Chemicals & Chemistry

We hope you enjoy this – probably your last – Thanksgiving. Because, as you will see, you'll be scarfing down carcinogens with every bite. Don't believe me? Ask the Environmental Working Group. They'll be only too happy to tell you how these trace chemicals will kill you. For the rest of the ACSH staff, so long. It's been nice knowing all of you.
Pfizer's Paxlovid looks very promising in fighting COVID. It also provides a good opportunity to learn about how enzyme inhibitors work. For masochists only.
"Synthetic chemical in consumer products linked to early death, study finds.” “People with the highest levels of phthalates had a greater risk of death from any cause, especially cardiovascular mortality, according to a study published today in a peer-reviewed journal.” Let’s take a look behind the headlines, at the study itself, to see what it actually says. [1]
October 16th was designated "Ether Day" in 1906 in celebration of one of the most important discoveries in history. Read this and you'll get some fascinating history about ether and also another hideous chapter in The Dread Chemistry Lesson From Hell series. How can you not?
A new wave of lawsuits alleges that the weedkiller paraquat causes Parkinson's Disease. The evidence continues to undermine this claim.
Phosphorous was selected by Mother Nature to be the element responsible for holding together all genetic material. As its phosphate form, it is the basis for life. But a small modification of phosphate will take that life away quite efficiently - Sarin. Oh, yes - it's time for The Dreaded Chemistry Lesson From Hell!
Shane Ellison, the self-proclaimed "People's Chemist," has a lot to say about chemistry, drugs, and vaccines. Let's see if he knows what he's talking about.
Is there *nothing* so offensive and juvenile that it's off-limits, even to me? Maybe not.
What could be more delightful than a summer peach? The taste and scent are unmatched in the world of fruit. But beware. Chemicals are responsible for both the taste and scent and the Environmental Working Group doesn't like some of them. The salaries of those at the EWG are just peachy, but the chemical acumen of the group is the pits.
Perfluorooctanoate is a simple 8-member carbon molecule that has fluorine, rather than hydrogen, atoms. The result is a chemical that resembles simple forms of fat that occur naturally in our bodies – but does not break down significantly.
It's no secret that the weed killer glyphosate shows up in our food. But how much of a health risk is this to consumers? A new review paper examining the evidence offers a reassuring conclusion.
It's summertime, and for many of us, that means the beach. It is impossible to be a beach dweller and not notice the unique and wonderful smell of the ocean. By all means, take a deep breath. But what you're smelling is actually a fairly hideous chemical called dimethyl sulfide. Huh?