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Questions tagged [safety]

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

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7 votes
1 answer
663 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 ...
14 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is fluoride toothpaste dangerous?

Is there any proof that the amount of fluoride that commonly used in toothpaste is unhealthy?
9 votes
1 answer
3k views

Can riding a motorcycle without earplugs cause hearing damage?

I've heard claims before that when riding a motorcycle, wind noise (especially on the highway) is loud enough that it will cause eventual hearing loss. Personally, I ride a motorcycle, and I usually ...
7 votes
1 answer
306 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 ...
22 votes
2 answers
9k views

Is nuclear fusion energy as safe as its proponents claim?

With my limited knowledge of the process of nuclear fusion energy, this seems like one of the most promising methods for producing huge amounts of energy, with relatively very low risk, once ...
5 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
8 votes
3 answers
341 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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
906 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
1 answer
938 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'...
21 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
13 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
8 votes
1 answer
345 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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
441 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 ...
36 votes
1 answer
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 ...
3 votes
0 answers
633 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 votes
1 answer
964 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 ...
40 votes
1 answer
22k 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 ...
13 votes
1 answer
494 views

Are annual physical examinations valuable?

It seems to be commonly accepted that having a physician do a physical exam every year is beneficial. However, others seem to have concluded otherwise, for example see the Oct 17, 2012 article in the ...
4 votes
0 answers
255 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 votes
1 answer
653 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 ...
7 votes
2 answers
704 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 ...
20 votes
2 answers
10k views

Is the Kinect IR laser safe?

The Microsoft Kinect uses an IR source (laser or just diode?) to project a pattern in order to get 3D data on what it's looking at. As low-power IR is invisible and intangible, many people have ...
16 votes
2 answers
22k 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 and ...
2 votes
0 answers
218 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. [...
75 votes
1 answer
23k 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" ...
15 votes
1 answer
463 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. ...
28 votes
2 answers
72k 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 ...
8 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
492 views

Are there harmful levels of mercury in High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)?

Are there harmful levels of mercury in High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)? I was first alerted by this article which claims: She was then promptly shipped a big vat of HFCS that was used as part of ...
6 votes
1 answer
682 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 ...
6 votes
4 answers
6k 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 ...
24 votes
4 answers
7k 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 ...
38 votes
2 answers
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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
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 ...
11 votes
2 answers
872 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 (...
14 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
16 votes
2 answers
576 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 the ...
17 votes
1 answer
3k 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. ...
12 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
14 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
9 votes
0 answers
800 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 ...
8 votes
1 answer
991 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 ...
29 votes
3 answers
2k views

Do cars pass with less space for bicyclists who wear helmets?

This question is an off-shoot of from the discussion about helmet safety. There is an assertion that when a car passes a bicycle, it allows less space to those who wear a helmet than those without. ...
18 votes
1 answer
9k 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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
1k 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
0 answers
443 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, three ...
4 votes
0 answers
1k 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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
764 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 ...
28 votes
1 answer
52k views

Is there a risk of drowning if you fall asleep in the bath?

Are there any documented events of people drowning in slippery baths after falling asleep? I've tried to Google it but wasn't able to find anything. Probably just used wrong terms, or maybe there ...
10 votes
0 answers
1k 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 of ...