Chemicals are present in just about everything, but many people are wary of them simply because they don’t fully understand them. Some chemicals can be dangerous when mishandled, but plenty of others are helpful. Here are some common chemicals found in your home and daily life that make everything so much easier.
You’ll likely find latex- and oil-based paints around your home. Water-soluble latex paints are nontoxic, but you may detect the distinct smell of formaldehyde when you’re painting. This strong smell may cause dizziness, but that’s the worst that will happen; the symptom will quickly pass once you’ve gotten away from the smell of the paint.
Even batteries contain chemicals. Small batteries such as the ones in your TV remote most often contain harmless amounts of zinc, manganese dioxide, and potassium hydroxide.
On the other hand, car batteries—or wet-cell batteries—contain sulfuric acid and lead. This combination can create explosive gases that ignite to provide power to your car. You’re probably not trying to get into them, but wet-cell batteries are sealed shut because of how dangerous sulfuric acid can be and how poisonous lead is in all forms.
Nothing exemplifies the common chemicals found in your home and daily life like the ones in the detergents we use to keep our clothes clean. Detergent contains enzymes, which are effective at loosening dirt and stains from your clothes to thoroughly clean them. Detergents contain aromatic sulfonic acid, which works as a catalyst to accelerate chemical reactions and reduce the energy needed to trigger that reaction.
On a similar note, cleaners contain detergents, grease-cutting agents, disinfectants, and solvents. This means you can find chemicals such as sulfonic acid, ammonia, and sodium hypochlorite in many cleaners. Such combinations allow us to keep our homes cleaner so that we can live healthier lives.
Chemicals can be dangerous, yes, but even the most basic household products contain a complex mixture of chemicals to perform their jobs. Just remember, always handle with care!
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