The balance of benefit versus harm of an activity, device, technology or substance.

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26
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2answers
2k views

Does fastening your airplane seatbelt when told to reduce the risk of death and injury? And if so, to what extent?

The FAA states To keep you and your family as safe as possible during flight, FAA regulations require passengers to be seated with their seat belts fastened: When the airplane leaves ...
4
votes
0answers
178 views

Defrost steak in 5 minutes? [closed]

I recently ran across an article titled "Food Hack: Defrost a Steak in 5 Minutes, No Heat Required". This article promulgates a Taiwanese news video suggesting that one can quickly defrost a 1 inch ...
30
votes
0answers
1k views

Should I cut off black banana ending before eating?

I was always told that I should cut off the black ending of a banana before eating, because it would be dangerous. Sources for this claim can for example be found here (though that source is actually ...
2
votes
0answers
279 views

Does Charles Shaw wine contain animal blood & feces?

A post by Chris Knox on Quora was quoted on Gothamist, talking about Charles Shaw wine (aka "Two Buck Chuck"), says: "And it not only grabs ripe grapes, but unripe and down right rotten ones as ...
2
votes
1answer
257 views

If I am holding the pins of a plug whilst plugging it in, will I be electrocuted? [closed]

In electrical safety, it is often considered dangerous to be in contact with the pins of a plug whilst plugging it in. Does the plug need to be fully in for conductivity between the pins and socket to ...
12
votes
1answer
440 views

Are British plugs safer than all other plugs?

There is a very interesting Youtube Video British Plugs Are Better Than All Other Plugs, And Here's Why that indicates some engineering reasons why the British power plug is safer than for example the ...
39
votes
2answers
5k views

Is it safe to stand by the windows during a thunderstorm?

There is widespread belief in my culture that we should not stay near door or windows during lightning. So people advise others to stay inside house with doors and windows closed to be safe from ...
3
votes
0answers
294 views

Is using a phone while driving more dangerous than driving while drunk?

There have been numerous studies that show how using a phone while driving is more distracting than other non-driving tasks and even worse than driving while intoxicated. Here was a study done in the ...
3
votes
0answers
192 views

Is a weaver's knot more secure with both ends on the same side?

There are two different ways one can make a weaver's knot. One has both ends on the same side (a) the other on opposite sides (b). Pictures and a statement "the two free ends should end up on the ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Do onions become toxic or otherwise dangerous within a day of a being cut open?

I saw a new "health advice" meme on Facebook today: Please remember it is dangerous to cut an onion and try to use it to cook the next day, it becomes highly poisonous for even a single night ...
1
vote
0answers
138 views

Is the risk of explosion increased by calling and charging a cell phone at the same time?

I have often heard that charging a cell phone and calling in the same time may cause the cell phone to explode. Here is a Facebook page that has pictures of what is claimed to be one such example. ...
14
votes
1answer
335 views

Do smoke alarms save lives?

Almost all fire safety organizations and codes require the use of smoke alarms in new business and residential construction. The idea is that they save lives, as mentioned in this article from FEMA. ...
15
votes
1answer
515 views

Does the establishment of a legal upper speed limit on highways lead to a reduction in traffic deaths and accidents?

The conventional wisdom is that established speed limits lead to an increase in safety. Speed limits are usually set to attempt to cap road traffic speed; there are several reasons for wanting ...
4
votes
0answers
148 views

Do directional (not asymmetric) tread patterns reduce hydroplaning?

Treaded tires are better than smooth (slicks) tires in the rain to reduce hydroplaning. What is the evidence the directional tires (not asymmetric tires) give measurably better performance? If you ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Is inhaling helium dangerous?

Inhaling helium and talking with a funny voice used to be a great party trick for chemists with access to it and has now become more popular as helium supplies have become accessible for filling ...
3
votes
0answers
244 views

Is there no victim blaming in armed robbery cases (in the USA)? [closed]

Questioned claim Vice President Joe Biden, in a speech on women's right to free from sexual assault, bemoans how women are often blamed for failing to avoid rape, telling us: No one ever asks the ...
8
votes
1answer
331 views

Has olanzapine (Zyprexa) caused 200,000 deaths?

