chemicals

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) uses an authoritative sounding name to peddle scientific half-truths and outright fabrications. Along with Greenpeace and PETA, it is beloved by activists but detested by scientists.

Several years ago, George Mason University surveyed 937 members of the Society of Toxicology, an association of professional toxicologists. Nearly 4 out of 5 (79%) of those responding said that EWG -- as well as the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) -- overstate the health risks of chemicals.

Despite this vote of no confidence in EWG by the scientific...

Alex Trebek: "An insulting term you call a company that sells 'natural chemical' bracelets which supposedly protect kids from mosquitoes."

Contestant: "What is ... A bunch of dirtbags?"

Alex Trebek: "Correct!"

Just another day. Chemophobia and its frequent partner, sleazy marketing rise again. This time it's a real beauty. And, the timing is just right — the beginning of a mosquito season, which could end up being quite unique, depending on how Zika behaves (1).

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The language of science has been hijacked. Those who are looking to make a quick buck (or in the case of the organic industry, 43 billion bucks) have no qualms about twisting the definition of highly precise scientific terminology to suit their own profit-driven agendas. Misinterpreting scientists’ words is also a common tactic employed by fearmongering environmentalists and activists.

In fact, the problem of hijacked scientific terminology is so great that ACSH’s Dr. Josh Bloom wrote an entire book about it.

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George Washington may be the only popularly elected ruler in history who, when his supporters offered to crown him King, relinquished his power instead. Politically speaking, that was a very unnatural thing to do.

Historically, federal agencies have not surrendered their power, even after their congressional mandates were accomplished. Instead, they have invented new problems to solve, thereby justifying their continued existence.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created by Congress in 1970 to write and enforce regulations designed to protect the environment and, by extension, human health. The Agency for Toxic Substances...

S.Korean chip worker Computer Chip Worker in South Korea, via Shutterstock

A recent decision by a South Korean administrative court found that the ovarian cancer which killed a Samsung plant worker at the age of 36 bore a "significant causal relationship" to her long-term exposure to certain chemicals involved in the process of making silicon chips.

The deceased worker, Lee Eun-joo, began her six-year career at the Samsung factory in 1993 at the age of...

Crumb rubber via Shutterstock Crumb rubber via Shutterstock

On a Sunday in November 2006, with the day going her way and the lady Gauchos leading 4-0, Austen Everett didn't know she d die young. Parents and classmates cheered as the freshman goalkeeper once considered one of the top five in the nation walked off the UC Santa Barbara soccer field, victorious.

It didn't occur to Everett that the sport she loved might contribute to her death a few years later, bringing her parents...

electronic cigarette via shutterstock electronic cigarette via shutterstock

The makers of electronic cigarettes believe that their products are safer than combustible tobacco products, as do many of those who use them ("vapers"). However, a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) indicates that even non-tobacco, non-combustible products may have some risks. The flavors that help to make...

Hydrofracking.47c1aabd-225x146In the largest study of its kind, a group of researchers from Yale University, led by Brian D. Drollette and Dr. Desiree Plata of the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, studied the chemicals in groundwater obtained from 64 wells in three Pennsylvania counties where fracking is taking place. They were seeking evidence for groundwater contamination produced from the process of fracking, technically known as high-volume hydraulic fracturing. However, the research team found no such evidence.

The researchers reported no association with deeper pollution sources, nor for...

BreastmilkWe have been keeping our eyes on Denmark's Dr. Phillipe Grandjean and the Harvard School of Public Health for quite some time now. He has a long and well-deserved reputation of being in the forefront of "toxic terror" campaigns based on his cohort studies of pregnant women, newborns and pre-schoolers in the North Atlantic's Faroe Islands and their dietary intake of mercury-laden whale meat. Using these data, he has launched and promulgated generalized anxieties about all sorts of fish in our diets as potentially toxic, and more recently has become a...

Fracked well at sunsetThe latest scare promulgated by the forces of anti-technology and anti-fossil fuel comes disguised as a health warning. Faculty of the University of Pennsylvania s Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology, led by Reynold Panettieri Jr., its deputy director, studied the potential health effects of living near a fracked drilling site. Their research appeared in the recent edition of the open-access journal...