Category Archives: Chemistry and Toxicology

Don’t fear the soccer pitch – on synthetic turf fields and risk communication

So my twitter feed exploded again. This time it was about the risks of synthetic turf fields to the kids in our soccer organization. The basis for this furor was a series of reports in The Province, CBC etc…. apparently … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry and Toxicology | 7 Comments

On the misleading use of toxicology in discussions about fracking chemicals?

Last night I was forwarded a tweet that absolutely demanded a response. It was from that friend of science Robert F Kennedy Jr. and said “New Study: CA frak chemicals are linked to cancer, mutations and hormone disruption”. The study … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry and Toxicology | 9 Comments

More on Gypsy Moth spraying: Toxicity redux

 Much as I expected, my post on “the nocebo effect” and spraying for gypsy moths” drew a whirlwind of criticism on Twitter and in my email inbox. The major concern had to do with the fact that in my post … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry and Toxicology, Gypsy Moth | 1 Comment

More on Oil Spills: Some Toxicological Calculations and What if it were Dilbit?

I have been asked a number of questions, both on Twitter and via email, regarding my post on the English Bay fuel spill and so I have written up this follow-up to my last post. In particular, I was asked … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry and Toxicology, Oil Sands, Pipelines | 7 Comments

A non-specialist’s guide to how spilled hydrocarbons react in water

After the spill today in English Bay (at the Port of Vancouver) I have been asked by numerous people to explain what happens when petroleum hydrocarbons spill into water. Anyone with an internet connection can get any number of descriptions … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry and Toxicology, Oil Sands, Pipelines | 4 Comments

A Primer: Why Cheap Oil Doesn’t Mean Cheap Gasoline or Diesel

I was listening to the radio the other evening and the topic of discussion was gasoline prices in the Lower Mainland. The callers (and host) were expressing their anger that gasoline prices had not dropped with the recent drop in … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry and Toxicology | 4 Comments