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Beware of deadly chemicals

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This is in answer to Scott Catron's letter, July 25, "Better living from chemicals." I would like to respond to just two points he made and make a few of my own.

Nobody will deny that chlorine disinfects the water. But chlorine is also known as a sure cancer-causing agent. Today hundreds of thousands die of that disease, even many who never smoked or touched alcohol. Could it, perhaps, just be that the water we drink is responsible?

For the past 29 years I have used an electric home water distiller — boiling, vaporizing, condensing. This process "lifts the pure H2O out and leaves the filth behind."

The other argument he makes has to do with chemical fertilizers. Some time ago, an article in the Readers' Digest explained how today's farmers, by using chemical fertilizers, instead of "returning to the soil what is taken from it," literally create deserts because the topsoil gets thinner and thinner, as a result of wind and water runoff. Returning to the soil what is taken from it builds new, naturally enriched topsoil.

Chemicals threaten the habitat of the insects and pests, which then "declare war on man" by attacking the crops. This in turn requires more and more powerful pesticides, which makes matters even worse. It has also been discovered that foods grown in such soil contain residues of these harmful substances. We are literally developing all kinds of modern diseases.

Recently I read in a medical bulletin that back in the 1840s the average American ate about 13 pounds of sugar annually, compared with over 135 pounds today. Sugar is known to destroy teeth and bones. Could this create such a body chemistry imbalance that the development of children's teeth is affected and also contribute to bone deterioration —osteoporosis? Would it not be a lot smarter in educating young and old in proper eating habits, instead of adding another chemical to our diet? My advice: Do as much of your own gardening as you possibly can.

Have you ever listened to a new drug TV commercial? First you are told what it's supposed to be good for. Then a whole list of side effects is mentioned, including death. But other than that you are made to believe that it works wonders.

Chemicals have their place, but many of these deadly ones find their way into our bodies, which create diseases never heard of just a few years ago. I think it's these chemicals Judy Guymon referred to in her letter July 17.

Jared Looser

Salt Lake City