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

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15
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1answer
440 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
118 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
684 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
191 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
209 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
288 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
votes
0answers
413 views

Is it dangerous to vacuum-clean motherboards (and other electronics)?

I've been informed that using the standard household vacuum cleaner's blower attachment to clean motherboards (and the insides of laptops and desktops in general) is dangerous due to the possibility ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

Is medical lab work used to determine a fluoride deficiency in a patient? [closed]

Given that fluoride compounds bio-accumulate in the body from all sources (i.e. pesticide residue on foods) and not just from tap water, how does a medical body determine a deficiency in a patient? ...
2
votes
0answers
256 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
980 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
395 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
293 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
386 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
926 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
530 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
3k 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
448 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
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
176 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
597 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
657 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
266 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
577 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
425 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
532 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
12k 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
545 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
615 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
6k 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
751 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
3k 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
757 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
358 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 ...
52
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
2k views

Does the 'two-second rule' provide a valid minimum gap for safe driving?

Most of us will have been taught the two-second rule when learning to drive. The two-second rule is a rule of thumb by which a driver may maintain a safe following distance at any speed. The rule ...
51
votes
2answers
11k views

Do razors with more blades work better?

A known disposable razor company is claiming on their web site that their current product is superior to their old one because it has 5 blades instead of three. You can see the claim on the "science" ...
4
votes
0answers
2k views

Is it safe to drink 'expired' cola/pop/soda in an aluminum can?

I understand that carbonation might not last forever, and diet beverages don't taste good after a period of time, but I've always believed that the expiry date on the can doesn't matter, provided it's ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Is Mephedrone as dangerous as UK government advice claims?

Mephedrone is an amphetamine-like designer drug that was, until recently, not strictly illegal in the UK. . See Nature news story here which also covers the controversy around the original ban in the ...
16
votes
2answers
4k views

Are big cars and SUVs safer than small cars or do they just *feel* safer?

I've long observed that many drivers in the UK choose SUVs (which are often disparigingly called Chelsea Tractors) do so at least partially because they believe such cars to be safer. I doubt this ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Do sharks quickly respond to blood in the water?

This seems to be portrayed in movies and TV quite often: we find a group of travelers desperately stranded on a small boat or raft. For one reason or another someone becomes injured and blood is ...
27
votes
4answers
3k views

Is drinking raw milk more dangerous than drinking pasteurized milk?

In Australia "raw milk", more commonly known as un-pasteurised milk, is mostly illegal for human consumption, except in one state, I do believe. The consensus appears to be that pasteurising the milk ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

Are slick bicycle tires more slippery in the wet?

I always assumed slick (tread-less) tires were more prone to loss of traction in the wet. That is until I read this answer on the bicycles SE which claims that bicycle tires are too thin, round and ...
8
votes
3answers
828 views

Will increased speed limits on motorways (or highways) cause significant harm?

The UK government has recently started a consultation on increasing the speed limits on motorways (roughly the equivalent of highways in the USA) in England. So it seems appropriate to pose the ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Seat belts in cars save the lives of occupants in cars, but do they lead to lower deaths for all road users?

Reading and contributing to the skeptics debate about the effects of cycle helmets reminded me of the much more significant debate on seat belts in cars. Most countries seem to have accepted that ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Are there any toxic or dangerous food pairings?

Are there any foods that are harmless when eaten alone yet are dangerous or toxic when eaten together with another otherwise innocuous food? There can obviously be problems if you combine acidic ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Are there better or worse days for ordering sushi as far as safety/fish quality?

I have seen and heard assorted conflicting advice as far as "don't order sushi on Monday"/"Best sushi is on Tuesday" etc... None of the multiple opinions matched in the details but all of them ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Snus or smoking tobacco: Which one is more harmful

Recently, governments in developed countries have been trying to reduce smoking. In Sweden, perhaps due to these efforts or because of the cold climate (because it's impossible to smoke outside in ...