Questions tagged [safety]

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

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43 votes
1 answer
7k views

Is a woman more likely than a man to be seriously injured in a car crash of similar severity?

This article makes a number of interesting points about the potential dangers faced by women in a world "designed for men", but I want to ask specifically about this claim: But when a woman ...
26 votes
1 answer
7k views

Are chemicals used to ripen fruit in developing countries harmful to the health of consumers?

Note: there are some answers to this question on Chemistry.SE, but I prefer a sceptical approach here. I ask this question in connection with a post on Facebook (in Indonesia), which asked: Hi ...
-4 votes
1 answer
342 views

Has there ever been a burglary or assault from someone keeping an old key and using it on new owners?

It's "common knowledge" that you should change keys on move-in. Usually this is suggested to avoid burglary (or for Googlers and more casual conversation, "robbery"). But has ...
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is sleeping in a car with the windows rolled up dangerous?

I keep seeing this conspiracy get repeated. The conspiracy goes like this: car manufacturers don't want homeless people sleeping in cars, so when a car is off, the air vents automatically close. They ...
6 votes
0 answers
506 views

Does too much artificial lighting result in increased crime and safety problems?

According to a Washington Post article, Nebraska's tourism board is applying for dark sky certification for the Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area. As part of their application, they are ...
27 votes
1 answer
5k views

Can defrosting vacuum-packed fish in its packaging cause botulism?

There are many warnings on the Internet about vacuum-sealed frozen fish thawed in its packaging potentially causing botulism: Why You Should Never Thaw Frozen Fish in Its Vacuum-Sealed Packaging ...
-1 votes
1 answer
800 views

Is it safe to eat rotten meat?

We can read here: Meat can be eaten when it has gone off (i.e. green), but must be cooked absolutely thoroughly and never reheated. This is an old trick for living on recently dead animals (South ...
12 votes
1 answer
806 views

Are expired car seats no longer safe to use?

Many websites will claim a variant of the following claim: Do not buy a used car seat unless you can verify the age of the seat. There should be a manufacturer's label on the back or bottom of the ...
26 votes
2 answers
2k 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 to do ...
14 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can eating a few cherry pits lead to cyanide poisoning?

In 2017, a Serbian news station reported a UK man was hospitalized after eating cherry pits. [Google translated] Matthew Krim (28) was eating cherries and out of pure curiosity swallowed three along ...
7 votes
1 answer
901 views

Should you wash tuna cans before opening them?

My dad told us we need to wash tuna cans before opening them because canned food (at least tuna) is imported on ships and rats really like to "take a trip" on these ships, too. They touch ...
11 votes
1 answer
784 views

Does the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission require weatherized pipelines and equipment (but Texas's doesn't)?

The Houston Chornicle writes: Texas has the only American electricity grid with no rules for resiliency. Instead, the GOP majority argued that a system that pays higher prices when demand goes up ...
26 votes
4 answers
8k views

Is it dangerous to use a gas range for heating?

According to the CDC, you should "NEVER use a gas range for heating". Never use a gas range or oven for heating. Using a gas range or oven for heating can cause a build up of CO inside your ...
11 votes
5 answers
18k 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 ...
36 votes
1 answer
14k views

Can you get your legs stuck around a pole, leading to cramping and then death?

I came across this video that makes a series of claims based around a position that a person can apparently get stuck in around a pole, and unintentionally kill themselves: Hot girl tied to tree with ...
2 votes
1 answer
673 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 ...
10 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
14 votes
1 answer
12k 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 ...
22 votes
2 answers
6k 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 ...
11 votes
2 answers
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, ...
72 votes
3 answers
12k views

Has a virus ever escaped a high-level virus lab?

As somewhat unclearly related in the Daily Mail: Dr Keusch, Professor of Medicine and International Health at Boston University's Schools of Medicine and Public Health, stressed that no release of ...
4 votes
1 answer
867 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 ...
35 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
549 views

Are Teslas with autopilot system safer than vehicles without it?

An AP article describes some recent crashes that may have been linked to the Tesla autopilot system. The article states that there have been three fatal crashes since 2016 potentially linked to the ...
8 votes
0 answers
308 views

Is Radio Frequency Radiation carcinogenic at the FCC's 1996 exposure limits?

A 2019 Scientific American blog article, We Have No Reason to Believe 5G Is Safe, by Joel M. Moskowitz, warns about the safety of 5G wireless technology. Yet, since [the 1980s], the preponderance of ...
13 votes
2 answers
2k views

Does lowering the legal BAC make driving safer?

Lower legal blood alcohol concentration limit laws are passed under the assumption that a lower legal limit will reduce the number of accidents. For example, the U.S government lowered the legal BAC ...
10 votes
2 answers
646 views

Does having your bedroom door closed while sleeping improve fire safety?

The UL (formerly Underwriter Laboratories) has a Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI) that claims that sleeping with the bedroom door closed reduces the risk of being killed in a fire: UL FSRI ...
32 votes
0 answers
831 views

Does cutting paper dull a knife quickly? [duplicate]

This question is a follow-up to "How to test the sharpness of a knife?", my answer to it, and the comments my answer generated. Charlie Brumbaugh wanted to know how to tell when he is done when ...
20 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is riding with strangers unsafe?

A commonly taught adage is to never accept a ride from a stranger. This applies mostly to children and goes hand in hand with warnings about accepting gifts from strangers. Now, having grown older, I ...
74 votes
2 answers
15k views

Were pen cap holes designed to prevent death by suffocation if swallowed?

Someone posted the following trivia on a social media website: Do you know that pen caps have holes so that if someone swallows a cap, then air could still pass through? This started a small ...
25 votes
3 answers
10k views

How unhealthy are aluminum cooking pans?

It is regularly stated that aluminum cooking pans are unhealthy, but I come accross them very often. I see people cooking both alkaline and acid foods in them, scrape them with metal, leave food ...
11 votes
2 answers
20k 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 ...
18 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
703 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 ...
23 votes
1 answer
2k views

Are roads more dangerous when it first rains?

From DriversEd.com: Rain: Slow down at the first sign of rain, drizzle, or snow on the road. This is when many road surfaces are most slippery because moisture mixes with oil and dust that has not ...
117 votes
1 answer
15k 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 ...
61 votes
1 answer
11k views

Is it less dangerous to box without gloves than with gloves?

From this YouTube video by Today I Found Out, Most pertinent here, is that neither boxer would be wearing gloves in such a classic match. As paradoxical as it sounds, boxing without gloves is ...
9 votes
2 answers
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, ...
0 votes
1 answer
744 views

Are eggs safe to consume once they reach 70 degrees celsius

In the Homemade Eggnog {Non Alcoholic} eggnog recipe featured on the website Annie's Noms as part of the recipe the author makes the claim that at 70 celsius the eggs are safe to eat. As below ...
24 votes
2 answers
8k 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 disparagingly called Chelsea Tractors) do so at least partially because they believe such cars to be safer. I doubt this ...
9 votes
0 answers
851 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 ...
107 votes
5 answers
7k views

Are personal electronics a risk to commercial aviation?

Are personal electronics (of present or recent past; e.g. cell phones, mp3 players, iPads) a risk to commercial air travel? Is the typical request to "turn off all personal electronic devices" based ...
28 votes
1 answer
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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
1k 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 (...
12 votes
1 answer
875 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 ...
43 votes
5 answers
5k 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 ...
8 votes
0 answers
3k 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
531 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, ...
12 votes
2 answers
12k 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, ...
7 votes
0 answers
501 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 ...