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 Why people fear "chemicals" out of proportion to actual risk,
Why people fear "chemicals" out of proportion to actual risk,
We know everything is made of chemicals and that without chemicals, life would be impossible. But just keep that stuff away from us, okay? It’s dangerous. picked by Bornbad 6 months ago
tags chemicals risk
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26
 delta
6 months ago
Don't drink water, it's a chemical.
quote #2
8
 SkyHawkM...
6 months ago
Do you know how many people are injured a year due to the chemical dihydrogen monoxide?!?
quote #3
19
 belvario
6 months ago
Hmm. Nice article by an industry risk whitewasher - his client list includes Dow, DuPont, Bayer's pesticide division, big pharma companies, the American Nuclear Society, and the electric power industry (which is fighting to keep coal pollutants unregulated). His message is basically "it's tempting to say that all the people who point out risk are just crazy and stupid, but let's have some pity on them because they can't help it - it's a neurological condition." Deftly ignoring mountains of actual *evidence* about increased risks of cancer and other diseases from industrial toxin exposure. It's one thing to talk about these toxins in the abstract ("what are the chances of another Bhopal happening? Stop worrying!") but another thing entirely when they are already showing up in your drinking water. Not all chemicals are good for you, sorry.
quote #4
27
 SteelSho...
6 months ago
« delta : Don't drink water, it's a chemical.
« SkyHawkMkIV : Do you know how many people are injured a year due to the chemical dihydrogen monoxide?!?
All the facts can be found here: DHMO.ORG
quote #5
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27
 SteelSho...
6 months ago
« belvario:... Not all chemicals are good for you, sorry.
The point is that NOT ALL CHEMICALS ARE BAD, either. It is about placing appropriate risks on things. Do the benefits outweigh the risk?
  • You could drowned with less than a cupful of water, but without it you will die. The benefit of avoiding certain death by dehydration outweighs risk of a small possibility you may drowned.
  • DDT kills bugs quite effectively, but it does massive damage to the environment and is harmful even in small quantities to non-bug lifeforms such as people. Since there are other pesticides, and the bugs themselves caused less harm, the risk of harm to people and the environment is NOT outweighed by the benefit of effectively killing pests.
See how that works?

People hear the word "chemical" and they get this picture of industrial poisons and cleanup crews in Hazmat suits. They imagine more risk than actual exists, which means they cannot make a risk/benefit decision accurately. Kind of a generic paranoia. (Please note I DID NOT SAY they imagine risk where none exists, but they do not objectively understand the risk in many cases.)

People fear that which they do not understand and things are changing so fast that nobody can understand everything.
quote #6
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