poison ivy

Summer is around the corner, so in addition to the usual annoyances, mosquitos, ticks, visiting relatives (worse because insect sprays don't work very well), there is always the delightful possibility of brushing up against the always-hideous poison ivy. Poison ivy is some nasty -ass stuff. But if you read this nasty-ass article to the end at least you will no longer need to scratch your head about why you're scratching the rest of you. It's all about chemistry and toxicity.

Experienced medicinal chemists (1) will usually develop an ability called "eyeball toxicity" - the ability to look at the chemical structure of a molecule and make a pretty good guess about whether the molecule will be toxic. But this only works in one direction. It is not difficult to look...

images 2In order to avoid easily preventable spoilers of summer leisure time fun and travel, we at ACSH encourage you to take seriously the tips given above. It is our hope that they will help you to have a happy, healthy summer vacation!

1. Moderation is the key in sun exposure. If you are going to be out in the sun, use broad-spectrum sunscreen protecting you from both UVA and UVB rays. And make sure to use a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher, though most experts advise against going over 30. Reapply sunscreen often, especially if you are going in the water or sweating.

2. Many people like to start the tanning season...