Atoms are the building blocks of all matter, and atoms combine together to make chemical compounds. There are many safe and natural chemicals such as water (dihydrogen monoxide), breathable oxygen (dioxygen), and table salt (sodium chloride) to name a few.

The fallacy of chemophobia is when the word chemical is taken to mean a harmful substance, or when a chemical name like dihydrogen monoxide is believed to be harmful without understanding what that chemical is or what its effects might be.

To make matters more complicated, it is the dose that makes the poison. Chemicals that we consider dangerous are still safe in extremely small amounts and ones we consider safe (like water for example) are deadly if consumed in extremely large amounts.

If you are worried about something because it contains "chemicals" or because it contains a long chemical name that you don't fully understand, then you are committing the fallacy of chemophobia.


Don't eat that! It contains chemicals!

These muffins contain monocalcium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate. They're toxic!

Famous Examples

Download Image Files

All Sophistry fallacy cards are shared under a Creative Commons 0 license. You are free to copy, use, modify, distribute or sell them in any way you wish. You are not required to credit us but we appreciate it.