Chemophobia is defined as an “irrational aversion or prejudice against chemicals”. It might seem like a strange thing, something that the occasional chemist gets when the work piles up and they panic. Yet it’s actually a phobia that is flourishing in modern society, and it’s all because of “wellness”.
By wellness, we mean natural or alternative living. The celebrities who have popularised it; the quack scientists who have seen a chance to make a quick buck. Chemicals have become the thing we must all avoid. Everything is going to give us cancer. It’s gone so far that “chemical” has become synonymous with “toxin”.
First off, let’s take a moment for the poor chemicals. They haven’t done anything to deserve this. Secondly, let’s take another moment to reflect on the mind-blowing stupidity of hating chemicals. Yes, stupidity. Chemicals are everywhere.
So, Dihydrogen monoxide. That sounds scary! Definitely a chemical, and a nasty one too. But let’s break it down: dihydrogen means “two molecules of hydrogen”. “Monoxide” means one molecule of oxygen. So you could also write it as: H2O. Which is water. Just because something sounds and looks scary doesn’t mean it is.
On the flip side, no one is going to say that all chemicals are good. Some you should avoid, and there’s solid medical evidence to back it up. You don’t want to go the opposite route and dismiss all chemical concerns as nonsense.
So where is the line? Below, we’ll go over some of the areas of your life you definitely don’t need chemicals. Then, you can make sound decisions based on the evidence – not hearsay – popularised online.
The idea of this is perplexing. The chemicals in professional teeth whitening are fierce, and what’s more, they’re going into your mouth. The mouth is a mucous membrane, and is actually the quickest route to absorbing something into your bloodstream. It’s a bizarre trend based on vanity, made all the more bizarre by the fact it’s possible to achieve teeth whitening with baking soda. Yes, baking soda, one of the most benign chemical compounds on the planet.
Cleaning products is particularly baffling, given that clean is a desire to get things not smelling of anything. The chemical compounds used in these products are synthetic, and that’s rarely a good place to start. They can also straight-up cause cancer and a myriad of other health complaints. Going for natural solutions, including with deodorant, is an important step.
3: Nail polish
It’s fun to play around with, and the trend for nail art has brought a whole new dimension. Yet some nail polishes contain chemicals that have been linked to truly horrible illnesses. Look for polishes that are “three-free” at least, and “five-free” at best. The former means they do not contain Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene or Formaldehyde, all of which are terrible for human health. Furthermore, the latter also excludes Formaldehyde Resin, and Camphor. So check your labels.
So chemicals are not the white hats, but they’re not black hats either. It’s about how you use them and which you choose, only exposing yourself when it’s worth it. There are viable options that don’t involve using these chemicals for the issues raised above, so make the switch today.
What products do you avoid because of the chemicals in them? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading, as always <3