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Articles on Toxicity

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Herbal remedies are commonplace in Uganda; testing these scientifically is a good way to ensure they’re safe and effective. Ava Peattie/Shutterstock

Herbal skin treatments in Uganda get an important scientific boost

It is important that herbal medicine be checked for its safety, its potential to treat particular ailments, and to ascertain its chemical components.
Annie Storey holds a cross with a photo of her late son Alex Storey, before a march to mark the five-year anniversary of British Columbia declaring a public health emergency in the overdose crisis, in Vancouver, on April 14, 2021. CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Overdose crisis: The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare decades of drug policy failures

Across the country, overdose deaths have spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Breathing pure oxygen would be like fireworks exploding in your body. And that’s not always a good thing. Shutterstock

Curious Kids: what happens if you breathe pure oxygen?

You might think the more oxygen you breathe in the better. But too much oxygen can make you sick.
When people went to their GP asking for painkillers, they weren’t prescribed higher doses of codeine or stronger opioids, as some feared. from www.shutterstock.com

Here’s what happened when codeine was made prescription only. No, the sky didn’t fall in

When codeine became a prescription only drug in 2018, the number of overdoses dropped, our new research shows. But restricting sales of codeine is only one way to reduce harm from opioids.
Do you know what have your clothes been soaking in? ET1972/Shutterstock

What is ‘green’ dry cleaning? A toxics expert explains

Dry cleaning isn’t really dry – it uses chemical solvents. Perc, the most common option, has contaminated soil and groundwater and poses serious health risks, but safer choices are emerging.
A family catches Mardi Gras beads during the Krewe of Thoth parade down St. Charles Avenue in 2000. Reuters

The destructive life of a Mardi Gras bead

Each Mardi Gras, 25 million pounds of beads hit the streets of New Orleans. One researcher went to the Chinese factories that make them – and spoke to the workers who believe the beads will be given to royalty.
The chemical PFOA, used in common coatings, was found in elevated levels in the water supply of Hoosick, New York earlier this year. dougtone/flickr

Should you be worried about PFOA in drinking water? Here’s what we know

A growing number of communities in upstate New York and New England are discovering the chemical PFOA in their water supply. Here’s what you should know about the health effects of PFOA.

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