Every time I walk into a market, I prefer products that are labeled “natural, organic, or chemical free”. In our tuition, products that are more related to nature should be healthier and bring less harm to our body than others. After all, nature won’t hurt us. We would like to see the ones we use are derived from nature, especially for things like make-up, nail polish, and shampoo that contains toxic chemicals. However, there is an important notation that matters on earth are all made by chemicals, even the air we breathe and water we drink are composed by H and O, pure chemicals. That means, the nature, we love and admire, is about chemistry. Chemical-free is an impossible goal to meet, well, at least by technology nowadays.
Before we discuss why chemical-free is inappropriate, let us focus on a daily product, NaturOil Soap Nut Shampoo. When you first see it, I guess you cannot stop your impulse to buy it immediately. It has nature in its name and is labeled both organic and chemical-free. What are we waiting for!! Hang on a second. Is it really chemical-free? Let’s check the ingredients first. The most obvious three are botanical glycerin, citric acid, and lauryl glucoside. We can easily recognize them as chemicals just from names. Next, this shampoo has several extracts from different leaves and seed oil. Although they look like really natural, the nature is made by chemistry. At last, this product is full of chemicals.
Based on the ingredients above, it is apparent that this NaturOil Soap Nut shampoo is not chemical-free. Furthermore, nothing on the earth is chemical-free, even the human body contains a lot of carbon. Then why do sellers place “chemical-free” on the shampoo? In my opinion, the “chemical” here is not referred to all chemicals, but to those harmful to human body. For example, as we know, the use of silicon in shampoo can make hair smooth and shiny. However, this does not mean your hair is really healthy. The smooth and shine is the fake phenomenon that caused by silicon’s chemical property. After using silicon shampoo for a long time, your hair will become thin and easily broken. Furthermore, large amount of silicon and sodium laureth sulphate, a common component in shampoo, increases the possibility of causing cancer. The use of “chemical-free” here is to clarify that this shampoo does not contain toxic chemicals, like silicon and SLS, which are harmful to your hair and body.
Based on the science aspect and in order to make more sense, changing “chemical-free” into “toxin free” may be a good choice for this shampoo. This can be more accurate than chemical-free and provide safe products for customers.
Chemical-free is inappropriate for everything around us. Chemistry is the foundation of our life. Although it sounds like unnatural and artificial, we should regard it with scientific mind. Chemical itself is not toxic, but we should choose correct chemicals for achieving certain task. Moreover, the usage and proportion of different chemicals in products are also significant. Excessive dosage can even turn medicine into poison. Thus, it is not necessary for us to have everything chemical-free. The only thing we need is to avoid excess harmful chemicals.