Synthetic Chemicals

Welcome to another addition of our mini course in Green Chemistry. I cannot guarantee that paying attention to the synthetic chemicals around you will give you a longer or healthier life. I can however guarantee that if you do NOT pay attention to the molecules, you might really mess yourself up.

Guess what? YOU are the guinea pig!

The mix of synthetic chemicals in your body and your body’s reaction to them – right now – is unique upon the planet. If we think of ourselves as test tubes, the make up and mix of each one will be unique. Kind if makes you feel special, but in a yucky way.

And no one – no one, can predict what effect, if any, that unique mix of synthetic chemicals (pollution essentially) will have now, or later.

So why pretend this stuff is safe?

Synthetic chemicals create an almost instant, sanitary, high level of living for a very large number of people. As long as petroleum is cheap and available and we ignore the rising cancer rates (and local temperatures) life is good.

At least it seems that way at first.

Our bodies however are like sponges. They absorb natural and artificial molecular combinations without bias. Absorbing never before seen molecules like flame retardants and mold inhibitors and wrinkle removers and off gassing PVC carpet and artificial colors and plasticizers and no more crying shampoos and freesia scented undies may sound like a cool science project, but really folks; does anyone REALLY believe that this kind of Halloween Madness is OK?

And do we have to try it on the children?

Please let me also throw in a jab for the overuse of devices with screens upon very young, formative nerve pathways, another modern day experiment and a different kind of pollution.

Mix this all up – all of it – and tell me if you can make sense of the overall effect upon every system in your bodies.

There is just no way of knowing.

The basic message of Green Chemistry is to replace yucky molecules with yummy molecules. To stop the proliferation and environmental saturation of petroleum based, synthetic chemicals, ALL of which eventually have some kind of negative effect upon biology (the kids, dog, lawn and swimming hole). In fact, that is often their job. We created many of these toxic chemicals precisely TO push back the biology. Trouble is, we alls biology too.

Don’t get me wrong. I LIKE synthetic chemicals – in their place. Who doesn’t like couches that don’t stink and floors that mop up fast and grout that doesn’t mildew? Certainly, we all like the RESULTS we get from these synthetic molecules.

It just becomes damn convenient to ignore truth of what we are doing. Especially when everyone else is apparently doing, or wanting to do, the same thing. We only have to continue telling ourselves we are living the Good Life. Just like the one we saw on the screen.

This is close to home. Yet in fact, how we live our daily home and work lives IS the issue. Do we, as a civilization, continue to proliferate synthetic chemicals? Or do stop, and pay attention to the molecules?

Biology is a self-feeding self-renewing system, which is now in progress. Biology is messy. And it is very temporary in the forms it takes.

Build a green, natural home from local wood, and everything in the environment tries to eat your house. Carpenter ants, carpenter bees, mushrooms, skunk, porcupine and bear; all made it clear that their relationship to that local tree had not changed just because I turned it into a house. I now have to spend the rest of my days fighting them off with increasingly synthetic solutions.

Maybe the next green log cabin I build will be made from recycled water bottles turned into logs. Take THAT hungry wildlife!

This is the Soapman, reminding you to pay attention to the molecules….

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