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Risk Estimation:  It would come as a surprise to most people to learn that so-called quantitative cancer risk assessments do not actually quantify true risk.  The actuarial risk calculated by insurance companies (e.g., the risk of dying in an auto accident), is based on actual data on the incidence of disease-, disaster- or accident-related mortality.  However, actuarial data on disease incidence or mortality in humans resulting from very low exposures to chemicals in the environment simply do not exist.  Instead, data from occupational studies of more heavily exposed humans are used, where available.  However, epidemiological studies seldom have the quantitative exposure data needed for a quantitative risk assessment.  To create a surrogate for this missing low-...

DISPATCH 6/13/08: Scary Curtains, Diarrhea, Expired Medicine, Floods, and Fat

Honorary seat at the table goes to Dr. Marvin J. Schissel
We would like to offer Dr. Schissel a seat at the ACSH breakfast table for his response to an article touting the health benefits of organic food in Harvard Medical School's Healthbeat Extra. Dr. Schissel wrote to tell them, "no evidence has ever supported the allegations that organic food is healthier, more nutritious, or superior in any way to conventionally produced food." ACSH hopes more people like Dr. Schissel speak up on behalf of sound science.

Quote of the day
"The claims that are being made on shower curtains are phantasmagorical." --Julie Vallese, spokesperson...

At the American Council on Science and Health, our goal is to increase people s awareness of actual threats to their health smoking, for example without their having to spend time worrying about things that pose no danger at all. Unfortunately, the goals of some politicians, the media, and certain activist groups can be somewhat different they frequently aim to create a sensation and gain publicity without much regard for actual scientific evidence. This annual list of the top 10 health scares aims to quell fears by discussing the real evidence about these unscientific scares.

1 & 2. Phthalates in cosmetics and school supplies

Environmental activist groups have criticized phthalates as being dangerous at the levels they are found in school supplies. They have...

Whether you are traveling around the world or relaxing at home, a safe, healthy vacation will add to your enjoyment. Here are some health and safety tips to keep in mind when planning your summer vacation.

The Dark Side of Summer Sun

Sunbathing is a favorite summer activity but perhaps it shouldn't be. In fact, sunbathing has only been popular during this century. Why be wary of acquiring a tan? First, sunburn may ruin your vacation. In addition, it is now thought that the long-term effect of severe sunburn may be an increased likelihood of various types of skin cancer.

It is far better to prevent sunburn than to deal with it after the fact. There is relatively little that you can do for a sunburn; cold compresses or cool baths may relieve...

Whether you are traveling around the world or relaxing at home, a safe, healthy vacation will add to your enjoyment. Here are some health and safety tips to keep in mind when planning your summer vacation.

The Dark Side of Summer Sun

Sunbathing is a favorite summer activity -- but perhaps it shouldn't be. In fact, sunbathing has only been popular during this century. Why be wary of acquiring a tan? First, sunburn may ruin your vacation. In addition, the large body of evidence indicates that the long-term effect of severe sunburn may be an increased likelihood of various types of skin cancer.

It is far better to prevent sunburn than to deal with it after the fact. There is relatively little that you can do for sunburn; cold compresses or cool baths...