James Kennedy: I’m James Kennedy and I’m an author, chemistry teacher and blogger. Today I’m trying to break some of the misconceptions that people have about chemicals.
Chemicals are not dangerous in themselves. In this next section, we’ll look at three key claims: natural, chemical-free and organic. They all sound very appealing to consumers. We’re going to look at exactly what each one means.
Most chemicals are not scary. Now, I show you these structures because generally, people look at these and they don’t actually know what they are. Why do they associate chemical and complicated with dangerous? Actually, everything is dangerous, if you use it in a particular way.
“Chemical-free” tells you nothing about whether the product is safe or effective.
Chemicals are in everything. People are very scared of parabens but methyl-paraben is found in blueberries. “Natural” means having had minimum of processing or preservative treatment. For example, an apple can be natural, you just take it from the tree. You cannot have a natural lotion because lotion does not exist in nature.
My issue with “organic” is it’s important to realize that organic applies to farming, therefore, plants and vegetables and fruits can be organic, but there is a long list of things the farmer must do.
Mom 1: What I learned today is that “chemicals” is not really a bad word and “chemical-free” is… is a myth.
Mom 2: Everything, right from your fruits and vegetables, everything – the air you breathe, the water you drink – everything contains chemicals.
Mom 3: You’re not falling in the trap of the words, “organic,” “chemical-free,” “natural.”
Mom 4: Companies these days are using this word as a proxy to being a safe product. Look up your sources.
Man 1: If it’s “all natural” does it really mean it’s all natural?