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toxic

How do you know?

2 Sep 2021

That is the question a student asked me after I had just finished a lecture on toxicology in which I had described the problem of cyanide poisoning by cassava, a tuber similar to the potato. With...

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...

The “Greenwashing” Effect

22 Jul 2020

“Greenwashing” is the term used to describe the promotion of a product based on misleading claims of superiority to other products in terms of environmental impact or safety. For example, many...

Can a Moscow Mule Kick Out the Coronavirus?

29 Apr 2020

Can a Moscow Mule reduce the chance of becoming infected by the coronavirus? That’s just one of the many unusual questions that has come my way as a panicked population clutches at every possible...

What is "Hormesis"?

24 Jan 2020

Just about every textbook of toxicology pays homage to Paracelsus, the sixteenth century alchemist. Why? Because he introduced the idea that “only the dose makes the poison.” It makes no sense to...

Are poinsettias poisonous?

5 Dec 2017

If you have avoided having poinsettias in your home because of small children or animals, you’re not alone. But despite the commonly held belief that poinsettias are toxic, they aren’t. This myth...

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...

Composers’ deaths left many questions unanswered

20 Mar 2017

Both Beethoven and Mozart were spectacular talents whose music will live forever. That’s a fact. But when it comes to the composers’ deaths, facts give way to theories, some reasonable, some...

Dr Oz and Phthalates

20 Mar 2017

The title of the segment on the Dr. Oz Show was “The Secret Ingredient Companies are Hiding in Your Food.” What could that be? Some opiate to keep you coming back for more? Tetrahydrocannabinol to...

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