Questions tagged [chemistry]

The science of matter and the changes it can undergo.

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20
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1answer
3k views

Do airplanes release biological or chemical agents, forming trails?

Since the topic of the week is conspiracy theories, here's one that I've had re-iterated at me a few times. Supposedly these white stripes after airplanes is created by airplanes releasing biological ...
9
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2answers
2k 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, ...
7
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1answer
1k 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 ...
8
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1answer
846 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 ...
14
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3answers
7k views

Man using “water as fuel” for a welding machine? (H₂O → “HHO”)?

I saw a while back a YouTube video that appears to show a news report of a man who patented technology to turn water into "HHO". The video makes some big claims — 161 km (100 mi.) on 0.1 L (4 ...
14
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2answers
22k views

Can you die by absorbing cyanide through the skin?

A friend of mine was talking about The Iceman, a killer that supposedly used cyanide absorbed through the skin as his murder weapon: Kuklinski favored the use of cyanide as it was quick kill poison,...
122
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5answers
24k views

Do atoms exist?

There are plenty of examples of people doubting ([1], [2], [3], [4], [5]) or denying ([6], [7], [8]) the existence of atoms. Is there any compelling evidence for the existence of atoms? Has anyone ...
9
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3answers
10k views

Does skimmed milk have more added chemicals than whole milk?

I've heard that skimmed milk has more added chemicals than whole milk. Is this true?
64
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2answers
8k views

Are old glass panes thicker on the bottom due to “flow”?

I ran into this common belief today, and was surprised that it has not been addressed here before. I think this belief is common enough that most anyone has heard it. Especially if they are touring ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Can a dead mouse sealed in a can of soda dissolve into a jelly-like substance in one year?

A soft-drink company argued in a "dead mouse in a can of soda" case that an intact body of a dead mouse is unlikely to be found inside a can of soda because the dead mouse would have been dissolved by ...
3
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1answer
432 views

Can processed coconut extract, corn, tree sap, potatoes and grass be combined to be used as a calcium and lime remover?

This product claims to be an effective calcium and lime remover. Is this going to be any more effective than a spray bottle with water and some elbow grease? They claim it uses a thing called ...
10
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1answer
6k views

Is Oxycontin pharmaceutical-grade heroin?

I was watching a documentary about the Oxy pipeline from Florida to Kentucky this weekend where a sheriff made the claim that Oxycontin was pharmaceutical-grade heroin. This is not the first time I ...
13
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1answer
931 views

Are silver dental fillings safe?

Are silver tooth fillings safe for a person's health? My dentist says they are safe for my health. My general practitioner has no opinion on the matter. Some countries have banned or restricted ...
20
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1answer
19k views

Can table salt damage a dishwasher?

The manual for my dishwasher as well as the warning sign on a box of dishwasher salt says that you should never load food salt into the water softener because it will damage the ion exchanger. Given ...
15
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1answer
11k views

Is chlorine in water absorbed quickly through the skin?

I recently saw a demonstration of a water filtration and purification system. In one of the demos two glasses were filled with tap water and then someone put three fingers into one of the glasses and ...
22
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2answers
2k views

Is an ice-cream tub made of a single molecule?

Background In my answer to another question, I repeated a claim made to my class by my high school chemistry teacher. I didn't reference it, because the relevant FAQ suggests high school science can ...
29
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2answers
31k views

Is margarine “one molecule away from plastic”?

I've heard the claim that "Margarine is only one molecule away from being plastic" several times. Usually from friends who think they've heard it from some reliable source. I've also read ...
10
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3answers
9k views

Does elemental mercury give off toxic vapor?

This video claims to show mercury giving off a steady stream of toxic vapor when viewed with a UV light. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JABbofwD3MI There is also a Reddit discussion about this video....
30
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1answer
163k views

What is monoatomic gold?

Over the weekend I heard an acquaintance mention something called "monoatomic gold", followed by a bevy of fantastic and surprising claims about the substance, what it does, and how it was discovered. ...
25
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1answer
8k views

Can you melt gold in a regular campfire?

As seen on Game of Thrones the TV series, some gold is melted in a regular campfire. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J74JEloKC3M Is this physically and chemically possible?
5
votes
1answer
785 views

Long term effects of sucralose

I can't find any information about long-term negative effects of Sucralose consumption other than a very high toxicity level claimed by several studies. There is lots of speculation online about how ...
7
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1answer
2k views

Is “Malenium Polycarbonate” (from blue-blocking sunglasses) real?

There are some sunglasses I bought back in the 1990s containing lenses that were constructed from plastic materials that blocked blue light. Although claims were made by some vendors that the lenses ...
7
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1answer
23k views

Do the water filters in Bobble water bottles work?

A retailer claims that Bobble water bottles: Filter your own bottled water with this unique and patented set of two Bobble Water Bottles. An active carbon filter eliminates toxins and harmful ...
17
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1answer
4k views

Is indoor air pollution higher than outdoor air pollution?

I keep seeing these claims, for example The indoor air quality is worse than the outdoor air, even in the most industrialised cities. but I'd believe that air pollution levels are highly variable ...
13
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1answer
9k views

Are minerals / chemicals absorbed through your skin during bathing?

