Debunked: Five chemical misconceptions

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138829_6871Chemicals pervade all aspects of our daily lives independent of the setting. Whether you are a city dweller or reside in a rural area, synthetic (as well as natural) chemicals encompass and sustain everyday life. Mark Lorch, senior lecturer in biological chemistry at the University of Hull emphasizes the impossibility of leading a chemical-free life as he debunks five common myths popularized by media and advertising about chemicals.

He explains how news and media often exploit emotive language to create a negative image of chemical use. The reality, as Lorch describes is that, You never hear about chemicals that fight infections, help crops grow or lubricate engines. That is because the chemicals doing that job are called antibiotics, fertilizers and engine oil, respectively. The professor goes on to clarify false and inflated relationships between chemicals and human health, stressing it is the dose or amount of any substance that matters, and not the its inherent chemical nature.

We have previously covered some of Lorch s excellent work in our Dispatch. Here is a great example of some of his very clever writing from this past May. In addition, the lessons from the debunked myths are those voiced by ACSH many times before. To find out more about the chemicals that make up what we eat and drink, check out our Holiday dinner menu.