Category Archives: Chemistry and Toxicology

Why you needn’t fear the “Dirty Dozen” fruits and vegetables

There are certain things you can count on with the coming of spring. Two of the earliest are the arrival of the first Mexican and Californian strawberries in the produce aisle and the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) annual “Dirty Dozen” … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry and Toxicology, Risk, Risk Assessment Methodologies, Risk Communication | 1 Comment

Do Canadians really consume the equivalent of a credit card worth of plastic every week? – Of course they don’t

This week I was directed to a factoid I had somehow missed that is currently making the rounds. That “humans consume the equivalent of a credit card worth of plastic every week”. The factoid was being used by the CEO … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry and Toxicology, Risk, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Debunking the claim that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050

In my last post I wrote On the proposed Canadian plastics bans – Part 1: How the Government created useful “facts” for its scary headlines and how “facts” are being created, essentially out of thin air, to be used as activist … Continue reading

Posted in Canadian Politics, Chemistry and Toxicology, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

A Chemist looks at a major activist study about the Trans Mountain Pipeline Project and finds a hot mess

It is construction time again on the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) and the activists are out in force. Interestingly, I saw that Dr. Tim Takaro was back in the news. This time he is up in a tree to try … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry and Toxicology, Pipelines, Trans Mountain, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Why public health officials advise against masks to protect from the Coronavirus – my thoughts using lessons learned from asbestos exposure

A heated debate has arisen about wearing masks in public to help protect against the Coronavirus. Our health authorities have been advising against general mask use but have not been very effective at explaining why general mask use is not … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry and Toxicology, Uncategorized | 15 Comments

I debunk yet another misleading CAPE article about fracking and BC LNG

As someone who specializes in evidence-based environmental decision-making, I am regularly disappointed by the dismal level of discourse in the environmental field. Organizations and individuals you would expect to provide useful insight end up doing exactly the opposite. No group … Continue reading

Posted in Canadian Politics, Chemistry and Toxicology, LNG, Uncategorized | 8 Comments

How understanding Type I and Type II errors and p-values helps in assessing the conclusions of the Ramazzini Institute 13-week pilot study on Glyphosate

As regular followers of this blog know, my graduate research involved developing systems to allow data collected by researchers to be evaluated for reliability and made available for subsequent re-use by other researchers. I carried out my research in an … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry and Toxicology, Risk, Risk Assessment Methodologies, Risk Communication, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

A layman’s guide to the behaviour of diluted bitumen in a marine spill

Having listened to the arguments for and against the Energy East and the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) projects one of the things that really struck me was the low quality of the scientific knowledge used in the debates. In particular, … Continue reading

Posted in Canadian Politics, Chemistry and Toxicology, Energy East, Oil Sands, Pipelines, Trans Mountain, Uncategorized | 26 Comments

On Carbon Dioxide Toxicity

The other evening I became engaged in a fascinating discussion (for me) with a climate skeptic on the topic of carbon dioxide, specifically whether it was “toxic” or not. After that discussion I committed to do a write-up on the … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry and Toxicology, Risk, Uncategorized | 18 Comments

On chemical scare-mongering and science communication, it’s BPA’s turn this time

I have written numerous blog posts describing the miscommunication of human health risks posed by chemistry and chemicals; covering topics from gypsy-moth spray to synthetic soccer fields. Frankly the fact that I have an entire section of this blog dedicated … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry and Toxicology, Risk, Uncategorized | 5 Comments