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# Consumer advocates argue that the coating found on non-stick

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28 Apr 2012, 21:17
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Consumer advocates argue that the coating found on non-stick cookware contains harmful
chemicals that are released into the air when the cookware is heated above a certain
temperature. The manufacturer of the cookware acknowledges this hazard but assures
consumers that the temperature threshold is much higher than would ever be needed for food
preparation and therefore no special precautions need be taken in using the cookware. Which
of the following, if true, would cast the most serious doubt on the claims of the
manufacturer?
A) The chemicals released by the coating can linger in the air for days
b) Empty cookware left on the flame often reaches exceptionally high temperatures.
c) Several consumers have already claimed illness as a result of using the cookware.
d) The manufacturer did not test the cookware for this phenomenon until consumer advocates
brought the issue to its attention.
e) There are effective non-stick coatings that do not release toxins when heated.

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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07 May 2012, 10:37
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A) The chemicals released by the coating can linger in the air for days- Irrelevant
b) Empty cookware left on the flame often reaches exceptionally high temperatures.-HOLD because it proves special precautions need to be considered
c) Several consumers have already claimed illness as a result of using the cookware.-Tempting but the illness might because of a different issues
d) The manufacturer did not test the cookware for this phenomenon until consumer advocates
brought the issue to its attention.- The scope is too board.
e) There are effective non-stick coatings that do not release toxins when heating- Not relevant.
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05 Sep 2013, 00:00
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The claim of the manufacturer is that no special precautions need be taken when
using the cookware. The basis of this claim is that the cookware is dangerous
only when it reaches a temperature much higher than normally reached during
cooking. We are asked to find a choice that weakens this claim; since the danger
comes only at high temperatures, the correct choice will likely have something to
do with temperature.
(A) The fact that chemicals can linger for days does not affect the claim; if the
chemicals are not released in the first place, this is irrelevant.
(B) CORRECT. If "empty cookware left on the flame often reaches exceptionally
high temperatures," then there may indeed exist circumstances under which the
cookware will pose a danger. The manufacturer's claim that no precautions need
be taken is greatly weakened.
(C) The fact that several consumers have claimed illness as a result of using the
cookware does not mean that their illnesses were in fact from the cookware; the
food may have been contaminated or the illness may have resulted from
something entirely unrelated to cooking. Without proof of the claim, this choice is
not relevant.
(D) The fact that the manufacturer did not test the issue ahead of time is
irrelevant to the claim that no special precautions need be taken.
(E) The existence of other non-stick coatings that do not release toxins has little
to do with the manufacturer's claim here about a non-stick coating that could
release toxins.
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05 Sep 2013, 04:38
Expert's post
This argument follows a common pattern. The argument says something won't be a problem because the most common usage does not create that problem. specifically in this case, don't worry about the chemicals in the cookware because cooking temperatures will not be sufficient to release them.

The issue in this type of argument is whether there is another, non-common, use that could still create the problem. When you are weakening this type of question you want to find another use that would do a similar thing. Answer B is the only one that does this.
GetThisDone wrote:
Consumer advocates argue that the coating found on non-stick cookware contains harmful
chemicals that are released into the air when the cookware is heated above a certain
temperature. The manufacturer of the cookware acknowledges this hazard but assures
consumers that the temperature threshold is much higher than would ever be needed for food
preparation and therefore no special precautions need be taken in using the cookware. Which
of the following, if true, would cast the most serious doubt on the claims of the
manufacturer?
A) The chemicals released by the coating can linger in the air for days
b) Empty cookware left on the flame often reaches exceptionally high temperatures.
c) Several consumers have already claimed illness as a result of using the cookware.
d) The manufacturer did not test the cookware for this phenomenon until consumer advocates
brought the issue to its attention.
e) There are effective non-stick coatings that do not release toxins when heated.

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29 Dec 2013, 02:31
Though I went with B,
I felt C was also a good contender, as it clearly mentions that the consumers fell ill as a result of using the cookware.
But as the para is talking about threshold of heat to be breached, B is more apt.
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30 Dec 2013, 11:15
ONLY A and C are contenders.....

A is definitely a weakener as it brings out a circumstance not catered in the premise ...but is indeed harmful.... answer = A

C is wrong as it does not give evidence of illness due to fumes or harmful chemicals released into the air...... it only talkes of some illness which is left open ended....
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05 Aug 2014, 07:49
GetThisDone wrote:
Consumer advocates argue that the coating found on non-stick cookware contains harmful
chemicals that are released into the air when the cookware is heated above a certain
temperature. The manufacturer of the cookware acknowledges this hazard but assures
consumers that the temperature threshold is much higher than would ever be needed for food
preparation and therefore no special precautions need be taken in using the cookware. Which
of the following, if true, would cast the most serious doubt on the claims of the
manufacturer?
A) The chemicals released by the coating can linger in the air for days
b) Empty cookware left on the flame often reaches exceptionally high temperatures.
c) Several consumers have already claimed illness as a result of using the cookware.
d) The manufacturer did not test the cookware for this phenomenon until consumer advocates
brought the issue to its attention.
e) There are effective non-stick coatings that do not release toxins when heated.

I doubted between b) and c) and finaly selected c).
I understand all the explanations listed above about why c) is wrong. And I agree with them.

However, isn't it possible to adduce similar reasons for b) being wrong as well? For example:

1) "exceptionally" does not necessarily mean that such exceptional temperatures may reach the required threshold. Say, the average cooking temperatures are betweem 100 C and 300 C. "The threshold" is 1000 C. The "exceptional" temperatures could be between 500 C and 700 C and they would really be exceptional comparing to normal temperatures for cooking, but they would be far away from 1000 C.

2) leaving and empty cookware on the flame for some time is an integral part of food preparation process (at least for many dishes). And it is stated in the stem that "the temperature threshold is much higher than would ever be needed for food preparation". Of course we can assume that someone can accidentally forget about an empty cookware on the flame.

What I want to say is that the answer b) also requires a lot of inference (in my opinion) - the same as answer c).

Can someone comment on this please? Thanks
Re: Consumer advocates argue that the coating found on non-stick   [#permalink] 05 Aug 2014, 07:49
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