There’s no proof that we shouldn’t worry
Re Top 10 false health scares
Living, Jan. 4
From the American Council on Science and Health, this article presents a list of “medical stories that made us worry unnecessarily.” They include the possible health risks of nitrite-treated meats, ultrafine particles generated by laser printers, phthalate plasticizers in PVC plastics, etc. Each hazard is dismissed as false — written off with statements such as, “Nitrites have been used to cure meat for almost a century with no evidence of any risk to human health” and “there is no evidence the small amounts (of lead) in lipstick pose any threat to human health.”
These statements are oversimplified and misleading. Perhaps there has not yet been a conclusive demonstration of harm from a certain substance, but that does not mean that the substance is safe. Experts may have differing opinions about the degree of risk, but the hazards cannot simply be dismissed as false.