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

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21 views

When someone's in a lake and lightning strikes the ground 100ft away what happens? [duplicate]

I was told if lightning strikes the ground surrounding a lake 100ft away, who ever is swimming in the lake will be electrocuted. I'm confused because I know if it strikes the water, you will not be ...
6
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0answers
415 views

Do strobes on top of school buses improve safety?

Background In many states of the USA, school buses are fitted with a "roof-mounted strobe". In some states, they are required by law: Mike Simmons, state director in Arkansas, says that the ...
5
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1answer
362 views

Do frozen foods remain safe indefinitely?

I just found in my freezer some foie gras from two years ago. It's not cooked and is very well wrapped in aluminium foil and plastic foil. My freezer has been kept at -20 °C ( -4 °F) or below. I ...
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0answers
145 views

Did Boeing and Douglas know about the dangers of square windows before the Comet accidents? [closed]

In aviation circles, the de Havilland Comet is well known not only for being the first jet-powered commercial airliner, but also for the more ignoble distinction of having crashed numerous times due ...
8
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1answer
464 views

Is it dangerous to run with scissors?

It was common when I was growing up to be told not to run with scissors. It seems the adults were particularly concerned about the risk of severe injury should I fall. Is there evidence that running ...
9
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1answer
341 views

Does “reverse sound technology” make headphones safer?

Purebuds Earphones claims that their use of "Reverse Sound Technology" makes their earbuds safer, preventing hearing damage. I searched for a scientific study of this technology, or at least a good ...
20
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1answer
453 views

Is 2.4GHz IEEE 802.11 (WiFi) Dangerous? [duplicate]

Over the years, I've heard (and read about) various dubious claims and doubtful allegations regarding the dangers of WiFi & 2.4GHz wireless ISM band communications in general. The stories ...
9
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1answer
384 views

Is yellow the most conspicuous color?

It is often claimed that yellow (or a particular hue of yellow or yellow-green) is the most conspicuous color. This supposed fact is used in many industries from safety to advertising. This reasoning ...
3
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0answers
82 views

Has 98% of Europe banned water fluoridation? [duplicate]

I came across this gem on facebook today. It contains no sources, makes a bold claim with a numerical statistic to "back it up", and has been "shared" and "liked" thousands of times in the last ~48 ...
20
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1answer
1k views

Does the TSA have a fail rate of 95% in breach tests?

Does the TSA fail at a rate of 95% at detecting (fake, "test") terrorists in breach tests? The best information that I have about this is a news report. Is there any official source confirming it?
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0answers
65 views

Does speeding increase the risk of accident? [duplicate]

The article, studies show higher speed limits do not increase accidents , claims that increased speeding does not increase your chance of falling into an accident. However, another article Speed and ...
6
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1answer
201 views

Are sprout seeds safe to eat?

In this article called “8 façons de t’intoxiquer à un barbecue” (which could be translated by “8 ways to poison yourself at a barbecue”), a Canadian skeptic talks about sprout seeds : I would ...
3
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2answers
635 views

Is GHB safe to consume?

GHB is illegal and has received considerable media attention as a highly dangerous recreational drug, However, there is a June 1997 article by Life Enhancement Magazine, that endorses the use of GHB ...
10
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1answer
593 views

Do loud motorcycles prevent accidents?

In my neighbourhood, there is one of these inconsiderate people who has a loud motorcycle. I've already told him that his motorbike wakes me up, and he politely apologizes, but then does nothing about ...
5
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0answers
207 views

Is food handled in China but available in Australia less safe than food handled in Australia?

Recently, there's been an incident involving frozen berries handled in China spreading Hepatitis A in Australia. People are responding to this by arguing for better labeling of where food products ...
7
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3answers
251 views

How effective are reflectors at preventing pedestrian deaths?

http://www.safetyreflectors.com/education.html has some claims about reflectors: Studies have proven that the risk of being hit by a motorist in the dark is eight times lower when wearing a safety ...
3
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1answer
538 views

Do Bluetooth headsets pose any health risks?

What's the current state of knowledge concerning health risks caused by Bluetooth headsets? What has been confirmed so far? I lack the expertise to evaluate which reports are trustworthy and which ...
11
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1answer
465 views

Is driving stoned safer than driving drunk?

Some support that driving while under the influence of marijuana is safer than driving when drunk, saying that people who drive high always drive at slower speeds so even if they cause an accident, ...
10
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1answer
988 views

Is it more dangerous to ride a motorcycle [with a helmet] than to drive a car?

Tell people you want to purchase a motorcycle and the usual response is "I hope you have your will made out" or "I don't want you to die" or similar. The implication is that motorcycle riding is more ...
15
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1answer
526 views

Are sharp knives safer to use than dull knives for preparing food when cooking?

There seems to be an agreement that sharp knives are much safer than dull ones when you are cutting vegetables, meat, anything you cut with a chefs knife when you cook and prepare food. The reason for ...
8
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1answer
265 views

Would lowering the speed limit in NYC by 5mph lower the number of pedestrian deaths by a factor of 2?

According to the Mayor of New York City, De Blasio: (my emphasis) Excessive speed contributes to 25 percent of roadway fatalities on New York City Streets and is the leading cause of motor vehicle ...
3
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0answers
553 views

Are chicken wing tips especially toxic?

There have been some health concerns raised (mainly through word if mouth) with regards to the toxicity of chicken wing tips. By chicken wing tips I refer to the thinnest third of a typical chicken ...
4
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1answer
250 views

Do airbags reduce the risk of death or serious injury, assuming seatbelt is properly worn?

None of the statistics I've seen on airbags' impact on safety/crash survival make any mention of seat belt usage. I think it's obvious that airbags make a big difference overall, but given the likely ...
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1answer
3k views

Does fastening airplane seatbelts reduce the risk of death and injury?

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
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0answers
240 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 ...
36
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1answer
5k 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 ...
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0answers
448 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
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1answer
338 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
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1answer
552 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
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2answers
7k 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 ...
4
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0answers
341 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 ...
4
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0answers
220 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 ...
17
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2answers
15k 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 ...
2
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0answers
187 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
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1answer
358 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. ...
16
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1answer
703 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 ...
7
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1answer
362 views

Do directional tread patterns on tires reduce hydroplaning?

Treaded car tires are said to be better at avoiding hydroplaning than smooth tires (slicks) in the rain. In particular, directional treads are thought to be the best. The following is an example of ...
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4answers
9k 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 ...
13
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3answers
854 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 ...
7
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4answers
329 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
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1answer
425 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 ...
18
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2answers
2k 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 ...
11
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2answers
588 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 ...
15
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2answers
366 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
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2answers
543 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 ...
17
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1answer
2k 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. ...
14
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2answers
1k 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 ...
7
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2answers
12k 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 ...
13
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1answer
1k 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 ...
5
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1answer
2k 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. ...