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Just say no!

22 Feb 2023

“A spoonful of sucrose helps the medicine go down,” as Mary Poppins told us. But she neglected to say that it also increases our risk of cardiovascular disease. Actually, Mary didn’t say sucrose,...

Benzene Jitters

19 Jan 2022

At one time it was used as an aftershave because of its sweet smell.  It was even used to decaffeinate coffee.  Oh my, how times change!  Today we worry about a few parts per billion of benzene in...

The Funhouse Mirror of Risk Perception

9 Jul 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated many preexisting problems. One of them is how to vet the avalanche of information flowing down at us on a daily basis. Another is how to properly assess the risks...

When You Play With Fire….

25 Jun 2021

There is an old saying that if you play with fire, eventually you will get burned. The same can be said for certain chemicals. Of course, I don’t mean “play” in the literal sense. What I mean is...

Should I Be Worried About My Earphones?

9 May 2017

Such warnings have become ubiquitous as a result of California’s Proposition 65, a well-intentioned law that has gone haywire and has caused undue anxiety among consumers. The intent was to protect...

Hazard and risk: Carcinogens in Processed Meat

20 Mar 2017

If you watched the news, read newspapers or surfed the web recently you will have been inundated with pictures of bacon and headlines describing it as carcinogenic. That’s because the International...

The U.S. Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

20 Mar 2017

Amidst the cacophony of jingoist, vacuous blather at the Republican Convention there were some noteworthy phrases that probably slipped by most viewers. A number of speakers talked about the need...

Number Needed to Treat

20 Mar 2017

We all want to be healthy and live as long as possible. So we think about popping vitamin pills, a daily dose of aspirin, eating foods with probiotics and taking statin drugs. And we puzzle over...

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