Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘toxicology’ Category

Author to retract study warning of toxic leaks from Damien Hirst’s artwork

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via Flickr Commons

Damien Hirst’s “Away From The Flock” — exhibited at Tate Britain, via Flickr Commons

The corresponding author of the 2016 study that found high levels of the carcinogen formaldehyde leaking from a prominent British artist’s exhibition is now retracting it.

The study, about Damien Hirst’s 2012 exhibition at the Tate Gallery in London that presented dead animals embalmed in glass cases full of formaldehyde, suggested that higher than recommended limits of the carcinogen were being released from the exhibition. The study was widely covered by the media, which raised concerns over possible health hazards to visitors.

As we reported yesterday, the journal Analytical Methods had already issued an expression of concern (EOC), noting that the corresponding author of the paper, Pier Giorgio Righetti of the Polytechnic University of Milan in Italy, warned the paper may contain unreliable data.

Today, Righetti released a joint statement with Hirst’s company, Science Ltd, stating that he will be retracting the paper (reported earlier today by the New York Times). It reads:   Read the rest of this entry »

Controversial chemtrails paper flagged by journal

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Frontiers in Public HealthA journal has published an expression of concern (EOC) for a 2016 paper providing evidence for a long-standing conspiracy theory about the dangers of cloud trails from jet planes.

A similar paper by the same author was retracted last year by another journal.

Both papers focused on the “chemtrails” emitted from jet planes, which conspiracy theorists have long believed contain toxic coal fly ash rather than harmless ice crystals, as the government claims. According to a press release about the 2016 paper, released by author J. Marvin Herndon, a geophysicist and “independent researcher” at the Transdyne Corporation in San Diego, California, the paper presents evidence the chemtrails contain coal fly ash, linked to a number of health problems.

But many people disagree with the findings — Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado, Denver, criticized the paper on his blog.

Here’s the EOC, published today by Frontiers in Public Health: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

July 15th, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Study warning of toxic leaks from Damien Hirst’s work may not be reliable, says author

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Damien Hirst’s “Away From The Flock” — exhibited at Tate Britain, via Flickr Commons

A study that found high levels of the carcinogen formaldehyde leaking from an exhibition by a prominent British artist may have unreliable data, according to its corresponding author.

The 2016 study about Damien Hirst’s exhibition at the Tate gallery in London in 2012 — which involved keeping dead animals in formaldehyde in glass cases — sparked concern in the mainstream media over the exhibition’s potential hazards to visitors.

But now the corresponding author of the paper —  Pier Giorgio Righetti of the Polytechnic University of Milan in Italy — has alerted the journal, Analytical Methods, of the paper’s shortcomings. The journal has issued an expression of concern (EOC), and is investigating.

Here’s the EOC, issued this week: Read the rest of this entry »

Corrections chip away at asbestos paper for conflicts of interest, “misleading” citation

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EBPHThe journal Epidemiology Biostatistics and Public Health has issued back-to-back corrections for a 2015 paper after the authors failed to disclose conflicts of interest with the asbestos industry and included an “erroneous citation.”

The mistaken citation was more than just a clerical error, critics argue — it undermines one of the key arguments of the paper, “Critical reappraisal of Balangero chrysotile and mesothelioma risk,” which disputes claims that an asbestos mine in northwest Italy was responsible for numerous cases of an aggressive form of cancer called mesothelioma. The authors, led by Edward Ilgren formerly of Oxford University, claim that “myriad sources” of other forms of asbestos—rather than the asbestos produced at the mine, called chrysotile—exist in the region “to account for the alleged cases.”

However, according to a recently added correction, the citation does not support one of the authors’ claims about how other forms of asbestos arrived at the mine area.

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Seralini paper released by predatory publisher is plagiarized by predatory journal

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ijtra-logoA 2012 paper co-authored by Gilles Seralini, who has published controversial research showing the dangers of genetically modified foods, has been plagiarized by another researcher.

The 2016 paper, published in the International Journal of Technical Research and Applications, has not been retracted, but the text comparison is fairly obvious.

It’s a case of intra-predatory crime: the International Journal of Technical Research and Applications is on the list of predatory journals compiled by Jeffrey Beall, and the Seralini paper appeared in the Journal of Environmental Protection, which is published by Scientific Research Publishing, which Beall considers to be a predatory publisher.

Here’s the abstract from Seralini’s 2012 paper, “Glyphosate Exposure in a Farmer’s Family:” Read the rest of this entry »

New developments cause authors to pull paper on drugs’ environmental impact

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integrated envThe authors of an article about the effects of pharmaceutical drugs on the environment have retracted it before publishing the final version due to new developments in the field, which would have required a major revision.

The authors pulled the paper from Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management before it went through the final publication process – such as copyediting and proofreading – after they learned about new findings related to assessing to the risks of human exposures to pharmaceuticals in the environment.

We’d try to figure out which portions of the paper might need updating, but publisher Wiley recently pulled the original article and abstract, against the journal editor’s wishes.

Here’s the retraction note: Read the rest of this entry »

The worm has turned: Nematode study retracted for misidentification

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toxicol patholThe authors of a paper on parasitic nematodes have retracted the article because they misidentified the organism in question, so “the possibility of misleading readers was high.”

The paper, “Histopathological features of Capillaria hepatica infection in laboratory rabbits,” appeared in Toxicologic Pathology in 2009 and came from a lab at Huntingdon Life Sciences, in Cambridgeshire, England.

According to the abstract: Read the rest of this entry »

Teflon toxicity paper fails to stick

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toxicological sciencesAn advanced online paper on prenatal toxicity of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), an industrial chemical used to make waterproof coatings and Teflon, is being retracted due to “some minor errors.”

High blood levels of PFOA have been tied to kidney disease in humans, as well as several cancers in animal models. The majority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s scientific advisory board deemed PFOA “likely to be carcinogenic in humans” in 2006, though a decade later the EPA has yet to make a decision on regulations. The retracted paper found that exposing pregnant mice to PFOA altered hormone pathways in mammary glands.

According to the notice in Toxicological Sciences, there was a duplicated image in one of the figures, as well as “some minor errors.” Here’s figure 5B: Read the rest of this entry »

Journal editor defends retraction of GMO-rats study while authors reveal some of paper’s history

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food and chemical toxicologyThe debate over the retraction of a highly controversial paper on the effects of GMOs on rats continues unabated. This week, Adriane Fugh-Berman and Thomas Sherman wrote on the Hastings Center website that Read the rest of this entry »

St. Louis Krokodil paper reappears

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ajmedEarlier this month, we reported on the unexplained withdrawal of a case report from the American Journal of Medicine whose authors said they had treated a man in St. Louis who used krokodil, a homemade mixture of prescription painkillers heroin and flammable contaminants that has proven deadly in Russia.

At the time, all the journal’s publisher, Elsevier, would say about why the article was removed was that there was “a permission problem that the originating institution is working to resolve.”

The paper has now reappeared. And contrary to the notice that appeared on the withdrawal Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

December 31st, 2013 at 12:00 pm