Friday, June 05, 2009

Health Risks Overhyped: Toxicologists Don't Trust Media

Teflon, pesticides, cosmetics - the media often portrays these as serious health risks. But a new survey shows toxicologists aren't as concerned as media reports suggest. In fact, according to the study conducted by STATS (The Statistical Assessment Service) and the Center for Health and Risk Communication at George Mason University, toxicologists trust WebMD and Wikipedia more than traditional media:

56% say WebMD accurately portrays chemical risks
• 45% say Wikipedia accurately portrays chemical risks
• By contrast, no more than 15% say that leading national newspapers, news magazines, and television networks accurately portray chemical risks
• Over 80% say that leading national newspapers, news magazines, and television networks overstate chemical risks


Wow. Now that's unsettling but somehow not surprising.

To learn more about what toxicologists find risky, read the report "Are Chemicals Killing Us" by S. Robert Lichter on STATS.org.

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