The fear of chemicals, or working with chemicals, is known as Chemophobia. In our modern world, we can be inundated with chemicals…those that heal, and those that harm…
Is Chemophobia Logical?
The fear of chemicals makes a lot of sense to most people. Chemicals are perceived as man-made and therefore unnatural, even when they are designed to assist mankind.
Are Chemicals A Necessary Evil?
We’ve also been taught to seek out natural products that are as free as possible of toxic chemicals. In today’s world of instant gratification, chemicals are often used to prepare products for the store shelves…but at what cost to our health?
Chemicals are also used for a wide range of industrial applications…from plastics to rustproofing…the list is endless…
Chemophobia can be a response to a bad experience with chemicals, such as an environmental illness, or it can come from ignorance about chemicals and what they do. Conversely, too much knowledge of chemicals can instill fear and aversion.
Most people are wary of breathing in or otherwise ingesting too many chemicals. However, people with Chemophobia will be fixated on avoiding any interaction with chemicals, which is well-nigh impossible in our modern world. Therefore, dealing with this phobia requires some ability to tell good chemicals from bad…
Chemicals such as pesticides have been known to make human beings very sick.
Environmental Illnesses Are Feared
There are also some (disputed) connections between conditions like Autism and Asperger’s syndrome and chemicals, most notably those used in carpet cleaning.
John Travolta’s son, who died tragically this year, suffered from autism.
Jett Travolta’s mother, actress Kelly Preston, has said in interviews that she believes her son’s condition was caused by carpet cleaning chemicals present in her home when Jett was a baby.
Other instances of chemicals hurting people are myriad. From allergies and sensitivities to the preservatives in our food, to respiratory illnesses caused by chemicals from factory smokestacks or other forms of pollution…many people are impacted by the dark side of chemicals…
Chemicals Are Used To Kill
The use of chemical warfare has resulted in grave suffering and many deaths. The use of Napalm (a fire bomb fuel gel mixture) gas in Vietnam was responsible for the death and suffering of many Vietnamese, as well as serious health problems on the part of American troops who worked with the substance. This tactical weapon cleared vegetative cover, but that was not its only purpose. It was meant to terrorize.
Agent Orange, a potent herbicide used in Vietnam, is believed to be responsible for a variety of chronic health issues in American veterans.
Most recently, Gulf War Syndrome, thought to be the product of exposure to carbamate acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and other chemicals during Desert Storm, has caused a wide range of health problems in army personnel, including chronic fatigue syndrome and muscular degeneration.
Rock band R.E.M. wrote a song about the horrors of Agent Orange, in their hit, “Orange Crush”:
We are agents of the free
I’ve had my fun and now its time to
Serve your conscience overseas (over me, not over me)
Coming in fast, over me
Can Chemicals Be Miracles?
Of course, some chemicals can work veritable miracles in our world. From the horrors of chemicals used to maim and kill, we can also examine the benefits of chemicals. Without their usage, most of our modern conveniences would not be possible.
Eradicating chemicals from our world is no longer a logical possibility, but would we really want to? Before chemicals held sway in medicines, pesticides, and fabrication, we were also subject to terrible pandemics and violence…
Today, controversial stem cell therapies utilize chemicals to alter DNA and cure illnesses. Some people feel that cancer and other aggressive, potentially deadly diseases will be stopped forever once the technology and science of combining stem cells and chemicals comes together. This is but one example of medical breakthroughs using chemicals.
Those who suffer from chemophobia should talk to someone about their fears, and also educate themselves about the pros and cons of the substances they are so afraid of.
The fear of chemicals is also referred to as:
- afraid of chemicals
- chemical fear
- chemical phobia