A Word from a Toxicologist

"A Word from a Toxicologist who Defected from the Federal Junk Science Army," By John Dale Dunn. Last week, I discovered Frank Schnell when he wrote a comment on formaldehyde and said it was not a cancer-causing agent and that the EPA had lied about it. His comment was on an American Council on Science and Health posting by Josh Bloom, Ph.D. (organic chemistry), with a 20-year history of pharmaceutical research. Bloom busied himself in the post eviscerating a scare-monger on formaldehyde from … [Read more...]

Untrustworthy Government Science

"Government Scientists are Squandering the Public’s Trust," Center for Accountability in Science. Who do you trust to tell you whether the products you buy are safe? Bloggers like the Food Babe who crow about “yoga mat” chemicals in bread? Or federal environmental and health regulators who review scientific research and determine which products are safe for consumers? According to a recent ORC poll commissioned by the Center for Accountability in Science, respondents overwhelmingly placed the … [Read more...]

EPA “Crisis” Science Racket

"How Natural Variations Became Environmental Crises: The Word Game," by Frank Schnell. In How Natural Variations Became Environmental Crises: The Numbers Racket, we looked at how officially “safe” levels of exposure gradually went from conservative, to ultra-conservative, to completely ridiculous. Even before the manipulation of numbers became commonplace, the manipulation of words was a major tool in promoting fear about science and keeping it alive. Simple words in common usage, like “risk”, … [Read more...]

Formaldehyde Cancer Claims Debunked

"Everything Causes Cancer – If You Listen to the NRDC," by Lila Abassi. I wish that when I was a student of anatomy I could have argued my way out of dissecting stinky cadavers – and I would have had a friend in Jennifer Sass, an alarmist who blogs for the Natural Resources Defense Council.  She sounds off on a recent report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which discusses health concerns regarding formaldehyde. Ms. Sass has a real issue with Lumber Liquidators, a … [Read more...]

Demonizing Formaldehyde

"Demonizing Formaldehyde For Fun And Profit," By Michael D. Shaw. Formaldehyde is a simple and ubiquitous molecule, used in countless products and industrial processes. The compound is synthesized by virtually every life form, and does not accumulate in the environment. However, since formaldehyde (along with everything else) is a “chemical,” greedy fear entrepreneurs are more than willing to scare the public. In so doing, they not only extract millions of dollars in dubious donations, they … [Read more...]

Top Ten Scares of 2014

"ACSH’s Top 10 Health Scares of 2014," by American Council on Science and Health. 10.The Food Babe attacks ingredient found in Subway bread The chemical azodicarbonamide is used in baking as a dough conditioner, meant to improve the strength and workability of the dough, as well as to increase the speed at which the dough rises. It is a common ingredient in bread. Azodicarbonamide is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. FDA, and is thus considered safe to be added to foods. Read … [Read more...]

Food Packaging Risks are Low

"For the record: 'Chemicals in Food Packaging May Be Health Risk'" By Sense about Science. Articles appeared in the Daily Mirror, the Guardian, the Daily Express and Daily Telegraph today with headlines such as ‘Cancer danger in food packs’ and ‘Chemicals in food packaging may be health risk' based on a comment article published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. The articles say that hundreds of dangerous chemicals such as formaldehyde and endocrine disruptors are leaching … [Read more...]

Formaldehyde Hype and WVA Chemical Spill

"West Virginia Chemical Spill and Formaldehyde Hype," by Angela Logomasini. In this final post on my series related to the January 9 chemical spill in West Virgina, I address wrongheaded claims that the spill also exposed Charleston residents to dangerous levels of formaldehyde. A few weeks after the spill, West Virginia Environmental Quality Board Vice Chairman Scott Simonton alleged that final traces of crude MCHM are breaking down and exposing residents to dangerous levels of formaldehyde. … [Read more...]

Chemical Spill & Formaldehyde Nonsense

"The West Virginia Formaldehyde Claim Is Nonsense," by Derek Lowe. This morning I heard reports of formaldehyde being found in Charleston, West Virginia water samples as a result of the recent chemical spill there. My first thought, as a chemist, was "You know, that doesn't make any sense". A closer look confirmed that view, and led me to even more dubious things about this news story. Read on - there's some chemistry for a few paragraphs, and then near the end we get to the eyebrow-raising … [Read more...]

Nail Polish Alarmism at the NYT

"Don't Worry, ladies. You're not Harming Yourself by Applying your Favorite Nail Varnish," by Julie Gunlock. But that's precicely what an environmental group is telling millions of women in order to push their regulatory agenda. And last week, the New York Times kindly spread the alarmism. In last week's "Just Ask" column, (which perhaps should be renamed "Just Ask...but We Can't Promise a Well Thought Out or Researched Answer), Deborah Blum asks "Is Nail Polish Harmful?" ... Read More. … [Read more...]

Top Chemical Scares of 2012

"Top Ten Chemical Scares of 2012," by Angela Logomasini This past year, there must have been thousands of green-group-inspired news stories hyping risks regarding numerous chemicals. Regulators too have engaged in efforts to demonize various products unfairly, placing them on “concern” lists and demanding that companies expend enormous amounts of money to study, test, and re-study chemicals that have been safely used for decades. Below is my top-ten list of 2012 green alarms along with links … [Read more...]

Industry Conspiracy on Formaldehyde or Green Hype?

"Of Mice, Mushrooms, And Formaldehyde," by Angela Logomasini According to New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof, the chemical industry is engaged in a grand conspiracy to hide the fact your kitchen cabinets and other home products contain a “dangerous” chemical. ... Since then, hype about the risks of formaldehyde continues to circulate on the internet ... But before you agree formaldehyde is the “new tobacco,” let’s put the issue in perspective. Read the full article on OpenMarket.org. … [Read more...]

Class Action Foolishness on Formaldehyde

"Formaldehyde follies, lawyer jollies," By American Council on Science and Health After ACSH’s Dr. Josh Bloom was inspired to coin the phrase “Wheel of Extortion” just last week, in reference to Syngenta’s disappointing class-action settlement in a suit against its herbicide atrazine, we have, unfortunately, come across another example to add to the wheel. A class-action settlement has been reached, following allegations that trailers housing residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina contained … [Read more...]

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