The most recent workshop of the Beyond Science and Decisions series was conducted at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in Cincinnati, Ohio, in February of this year.
Chemicals & Chemistry
GHB, one of the "date-rape drugs," is being increasingly abused after two decades of low usage. Here's a lesson on the chemistry, biochemistry, and nomenclature of the drug. Admittedly, this sounds deadly boring. But there's more. Juvenile puke humor! Enjoy.
Do people who sit facing south while playing Mahjong fart more than those who face north? What? You don't know? Well, here's a study for you.
A gigantic amount of ammonium nitrate recently exploded in Beirut, killing hundreds, injuring thousands while causing catastrophic damage. Chemically, it's not at all surprising that ammonium nitrate can detonate. With that, here's the answer to the question people around the world – and especially in Lebanon – are asking themselves: Why does it explode?
COVID COVID COVID COVID. Enough already. We need a break. Fortunately, We got a tip about a steaming, hot story (which will at least temporarily take your mind off COVID.) Certain Haribo Gummi Bears have been causing intense gastrointestinal distress in some people who have partaken, and they're not shy about revealing this. Or is this just urban legend? Let's get to the "bottom" of this. With a mini chemistry lesson.
A few weeks ago the EPA approved specific anti-coronavirus labeling for two Lysol products. But the two are part of a larger list of 470 other disinfectant products that "meet EPA's criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2." In other words, you can use them to kill the virus. I promise that this isn't nearly as boring as it sounds. But, just in case, have the NoDoz handy.
If your sole goal in life is getting your hands on a can of Lysol spray, be prepared to be bitterly disappointed. The EPA gave its approval for Reckitt Benckiser (which sells the stuff) to make anti-COVID claims for two Lysol products. What's in there that can kill the virus? Time for "The Dreaded Chemistry Lesson From Hell"? I think so.
The pandemic isn't making the world any brighter. Insecticides are being sold online to treat or prevent COVID-19 -- and people are buying them. Speaking of pesticides, you probably had a healthy dose of one this morning and it's more toxic than DDT. Drink up!
Q: Where do you go to find overpaid, under-sane professors, talking about chemistry when they know nothing about it? A: MIT, the home of Dr. Stephanie Seneff, who has spent a career making up nonsense about glyphosate. And she's outdone herself this time: Glyphosate causes COVID. Nope, not kidding.
Two of the experimental coronavirus drugs, chloroquine, and hydroxychloroquine are a breeze to synthesize. But remdesivir, possibly the most promising candidate, is anything but. It's a royal pain. Here's why.
In short, the public is often worried about chemical exposure, as they should be when such exposure exceeds a safe dose. The public’s interest is best served by trusting experts dedicated to public health protection and not by withholding scientific data from independent analysis.
All chemicals are toxic at some level. Some can cause harm at very small concentrations, while others need a large amount before there's a danger to human health. Even water can be deadly if consumed in large enough amounts. Let's take a closer look at various levels of safety and harm.