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Fear of chemicals should not be brushed off

The Daily Dose column “Are worries about chemical danger overblown?” (g, Aug. 26) presented the unsubstantiated opinions of one chemistry professor as facts about human health. It’s definitely true that marketing phrases like “chemical free” and “all natural” are misused by manufacturers and retailers, and they don’t provide useful information to the consumer. But the problem is with the marketing, and with our laws governing what is in products, not with consumers’ desire to protect themselves and their families.

There is a large body of science linking toxic chemicals in everyday products to serious illnesses. For example, with one in eight women now diagnosed with breast cancer, and the majority of those cases not explained by genetics alone, this is a real threat.

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Consumers shouldn’t be told to stop worrying. They should be given accurate information and offered safe products by companies, and should be provided with real protection ensured by the government.

Elizabeth Saunders

Jamaica Plain

The writer is Massachusetts director of Clean Water Action.

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