What ‘Probably Causes Cancer’ Really Means

What ‘Probably Causes Cancer’ Really Means

One of the most commonly-used pesticides in the world was recently declared a probable cause of cancer — but that doesn’t mean what you think. Here are some stick figures to explain it to you.

This video by Andrew Maynard of the University of Michigan’s Risk Science Center explains what exactly the word “probably” means in that context (it has a specific definition). It doesn’t mean that the substance is a carcinogen and it will probably give you cancer; it means that it’s probably a carcinogen that may or may not ever give anyone cancer. If that’s confusing, don’t worry; the stick figures will make it all clear.

Once you’ve watched that video, consider checking out the others from Risk Bites, including whether BPA is harmful, whether mobile phones are frying your brain, and whether or not it’s dangerous to eat green potato chips.

What Does “Probably Cause Cancer” Actually Mean? [Risk Bites]

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