Category Archive: Activist Groups
How Dirty Are Your Fruits and Veggies?
Every year since 1995, Environmental Working Group activists publish a “Dirty Dozen” list of fruits and vegetables which contain the most pesticide residues. The list certainly sounds scary, and it generates a host of alarming headlines. But the good news is it doesn’t take much effort to expose the EWG’s weak science and fearmongering arguments. A peer-reviewed study that looked into the produce EWG continually criticizes as the “dirtiest” found that “all pesticide exposure estimates were well below established chronic reference doses.” A chronic reference dose is the maximum amount of a substance that humans can safely eat over a long period of...Read More
Does Coffee Cause Cancer?
Yesterday, a California court decided that coffee served in the state must come with a cancer warning. As it turns out, the venti-sized scare doesn’t have much grounds in science. A law called Proposition 65 is responsible for requiring the cancer warnings. Prop 65 requires any business with 10 or more employees that sells products in California to warn their customers about the presence of close to 900 chemicals “known to the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm.” For coffee, that chemical is acrylamide. Brewed coffee contains anywhere from 3 to 13 parts per billion of acrylamide, a...Read More
Shoppers Want Parabens – But Have No Idea What Parabens Are
In recent years, activist groups have spent millions of dollars convincing consumers that the chemicals lurking in their cosmetics pose an unreasonable risk to human health. The narrative isn’t true –as any elementary school science teacher can tell you, everything in the world is made of chemicals. And the vast majority of substances you encounter every day won’t hurt you. But do consumers see through the activist scaremongering? We decided to find out by gauging consumer opinions on parabens. Parabens are chemicals added to shampoos, lotions, makeups and other personal care products to prevent bacteria and fungus from calling your toiletries home. They’re...Read More
Leftovers Are Great, But What About Those Plastic Containers?
As parents resume the early morning rush of sending their kids back to school, leftovers and make-ahead meals are often the easiest way to ensure everyone is getting the nutrition they need. But while busy families try to make better health decisions, some activists are blaming an unlikely aggressor for America’s expanding waistline: plastics. In recent years, flawed research has linked phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA) in plastic containers to health issues like insulin resistance and weight gain, respectively. Some incorrectly claim that microwaving food in plastic containers makes the problem worse. In 2008, Good Housekeeping magazine put these claims to the test. It...Read More
When It Comes to Athletics, Chemistry is the Real MVP
Friday night lights are soon to be ablaze as schools across the nation welcome the return of their students – and fall sports. And although the jock-verses-nerd plot will surely continue to have a home in popular culture, our student athletes owe much of their safety to chemistry. High school football players suffer roughly 1 concussion per 1,000 games and practices, making helmet safety a top priority. New helmet designs developed in the last decade often make use of a flexible polycarbonate shell that surrounds different types of shock-absorbing plastic. One design by a team of mechanical engineers at the University of Michigan uses an elastic-like plastic to absorb...Read More