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The dose makes the poison

Posted by on July 14, 2014

Guest blog from Dr Lauren Tedaldi, project officer at Sense About Science.

Ever seen an advert for a ‘chemical-free’ kitchen cleaner or a ‘100% natural’ shampoo? How about a detox tea? At Sense About Science we notice this sort of thing all the time and we’re sick of it. To counter chemical misconceptions such as ‘You can lead a chemical-free life’ and ‘Manmade is bad, natural is good’ we recently launched a new edition of ‘Making Sense of Chemical Stories’.

The dose makes the poison, Sense About Science, chemicals

The guide explains that:

–          You can’t live a chemical free life
–          Synthetic isn’t automatically ‘bad’ and natural ‘good’
–          Man-made chemicals are not causing many cancers
–          ‘Detox’ is a marketing myth
–          We need man-made chemicals

We’ve asked experts in water safety, cosmetic science and toxicologists, who all agree: It’s time these myths were debunked.

To share useful insights from the guide, we had posters designed  to help (literally) illustrate our points. One graphic shows that there are tiny amounts of ‘toxic’ chemicals in a number of healthy foods, from courgettes to potatoes. We don’t need to worry about them because  “the dose makes the poison”.

A Voice of Young Science member created an infographic for the launch that shows that an apple is made up of a long list of chemicals, whilst lurid kids’ sweets contain comparatively few.  I think everyone would agree that the apple is the healthy choice –the number of ‘chemicals’ has nothing to do with it!

These images are just a taster of what’s in the full guide. Next time someone says to you ‘Oh, I’m going on a detox’ or ‘That’s full of chemicals’ point them in the direction of Making Sense of Chemical Stories – let’s put these chemical myths to bed, once and for all.

Chemicals in apples and love hearts, Sense About Science

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