Over at the American Council on Science and Health, the always hilarious Josh Bloom takes on the Silent Spring Institute’s (SSI) latest study which finds that people who avoid certain things have less of those things in their bodies.
Josh offers a perfect analogy of the study, writing, “People who swing an ax at their forehead are more likely to have an ax embedded in their foreheads than people who do not swing an ax at their forehead.”
Yet, as Josh points out, there’s a serious attempt to raise an alarm with this study about what’s called “endocrine disruptors,” or as Josh calls them, “the poster children of junk science.”
Bloom explains how these groups use words to suggest danger (emphasis mine). He writes:
…there’s also a common but insidious trick in this sentence, one that anti-chemical groups use ad nauseam; equating the presence of a chemical with harm from that chemical. It’s a bunch of nonsense because phony chemical scare articles almost always avoid mentioning the dose (exposure). Without this information, it is impossible to determine real harm. But that doesn’t stop SSI from trying.
Josh also explains that the study itself is dubious (which is important and which groups like SSI never mention), writing:
The study is sort of a joke. A bunch of people (726) signed up for a “crowdsourced biomonitoring project,” which involved sending in urine samples, which were tested for 10, suspected endocrine disruptors. Then the participants completed an online survey about which products they use and whether they avoid ones with specific chemicals listed on the label.
The results are obvious–people who avoided certain chemicals had fewer chemicals in their urine.
Read more of Bloom’s piece here. But here’s a real warning: try not to die laughing as you do.