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31st January 2021

A burgeoning market in potentialy harnful face mask sprays has been brought to our attention by HuffPost contributor Dana Rose Falcone. The report highlights a myriad of possible dangers associated with these products from ingredients that could break down the fibres of the mask to those that could even damage the lungs of the wearer.

These face mask sprays are, as the image above illustrates, far from the first potentially hazardous product to have been foisted onto our seemingly under regulated markets, and that’s where microbiologust Virginia Ng and marketer David Frank come in

The digestible duo will regurgitate the history of dangerous products from asbestos to x-rays, bringing up a few, such as tomatoes and irradiated food, where the fear was unfounded, before finally vomiting out those, such as raw milk, that are still posing a risk.

Cambridge Skeptics

Dangerous Products: In The Home & In Our Stomachs
with David Frank & Virginia Ng
Thursday, 4th February 2021 at 7:00pm
The societal and scientific consensus says only irrational people fear things like WiFi, artificial sweeteners, and fluoridated water, but there have been legitimately dangerous products sold as safe in the past. ​Flammable, toxic, radioactive and generally bad for you, we'll look at products throughout history that killed, injured and poisoned, and the marketing campaigns that went along with them. ​Plus, we’ll explore some formerly dangerous things that turned out to be fine, and things we know are bad for us that we consume anyway. ​Come along. It'll be good for your health

David Frank is a marketer, a writer and a former radio show host. He is a former event organiser for Perth Skeptics in Australia, and Edinburgh Skeptics here in the UK. Pre-COVID he has toured talks across a dozen Skeptics in the Pub groups here in the UK, on such topics as "how to market yourself on online dating", and "how big tobacco circumvents marketing restrictions" (the latter of which you can watch on his website). He has a Master's of Science in Marketing from Edinburgh Napier University, and is currently based in Seattle. David is free range, organic, with no added hormones or unnecessary antibiotics

Virginia Ng is a food microbiologist and is the Director of Regulations and Food Processing at the Seafood Products Association in Seattle. She has a Masters of Science in Biological Sciences from California State Polytechnic University – Pomona, where she studied toxin formation and sporulation patterns in various Clostridium botulinum strains. In her day job, among other things, she is a sensory expert using organoleptic analyses to keep good quality seafood on the shelves. She has previously given talks on food preservation. ​Virginia’s favorite vices include ice cream, the extra dose of cosmic radiation that comes with flying, and movie marathons.

Trailer for Dangerous Products talk and Q&A. Written and presented by David Frank & Virginia Ng. To be performed on Twitch Feb 4 2021 as part of Skeptics in the Pub Online.
SoundCloud podcast includes 1 hr Dangerous Products talk + 20 mins Q&A. Written and presented by David Frank & Virginia Ng. Performed at Pacific Science Center Nov 26 2019 as part of their Science in the City talk series.
YouTube video includes 1 hr Dangerous Products talk + 20 mins Q&A. Written and presented by David Frank & Virginia Ng. Performed at Pacific Science Center Nov 26 2019 as part of their Science in the City talk series.
The Qanon movement regurgiates old antisemitic tropes that echo back to the Illuminati conspiracy theories pushed by Nesta Helen Webster, writes Mark Horne for The Skeptic.
As skeptics, we hear the same sayings and mantras repeated again and again, but we rarely pause to consider if they're useful... or even true, writes Jonathan Jarry for The Skeptic.
'Deep Adaptation' is a perfect example of how climate doomsayers and denialists both use similar methods to tilt reality in their favour, writes Ted Lefroy for The Skeptic.
After years of anti-vaccine misinformation and bogus claims to cure autism, the Society of Homeopaths has lost its accredited status, writes Michael Marshall for The Skeptic.
Understanding the accuracy of PCR and Lateral Flow tests - and how they compare - is key in assessing the UK's community testing program, writes Alice Howarth for The Skeptic.
Join Prof. Phil Scraton for a critique the reformist ‘rehabilitation’ agenda and an exploration of the potential for prison abolition. This event, which was streamed live on 28th January 2021, is now available for catch up on the SitP Online YouTube channel.
Join archaeologist and historian Mirko Gutjahr for proof that real archeology is much more exciting - and true - than archaeological fantasies. This event, which was streamed live on 21st January 2021, is now available for catch up on the SitP Online YouTube channel.
Join Partnership on AI Program Lead Rosie Campbell for a look at the high-stakes world of AI research. This event, which was streamed live on 14th January 2021, is now available for catch up on the SitP Online YouTube channel.
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