121 votes
Accepted

Are spiders unable to hurt humans, especially very small spiders?

The answer is that spiders definitely can hurt you. While you may not be likely to be killed, spiders can absolutely hurt you, whether from a large one's bite (whether venomous or not) or from any ...
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  • 6,219
66 votes

Is very young lamb poisonous?

In the absence of any further information, it seems likely that these lambs have recently been given some vaccines or other drugs. As a result, they will not be fit for human consumption until the ...
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  • 711
65 votes
Accepted

Does a pear contain 600 times more formaldehyde than a vaccine?

No. The amount of formaldehyde in 200 grams of pear is about 7 times the maximum that an infant would receive from a single vaccine, as explained below: According to Determination of formaldehyde in ...
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  • 98.2k
61 votes

Can venomous snakes be determined by these pupil, nostril and scale patterns?

No, this is not true. Not even for just India, as Indian cobra (Naja naja) has round pupils and subcaudal (tail) scales are divided. There is also no pit visible. It is venomous species of snake. ...
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43 votes
Accepted

Is canthaxanthin used in salmon farming toxic to human health?

The claim is correct for: Canthaxanthin is used as a colorant in foodstuff, particularly so in farmed salmon, but also eggs and poultry Canthaxanthin does also occur naturally, in some fish, in tiny ...
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  • 43.4k
39 votes

Does a pear contain 600 times more formaldehyde than a vaccine?

No, the maths on these memes don't quite add up, but it is fair to say that a pear does still contain quite a bit more formaldehyde than any vaccine by at least a factor of 10. According to the WHO (...
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  • 9,196
36 votes
Accepted

Would eating a packet of cigarettes be fatal?

In this answer, I do not prove that eating a pack of cigarettes is safe. (Please don't do it!) However, I show that there is a common belief that a pack of cigarettes would contain enough nicotine to ...
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  • 133k
32 votes

Are spiders unable to hurt humans, especially very small spiders?

The claim First let's start with noting that the goal of the episode was to get children over their irrational fear of spiders and making those children see the bigger picture. Mummy says cobwebs ...
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  • 4,003
31 votes

Is honey toxic when heated up in tea?

Let me start off with my conclusion as a chemist... I absolutely don't believe that heating honey in hot water would make the liquid indigestible or toxic. The claim The webpages cited by the OP,...
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  • 588
30 votes

Are spiders unable to hurt humans, especially very small spiders?

Are spiders unable to hurt people? There are several species of spiders, some large, others not so large. that are quite capable of harming people. Some can cause severe injury to or kill people. ...
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  • 11.2k
27 votes

Do onions become toxic or otherwise dangerous within a day of a being cut open?

As well as personal experience from eating onions that were cut not on the same day. From the National Onion Association: Leftover Onion and Cut Onion Q: Are cut onions or leftover onions poisonous? ...
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  • 28.8k
26 votes

Can venomous snakes be determined by these pupil, nostril and scale patterns?

... maybe a bit more education hurts even less... but the answer is still no. So to me the description with pits and slit pupils (and also the head drawing) looks like indicating pit vipers. I don't ...
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23 votes

Can venomous snakes be determined by these pupil, nostril and scale patterns?

That is a diagram for identifying pit vipers. There are many, many venomous snakes in the world, including I believe all of the most deadly ones, that are not pit vipers. The advice is particularly ...
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  • 1,604
21 votes

Is very young lamb poisonous?

No, in general young lamb isn't poisonous. Lambs are sometimes slaughtered very young, earlier than six weeks of age. If young lamb in general was dangerous than that meat wouldn't be fit for ...
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  • 8,517
18 votes

Would eating a packet of cigarettes be fatal?

According to Nicotine Content of Domestic Cigarettes, Imported Cigarettes and Pipe Tobacco in Iran Addiction & Health 2012, volume 4, pages 28–35. The amount of nicotine in each cigarette was ...
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  • 98.2k
15 votes
Accepted

Do dolphins intentionally intoxicate themselves with puffer-fish venom?

