Do Sunscreens Cause Cancer?

The diagnostic characteristics of melanoma A reader asked me to look into the claims that sunscreens cause cancer, especially the claims made by Elizabeth Plourde. When our own Scott Gavura evaluated sunscreens, he concluded: The data on sunscreen use and cancer risk are complex, but on balance suggest that the short-term and long-terms benefits of

Why Do Things That Are Unlikely to Harm Us Get the Most Attention?

We are very bad at assessing risk, often giving the most attention to the things that are least likely to harm us. Geoffrey Kabat’s new book teaches us how to think more clearly about scientific studies of environmental health risks. Sharks get a lot of bad press and inspire a lot of fear, but in

Pesticides: Just How Bad Are They?

I think everyone would agree that it would not be a good idea to put pesticides in a saltshaker and add them to our food at the table. But there is little agreement when it comes to their use in agriculture. How much gets into our food? What are the effects on our health? On

Phthalates and BPA: Of Mice and Men

Is your soup poisoning you? In a recent study  subjects who ate canned vegetable soup had markedly increased levels of BPA in their urine compared to those who ate freshly prepared soup. We are constantly bombarded with alarmist warnings about the dangerous chemicals in the products we use. Especially BPA (Bisphenol A) and phthalates. Beware

“The Disappearing Male” – A Pinch of Science, a Pound of Speculation

A documentary film entitled “The Disappearing Male” was first shown on CBC in June, 2009. It can be viewed online here. Some of its rhetoric is reminiscent of Chicken Little: “Where have all the boys gone?” “Millions of males are disappearing.” “We’re on the Titanic and we see the iceberg but we just can’t turn