In an editorial titled "Should journals stop publishing research funded by the drug industry? " in the British Medical Journal the authors make the following claim: Another dire example is ...
6
votes
4answers
262 views

Does prohibition make illegal drugs less safe?

In a recent article in Mises Daily, Benjamin Wiegold argues: The Drug War Makes Drugs Less Safe Is his argument right that legalising recreational drugs would improve the quality of supply and ...
5
votes
1answer
324 views

Is water that can be set on fire safe to drink?

In this newly release video by RT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1A3x7AyIVo A man sets water on fire that is pouring from his well, the narrator reads: The local government of Texas, tells ...
1
vote
0answers
289 views

Is driving an automatic or manual (stick) car statistically safer? [closed]

An argument at work is over whether manual cars are safer than automatic. Arguments for: manual drivers understand how the car works, switching gears becomes second-nature, less tendency to ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Does marijuana impair driving?

Is the use of cannabis/marijuana/THC associated with risks when driving a motor vehicle, similar to impairment from the use of alcohol? The conclusions of public studies seem inconsistent. For ...
10
votes
2answers
465 views

Is it safer for bicyclists to be allowed to roll through stop signs?

The Idaho Stop rule for bicycles (Idaho Code 49-720) allows bicyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs. Its practical application is described in this video. A study by Jason Meggs if often cited ...
14
votes
2answers
312 views

Do longer yellow lights increase traffic hazards?

CBS SF Bay Area published an article about the debate surrounding CA Assembly Bill 612, which would increase the duration of yellow signals for intersections with red-light cameras. An opponent of ...
7
votes
2answers
469 views

Do fire shelters save lives?

19 wildfire firefighters died in Arizona today, and the articles mention that they appear to have used their fire shelters: the 19 firefighters were found in an area that also had 19 fire shelters ...
16
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1answer
1k views

Is storing food in opened tin cans dangerous?

The UK National Health Service advises: never put open cans in the fridge, as the metal may transfer to the can's contents – place the contents in a storage container or covered bowl instead. ...
7
votes
0answers
658 views

Is there formaldehyde in the glue of bamboo cutting boards? Is it dangerous?

Many purveyors of bamboo cutting boards make a point to advertise that the cutting board is made from formaldehyde-free glues. There seems to be fairly widespread advise to avoid formaldehyde in ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

Is a repaired car tire as good as a new one?

I recently had one of my car tires punctured by a screw. It lost pressure only very slowly, it probably took a couple of days before I noticed the tire was below pressure. The guys from the tire ...
11
votes
1answer
685 views

Are you more likely to suffer a head injury walking than cycling?

An Olympic cyclist, Chris Boardman, recently made the claim that people are more likely to suffer a head injury walking, rather than cycling. [...] cycling is safe. You would have to wear a helmet ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it dangerous to stand or squat on a toilet seat?

I got a recent junk mail with the photo attached http://i.stack.imgur.com/Xk5Ex.png (Warning: graphic images of the alleged injuries) About the danger in pooping standing position and its result. ...
5
votes
1answer
5k views

Will using auto-darkening welding helmets damage your vision?

I've been told in person, and seen repeated on many a forum, that auto-darkening welding helmets are dangerous and that anyone who uses one eventually needs glasses. However, I have been unable to ...
15
votes
1answer
354 views

Is there a “sweet spot” of secondary engagement that makes driving safer?

From Playing games while driving? BrightDriver's challenging proposition (emphasis added): At first blush, playing games while driving sounds like the kind of thing only the accident-prone would ...
13
votes
1answer
350 views

Are annual physical examinations valuable?

It seems to be commonly accepted that having a physician do a physical exam every year is beneficial. However, others seem to have concluded otherwise, for example see the Oct 17, 2012 article in the ...
9
votes
0answers
630 views

Is there credible evidence that a child using an iPad will have their eyesight affected?

I have been told by several people that allowing my young children (aged 2 and 5 at the time of writing) to use an iPad, or similar device, would affect their eyesight. I have found the following ...
11
votes
1answer
4k views

Does wearing a helmet cause/aggravate hair loss?

