For the first assignment in our contemporary chemistry class, Professor Sharma presented us with a question. Give or take a few words, she wanted to know what chemistry meant to each of us. Many of our classmates, including myself, responded to the proposed question with a not so surprising response. We each reasoned that chemistry meant little or nothing to our lives or us. I always looked at chemistry as a very annoying class that I took in high school that involved beakers and the periodic table of elements. I can now say with the utmost certainty after taking this class that chemistry means much more to me than “nothing.”
Throughout this course I have come to realize that chemistry takes part in every thing that happens around me. I also came to realize that this subject that I thought had nothing to do with my life, had everything to do with my life. I learned that an understanding of chemistry would help me to better my life and better the lives of the people that I hold dear to me. While reading this, I would like you to think of the people that you hold dear to yourself. For instance, simply think of the people that live under your roof, such as, husbands, wives, children, roommates, or even your pets. Now, we all know that some of these people get on our nerves from time to time, but then think to yourself, if I could do something to better their lives, would I do it?
If a stranger were to walk into your home with a mixture of chemicals and ask you to drink it, would you say yes? The answer is of course you wouldn’t. Would it shock you, however, to find out that these chemicals are already in your home, your drinks and also your body? I believe that it would surprise every one to learn that harmful chemicals are found in absolutely every room of your home. From the kitchen to the bedroom to the garage, there are chemicals everywhere you turn. Over a 17-year period, the Environmental Protection Agency learned that women who work in the home have a 54% higher death rate from cancer than women who work outside of the home (Latham). Even with statistics such as these, however, many people are still unaware of the toxins found in the home and how they affect themselves, as well as, loved ones and pets. It is my intention to educate my readers about what chemicals are found in the home, why they are so dangerous, and how we can work to limit the amount of these chemicals.
In order to ultimately lessen the amount of toxins and chemicals in our homes that affect our everyday lives, we must first know what chemicals are in our homes and why they are so dangerous. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, only a fraction of the more than 75,000 registered chemicals have gone through complete testing for human health concerns (reduce.org). The Consumer Protection Agency estimates that 150 chemicals found in the home are connected to allergies, birth defects, cancer and psychological disorders. In our laundry rooms, for instance,...