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Chemicals in plastics damage babies' brains and must be banned immediately (cnn.com)
47 points by Flow 15 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 8 comments

In articles where such emotional topics, e.g. the health of your baby, are discussed, I think it would be especially important to improve the reporting of statistics. Here, a scary sounding odds ratio is mentioned (children of mothers with high urine values of the plastic softeners had three times the odds to develop ADHD). Because it is directed at the general public, it seems important to also report the estimated probabilities, which are likely low for both groups of mothers. I'm not saying this because I have any form of beliefs regarding the chemicals in question, which sound awful. But I do know from experience that few people are parsing odds ratios differently from probabilities, which seems important. For both of these reasons, this should be part of the job of authors/journalists.

https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/data.html says 9.4% of US children are diagnosed with ADHD, so the odds can't be that low.

Just medicate your kids if they are misbehaving. Its easier than actually being a parent. Hell you can watch your pharma stonks grow while you are at it.

Please stop spreading misinformation about a disability you obviously know nothing about.

You are just disrespectful to the parents of kids with ADHD and minimize the problems people with ADHD have because of their disability.

ADHD is not bad parenting. It's a disability and it needs treatment. The treatment doesn't need to be medical but medication is very effective and can enable other treatment methods and lower the burden of ADHD for all parties that are involved including the kid.

It's still a good counterbalance to the equally absurd claims that plastic is harmless. Someone might look at both sides, start to investigate, then write a more accurate analysis.

The odds ratios should be reported because they are striking. They should also be accompanied by probabilities, nevertheless. I do not think this is an issue of counterbalancing, what would that even imply?

Forgive me, my terminology may not be correct. What I'm trying to say is it's better to have idiots saying that plastic is completely harmless and idiots saying plastic is the end of the world, than just idiots saying plastic is harmless (which is pretty much what's been happening in the past, and it's why the ocean and every living thing has a lot of "harmless" plastic in it now).

An important consideration is the number of lives are phthalates improving or saving, something that might be challenging to quantify but shouldn’t be ignored.

Mobile phone use leads to thousands (US) [0] of deaths per year but there are few calls to outright ban smartphones.

Similarly, automobiles lead to tens of thousands of deaths per year (US) [1] and yet only minor support to ban or minimize these death machines.

There are countless other examples of useful objects that provide first order - easy to reason about - benefits that come with steep prices that we are willing to pay.

[0] https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving

[1] https://www.asirt.org/safe-travel/road-safety-facts/

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