Nadine Robinson, a columnist for The Sault Star in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, has brilliantly come up with a couple of words for "fear of plastics," a problem that some bloggers, emailers and even news media professionals seem to be experiencing. Her suggestions: plastiphobia and plastipanic. Robinson is a lecturer at Algoma University College and has a blog of her own called The Ink. She tackled the "fear of plastics" topic in a column today that ties together recent headlines about BPA with those forwarded "beware of plastics" emails that we've all seen. She starts:
The Oxford English Dictionary has no word for fear of plastics. In light of recent headlines, I'd like to coin plastiphobia or plastipanic, because I know I'm not alone in questioning the predominance and safety of some plastics in our world. It may have started with all of the product recalls for plastic toys covered in lead paint, then was reinforced by a series of forwarded e-mails saying not to cook in plastics or freeze water bottles due to cancer-causing dioxins (not true - read on). I've definitely become more conscious of the amount of plastic packaging that is not recyclable and ending up in our landfills. Perhaps the last plastic drinking straw that broke my back was April 18, 2008, when bisphenol A (BPA) was labeled a chemical of concern by the government, leaving me staring at my Nalgene bottle skeptically. Before plastics are exiled from my kitchen, I did further research.Robinson takes a pretty balanced approach with the rest of the column, although it's clear that she counts herself in the group of citizens who is concerned about plastics safety.