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In the mainstream now days, chemistry has a very bad name for very little reason, so much so that the term “Chemical” has a negative meaning, even though most things we think of as ‘natural’ are in fact composed of chemicals, including water, which is a chemical.

Why is this kind of thing so widespread?

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Chemistry doesn’t have a bad name, but I agree ‘chemical’ has a negative connotation more often than not. I would think it is because the safe chemicals are known to us as food, drinks etc, and the others are simply referred to as chemicals to avoid a huge explanation of what it actually is.