Chemophobia is a pathologic fear of chemicals. While we should all have a healthy concern about exposure to hazardous materials, this can become dysfunctional and harmful when taken to extremes. Fear, ignorance and mistaken beliefs are a powerful combination.


Concern about chemicals is appropriate when it is proportionate to the threat:

(1) there is objective evidence of toxicity, OR

(2) there is a scientific basis for concern


Concern about chemicals may be a problem:

(1) when there is no scientific basis for or objective evidence for concern

(2) when it is based on biased or fraudulent data

(3) when it serves as a basis for a neurosis

(4) if it leads to irrational or dysfunctional behavior that results in more harm than benefit

(5) if the response is greatly out of proportion to any risk


Denial of a chemical's risk can be just as serious a threat.


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