Suppose a new authoritative analysis revised the estimate of your lifetime chances of being struck by a meteorite — from, say, one in a hundred billion to one in ten billion. Should that tenfold increase in the probability make you any more worried? No– because both values are somewhere between negligible and infinitesimal.
A similar and more pertinent question of that type was posed by an announcement earlier this month by the European Food Safety Authority of a new “tolerable daily intake” (TDI) of a common industrial chemical called bisphenol-A (BPA). (BPA has been used for the past half century to make shatterproof polycarbonate plastics and is an ingredient in the epoxy safety liners of food and beverage cans that protect consumers from food poisoning.)