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

10
votes
1answer
581 views

Are American standards on automotive turn signals demonstrably less safe than European ones?

In most countries outside North America, vehicles have separate turn signals which are amber rather than red. In the USA (and probably Canada) this is not part of the standards and a flashing brake ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Is “Islamic fasting” healthy?

I live in a mostly Muslim country (Morocco). Now we are in the month of Ramadan. First, I had to define Ramadan: Is 30 days (or 29) where practicing Muslims can neither eat or drink or having sex, ...
2
votes
1answer
347 views

Has the Javan devil leaf nettle (urtica urentissima) been shown to cause any deaths?

According to Sir Stephen Tallents, writing in The Spectator, 12 March 1943: The sting of a certain Java nettle, for example, may last for a year and is reputed even to cause death. Mrs. M. Grieve, ...
8
votes
0answers
684 views

Is filling multiple vehicles in one transaction at a gas station a safety hazard?

According to this gas station, pumping gasoline into more than one vehicle is a serious safety hazard: The gas station making this claim charges different customers different prices per gallon ...
7
votes
0answers
362 views

Do defensive driving courses reduce car accidents in teenage drivers?

A fairly common claim is that young learner drivers should take defensive driving courses so that they know what to do if they lose control of their car. This comes with the implications it will ...
1
vote
0answers
369 views

Are schools with armed guards or police safer?

The Huffington Post recently ran a story featuring Wayne LaPierre, the head of the NRA saying that, "Putting police and armed security guards in our schools to protect our children ... it's the ...
6
votes
1answer
544 views

Were there armed guards at Columbine?

Ran across this editorial by Brandon Friedman in the NY Daily News: Arming teachers in the classroom will cost kids' lives ... There were armed guards at Columbine, the Pulse nightclub and in ...
116
votes
3answers
24k views

Were there 18 school shootings in the US from Jan 1 to Feb 14, 2018?

CBC Radio (Canada) reported earlier this evening that the Florida shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School "was the 18th school shooting in the U.S. since the beginning of 2018.". On its face ...
1
vote
1answer
450 views

Has 2017 been the safest year in commercial aviation?

President Trump seems to be implying that him being strict on commercial aviation led to 2017 having been "the best and safest year on record". When reading carefully, he does not claim that outright; ...
11
votes
1answer
860 views

Has president Trump been “very strict on Commercial Aviation”?

President Trump seems to be implying that him being strict on commercial aviation led to 2017 having been "the best and safest year on record". When reading carefully, he does not claim that outright; ...
3
votes
0answers
788 views

Are ladders more dangerous than guns? [closed]

You know, studies show that keeping a ladder inside the house is more dangerous than a loaded gun. That's why I own ten guns, in case some maniac tries to sneak in a ladder. - Grunkle Stan I've ...
10
votes
1answer
705 views

Do fire drills make building occupants safer?

Fire drills are widely practised in schools and other buildings. Wikipedia explains: The purpose of fire drills in buildings is to ensure that everyone knows how to get out safely as quickly as ...
23
votes
0answers
775 views

Was there a Soviet anti-motorcycle-helmet campaign in the late 1950s and early 1960s?

Lessig (1995, pp. 964–965) writes: Before the 1960s, motorcyclists in Soviet Russia did not wear helmets. In part this was because of a lack of any perceived need to wear helmets; in part it was ...
21
votes
1answer
6k views

Do green grapes cause more accidents on the London Underground than banana peels?

In Teary Deary's Horrible Histories: London, he claims that green grapes cause more accidents on the London Underground (I presume subway) than banana peels. This claim is also repeated in several ...
17
votes
1answer
843 views

Does nuclear power cause fewer deaths than other forms of electricity production, accidents included?

There have been several questions related to nuclear power in comparison to other forms of electricity production: Are there fewer accidental deaths at nuclear power plants than others? Do coal ...
7
votes
1answer
476 views

Do cellphones pose any harm to pacemaker users?

In Japan it is very common to see signs on trains that encourage/require you to turn off your phone on trains, or just near the priority seating areas. The thinking goes that the signals somehow ...
8
votes
1answer
754 views

Is paramotoring the safest form of personal aviation?

Paramotoring is the of sport of powered paragliding, where participants strap a 2 stroke motor to their back and a parachute, which they dub a wing, in order to fly. Blackhawk Paramotor, America's (...
6
votes
1answer
510 views

Does removing headguards in boxing reduce concussion?

In this tweet from the Economist: The International Boxing Association claims that concussions went down 43% when headguards were removed pic.twitter.com/95KltTdapB— The Economist (@...
10
votes
0answers
298 views

Do childrens' playgrounds designed to be safe reduce injuries to children?

In Tim Harford's book-length argument that some degree of messiness is, contrary to much modern opinion, a good thing, he makes an argument late in the book that applies to the spaces where children ...
7
votes
2answers
836 views

Is the self-driving car technology of 2017 less lethal than human drivers?

Youtube channel veritasium, on a video called "The real moral dilemma of self-driving cars" (ref) claims that if all cars in 2017 were self-driving, hundreds of lives could be saved. So he is claming ...
4
votes
2answers
754 views

What if everyone in a city flushed their toilets at once?

"The applied theory of price", by Donald N McCloskey claims: If all people flushed their toilets at once, the city water mains would burst. How much damage (if at all) will a drainage system in a ...
2
votes
1answer
218 views

Does using a neck brace reduce damage taken in a car crash?

In the movie Focus, you can find this scene, where a man puts on a neck brace, before crashing into another car, and this same guy seems to be the only one unscathed. I know movies tend to portray ...
8
votes
2answers
323 views

Does teaching 6-12-month old infants to back float reduce their risk of drowning?

The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend water safety lessons for babies less than one year old: The water-survival skills programs for infants may make compelling videos for the ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Is aluminum foil safe to use with food?

Prompted by comments in the family, help me clear this up. A Google search for is aluminum foil safe yields articles that claim it's dangerous, as well as articles that claim it's safe. So which one ...
6
votes
0answers
499 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 state'...
5
votes
1answer
585 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
246 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
10
votes
0answers
809 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
votes
1answer
750 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
779 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
votes
0answers
107 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 ...
26
votes
1answer
2k 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, as reported in this news story? The best information that I have about this is a news report. Is there any ...
1
vote
0answers
94 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
240 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
874 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
435 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
282 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
713 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
598 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, it'...
11
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
874 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
votes
1answer
296 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
1k views

Are chicken haunches especially toxic?

There have been some health concerns raised (mainly through word of mouth) with regards to the toxicity of chicken haunches. Apparently, in the industrial breeding and rearing of chickens many ...
4
votes
1answer
337 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 ...
35
votes
1answer
4k 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
votes
0answers
271 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 ...
39
votes
1answer
9k 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
534 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 ...