A friend of mine, in a comment online, recently said: Your body absorbs more minerals through your skin during a five minute shower than it does by drinking 64 oz (about 1.9 liter) of water over ...
26
votes
1answer
6k views

Are some laundry detergents better than others?

As we were looking for laundry detergent yesterday, I noted that my wife was quite swayed by brand reputation/impressions than price. She stated that she didn't think one type of detergent really ...
4
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2answers
4k views

Make fire with a potato, salt, and toothpaste?

I saw a video recently that seemed to show a fire being started from a potato, salt, toothpaste, a couple of wires, and what appears to be cotton. A video showing this is HERE. To summarize, it looks ...
5
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2answers
8k views

Windex > Vinegar + Water

Are Windex and other commercial window cleaners better at cleaning windows than vinegar and water (and other household chemicals)? For example care2.com suggests the following is the best window ...
24
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2answers
3k views

Do human pheromones exist?

Do humans secrete chemicals that attract the opposite sex? Some cheesy advertisements in magazines would make one believe pheromones exist. When's the last time you said "that girl/guy is butt ugly", ...
38
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2answers
39k views

Can you recharge non-rechargeable alkaline batteries?

There are conflicting reports of whether it is possible to safely recharge alkaline batteries (not lithium) that are not sold as rechargable. The packaging for batteries regularly has cautions ...
13
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4answers
13k views

Do apple seeds contain arsenic?

I've heard recently that apple seeds contain arsenic. Is this true? Should apples not be eaten then?
18
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1answer
7k views

Is tomato juice useful for removing skunk smell?

It's a common belief that you should use tomato juice to remove the smell after you get sprayed by a skunk. Does it work?
35
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2answers
41k views

Do magnetic water softeners work?

I'm extremely skeptical of the idea of magnetic water softeners (strong magnets attached to pipes), but desperately wish it were true because I hate lugging 40# bags of salt out to my well house in ...
41
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3answers
3k views

Is monosodium glutamate (MSG) bad for you?

Anecdotal evidence blames the consumption of MSG for several symptoms such as headache, nausea, weakness, heart palpitations etc. Most migraine literature cites MSG as a potential trigger (example) ...
25
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4answers
15k views

Is fluoride in water an industry waste product?

There are many claims made about the source of fluoride in our water, some examples are: Intentional dosing of municipal water supplies with fluoride waste products from industry Increased cancer ...
17
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1answer
33k views

Can one use microfiber cloths and products to “clean without chemicals”?

There's a company called Norwex, started in Norway and now in other countries including Canada and the US, which claim its products "Clean without Chemicals": Our line of cleaning products will ...
10
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1answer
846 views

Are plastics harder to wash?

I was once told that if a piece of plastic gets oily, it's harder to "de-oil" than other substances because plastics are actually made from a derivative of oil. Is this so?
21
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2answers
12k views

Is water calcification bad for your health?

I have a friend, who adamantly believes that water calcification causes a number of problems, including poor health. He also said it made the water taste disgusting. He had recently installed a ...
36
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2answers
7k views

Is alcohol for consumption tested for carbon-14 radioactivity to be considered legal?

I just viewed this interesting video about radioactive ethanol from plants as opposed to non-radioactive ethanol from crude oil. In it, the professor says he's heard it's illegal in the USA to sell ...
30
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2answers
92k views

Does baking soda remove odors?

I have always been told that an open box of baking soda will "absorb" odors and make a fridge smell less. I have even seen people with three boxes in one fridge. My question is whether there is any ...
37
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2answers
7k views

Do emotionally-driven tears release toxins from the body?

Sometime ago I'd heard someone trained in child psychology claim that crying for emotional reasons (as opposed to getting something in your eye for example) released toxins from the brain and/or body. ...
34
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4answers
6k views

Is warm water more effective than cold water for washing one's hands?

When washing my hands, I was always told to use warm soapy water. However, is there any chemical or biological reason why warm soapy water is more effective to cold soapy water when trying to ...
10
votes
1answer
606 views

Is flatus flammable?

Wikipedia deems this topic significant enough to merit its own article: Fart lighting, or pyroflatulence, is the practice of igniting the gases produced by human flatulence, often producing a flame ...
19
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2answers
51k views

Can eating rhubarb kill you?

I've heard that rhubarb leaves are poisonous, and that you can even die from rhubarb poisoning. Is that true?
8
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2answers
17k views

Do copper jewellery stains indicate illness?

People wearing copper jewellery quite often have black/green/dark blue stains on wrists and fingers. Articles like this say that these stains are related to a person's metabolism. And appear because ...
14
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1answer
2k views

Is fluoride toothpaste dangerous?

Is there any proof that the amount of fluoride that commonly used in toothpaste is unhealthy?
31
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1answer
80k views

What happens when you mix Lysol and bleach?

My mother just forwarded an email to all her contacts (thanks, mom), warning us of the dangers of mixing Lysol and bleach together. Here's most the content, translated from French: Bleach and Lysol, ...

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