And what do you mean by a hazardous chemical

Irelia20150604

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi everyone! I don't understand the sentence " And what do you mean by a hazardous chemical?". What does it mean?

the context is as follows:
===
... However, he wants to assure Tianjin residents that it's possible for the area to recover.

"Some of this is a problem of general chemophobia," he says. "People are scared of chemicals and chemical names. And what do you mean by a hazardous chemical?"

source: http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-china-blog-34013545
 
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    It means what it says. It's a question.

    What do you (the person being addressed) mean when you say "hazardous chemical"?
    or
    What is the meaning that you intend when you say "hazardous chemical"?

    He appears to be suggesting that some of the chemicals being discussed are not a hazard to health.

    PS The next sentences provide context "Everything is hazardous; it all just depends on the dose. Every chemical in the world is hazardous if you take it in the wrong way or you take too much of it."
     
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