On my recent flight to New York City, an attendant announced that a passenger had a severe peanut allergy. If any of us had brought food containing peanuts, it was requested that we put it away for the entire flight. I poked fun at this on my Facebook page, after which I was castigated for my insensitivity and lack of compassion.
"It's the recirculated air," one person said.
"It can be ingested through particles circulated in the air," chimed in another.
A teacher weighed in, too: "A child in my class... went in to shock after touching the same door knob that someone who had... peanuts had touched earlier."
No, that's not how it works. The apparently widespread belief that recirculated peanut-tainted air can kill unsuspecting children is based on several...