Chemicals and Environment

The benefits of fracking in America

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There’s not much good news coming from the world’s major energy producing regions, according to an editorial in USA Today. Yet, in the Continue reading

Fear of parabens compromises safety of certain cosmetic products

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Parabens are commonly used in foods and cosmetics as preservatives. Back in 2004, Dr. Philippa Darbre of the University of Reading published a study reporting that many breast cancer tumors contained parabens. This Continue reading

Cindy Crawford attacks PCBs but doesn’t have the facts straight

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Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a class of chemicals that were commonly used in electrical insulation and may be found in the window caulking of older buildings. Well-known supermodel, Cindy Crawford, is now taking issue with the presence of PCBs in the window Continue reading

Another organic chemist weighs in on BPA

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Regular Dispatch readers will know that we have discussed BPA—perhaps the poster child of the anti chemical movement— until we are blue in the face (BTF?).

So, it is always nice to know that there are others out there who really understand this topic and agree with us scientifically.
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FDA tackles a non-issue: the case against 4-MEI in caramel coloring

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Last winter Consumer Reports came out with a relatively new scare — concerns about a chemical in cola drinks, and other foods with some forms of caramel coloring. The chemical in question is 4-MEI, an abbreviation for 4-Methylimidazole, produced as a byproduct of the manufacture of caramel. Continue reading

Using stupid science to replace other stupid science is just stupid

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If you’re looking for an example of the absurdity of what happens when activist groups stick their noses in areas that are way above their pay grade, look no further. It doesn’t get any better than this. Continue reading

Forgive this pun, but once again, flame retardants are a hot topic in the news

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“Chemicals found in moms and kids,” screams the headline! There is nothing new. This time, the “news” comes from an article in the Chicago Tribune written by Michael Hawthorne. “News” is a stretch, since this has been going on forever, with the same arguments being recycled over and over.
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Let’s make this simple: Estrogenic effects come from estrogens. (Duh). NOT from plastics.

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Of all the garbage “science” topics that we routinely cover, among the worst is the concept that miniscule amounts of so-called “endocrine disruptors”—chemicals that supposedly have an adverse impact on human sexual development—do anything whatsoever. The plastic component BPA and plastic softeners, phthalates, are the two poster children of the movement, but there are many more.
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Are reusable bags really for “the environment,” or just a money-grab?

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New York City is now considering putting a ten-cent fee on each plastic bag used by customers, previously provided free of charge. Although this was initially suggested during Bloomberg’s term, Continue reading

Maine’s Dept. of Environmental Protection likely to “regulate” phthalates

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Maine’s “toxic chemicals” likely to expand, based on science-free “consumer concerns”: hyper-precaution as usual. This goes way past even the hyper-precautionary federal Environmental Protection Agency. Continue reading




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