We are regularly told that there are many dangerous chemicals which are a risk to our health, to the environment, and to the world in general. So today I would like to ask the question: should we ban Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO)?
Now you maybe asking what is DHMO? Well, DHMO is is a colourless and odourless chemical compound, also referred to by some as Dihydrogen Oxide, Hydrogen Hydroxide, Hydronium Hydroxide, or simply Hydric acid. Its basis is the highly reactive hydroxyl radical, this free radical has been shown to mutate DNA, denature proteins, disrupt cell membranes, and chemically alter critical neurotransmitters. The atomic components of DHMO are found in a number of caustic, explosive and poisonous compounds such as sulphuric acid, nitroglycerine and ethyl alcohol.
Should we be concerned about DHMO? Well, yes, although Dihydrogen Monoxide has not be classified as a toxic or carcinogenic substance (as better known chemicals, such as hydrochloric acid and benzene, have been), DHMO is a constituent of many known toxic substances, disease-causing agents, environmental hazards and can even be lethal to humans in quantities as small as a 100ml. Now more than ever, it is important that we are aware of just what the dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide are and how we can reduce the risks to ourselves and others.
Just how dangerous is Dihydrogen Monoxide? DHMO kills thousands of people every year. Most of these deaths are caused by accidental inhalation of DHMO, but the dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide do not end there. Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes burning and can severely damage tissues. Symptoms of DHMO ingestion can include excessive sweating and urination, and possibly a bloated feeling, nausea, vomiting and body electrolyte imbalance. For those who have become dependent, DHMO withdrawal means certain death.
Not only is Dihydrogen Monoxide hazardous to individuals, it is known to have major effects on the environment as well. In its hydroxyl acid form, it is the major component of acid rain. DHMO is known to have an effect on global warming, and it contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape. It has recently caused billions of pounds worth of damage around the world. There is known to be wide spread environmental contamination by Dihydrogen Monoxide in global ecosystems, it has been found in lakes, rivers and oceans across the world.
Despite all these known dangers, dihydrogen monoxide is often used as an industrial solvent and coolant. It is commonly used in nuclear power stations, indeed its presence was an important factor in the failure of the Fukushima power station in Japan. Despite these dangers, DHMO continues to be used in many industrial processes: in the production of Styrofoam, as a fire retardant, in the distribution of pesticides, and as an additive in certain junk-foods and other food products. It should be noted that even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical.
Companies dump waste DHMO into rivers and the ocean, and nothing can be done to stop them because this practice is still legal. The impact on wildlife is extreme, and we cannot afford to ignore this issue any longer!
There have been a number of attempts to introduce legislation to ban DHMO, most notable in Australia, New Zealand and California. In the UK, there have been a number of attempts to e-petition the Prime Minister, however, so far these have all failed.
I urge you to think about whether we should ban Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO)!!
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