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Blowing soap in your eyes

And now for my magic marketing trick! (I mean, illusion.) By simply conflating surfactants and their main use, soap, I will now proceed to warn you that soap is in absolutely everything, and we should all freak the hell out, NOW. -- Through a handy demonstration Michelle Wong explains why the danger of chemicals is often inflated for The Toast's Gal Science column.
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 28, 2014 - 90 comments

Processed bananas

Are you sick of all those icky chemicals in your food? Now you're safe, with the totally chemical-free, all-natural bananas, blueberries and eggs.
posted by jeather on Jan 18, 2014 - 110 comments

Toxic Hot Seat

Previously, covering Part One (out of Six) of the Chicago Tribune investigation Chemical flame retardants are everywhere. Our furniture. Our homes. Our bodies. Yet they don’t seem to stop fires. They do, however, seem to make us sick. TOXIC HOT SEAT is a documentary which takes an in-depth look at a nexus of money, politics and power – and a courageous group of firefighters, mothers, journalists, scientists, politicians and activists as they fight to expose what they assert is a shadowy campaign of deception that has left a toxic legacy in America’s homes and bodies for nearly 40 years. Set against the backdrop of the award-winning 2012 Chicago Tribune investigative series “Playing with Fire,” TOXIC HOT SEAT tells an intricate story, detailing how chemical companies that produce flame retardants spend millions of dollars on lobbyists, publicists and influencers, and how Big Tobacco had a hand in convincing fire-safety officials to back a standard that, in effect, requires all furniture to be filled with toxic flame retardants. [more inside]
posted by beisny on Dec 8, 2013 - 7 comments

As Paracelsus put it, "the dose makes the poison."

Dr Bruce Ames, a toxicologist and one of the world's most cited scientists, discusses the impact of his Ames test, "toxic chemicals," and scaremongering [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 6, 2013 - 22 comments

A Little Chemical Education

An article entitled '8 Foods We Eat In The U.S. That Are Banned In Other Countries,' purporting to expose the rampant toxicity of American processed foods, was posted on Buzzfeed. Here's a response from research chemist Derek Lowe (of Things I Won't Work With fame, previously).
posted by showbiz_liz on Jun 27, 2013 - 180 comments

Your Efficient Markets at Work

How a fire in a small German town threatens to cause a worldwide car shortage. "When a fire in the small town of Marl in the west of Germany closed down an obscure chemical plant on 31 March, it barely made headlines." Now according to a recent IHS Automotive report, "shortages of the obscure component are 'likely to be serious.'"
posted by saulgoodman on Apr 19, 2012 - 33 comments

How Much BPA Exposure Is Dangerous?

US Feds Reject Petition To Ban BPA In Food -- "...recent studies done by government researchers at the request of regulatory agencies suggest it's very unlikely that BPA poses a health risk to people." (NPR Audio) [more inside]
posted by crunchland on Apr 3, 2012 - 122 comments

Chemistry

Philadelphia's Fox 29 News does an undercover investigation on the possible terrorist threat posed by unguarded chemicals in labs. Mistakes are made.
posted by sciencegeek on Feb 17, 2012 - 83 comments

Gulf War Syndrome II

"The saddest part is the children... We’re seeing young children with extremely high levels of chemicals. We're altering our DNA and our bodies forever. We're a bunch of guinea pigs." (previously)
posted by Joe Beese on Mar 9, 2011 - 95 comments

Still Great?

Waterlife — No matter where we live, the Great Lakes affect us all. And as species of fish disappear and rates of birth defects and cancer rise, it seems one thing is clear: the Great Lakes are changing and something's not quite right with the water. An interactive documentary film from the National Film Board of Canada. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Feb 26, 2011 - 20 comments

Corexit Blues

Corexit [Bing cache] is mostly what BP has used on the spill. There are a few things to know about Corexit. One is that is was banned in U.K. over ten years ago because it is so toxic, as in poisonous to humans and sea life. ... Corexit was also used on the Exxon Valdez spill. Now read carefully: Almost all the clean up workers who worked on the Exxon Valdez spill are dead. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 7, 2010 - 45 comments

White Lines

Cocaine - how it's made, how it moves, and who might be cutting it with a deadly cattle-deworming drug, a follow up to the mystery of the tainted cocaine.
posted by Artw on Nov 6, 2010 - 41 comments

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven...'cause it hasn't!"

