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[cdn-nucl-l] Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division website
AND here's another nice website. It belongs to the Dihydrogen Monoxide
Research Division, which is apparently located in Newark, Delaware.
The whole site is devoted to the chemical DHMO. It deals with such issues as
"What is the link between dihydrogen monoxide and school violence?", "How
does dihydrogen monoxide toxicity affect kidney dialysis patients?", "Can
using dihydrogen monoxide improve my sex life?, and "What are the symptoms
of accidental dihydrogen monoxide overdose?"
The FAQs section displays this caution: "Should I be concerned about
dihydrogen monoxide? Yes, you should be concerned about DHMO! Although the
US government and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) do not classify
dihydrogen monoxide as a toxic or carcinogenic substance (as it does with
better-known chemicals such as hydrochloric acid and saccharine), DHMO is a
constituent of many known toxic substances, diseases and disease-causing
agents, environmental hazards and can even be lethal to humans in quantities
as small as a thimbleful."
A noteworthy feature of the site is that it never mentions DHMO's more usual
name--so we won't either. Go to www.dhmo.org if you'd like to know more.
....they also have a Dihydrogen Monoxide FAQ, at
and Dihydrogen Monoxide and Cancer, at http://www.dhmo.org/cancer.html
and so on..
How Carcinogenic is Dihydrogen Monoxide?
Dihydrogen Monoxide is not believed to be carcinogenic, although it is known
to be a component of a number of cancer-causing agents. Additionally, the
cause of approximately 20 percent of all cancers is not known, and there is
reason to suspect that DHMO may play some role in these as well. Clearly,
more research is needed before DHMO's role is fully enumerated.
Comment : according to the precautionary principle (we prefer to err on the
safe side...), DHMO should be banned from all public use until its proven
...and of course there are the Survey Reports and DHMO Ban Petitions.
Title: Campaign to Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide in Chemistry Laboratories
Organization: The High School of Glasgow
Researchers: Bobby Dickson, Guy Sanderson, Margaret White, Tracy Hickman,
David Cooper, Lee Dickson Date: March/April 1999
Results: This campaign collected 341 signatures calling for a full ban on
the use of Dihydrogen Monoxide in the school's chemistry laboratories. In
certain groups, 64% signed the petition without a second thought, whereas in
another group, nearly 61% were actually against the ban.
Some notable results of the campaign are:
* 45% of the teachers polled were in favor of the ban,
although those asked to fill in questionnaire were less likely than those
surveyed verbally to be in favor of the ban.
* The parent of one pupil felt strongly enough about the
matter to write a letter supporting the ban, not wanting her child or anyone
else's children to be exposed to the harmful substance.
* 12-18 year-old female students were most likely to "stand up
for their rights" and sign the petition, among those surveyed.
Overall, the researchers found that easily 50% of those polled where swayed,
at least initially, by previous opinions gathered.
Title: Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide Petition
Organization: Leyada - Hebrew University Secondary School
Israel Researchers: Nir Soffer
Date: October 1998
Results: This online petition has gathered a total of 205 responses. The
results may provide insight into the Israeli perspective on the Dihydrogen
Monoxide debate. Most notably, a majority (54%) are against a ban of DHMO,
in contrast to the typical result in the U.S. of a significant majority
(over 80%) being in favor of a ban. These results could indicate a different
level of knowledge about Dihydrogen Monoxide in Israel, or it could mean
that public perception there is that Dihydrogen Monoxide is less of a
danger. It is known that there are areas of Israel that have relatively low
levels of DHMO.
The petition lists 16 consequences or dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide,
providing participants with three choices of a response:
Total people surveyed 205
Signed in favor of ban of DHMO 85
Against ban of DHMO 110
Undecided or no opinion 10
Although the petition is still available online, it is not currently
accepting additional signatures:
Title: Should Dihydrogen Monoxide be Banned?
Organization: Chatham, Ontario
Researchers: Chatham Residents
Date: September 1998
Results: This follow-up to the pilot study compared results of a small
sample (50) of Canadian residents with early results from the U.S.
Researchers conducted a door-to-door survey, providing the following
information to each:
Dihydrogen Monoxide is found in all forms of cancer,
it is a major component of acid rain, if it is inhaled
in its natural state it is often fatal, in gaseous form
it causes severe burns.
Those in favor of a ban were asked to sign a petition. Survey results are:
Total people surveyed 50
Signed in favor of ban of DHMO 44
Against ban of DHMO 5
Refused to sign petition 1
These results may suggest that the Canadian population is similarly
inclined to be wary of DHMO as the U.S. population is. This study suggests
that more research is warranted.