The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has issued a response to a series by The Guardian purporting to examine the role of chemicals in Americans’ lives. “Sadly, in those stories, they decided to peddle misinformation and promote well-worn accusations from anti-industry activists that can create unnecessary fear and confusion about the products we use in our daily lives,” ACC argues.

“It’s important to know that the mere presence of a substance does not imply that a chemical will lead to adverse effects. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasizes, ‘The measurement of an environmental chemical in a person’s blood or urine does not by itself mean that the chemical causes disease.'”

The article also responds to a number of specific claims made in the “Toxic America” series, including that “We should try to limit our exposure to essentially all chemicals,” which is attributed to Philippe Grandjean. ACC notes, “There is no way to limit exposure to chemicals. It is impossible because everything—including our bodies—is made of chemicals. There is no such thing as ‘chemical free.’ So maybe he is trying to say we should avoid man-made chemicals? That is also a misleading claim. A chemical is not more hazardous simply because it is synthetic, and a chemical isn’t safer simply because it is natural. Any chemical—even water and oxygen—can be toxic if too much is ingested or absorbed into the body. The important thing is to understand hazard, exposure and risk.”

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