A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Did the EPA Just Approve Use of Asbestos in the U.S.?

Q. Did the Environmental Protection Agency change its rules to allow companies to use asbestos in manufacturing?

A. No. Asbestos is already allowed in numerous products. A proposed EPA rule would prohibit the use of asbestos in certain products unless granted EPA approval.

Did the Polio Vaccine Cause Cancer?

Q: Did people develop cancer because of the polio vaccine?

A: There are no known cases, and it’s very unlikely. In the 1950s and 1960s, people did receive polio vaccines contaminated with a virus that causes cancer in rodents. But research suggests this virus doesn’t cause cancer in humans.

The Facts on Human-Animal Chimeras

Q: Does the National Institutes of Health fund research on human-animal chimeras, or organisms that are part-human, part-other animal? 
A: With some exceptions, the NIH doesn’t fund research on human-animal chimeras. But the agency has proposed a rule to widen the scope of research it funds in this area.

Warming to Blame for Western Wildfires?

Q: Did climate change cause the wildfires out West?

A: Scientists say a hot and dry summer — conditions more likely in a warmer world — caused widespread wildfires in Western states. But land use changes also have played a role.

Does Glyphosate Cause Cancer?

Q: Does the herbicide glyphosate cause cancer? 
A: There is evidence to suggest it may cause cancer at very high doses, but not at the low doses typically found in foods.

Is Bacon Better for You Than Tilapia?

Q: Is bacon better for you than tilapia? Does tilapia cause cancer and/or Alzheimer’s disease?

A: No. These false claims, spread by multiple websites, are not supported by solid scientific evidence. 

The Facts on E-Cigarettes

Q: Have scientists confirmed that e-cigarettes cause an incurable respiratory disease called “popcorn lung”?
A: No. The vapor of some e-cigarettes contains a chemical associated with popcorn lung, but there’s not enough evidence to conclude they cause the disease.  

The Facts on Fracking Chemical Disclosure

Q: Are the chemicals in fracking solution protected from being made public by a law passed while Dick Cheney was vice president?
A: Yes. A 2005 law bans the federal government from requiring companies to disclose fracking chemicals. But 28 states do require disclosure of some fracking fluids.

Introducing Ask SciCheck

In January 2015, we launched SciCheck — a feature devoted to fact-checking false and misleading scientific claims. Today, we introduce Ask SciCheck, which will provide answers to your questions about science and public policy.

Land Loss in Louisiana

Is Louisiana losing a football field of land to the ocean every hour? Yes. Both natural processes and human activities contribute to the land loss, though humans are primarily to blame.