I Got Your Back… Covered

A few years ago I heard a report that the incidence of cancer from second-hand smoke was actually greater than that of smokers.

My wife said she thought she would have a better chance if she took up smoking.

I thought this should have been a signal to the tobacco-growers to start promoting their product as a “health treatment” or at least its adoption by the American Cancer Society as a new method of decreasing the cancer death rates.

Nothing of the sort came to pass and the law suits against the tobacco companies grows exponentially every year, at horrendous cost to the taxpayer. (And if you don’t think it affects you, a non-smoker, you ought to recall the government’s affection for bailing out companies in financial trouble.)

Personally, I think cancer is a very bad thing that they still need to do a LOT of research on.

In the 1950’s, my father was a research chemist and worked on a project to find what manufactured substances were carcinogenic.

They would shave the backs of small white mice and coat their skin liberally with the substance being tested.

Nicotene… carcinogenic. Tars… carcinogenic. Teflon… carcinogenic. Petroleum distillates… carcinogenic.

It seemed that so much of what was being produced industrially was actually carcinogenic. A lot could be made of that data by the nature groups or the eco-friendly organic crowd, but Dad was not involved in any of that.

Instead, he tried a simple control group. He shaved the mice, as usual, and applied pure unadulterated water to their skin. And after a couple of days: water… carcinogenic!

He could not believe the results so he tried one more control group: he shaved the backs of a group of mice and put absolutely nothing on them.

And do you know what?

Shaving backs… carcinogenic!!

I have wondered since if the studies being done today are of the same high caliber as those Dad conducted in the ’50’s. I mean, they still find that almost everything we touch is carcinogenic.

So what is the answer?

Simple, do NOT shave your back!

(Told you, I got you covered.)

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