Chemicals & Chemistry

The National Park Service issued a warning against licking the Sonoran desert toad - an act that most people would intuitively avoid. But the frog contains a powerful hallucinogen, which produces LSD-like effects that can dangerous. So if you’re traveling around the southwestern US better watch your tongue.
Thirty years ago, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) launched a PR campaign against a plant-growth regulator called Alar, effectively eliminating the use of the chemical in agriculture. What's the legacy of this infamous anti-chemical scare? The New York Times continues to attack good scientists on the say-so of environmental groups. The paper is trashing its credibility.
Meryl Streep, a proud Vassar grad, recently received a Distinguished Alumni Award from her alma mater. But rather than stress her stellar career as an actor, she discussed an earlier moment as a citizen-scientist. “Once you know how to search out and credit the facts around certain problems, you are called on by your conscience to act on them. The Vassar conscience rings a bell in your head; it’s a call to action in your heart.” The problem? Alar.
Let's say that your car gets 300 miles on a full tank of gas. Would you expect it to go 600 miles with a half tank? Or 1,200 with a quarter tank? If that sounds crazy welcome to Homeopathy World, where the same "logic" applies. This article might not get your car to go further but it could save you the 20 bucks you might otherwise throw away on Arnica.
The activist group Friends of the Earth and its cheerleaders at The Guardian say soaring pesticide use is poisoning millions of people and killing thousands. True to form, they have misused the evidence to make their case.
Contrary to the story pushed by activist groups and reporters, recent research has shown that genetically engineered crops and the pesticides often paired with them have yielded impressive environmental benefits.
Yet another study shows that Neurontin is a poor substitute for prescription opioids, so why do physicians continue to prescribe it? Twitter recently put a warning on an ACSH obesity story. Is social-media censorship here to stay?
Having Covid is a good excuse to bitch about...whatever. I chose digital thermometers. Hateful monstrosities.
Cannabis is a complex mixture of hundreds of chemicals. Here’s a look at one of them.
The New Lede — the Environmental Working Group's "investigative reporting" outlet — continues to mislead readers about pesticides. This time it’s spreading nonsense about a recent lawsuit challenging the EPA's assessment of the weedkiller glyphosate. Let's have a look.
China is 'seeding' clouds to increase rainfall and fight a severe drought. Will it work? A large body of research shows that soda taxes are ineffective, so why do public health experts continue to endorse them? Finally, has climate change increased the number of heart attacks we suffer? No.
There are thousands of chemicals, mostly dyes, used to create tattoos. Some of them are known carcinogens. Although the tattoo-cancer link is weak, people who are worried can get them removed. But the lasers that remove tattoos react with some inks and produce a different set of carcinogens—a strange but interesting problem.