals responsible for the aroma are finding their way into your body. Whether or not these are harmful depends on which specific...

PCBs are Not “Toxic Time Bombs”

20 Mar 2017

We haven’t heard much about polychlorinated biphenyls, or “PCBs” since the fire at St. Basil-Le Grand in 1988, but we sure are hearing a lot now. There are two angles to the illegally stored PCB...

Unexpected consequences are part and parcel of science

20 Mar 2017

Science is as a quest for knowledge. Sometimes it ends with a clear-cut result, often not. The Earth goes around the sun. Water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen. The speed of light is 299,792,458...


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