How Chemistry Affects Our Day to Day Lives
Chemistry is the discipline of science which deals with the properties of matter. Chemistry is considered to be a key part of education for the present and future generation. It is mostly known as the central science as it is related to physical sciences, life sciences and applied sciences (medicine and engineering). Our every aspect of life is hugely influenced by chemistry or chemicals.
- The food we eat every day is so much connected to chemistry. Anything we eat has different colour and taste. Chemical reactions go on when we cook food. There are chemicals in preservatives, food colours, sweeteners and so on.Among many examples, the most common is the browning of potato or apple slices when we cut them and keep them in open air. This happens because of the oxidation of the polyphenol compounds present in the potato or apple by aerial oxygen with the help of polyphenol oxidase enzyme. This oxidation followed by a series of other reactions produce brown-colored melanin pigments on the surface of the cut fruits and vegetables. If we keep the slices in water, preventing the direct contact of oxygen with the enzyme,there will not be any colour change. Similarly, have we ever wondered why chopping onions makes us cry? This happens because while chopping onions, it forms Propanethial S-oxide (C3H6OS)which acts as a lachrymatory agent (triggers tearing and stinging on contact with the eyes).
- These days we use non-stick cookware, such as fry-pans and saucepans. These are coated with a material called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), commonly known as Teflon. Teflon is a synthetic polymer made up of carbon and fluorine atoms. Hard anodised aluminium cookware has an oxidised layer on a soft aluminium surface, coated via electrochemical method.
- We use cleansing agents to keep ourselves and our surrounding clean and hygienic.In the morning, we use toothpaste, that includes particles of aluminum hydroxide, calcium carbonate, various calcium hydrogen phosphates, various silicas and zeolites, hydroxyapatite,fluoride and more. The soapis nothing but a salt of fatty acid. Detergents are made of sodium lauryl sulphate, cetyl trimethyl ammonium bromide, surfactants, binders etc. Sanitizers and other disinfectants contain mainly alcohol.
- The cosmetics we use every day contain several chemical compounds. General ingredients in today's skincare products include alpha and beta hydroxy acids, hydroquinone, retinol, kojic acid, copper peptides, moisturizers, fragrances, colours etc. Salicyaldehyde is used in perfumery.
- Dyes and pigmentsare used in colouring the clothes and also in paints. Whereas dyes are organic chromophoric compounds, inorganic pigments contain various metal compounds. To name a few, iron oxides used to giveyellow-brown colour while compounds of chromium provide yellow, orange and green colors. Various compounds of cadmium produce colors like bright yellow, orange and red.
- Medicines and drugs we need are mostly organic compounds with biological activity. Some inorganic and organometallic compounds are also applied in drugs.Paracetamol we use to treat fever or pain is N-acetyl-para-aminophenol (APAP). Aspirin is used as an anti-inflammatory medicine which is basically acetylsalicylic acid. There are plenty of examples like these.
- Chemistry is there in every material we use every day. Battery works by chemical reactions followed by electrochemical process. Depending on flexibility, strength, electrical and thermal conductivity of different metals, construction work goes on around us. Raw materials in any construction are lime, silica, alumina, iron oxide etc. To prevent corrosion, additional measures are taken. For example, zinc, calcium, antimony, molybdenum etc. are used for coating.Many other different materials we are using and many processes that are going on every day involve so much of chemistry.
Practically, there are endless lists where chemistry is involved in our day-to-day life in every dimension. Thus, more we know chemistry, better we know our life.