What happens when we can find traces of everything everywhere?

It is easy to get worked up about toxic substances (especially, it seems, synthetic ones) being in our bodies, yet as Brian Dunning at Skeptoid notes, it is natural to have toxic substances there. He points out that plutonium is “one of the most dangerous substances known.”  But because we live on a planet with plutonium that occurs naturally, “…every person and animal that ever lived has an average of about 20,000,000 plutonium atoms in their bone marrow, simply because we live on this planet.”

So, if you knew that a synthetic chemical from a product (or products) was in your body, is that something that your government or the company should have warned you about? Andrew Maynard (@2020science on Twitter) talks about “The ethics of being able to measure everything – an ethical perspective on the measurement conundrum.”



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