Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Salt Expiry not a hoax

Yes it can go bad.

Once you add in iodine, salt will last about 5 years. The iodine is added as a low-cost health initiative to prevent iodine deficiency and goitre. It only costs about 5 cents a year/person. Some salts add in anti-caking agents.

Dates on salt are often "best before" meaning the taste will not be optimum after that date. Moisture and sunlight can be factors in degrading quality. Moisture can make it harder to use.

So when you see a meme like this...ummm take it with a grain of salt?

Cancer Cluster in Windsor update

I blogged about this back in May due to misinformation put into an article claiming something that simply wasn't proven to be true (http://scambusting101.blogspot.ca/2016/05/theres-always-witch-hunt.html… ).

The results are now in and it appears the tobacco smoke is the main possible culprit of the 12 people contacted (or their next of kin) in the study. https://www.wechu.org/about-us/reports-and-statistics/remington-park-cancer-cluster-investigation-report

Of course the original article was shared quite extensively, while my more truthful approach was not. Sad that folks prefer alarmist sensationalism as opposed to critical thinking.

Conspiracy nuttiness doesn't end

How sick does one have to be take tragedies like the Pulse Shooting and Sandy Hook shooting and denounce the victims?

First off buddy. He wasn't declared dead for hours. He was out (unconscious) for hours. You might just want to watch that vid for a 4th time because you obviously missed that. Secondly, recovery time from a gunshot wound is dependent on many different factors: Health and pyshological state before being shot, support after, exactly where was shot, how extensive the damage was, insurance ($$ can mean better care) and so on. A gunshot victim can be released from the hospital in as little as 10-14 days barring complications. The only bullshit here is what you are spouting because you lack the cognitive ability to critically think and instead allow dissonance and bias to fuel your nutty conspiracy theories.. It speaks volumes about your character.

This same guy also posted this nonsense:  

No hope for this one I'm afraid.

Sperm and Cellphones

A new study is making the rounds and the media is having a field day with making claims that the study doesn't make, even in the slightest. It's about RF-EMR and sperm quality.

Despite the headlines:
No, cell phones do not cause cancer
No, cell phone radiation does not damage DNA
No, cell phones are not super-heating and cooking sperm

The actual conclusion: "Our analyses indicate negative associations between mobile phone exposure on sperm viability and motility. The effects on concentration are more equivocal. Further research is required to quantify these effects more precisely and to evaluate the clinical importance of the risk to both sub-fertile men and the general population." http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412014001354 (note that most of the articles reporting this did not link to the article, thus making it really difficult for the average person to find out the reality)
You'll note that the effect on concentration is equivocal. This means ambiguous or uncertain. So really no conclusions can be drawn.

They acknowledge the limit of the 27 studies they reviewed: "Additional studies, particularly those which assess viability and other sperm parameters, including morphology and subcellular sperm damage such as sperm DNA integrity (not assessed during conventional semen analyses), are required. This would improve the precision of the estimated effect sizes, and allow better judgement of the likely clinical importance of the findings."

They also admit that cell phones have fluctuating SARs. This makes any long term exposure predictions sketchy.

At the beginning of the study, they said 14% of couples in high/middle income countries have problem with conceiving a child. Of that 40% is due to male infertility. Thus that is 5.6% of couples have problems due to male infertility. How much of that 5.6% is unexplained, I am unsure. One study (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412014001354#bb0095…) that they link to states: "Sperm motility is estimated to be approximately 8% lower in exposed than non-exposed groups. Alone, the clinical importance of an effect of this size may be limited to subfertile men or those at the lower-end of the normal spectrum." This means the this low effect correlation would most likely effect men who already had a low sperm motility. Thus the effect, if any, on the average male would be pretty much nil.

So pretty much, any causal link between cell phone radiation and sperm quality is lacking or extremely small. The media/internet's over-hyping and misinterpretation of the information creates needless fear and spread of misinformation. The researchers did a meta-analysis where 3/4 of the studies showed a barely statistically significant correlation and everybody goes insane.