13 rumours dispelled since January, here are some of the weirder ones…

Let’s face it, as great as they can be, the internet and social media are awash with hearsay and half-truths.

Which is precisely why in June 2016 Dubai Municipality established the ‘No More Rumors’ initiative – a WhatsApp hotline that residents can reach out to in order to get clarification on any rumours they may have see circulating.

Well, it looks like the rumour mill has been working overtime as the government body took to social media to announce that it has already dispelled 13 rumors raised by residents since the beginning of 2017.

The idea is simple, residents can send images, videos and messages to the hotline about anything untoward they may have heard of through the grapevine. The municipality then promises to respond stating whether the rumour is true or not within an eight-hour timeframe.

We’ve singled out a few of the choice rumours as dispelled by Dubai Municipality. Some of which we didn’t even realise were ‘a thing’…

Rubber shoes lead to amputation

A campaign circulating around social media in March warned of the dangers of buying rubber shoes for children. Started by a mother after her child had an accident that resulted in the amputation of his toes, residents reached out to the WhatsApp hotline for clarification on a rumour that the popular Crocs brand had been banned in Dubai.

Dubai Municipality quickly dispelled the rumour, stating that while the incident concerning the child was indeed an unfortunate accident, there was no official news of Crocs Inc. pulling any of their products from the market.

Deodorant sticks cause cancer

In April, Dubai Municipality issued a statement to put to bed rumours that deodorant and anti perspirants contained carcinogens that could lead to breast cancer.

It stated that there is no reliable scientific evidence confirming the harmful risks of using these products and assured concerned residents that they are effectively controlled to ensure they meet regulations.

Tea bags contain pesticides

The last thing anyone wants in their tea is the nasty aftertaste of bug spray. But that’s exactly what residents took to the WhatsApp hotline to find out about when a rumour cropped up claiming that Epichlorohydrin (a chemical used in making pesticides) was reported to be contained in many popular brands of tea.

Dubai Municipality took this claim seriously and conducted a series of tests of various tea brands, ultimately concluding that the chemical was not present and that people could continue to drink their cuppa in relative safety.

Eating apricot seeds helps fight cancer

This one actually turned out to be the opposite, whereas the rumour purported that consuming apricot seeds could help fight certain forms of cancer, the truth was actually far more sinister.

It turns out that the seeds found within the hard stone of apricots actually contain a substance called Amygdalin which, when digested by the human body, releases Hydrogen Cyanide. Yep, that cyanide – the super toxic one that is potentially lethal to humans.

In a statement addressing the rumour, Dubai Municipality urged residents to not eat the seeds from fresh apricots and also added that when they are cooked they, thankfully, become safe to ingest.

This is just a taste of what Dubai Municipality has been dealing with, and we recommend you educated yourself on the rest of the falsehoods that have been dispelled since the beginning of the year by searching the hashtag #No_More_Rumors on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Have you heard a rumour that you’re seeking clarification on? The number to send a WhatsApp to is +971 50 107 779

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