Advanced search


(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...

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now