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Chemicals

(19 Posts)
Donk Tue 02-Jun-09 15:15:19

Is it just me? I get all annoyed when people talk about things being full of chemicals (meaning that they are bad for you)

Water is a chemical. H2O
Salt is a chemical - NaCl. Bad in excess. Essential in moderation.

If they mean man-made chemicals which may (or may not)be harmful, why can't they say that?

OK, maybe not those exact words - it is a bit of a mouthful.

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 02-Jun-09 15:21:34

In the same vein, I hate it when people/adverts/whatever say that something is full of 'goodness'. Now what does that mean? It's a stupid way of describing something.

Heathcliffscathy Tue 02-Jun-09 15:23:14

would synthetically manufactured chemicals suffice?

i know you didn't ask but you are being unreasonable.

hatwoman Tue 02-Jun-09 15:24:52

sends dh apoplectic. But he's a scientist rather than a pedant. He strongly recommends a book called bad science - about this sort of thing in the media. It annoys me too - but (and maybe this is pedantic of me grin) I don't think it's pedantry to be annoyed by this. It's getting annoyed at people who simultaneously get on their high horses and reveal their own ridiculous ignorance. same applies with E numbers.

Itsjustafleshwound Tue 02-Jun-09 15:26:57

Or those that get blinded by a bit of maths - there are lies, damned lies and statistics!!

Donk Tue 02-Jun-09 19:40:24

Sophable - no I'm not, I'm being a scientist teacher!

Donk Tue 02-Jun-09 19:41:54

That of course was the obligatory error on a Pedants Corner thread. I am a science teacher.

Tinker Tue 02-Jun-09 19:42:56

Oh, this winds me up as well. Often from people advocating a "natural herbal remedy". Everything's chemical.

hatwoman Tue 02-Jun-09 20:44:02

I was thinking about this earlier, and the flip side - that "natural" = Good. Deadly nightshade anyone?

scienceteacher Tue 02-Jun-09 21:08:12

This is one topic that I get a bee in my bonnet about.

campion Wed 03-Jun-09 16:35:12

The human body is made up of about 60 different chemicals with H2O accounting for quite a lot of it. What's the problem?hmm

northernrefugee39 Wed 03-Jun-09 18:04:15

I absolutely agree- and always reply "but water is a chemical"
hatwoman- grin at deadly nightshade.
I rate the Ben Goldacre attitude.
Ben Goldacre Suckers by Rose Shapiro also
We live to be very old in the west compared to a lot of other countries.
Anbd it's not because of "natural" remedies. It's because of medicine, research and good doctors.

gigglinggoblin Wed 03-Jun-09 18:10:48

chemicals are dangerous!!!!!!

dihydrogen monoxide risks

cockneydadtobe Sun 14-Jun-09 22:57:50

As professional scientist (environmental chemist/mineralogist), it drives me bonkers how so many people either: (1) say it's 'full of chemicals'; (2) reject anything that is not 'organic' or 'natural' without understanding anything behind what these labels actually mean.

cockneydadtobe Sun 14-Jun-09 23:00:44

I forgot to quote (actually paraphrase) the mighty Paracelsus (the so-called father of toxicology): 'everything is a poison and nothing without poisoon, it is the dose that determines the poison'. In other words, anything can damage a biological system if present in the wrong amount in the wrong place. This includes water and oxygen and lots of other substances essential to life - as well as the obvious nasties from murder mystery novels (arsenic, cyanide etc etc).

cockneydadtobe Sun 14-Jun-09 23:07:41

Gigglin - a poster was put up in my undergraduate department, asking for people to sign a petition against a new dihydrogen monoxide dump being allowed on campus. A few members of staff actually signed it !

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Sun 14-Jun-09 23:16:32

I'm with you on this one, Donk.

I blame the drop in the numbers taking separate GCSEs in science. The nation is becoming scientifically illiterate.

<<Dusts off O level chemistry certificate>>

TrillianAstra Sun 14-Jun-09 23:17:41

I have a vague memory (when GM food was the big bad du jour) of an advert saying 'our tomatoes do not contain any DNA'. hmm

I'd be a bit scared of non-DNA-containing tomatoes myself.

cockneydadtobe Mon 15-Jun-09 10:14:25

They must be inorganic tomatoes Trillian...

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