Sifting Through Information to Get the Facts
More and more people are turning to the Internet to answer questions related to their health. A recent Pew Research Center survey found that 72% of people who use the Internet say they went online to obtain health information. As this trend continues, so do opportunities to encounter information that may be damaging. Sadly, there are people taking advantage of this medium, using the Internet to spread fear by talking about beliefs that are not based in fact—while using scientific sounding arguments.
The tactics these activists use are easy to detect and simple to apply. Take a look at the Internet hoax about dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO). The authors warn that DHMO can cause tissue damage, is a major component of acid rain, and is found in biopsies of pre-cancerous tumors and lesions—not to mention causing many other health problems. They state that “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.”
Sounds scary, right? Of course, DHMO is more commonly known as water! Fortunately, this Web site was meant to be a humorous take on the tactics these anti-science activists use to scare people about things that are actually good for us.
Unfortunately, there is nothing funny about misleading people about their health. Misinformation scares people, and can even have deadly impacts. That is why having the endorsement and support of trusted organizations is crucial. Water fluoridation is one of the most studied public health practices, and leading health and medical authorities including the Centers for Disease Control, American Academy of Pediatrics, and American Dental Association support it. Finding information is easy, but determining the accuracy of it can be tough. Check out our list of leading health and medical organizations and their endorsements of fluoride.