About Rob Pilley, the "zoologist and producer" who gave the Daily news their original quotes. A google scholar search does not turn up any research from him; none of the 120 papers by a R Pilley are ...
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14 votes

Is the European NO₂ limit of 40 µg/m³ for outside air backed by strong evidence?

Summary The question as asked in the title depends on what you consider "strong evidence". I will therefore have a look at which side makes the better-sourced point. (Which is not just about "...
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  • 18.8k
12 votes
Accepted

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

The point about botulinum toxin is that it grows best in anaerobic conditions. (Detection, Identification and Differentiation of Clostridia Species) This is typically associated with canning and other ...
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  • 3,771
11 votes
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Did a prisoner die from a needle prick when he was told that it was a snake bite?

There is a set of very old urban legends - fictional stories that are widely believed and passed around as true - which are closely related to this story. In the book The Lore of Scotland: A Guide to ...
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  • 133k
11 votes
Accepted

Can you become immune to Snake Venom?

tl;dr: Yes. This Mister Steve Ludwin is quite public about his snake adventures. The details about his method as reported in the popular press are a bit murky and so imprecise that they increase the ...
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  • 43.4k
9 votes
Accepted

Is very young lamb poisonous?

This Belfast Telegraph article explains it a little bit better. The lambs could have been vaccinated recently. The UFU President is also quoted saying there is little risk to the public. Hope that ...
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  • 114
8 votes

Would eating a packet of cigarettes be fatal?

The other answer already indicated that the nicotine in a cigarette is probably not enough to kill a person when ingested, but the referred paper actually links to a documented case of someone who ate ...
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  • 81
7 votes
Accepted

Does eating burnt toast neutralize ingested poison?

Activated carbon is used to treat poisonings and overdoses following oral ingestion. Tablets or capsules of activated carbon are used in many countries as an over-the-counter drug to treat diarrhea, ...
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  • 6,972
7 votes

Can you die by absorbing cyanide through the skin?

Yes, in chemistry labs Cyanide dissolved in DMSO is referred to as "Liquid Death". As this in depth explanation states: The result is obvious: combining DMSO with the wrong compound will rapidly ...
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  • 3,544
5 votes
Accepted

Do vaccines cause "hypertoxicity"?

A bit of context. Mr Mihalovic is not a doctor, but an anti-vaccine advocate and a "naturopath" -- in other words: David Mihalovic is an ND, which stands for “naturopathic doctor” or, more ...
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  • 78k
5 votes

Do the seeds from 20 apples contain a fatal dose of cyanide?

No, that estimate is far too low (you'd need seeds of 1-2 orders of magnitude more apples) The amygdalin contents of the apple seeds could gener- ate between 0.06 and 0.2 mg cyanide equivalents ...
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5 votes

Are spiders unable to hurt humans, especially very small spiders?

They are dangerous/harmful in more places than Australia United States Brown Recluse Necrotic venom often requiring medical attention Black Widow Female venom contains the neurotoxin latrotoxin. ...
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  • 167
5 votes
Accepted

Can regularly ingesting a poison build an immunity to it?

Mithridatism is an actual practice that is possible with biologically complex poisons that react with the immune systems. The mechanism is similar to that of developing immune resistance to a disease ...
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  • 5,926
4 votes

Is drinking water stored in copper vessels (copperware) good for your health?

Copper in the water is not a problem. In fact, in moderation it is necessary for your health. In the United States, a lot of homes use copper plumbing. However, the concentration of copper can be an ...
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3 votes

Are laundry detergent and fabric softener fumes dangerous to human health?

We don't know. When deciding if fumes are dangerous, the relevant measure is the "LC-50", the airborne concentration that is lethal to 50% of test subjects. Ingestion LD-50s are of limited ...
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