Getting Your Buzz on With OSHA Statistics

If you have seen Stephen Colbert, current host of his own show on Comedy Central and future host of Late Night on CBS, you know that his humor can be a weapon of mass destruction.  The other night he turned it on a company that sells a vaporizer machine that turns your favorite cocktail into an inhalant.   You read that right, Vapshot’s machine changes alcohol from something you drink to something you inhale,  “that’ll get the party started faster and won’t slow you down,” as the company boasts.   The product is apparently perfect for people who need to get their buzz on right now and can’t wait the 20 minutes or so it takes your body to process a drink.

How does OSHA play into this?   The company uses OSHA’s standards for occupational exposure to Ethanol to claim their product is below the agency’s safe limits.   They don’t explain that

  • The OSHA standard is for workplace exposure, not a night out on the town,
  • Or that the OSHA standard is the legal limit, not the safe limit,
  • Or that the eight hour limit is not the same as the short-term exposure limit.

In other words, the OSHA statistics really don’t have anything to do with the claims.

Well, Stephen Colbert called them out on it last week:

One last funny note – Here is the graph the company had up on its website before the Colbert skewering (notice the short-term effect which appears to indicate that the first shot exceeds OSHA’s limits):

After the Colbert Report aired, the company revamped its website and here is the new graph:

They also added language to say OSHA doesn’t test or endorse products.   So its all good right?

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