Thus Spake Paracelsus*
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Thus Spake Paracelsus*

The Swiss Renaissance physician, alchemist and founder of toxicology Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus (!) von Hohenheim, better known as Paracelsus (Figure 1), said it well: “All substances are poisons; there is none that is not a poison. The right dose differentiates a poison and a remedy.” Or more compactly, “the dose makes the poison.” Continue reading

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Is triclosan safe? What you should know about this antibacterial chemical

Back in January, I wrote a post about the potential hazards of traditional cleaning chemicals. Based on questions and comments from friends and family, I am going to continue on that path, this time focusing on the antibacterial chemical triclosan. Triclosan gained some media attention earlier this year when a law was passed in Minnesota … Continue reading

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The Chemical Story Behind Non-Petroleum-Based Plastics

Every year, millions of tons of plastic are discarded into landfills, where they will take hundreds of years to break down.  New biodegradable plastics offer a potential solution to this problem. Let’s back up and talk about “traditional” plastics first. In addition to being landfilled, some plastic is disposed of improperly, leading to plastic pollution … Continue reading