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Climate Change

Reactions: Chemists’ role in climate action, and the chemistry of daily life

December 16, 2022 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 100, Issue 44


Letters to the editor

Climate action

I was so pleased to see the editorial urging action on climate change in the Nov. 21 issue (page 4). Thank you! Chemists certainly have a big role to play, as they can find new reactions or materials or work to improve efficiency. However, it needs effort on many levels: the federal government, Congress, and the president, along with state leadership. Certainly local government is not exempt. However, it also needs all of us to advocate for all that’s needed and also to look at ourselves and see ways that we can change to reduce our individual impacts. Certainly there is room for reducing food waste somewhat by actions in our kitchens, as an example.

ACS 2021 IRS Form 990 available

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Most of all I just wanted to say thank you.

Donna Peterson
Roseville, Minnesota

Chemistry of daily life

Thank you for the recent articles focusing on the chemistry of daily life, including menstrual products (Oct. 17, 2022, page 38) and “male” contraception (Nov. 21, 2022, page 28). On the sanitary product topic, I was surprised to see little mention of the pervasive use of fragrances in these products and the resultant irritation that comes from these complex molecules. Often a product in the “free and clear” state is nonirritating, but with a fragrance, it is awful. With perfumes often being the most expensive component in a product, I am always amazed that manufacturers use them. Removal makes the product safer for the user and is pure profit for the maker.

On male contraception, it would be really nice to see the motility approach applied to contraception marketed to women also. Hormonal birth control can be a lifesaver for some, but for others, it is misery. The impact-on-the-couple approach was good to read about—this burden has fallen solely on women for too long.

Katherine Helmetag
Troy, Michigan



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