Tuesday 2 March 2010

Impossible To Resist

We recently found out that the wife of one of Mrs Puddlecote's acquaintances had sneered at the Puddlecote habit of re-filling plastic water bottles. The reasoning being that it causes cancer, apparently. So adamant was she that, at the weekend, her 'public duty' was to thrust a printout of this page into Mrs P's hand, with all the alarmist phrases highlighted in dayglo green. Some chemicals were even neatly double underlined in black.

"I'm extremely worried about cancer", she gushed, "you should throw your bottles away and not let your children drink out of them".

Now, this hectoring ball of festering panic lives in a flat above a print shop from which the smell of ink fumes is significantly noticeable. So, this afternoon, Mrs P handed her a printout of this page, which I had kindly printed off, highlighted, and appropriately underlined.

The "ink" in a copier is a very fine black powder known as toner, or by its chemical name, carbon black. Carbon Black usually comes in a replaceable cartridge, and is classified a carcinogen, which means it is "capable of inducing cancer." Very special care must be taken when handling toner cartridges, and they must be disposed of properly, not, for instance, simply tossed into a trash can.
Honestly, you've got to read the rest as it's an object lesson in hysterical alarmism.

Mrs P calmly pointed out the difference in toner volume between a humble office photocopier and a hard-working print shop, and between a few hours in an office compared to living, breathing and sleeping directly above industrial printing equipment. The horrified intake of breath was reportedly heard in the post office five doors down.

I think the letting agents will be getting a call in the morning, if they haven't had one already, of course.

Does this make us bad people?


manwiddicombe said...

Bad? Yes

Funny? Yes

Stop? Definitely not!!!

Captain Ranty said...

Yon toner that you mention is a bad boy.


It was named as the 41st cause of lung cancer.

What will they discover tomorrow?

Everyone should panic. When just one person panics you look like an arse.

No-one wants that. Safety in numbers.


Gendeau said...

Until their ridiculous beliefs cause _them_ inconvenience they're clearly not going to go to the trouble of examining the 'basis' of their views.

I'm absolutely sure that you've done them a favour, PLUS they might move to another town - win-win!

I think that one of the greatest problems we have in society nowadays is that even (knowingly) stupid, ill-educated people believe that their opinion is valid on any issue whatsoever.

I don't think that you need to have a degree to have an opinion, but the worth of your opinion needs to reflect the quality of the thinking behind it.

Climatology being a prime example of what happens when mediocre (alledged) scientists are left to play without adult supervision (or morals, integrity etc).

Beware of Geeks bearing GIFs said...


I think you should send them a leaflet that says:

"The failure to enjoy your life and to seek fulfilment is entirely down to you. There are no rewind buttons and there are certainly no refunds"

john gibson said...

I'm fucked, I have been refilling bottles for years, in fact I must be dead now.

John Gibson

BTS said...

Dude, I think I just inhaled some third hand carbon black from reading that.

Can I sue?

Leg-iron said...

I'd also point out that any soluble chemicals in those plastic bottles would have been leached out by the first batch of water. Refilling them can only pick up far, far less.

I've always thought it odd that those bottles come marked 'do not refill', when you can buy empty sports bottles and fill them as many times as you like. So any possible argument against refilling is negated by the sale of the empty ones.

The story is there to stop us buying bottled water. The Green Righteous mentioned that a long time ago and then went quiet. They've been searching for a 'cancer' all this while.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Gendeau: "I think that one of the greatest problems we have in society nowadays is that even (knowingly) stupid, ill-educated people believe that their opinion is valid on any issue whatsoever"

Oh boy! You've just articulated a thought that had been bouncing around my head for a while without being properly formulated.

So true.

This woman is a dullard of the first water yet believes, somehow, that she is a health expert because she (presumably) reads Take a Break or some such and can use Google.

Her ability to separate serious health concerns from chaff is hampered by her intelligence. But when the state continually pumps scares into the weak-minded without allowing for over-reaction, she is the result.

How about this for an example of the same damage in warmist scaremongering?

Mark Wadsworth said...

Doesn't everybody refill plastic bottles?

Being posh, we have a Brita filter, and we keep refilling those half litre mineral water bottles until they fall to bits.

WTF do these people want - do they want us to throw them away after one use?

Joe Public said...

Terrify her. Advise her of the number of fatal accidents occuring when people move home.

Chuckles said...

Snort, guffaw, snigger, howls of laughter.

Bad? Yes, definitely, undoubtedly, but VERY kosher.

The righteous have it emblazoned in letters of fire on their conscious that one molecule of these PBT's will kill them. Styrene, napthalene, carbon black. Please, make them stop.

But the synthetic chemicals are the most dangerous.

I think next time you should mention that they have been known to contain traces of salt and third hand smoke, and that many PBTs are polyunsaturated.

SaltedSlug said...

Good drills.

And if anyone cares, the bottle thing is bollocks anyway. It was widely reported that a finding from a 2001 study by the University of Idaho showed the reuse of plastic water bottles released diethylhexyl adipate (DEHA) into the water, which -it was reported- is potentially carcinogenic.

Turns out it was a Masters thesis, and not a very good one. DEHA isn't a carcinogen, and you don't get it in water bottle plastic.

In future you could explain all that, or you could use my preferred response, which is to belm loudly and dramatically in their stupid, pinched faces.

JohnRS said...

My "Ace of panic" trumps your "King of concern", game to me I think.

Well played, Sir.

Junican said...

Is IT PROBABLE or is it VAGUELY possible?
Is it PROBABLE or is it REMOTELY possible?
Is it PROBABLE or is it MINUTELY possible?
Is it PROBABLE or is it INFINITESIMALLY possible?

Those questions encapsulate the problem with all the health scares one sees in the MSM - including passive smoking.

Anonymous said...

@Gendeau & DP - I've been thinking this, too, for some time - everyone's an expert even though they're incapable of understanding the labelling on a cornflake box.

I think I might have some fun with third hand drinking - tell a po-faced snti-smoking drinker that alcohol seeps through the pores and deposits carcinogens on the furniture which then cling and seep through others' clothing and pores causing a non-operable type of cancer that isn't detectable until terminal.


Bucko said...

Love it.
I also like the way "Global Warming" is highlighted and linked in the first scaremongering article. Its amazing how many things they can blame global warming on, isnt it.

Neal Asher said...

Oh my God! It's the CHEMICALS! You should inform her that quite a lot of food contains stuff like S-allylcysteine, diallyl sulfide, allyl methyl trisulfide (garlic).

When ignorance comes up I'm always reminded of this Penn and Teller episode: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yi3erdgVVTw

Angry Exile said...

Ah, the good old dihydrogen monoxide gag, as used to great effect with a Kiwi politician just as gullible as Mrs Puddlecote's associate (not for the first time actually). One of my favourite Bullshit! shows, that one.

DP, no, not bad at all from where I sit. It's practically a public service.

bayard said...

Why does anyone feel the need to refill plastic water bottles anyway? What's wrong with drinking the stuff straight from the tap using a glass (although I understand that if you leave it in a jug for an hour or two, the chlorine disappears).
Ah, yes, chlorine, that's really good for you, as they found out in WWI.