What? Ubiquitous means that it’s everywhere. A bit like pasta at my house…or mashed potato on my pasta off-days.
Why not just say, “it’s everywhere”? It sounds far more scientific to say, “ubiquitous”
How often are you really using this word? Surprisingly, there are lots of cancer-causing agents that are ubiquitous. Things like some PAHs, Bispheol A (BPA) and even outdoor air pollution. There are a few chemicals that Occupational Hygienists will monitor for, that are also ubiquitous. So in fact, I use this word quite a lot.
Why is this important? Well when scientists are trying to determine whether certain substances cause cancer, their results can be confounded by the presence of other chemicals that also cause cancer. When these chemicals are ubiquitous, it makes it tricky. It’s also important to know that if you go out to monitor for these chemicals somewhere in the environment to see if something is causing an issue (eg: a new coal-fired plant), that those chemicals you are monitoring for might have been there all the time in the ‘background’ as they are ‘ubiquitous’.
It’s also my all-time favourite word to drop into a technical discussion.
Who is the best person to ask to help with ubiquitous chemicals? Ask your friendly Occupational Hygienist!