Chemical Concerns

Endocrine Disruptors Everywhere

“Does not contain” has become a prime advertising slogan. “No cholesterol.” “No saturated fat.” “No sugar.” “No salt.” “No nitrites.” “No MSG.” “No GMOs.” And the ultimately absurd, “no chemicals.” Within the last few years another “no” has joined the alliance. “No BPA.” Most people would be hard pressed to identify what the letters stand for [To read more click on Title.]

Formaldehyde in Baby Shampoo-Crunch the Numbers, Crunch the Scare

It is a very small molehill. But to the folks at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC) it seems more like Mount Everest. This organization’s recently released report features a cute baby smothered in lather, sitting in a bathtub under the headline “Baby’s Tub Is Still Toxic.” What is this all about? Acrylic monomers leaching out of the tub? Lead in the water? Chemicals out gassing from the shower curtain? Reactions to mould on the grout? Nope. [To read more click on Title.]

Polyglycerol polyricinoleate

Don’t get scared just because you can’t pronounce it. If you like chocolate you’ve probably eaten it. Let me fill you in on the story. I think the first medicine I ever heard of was “Ricinus,” a liquidy concoction that came in a brown bottle. My mother would ply me with it when she suspected I was constipated. Although I can’t imagine why as a child I would have had such a problem since our diet in Hungary back then included generous doses of goose fat[To read more click on Title.]

Yikes! There Are Hormones in My Bottled Water!

For scientists and physicians, the Internet has been both a blessing and a curse. Journal articles are at our fingertips and information about virtually any subject is just a few keystrokes away. But not all of the available information is reliable. A frightening amount of pseudo-scientific drivel permeates the web and spreads like wildfire when attached to emails. Either we are warned about some nasty chemical that is unraveling the very fabric of society, or [To read more click on Title.]

The International Year of Chemistry

It isn’t unusual for someone to come up to me after one of my public presentations and sheepishly whisper in my ear that they had failed chemistry in high school. Or that they couldn’t cope with organic chemistry in university. I’m not sure why they feel the need to unburden their soul to me in this fashion, but I hope it has to do with having just heard a lecture about some application of chemistry that, perhaps to their surprise, they found interesting. [To read more click on Title.]