ifIknew is a health initiative for young adults that uses a multi media approach, including social media and in person programs, to address the contemporary issues that impact the well-being, self-image, careers, and relationships of people in their 20's and 30's.

If I Knew is a prevention education project that raises awareness about risky behaviors that can profoundly impact lives.

Everything Causes Cancer!

The Internet and media never lie, right?! Unaware of these anonymous “sources” behind websites, people buy into whatever they read, and don’t even bother to think for a second, no less fact-check. As we discovered on Stumble Upon: A student at Eagle Rock Junior High won first prize at the Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair by testing this idea that we are all so used to consuming whatever the media feed us, especially about “dangers” being all around, that we don’t even bother to check what we’re reading. In his project he urged people to sign a petition demanding strict control or total elimination of the chemical "dihydrogen monoxide,” citing 7 side effects of the chemical. The potential side effects of dihydrogen monoxide are as follows:

  1. can cause excessive sweating and vomiting
  2. major component in acid rain
  3. can cause severe burns in its gaseous state
  4. accidental inhalation can kill you
  5. contributes to erosion
  6. decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes
  7. has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients

He asked 50 people if they supported a ban of the chemical.

  • Forty-three (43) said yes,
  • six (6) were undecided,
  • and only one (1) knew that the chemical he was referring to was water.

One of the most important words I learned growing up was “ascertain.”  Not only did I think it sounded cool and intelligent, but once I learned its meaning, I realized it came in very handy in many occasions. Ascertain is defined in the dictionary as: “to find out definitely; learn with certainty or assurance.” Had these subjects ascertained their facts, they could have discovered that dihydrogen monoxide was just the more complicated, chemical name for H20, or water.

Instead, they relied on one source to provide them with information, rather than stopping to really think and then checking reputable sources. This young student provided a great example of why, in so many cases, it is important to take a step back and think and to verify the information you are receiving.