Let’s hope that, unlike me, you didn’t spend too much time memorizing the atomic weights of elements on the periodic table back in Chemistry 11—because things are about to change.
University of Calgary researcher Dr. Michael Wieser. (Photo Credit: Riley Brandt/University of Calgary)
A new periodic table outlined by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry’s (IUPAC) Commission on Isotopic Abundances and Atomic Weights shows that the atomic weights of 10 elements—hydrogen, lithium, boron, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, silicon, sulfur, chlorine and thallium — will change.
Historically, all elements were assigned a single-value standard atomic weight. Upon further investigation, however, scientists have found that the atomic weights of certain elements have natural fluctuations in weight depending on where the particular element is found. As University of Calgary associate professor and IUPAC secretary Dr. Michael Wieser explains, “[a]s technology improved, we have discovered that the numbers on our chart . . . → Read More: Back to the (Periodic) Drawing Table: Researchers Revamp the Table of Standard Atomic Weights
Most people know that they’ll be ingesting caloric health risks when they chomp down on some junk food, but a recent Canadian study suggests that they could be swallowing even more than they bargained for in their burgers.
According to scientists at the University of Toronto, certain chemicals added to fast food wrappers and microwave popcorn bags are transferred into food and ingested by unsuspecting consumers, eventually ending up in peoples’ bloodstreams.
Polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters (PAPs) are used in paper food contact packaging—like junk food wrappers and the bags containing microwave popcorn—to help prevent leakage of oils from traditionally greasy foods. As these PAPs break down, they create chemicals called perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCAs).
The study, published in Environmental Health Perspective, shows how these chemicals can transfer from wrappers into food; that is, when people eat foods from these packages, they can be unknowingly exposed to PFCAs.
Credit: . . . → Read More: If You Are What You Eat, You Might Be a Dangerous Chemical