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Dangerous Products

by | May 27, 2020

Science in the City

Societal and scientific consensus says we should not fear Wi-Fi, artificial sweeteners, and fluoridated water. However, legitimately dangerous products that are flammable, toxic, radioactive, and generally bad for you have been sold as safe in the past.

In this PacSci Podcast, we’re joined by Virginia Ng, food microbiologist and director of food processing at the Seafood Products Association, and David Frank, marketer, teacher, and former radio show host as they look at products throughout history that killed, injured and poisoned, and the marketing campaigns that went along with them. Plus, they explore formerly dangerous products that turned out to be fine and things we know are bad for us but choose to consume anyway. From DDT to Valium and many others, you will learn the history of products and what makes them so hazardous.

“We’re going to start with some dangerous products,” Frank says. “Then we’re going to move on to some that turned out to be safe, followed by ones that are on the market and you should probably avoid, followed by some things that we know are dangerous but we consume anyway.”

Speaking of DDT, Frank says it came in all sorts of product packaging, “some of which would be alien, some of which would be familiar to us today.” DDT turned out to be terrible for the most part, but at one time it was found in everything from sprays to wallpaper.

This audio program is an excerpt from a recent Science in the City presentation at Pacific Science Center before the global pandemic. While our doors are currently closed to the public, we are offering live virtual events like Science in the City and more on our YouTube channel. We invite you to join us for lively conversations with local scientists, authors, researchers, and others.

Virtual Science in the City events are free and available to anyone. Use the link below to sign up for PacSci’s newsletter to keep up to date with all our programming. If you enjoy this kind of information, we encourage you to support PacSci to ensure Curiosity Never Closes.

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