Three newly approved 'in vitro' toxicity tests using artificial human skin are reducing the need for animal testing of cosmetics and chemicals. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 4, 2010 - 10 comments

Your receipt and (sex) change.

Paper receipts - including receipts from McDonald’s, CVS, Whole Foods, Wal-Mart, and the U.S. Postal Service - are a major source of endocrine-disrupting bisphenol-A. The total amount of BPA on tested receipts was 250 to 1,000 times greater than other, more widely discussed sources of BPA exposure, including canned foods, baby bottles and infant formula. BPA transfers readily from receipts to skin and can penetrate the skin to such a depth that it cannot be washed off.
posted by stbalbach on Jul 27, 2010 - 111 comments

"The list of people who were blown up or poisoned while trying to do so is impressive"

There are many exciting chemicals. These are the ones that Derek Lowe won't work with. Derek Lowe authors the "In The Pipeline" blog on Corante, and writes primarily about the pharmaceutical industry. However, the subset of entries marked "Things I Won't Work With" delves entertainingly into the realm of substances like dioxygen difluoride (tl;dr: it explodes. A lot.)
posted by scrump on Feb 24, 2010 - 46 comments

Be all that you can be

The Department of Veterans Affairs has reported that military scientists tested hundreds of chemical and biological substances on them, including VX, tabun, soman, sarin, cyanide, LSD, PCP, and World War I-era blister agents like phosgene and mustard. The full scope of the tests, however, may never be known. As a CIA official explained to the GAO, referring to the agency's infamous MKULTRA mind-control experiments, "The names of those involved in the tests are not available because names were not recorded or the records were subsequently destroyed." Besides, said the official, some of the tests involving LSD and other psychochemical drugs "were administered to an undetermined number of people without their knowledge."
posted by Joe Beese on May 19, 2009 - 42 comments

The Disappearing Male

“The Disappearing Male” is a one-hour documentary about one of the most important, and least publicized, issues facing the human species: the toxic threat to the male reproductive system. The whole documentary is on Google Video.
posted by rageagainsttherobots on Nov 22, 2008 - 118 comments

The Visual Image of Chemistry

The Visual Image of Chemistry: Perspectives from the History of Art and Science. [Via homunculus (no relation)]
posted by homunculus on Aug 12, 2007 - 10 comments

Too many chefs in the kitchen turn the broth into gelatinous capsules

DIY Food Sci: Mefites have discussed molecular gastronomy techniques such as sous-vide and famous practitioners such as El Bulli (photos) or Alinea (review), but apartment chemists are experimenting both with the chemical and the physical techniques of the pros. An anti-griddle cooktop may run you $1060, but cheaper tools of the trade can be found online or in your neighborhood health food store. Find perfect flavor and odor matches based on similar amines at Khymos.org, inspiration at Hungry in Hogtown, or learn about the common chemicals used, but don't let the Man keep you from your hot ice cream and kumquat caviar again.
posted by artifarce on Jul 12, 2007 - 19 comments

"I would love to see it banished off the face of the Earth."

Bisphenol A: this extremely common chemical leaches out of food packaging and plastics, and was long considered safe. But a number of recent studies link it to developmental problems and cancer in lab animals in doses far lower than the current regulatory limit. Canada and the United States both review the scientific data available in the coming months, but critics already worry the process will be corrupted by industry. Industry, of course, insists that BPA is safe.
posted by mek on Apr 7, 2007 - 32 comments

The politics of chemical security

The Next Attack. "Terrorists in Iraq are becoming proficient at blowing up oil refineries. Similar plants in a handful of American cities represent our greatest vulnerability. We could easily be making them less dangerous. But we’re not." And one of the key players in keeping things that way happens to be Dick Cheney’s son-in-law.
posted by homunculus on Mar 1, 2007 - 38 comments

LIVE LONGER! EAT LESS PESTICIDE!

Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce. Minimize your chemical exposure in the produce aisle. PDFs : download a pocket version for your purse or wallet; en Español tambien.
posted by crunchland on Sep 29, 2006 - 10 comments

Weapons of Mass Destruction Found!

They've found those WMDs! Well, not quite. Just chemicals that eventually could be turned into weapons. But what's interesting is that this chem lab dates from AFTER the US invasion.
posted by John of Michigan on Aug 14, 2005 - 37 comments

Addiction Study, Plastics & Ocean Mixing

Bees, Brains and Addiction
Tin Cans and Your Prostate
Salty Staircase and Ocean Mixing
posted by dfowler on May 3, 2005 - 13 comments

Cancer, Chemicals and History

Cancer, Chemicals and History. Some of the biggest chemical companies in the US have launched a campaign to discredit two historians who have written a book about the industry's efforts to conceal links between their products and cancer. Some of the internal documents referenced in the book can be found at the Chemical Industry Archives, a site dedicated to exposing the industry's attempts to conceal the dangers of their products. [Via Disinformation.]
posted by homunculus on Jan 26, 2005 - 12 comments

Here's more reason to convert to digital photography

Kodak gives more reason to convert to digital photography. Eastman Kodak's "Kodak Park facility" in Rochester, is #1 in New York for releases of suspected toxicants and neurotoxins to endocrine, gastrointestinal, liver, cardiovascular, kidney, respiratory, and reproductive health. Remember dioxin? The stuff of Agent Orange, used in the Vietnam war that caused so much grief to war vets and Vietnamese, well Kodak released more dioxin into New York's environment in 2000 than any other source. In 1996 they were dumping methylene chloride concentrations as high as 3,600,000 parts per billion into area rivers, when the legal level is five parts per billion. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found Kodak guilty of illegal disposal of hazardous wastes, illegal use of incinerators and waste piles, failing to notify the EPA of groundwater contaminations, making undocumented shipments of hazardous wastes, and for 20 years having leaky underground pipes, among other violations.
posted by giantkicks on Jun 1, 2003 - 30 comments

The pollution in people

BodyBurden: the pollution in people. "Researchers at two major laboratories found an average of 91 industrial compounds, pollutants, and other chemicals in the blood and urine of nine volunteers, with a total of 167 chemicals found in the group. Like most of us, the people tested do not work with chemicals on the job and do not live near an industrial facility. Scientists refer to this contamination as a person’s body burden. Of the 167 chemicals found, 76 cause cancer in humans or animals, 94 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 79 cause birth defects or abnormal development. The dangers of exposure to these chemicals in combination has never been studied." This was also the subject of a PBS program by Bill Moyers, Trade Secrets. Moyers himself was found to have 84 chemicals in his blood and urine. [Via This Modern World.]
posted by homunculus on May 26, 2003 - 17 comments

Chinese sold Iraq 'dual-use' chemical

Chinese sold Iraq 'dual-use' chemical And France helped broker the deal. Now do we boycott not only French bread and wine but all Chinese food too?
posted by Postroad on Mar 15, 2003 - 41 comments

The State of the Nation's Ecosystems -

The State of the Nation's Ecosystems - According to a report commissioned five years ago by President Clinton and finally completed and released, the United States may have no streams left that are free from chemical contamination, and about one-fifth of animal species and one-sixth of plant types are at risk of extinction.
posted by dejah420 on Sep 25, 2002 - 14 comments

Funeral Home Murders Drug-Induced?

Funeral Home Murders Drug-Induced? A mortician and his assistant found dead by coroner seeking death certificate . Motive unclear. Says local police sergeant: "We have received reports from some agencies in the city that [criminals] might be involved in taking chemicals from funeral homes and using them to soak their marijuana cigarettes or regular cigarettes in, but we have not been able to prove a robbery or anything like that."
posted by brookish on Feb 6, 2002 - 4 comments

Monsanto's "New Agent Orange" used in Columbia

Monsanto's "New Agent Orange" used in Columbia "The herbicide glyphosate has been blamed for destroying acres of trees and contaminating wells, streams and ponds. . . long term ecological effects could be severe."
posted by snakey on Dec 6, 2000 - 12 comments

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