Stupid science scare story of the day: Fox News on hairspray

Headline:Study: Exposure to Hairspray May Lead to Increased Birth Defects

Conclusion:

“However, there is no proof that exposure to hairspray can cause hypospadias, said the authors of the study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. “Women shouldn’t be alarmed,” said study leader Professor Paul Elliott.”

Bit late for that…

About these ads

3 Responses to Stupid science scare story of the day: Fox News on hairspray

  1. The peer-reviewed study is titled “Endocrine Disruptors in the Workplace, Hair Spray, Folate Supplementation, and Risk of Hypospadias: Case-control Study”. The full text of the article is available for free here.

    Apart from love of alliteration, why do you call it a “stupid science scare story”?

  2. Because the message of the study’s authors is completely contradicted by the headline.

  3. The authors wrote: “Excess risks of hypospadias associated with occupational exposures to phthalates and hair spray suggest that anti-androgenic endocrine disrupting chemicals may play a role in hypospadias.” A case-control study cannot establish causality, but it can provide supporting evidence by demonstrating a statistically significant association.

    For instance, smoking was established as a cause of lung cancer thanks to evidence from a variety of sources, including case-control studies; e.g. Doll R, Hill AB. Smoking and carcinoma of the lung. BMJ 1950;221(ii):739-48.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 34 other followers