Monday, November 17, 2014
Source:
Forbes

The amazing rendezvous last week of the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft with a comet 317 million miles from the Earth after a ten-year journey depended on the astrophysicists and engineers who built the hardware and programmed its trajectory in keeping with the laws of celestial mechanics. They would have known immediately if they had made an error because the rendezvous would never have taken place. In the field of high-energy physics, as I was told by Professor Robert Adair of Yale, if a young scientist publishes a result that is not confirmed by others, he/she will be granted slack, because “anyone can make a mistake.” However, if he/she publishes a second finding that is not confirmed, that person had better look for another profession.

Friday, October 24, 2014
Source:
Forbes

With an estimated 40 percent of Americans, according to a Harvard poll, worried that they could contract Ebola, two days ago the journalPLoS ONE published a paper which claims to show that handling of cash register receipts puts you a risk of myriad diseases. The paper is from a group at the University of Missouri headed by Frederick vom Saal, a biologist who has the distinction of being the driving force behind the subgroup of scientists who are convinced that BPA is wreaking havoc with our endocrine systems and our health. The study describes experiments in which 24 subjects cleaned their hands with a hand sanitizer and then handled thermal cash register receipts.  In a second step, subjects who had handled the thermal paper then ate French fries with their hands.  Due to the solvent action of the hand sanitizer, BPA was absorbed rapidly through the skin, resulting in, what the authors call, “high levels” of BPA in the blood and urine.

Thursday, October 23, 2014
Source:
American Chemistry Matters

This week, yet another new bisphenol A (BPA) study hit the news after being announced with a sensationalistic press release. The study appears to have been designed not to benefit public health, but to create drama. The study, from Frederick vom Saal and co-workers at the University of Missouri, examined potential exposure to BPA from holding thermal receipt paper and using the hands to eat French fries immediately after using hand sanitizer. It could be described mathematically as: Thermal Paper + French Fries + Hand Sanitizer = Latest BPA Hysteria

Thursday, September 4, 2014
Source:
Forbes

In her “Poison Pen” blog in last week’s New York Times, the science writer Deborah Blum calls attention to new research that raises alarming questions about adverse effects on the female reproductive organs from exposure to BPA (bisphenol-A).  Her article is titled, “In Plastics and Cans, a Threat to Women.” Blum described work by Jodi Flaws, a researcher at the University of Illinois, that appeared to show that exposing female mice in utero or at an early age to BPA, at levels comparable to those encountered by humans, induced adverse effects on the ovaries.

Monday, August 18, 2014
Source:
Science 2.0

There’s an emerging trend, of late, in the seemingly endless saga of the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), which is most commonly used to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins.  Although the BPA saga has not yet become completely passé, much of the attention that had been given to BPA is now focused on alternatives to BPA. Indeed, it seems that BPA-Free is becoming the new BPA.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Source:
American Chemistry Matters

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) refreshed its bisphenol A (BPA) website last week, the Agency’s stance on the safety of BPA remains the same. As the FDA puts it, “BPA is safe at the current levels occurring in foods” and that “the use of BPA in food packaging and containers is safe.” The more user-friendly approach to communicating the organization’s research about BPA comes after several years of in-depth research and testing to determine if BPA is safe.

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