A person I know (and his colleagues) does not wear his civil engineers helmet because they believe that it causes or contributes to hair loss. An ehow post also makes the same claim regarding ...
5
votes
1answer
705 views

Will people start running against glass doors if they cannot see through?

We have a bit of a discussion with the administration of our university about putting up posters on the glass doors in our campus buildings. The hallways have a lot of doors made of glass which would ...
3
votes
0answers
294 views

Can surgical spirit and formaldehyde prevent blisters?

I saw the following claim in an article on Runner's World website: If your feet sweat profusely, this can increase the chance of blisters. Try soaking them in surgical spirit, or even better, ...
3
votes
0answers
654 views

Are rear-end collisions more dangerous in Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) than Petrol cars?

Is it more dangerous to be in a passenger car with compressed natural gas than with a petrol fuel tank when it comes to rear-end collisions? Lawrence Godwin, on eZine claims there is a explosion risk ...
3
votes
1answer
471 views

Does Honda Civic CNG fare well in crash safety tests as claimed by its manufacturer?

Honda touts great safety for their Civic CNG, but I have second thoughts concerning their fuel tank's safety in rear-end collisions. I looked for some tests and data, but could not find anything ...
7
votes
1answer
682 views

Does wearing a mask on the back of one's head protect against tiger attacks?

Today while visiting the tiger exhibit at my local zoo, I read that in areas where tiger attacks on humans are common, people will often wear a mask on the back of their head to ward of tiger attacks, ...
22
votes
2answers
15k views

Will sticking a knife into a toaster electrocute me?

As a child, do you remember being told not to stick metal utensils into the toaster to unlodge toast? If by chance that utensil touches the wrong thing inside of the toaster, you could be easily ...
9
votes
0answers
606 views

Does “dirty electricity” cause cancer?

Research by Magda Havas, Ph.D., of Trent University in Canada, and U.S. epidemiologist Samuel Milham, M.D., links something called “dirty electricity” with diabetes, malignant melanoma, and cancers ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Are bone conduction headphones safer with regards to hearing loss?

In this video, at about 1:35, a claim is made that bone conduction headphones are safer with regards to hearing loss, because the sound doesn't "affect the eardrum". Is that true? I thought hearing ...
5
votes
1answer
652 views

Is lean finely textured beef (LFTB) or “pink slime” safe to eat?

Currently in the United States ground beef can be sold under the label "100% ground beef" as per the the USDA Food Standards and Labeling Policy Book (August 2005); however, there have been a number ...
13
votes
1answer
7k views

Is it unhealthy to reuse cooking oil?

I've heard that reusing cooking oil can be unhealthy. For example: Never re-use cooking oil once it has been exposed to heat. It is a recipe for trans fats and cancer-causing carcinogens. ...
4
votes
1answer
803 views

Are added nitrates and nitrites in our diet harmful?

It is widely claimed that meat-curing agents containing nitrates or nitrites are dangerous food additives. This site puts them in a top ten list of bad food and recommends avoiding cured meats, ...
16
votes
1answer
4k views

If I drop my cycle helmet, do I need to buy a new one?

In conversation with my housemate last night he said that if a cycle helmet is dropped, even from a height of a meter or so, onto a hard surface then it needs to be replaced. He said the internal ...
7
votes
1answer
827 views

Are synthetically produced chemicals not found in nature more likely to be harmful than naturally occurring ones?

Since everything is made from chemicals the often made claim that we should avoid food that doesn't contain chemicals doesn't make any sense. But the underlying idea that synthetic chemicals are ...
7
votes
1answer
396 views

Are dioxins the most toxic chemicals known to science?

Dioxins are implicated in The Seveso disaster in Italy and the lingering disputes about deformities and birth defects caused by the use of the Agent Orange defoliant in the Vietnam war (Wikipedia ...
58
votes
1answer
5k views

Were children safer in the good old days?

Edited, as every site I found in my search last night gave me sites that all say the same thing: The perception is that the world is a really dangerous place for children these days But the ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Are BMW Owners the worst drivers?

BMW drivers are widely thought to be poor drivers. For example, in a poll for Auto Trader: Around 21,000 motorists were quizzed, and 45 per cent said BMW drivers were the worst on the road. Is ...