Random Chemicals at my college.


        All around the world, but especially in America, there is a very strong irrational fear of chemicals.  There was a time when searching Chemophobia in google would yield only a few hits but now the term has been well established and there are even sites that apparently want to treat the problem.  The fear exists apparently out of the usual fear of the unknown, high school offers only a slightest venture into chemistry and in college, unless you are a chemistry or related major there is only some limited exposure to the field.  Additionally, the media in all of its forms demonize chemicals, as with most issues they only report on the negative aspects of chemistry and chemicals, greatly skewing the danger presented by chemicals.  Chemophobia is a real problem.  When people find out that I am a chemist there is a great paranoia there that somehow, someway I am either going to blow something up or poison someone.  The difficulties that these irrational fears have brought upon the hobby of chemistry have been even greater than the effects on industry.  Many chemicals are no longer available to the amateur chemist for on reason or another and many useful over the counter formulations containing chemicals that the media had a fling with (i.e., they ran a story picking out the component in a certain cleaner, stripper, paint, etc.) were either modified (and subsequently loosed their effectiveness or ended up costing more) or removed from store shelves entirely.  Nevertheless, this page is just a small collection of links related to the defense that perhaps the danger of chemicals is something that is over exaggerated and perhaps people need to calm down out there.

        The problem is that most people never get the balanced view point of the issue.  This is a problem that needs to be fought.  The modern world relies on chemistry to keep it afloat and looks to it in the future and nearly all sciences are directly connected to it irrevocably.  As a result of this phobia the number of students in the chemistry discipline is falling forcing the importation of foreign brain power to compensate for this generation of lost chemists.  Please, let's combat this real problem.