Chemophobia: Justified Fear?:

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26 Deboss24th Aug 2012 10:55:28 PM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
Where do we draw the line? When is something a "chemical" and when is something "natural"? False dichotomies such as this... Is Vitamin C produced in a lab any different from Vitamin C taken from an orange?

It stops being a "chemical" when you get to sub-molecular scale. Natural is something I would call "unaltered from how you found it, or produced through identical means". Vitamin C is a specific compound, how it's produced does not change what it is.
Just Me
Chemophobia! I didn't know there was a term for this... Although, it sounds obvious enough now.

Anyway, YES! Some people do fear chemicals irrationally. As far as I know, synthetic-chemicals-containing stuff is usually much more regulated than so called "natural" stuff. "Natural" just doesn't mean anything, it's just a buzz word now. And many synthetic chemicals actually make our lives better, make our food safer and tastier, are easier to produce (thereby saving energy and resources), and many are probably very "natural".
I'll think of one later
In Ecclesia, Auctoritas
The media is part of the problem. Their love of the sensational tends to slant the media, having everything portrayed in a negative light. Chemistry's major developments in developing antiviral and anticancer drugs? Somewhere in the thick middle of the newspaper! Disaster at a chemical plant (no matter how small)? First page, and maybe first few pages!

Then you have the radical greenies (or red greenies). They would want everyone to think that chemistry is entirely intent on polluting the world with artificial carcinogenic envi-harmful "chemicals" and that chemists are heartless monsters who don't give a schitz about the environment.
Um, well then, if you don't mind, dance a little more? Kalinka? Malinka? Just play the darn chords!
29 Morven31st Aug 2012 08:43:05 PM from Seattle, WA, USA
And quite often when there is a problem, the scientists have warned about it long before anyone else, even if they've been ignored by their employers or regulators.
A brighter future for a darker age.
In Ecclesia, Auctoritas
That's mainly because the employers want PROFIT, as always. No matter the cost to the environment, the only green they care about is the green that goes in their pockets.
Um, well then, if you don't mind, dance a little more? Kalinka? Malinka? Just play the darn chords!
31 Inhopelessguy7th Sep 2012 09:17:19 AM from Birmingham Ctl, UK , Relationship Status: Wanna dance with somebody
Thread Hop: In Britain, there are things called "E-Numbers" which indicate what additives are in the food. There has been a fuss over this, and people are like "No moar E-numbers becoz E-numbers are bad!11!1!".

Of course, as mentioned in this thread, anything is a chemical. Similarly, anything is an E-number. Nitrogen is an E-number found in salad bags, because it helps keep the food fresh.


If I were Britain I'll then probably pass a law banning nitrogen: and force people to wear gas masks breathing in pure oxygen because that's what they want.
Technically speaking, phobias are irrational fears, so if it's irrational it's not justified. And you'd definitely call it unjustified if someone, for example, got into a cold panic at the thought of having to change batteries, couldn't stand to use deodorant and even avoided medicines.

A plain, ordinary fear of certain chemicals that doesn't go into phobia territory is entirely justifiable. And sensible.

edited 8th Sep '12 10:15:35 AM by betaalpha

So, there's a comment on here about microwave ovens. Does this count as chemophophia or not? This is the quote in question.

Because it makes all the food you eat carcinogenic. Think about it what the microwave is really doing to the food. Its not just heating it up, it molecularly changes as well.
"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
35 shimaspawn9th Sep 2012 09:57:03 AM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
[up] No. That's more general science-phobia.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
36 Kostya9th Sep 2012 10:09:04 AM from Everywhere , Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
[up][up]Just about every damn thing you cook is changed on a molecular level. That's the fucking reason you're cooking it.just bugs me

The level of idiocy in people's views on technology astounds.
37 ohsointocats9th Sep 2012 12:10:40 PM from The Sand Wastes , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
You molecularly change food when you digest it. Maybe we should ban that too.
[up] Also when you put it in your mouth due to the saliva.

edited 9th Sep '12 2:42:29 PM by IraTheSquire

39 ohsointocats9th Sep 2012 02:45:34 PM from The Sand Wastes , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Saliva is a part of digestion.
That's what I was talking about.
Phobias are seldom about common sense, they are about primal fear. Someone may well indeed experience Chemophobia towards food cooked in microwaves even if they're a molecular scientist. Many folks with phobias know that it's silly to be so terrified of often harmless or ridiculously unlikely things, they can't help themselves and that only adds to their depression and tendency to avoid the subject.

Though ignorance can sometimes also figure into it. Making up or believing stories that justify one's phobia (eg. flouride conspiracies) might indeed be a coping mechanism.

edited 10th Sep '12 5:33:39 AM by betaalpha

In Ecclesia, Auctoritas
Fluoride actually does have some level of toxicity. Google "fluorosis". And regarding the microwave comment, the "molecular changes" occurring are likely denaturing of the proteins. Perfectly normal in cooking anything and in digestion.
Um, well then, if you don't mind, dance a little more? Kalinka? Malinka? Just play the darn chords!
[up] Yes, but everything has some level of toxicity. Just because it's possible to have too much of a good thing doesn't mean that you should completely avoid said good thing.
"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
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