Chemicals & Chemistry

In these sensitive times, stereotypes are a big no-no. Hopefully, this doesn't apply to chemicals, because there is one group of them called esters. They smell really nice, even though the two components that combine to form esters can smell like foot odor or vomit. A stinky chemistry lesson. Hold your nose and read.
Bisphenol A – a long-used component of polycarbonate plastics, is one of the most studied chemicals in the world. Even the ultra-cautious FDA has declared it safe for people as used. But some scientists have built a career by screaming about how dangerous it is, so we have another paper. Enough already.
A new study reveals that nearly 40% of Europeans want to "live in a world where chemical substances don't exist." Another 82% didn't know that table salt is table salt, whether it is extracted from the ocean or made synthetically.
The next Beyond Science and Decisions Workshop XI will be held on February 18-20, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Taft Auditorium of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
Gold is known as a noble metal because of its lack of chemical reactivity. But if you treat it right, you can get it to do some cool things. You can chew on it, make some lousy drugs, screw up the environment mining it, and (maybe) even make a super-pricey burger. Really.
Here's a chemical scare: marijuana will cause men to grow boobs. Unlike most chemical scares, this one is scientifically plausible and probably real, something just wrote about. Will Victoria's Secret's business model now expand to include what "Victor" might need?
What do John Phillips, dead leaves and thin-layer chromatography have in common? We ain't talking. You have to read this horrendous article if you want to know.
One of the chemicals that's commonly added to foods is the preservative sodium benzoate. Just how much food would you have to eat before that chemical killed you? It's tough to say exactly, but it's safe to conclude that the only real threat is if you get hit by a truck hauling sodium benzoate.
In the age of "Facebook science," the weight of evidence must compete with powerful popular narratives. Can common sense help? Let's take a look.
Two Arkansas professors were recently charged with making methamphetamine. But the chemical that police found was a simple reagent called benzyl chloride. Are these guys guilty? It all depends on the chemistry.
As you know, Thanksgiving is just around the corner and you're probably salivating at the thought of all the yummy traditional dishes. That is, unless you're a member of the Environmental Working Group, a bunch of anti-chemical alarmists backed by a grand tradition of ghastly science. What might they be eating for Thanksgiving? Let's find out.
The tragic accident, when a restaurant manager in Massachusetts died, was the result of a simple chemical reaction called neutralization. That's when an acid and a base are combined. Unfortunately in this case, the base was sodium hypochlorite, or bleach. When bleach is acidified, deadly chlorine is released. It's a terrible shame this young manager wasn't aware of this fatal combination. So you can stay safe, here's what to look out for.