Chemicals are essential components for both laboratory and home functions. However, there should be careful use of the chemicals. As it is well-known: chemistry is about mixing things, which calls for awareness while mixing. Careless or accidental mixing of things like acid and base can lead to severe physical or structural damage to people and the environment. Moreover, it could also lead to financial damage. The damage could be a result of long-term neglect/misuse or immediate chemical reaction. Identification of hazards associated with chemical is key when it comes to preventing chemical incompatibility. For example, reviewing Safety Data Sheet (SDS) creates awareness of the reaction that might happen on mixing some of the common home-used products. Precaution prevents mixing of explosion or dangerous compounds that are harmful to people.
Homes are full of chemicals and other cleaning material for the elimination of household germs. Among the household cleaners, some of them are acidic while others basic (Bearth, Miesler, & Siegrist, 2018). Mixing of a base with acid results in a chemical reaction. A good example of household chemical products that can lead to a chemical reaction when mixed are Sure Trac Ultra Tile Cleaner and Dave beauty soap. The two are common household cleaners found in many homes (Bearth et al., 2018). The reaction from the two product is as a result of what they constitute. In particular, Sure Trac Ultra Tile Cleaner contains hydrochloric acids, which are acidic as shown by the name and Dave beauty soap is alkaline.
In the process of manufacturing Sure Trac Ultra Tile Cleaner, there is mixing of two chemicals – potassium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid. During the process, a large number of acidic molecules are left utilized after their formation. The utilized acidic molecules are the reason why Sure Trac Ultra Tile Cleaner is acidic. On the side of Dave beauty soap, is formed by combining fatty acids and ammonia. The combination makes the soap alkaline with a pH of 8.4. Besides the reaction, the soap might cause sores or pale skin when used by light-skinned individuals or children. According to Hadi, Ramin, and Mehdi (2018), accidental contact of the Sure Trac Ultra Tile Cleaner and Dave beauty soap causes a reaction that leads to the production of chlorine gas. Chlorine is a naturally occurring element; however, certain concentrations of it from industries and home chemicals are harmful to people, environment, and other organisms.
Impact of Chlorine to Human and Environment
Chlorine is harmful in both gaseous form and liquid form. The impact of chlorine largely depends on the amount and time of exposure (Hadi et al., 2018). In humans, chlorine gas concentration of between 1 and 3 ppm irritates oral mucous membrane and the eyes. Moreover, at a concentration of about 15 ppm, chlorine gas can lead to respiratory disorders (delayed pulmonary edema, lower pulmonary injury, and bronchospasm) while it could be fatal within 30 minutes at a concentration of 430 ppm. Other symptoms of chlorine exposure in humans include the burning of skin, throat, bronchial tree, and conjunctiva. Chlorine is highly reactive hence combines rapidly with other elements to secondary compounds (Hadi et al., 2018). The compounds formed are not friendly to the environment; chlorine itself is not harmful to the environment (Xu et al., 2017). Chlorine gas reacts with chemicals in water and forms substances like chlorinated organic chemicals and chloride salts (Freese et al., 2017). For example, a chemicals such as dioxin pollutes water hence contaminates fish, which later leads to biomagnification.
Responding to Chlorine Explosion Incidence
Individuals responding to chemical explosion emergency like chlorine gas ought to be knowledgeable in handling chemical reactions, as well as controlling and monitoring the reactions. Responding to a case like chlorine gas explosion requires the response team to have protective gears like heat resistive clothes and gas masks (Kang et al., 2016). Heat resistive clothes protect the emergency team from heat produced during the reactions (though in a home-scenario the heat produced is less) whereas; gas masks prevent the team from inhaling the fumes due to the adverse effects of chlorine gas to the human body (Kang et al., 2016). Such occurrences are the reasons why the SDS and the U.S. EPA Chemical Mixing Compatibility Chart are vital tools to human life, as they facilitate occupational and health safety, product stewardship, as well as the way to handle spills. Moreover, compatibility charts predict reactions when different chemicals mix and how to control such an occurrence.
Learning through experimentation is a good idea; however, people should be careful about what they mix or handle chemicals to prevent accidental mixing. Household chemicals are harmful just like laboratory chemicals thus, they should be handled safely to prevent accidents like gas explosions. Disinfectants and cleaners constitute of elements that might result in reaction on mixing. Dave beauty soap coming in contact with Sure Trac Ultra Tile Cleaner can cause a reaction that produces heat and fumes of chlorine gas. Chlorine is a harmful element to the environment, humans, and other living organisms. Proper handling of household chemical products and compatibility chart are likely to prevent the occurrence of such as harmful accidents.
Bearth, Angela, Miesler, Linda, & Siegrist, Michael. (2018). Consumers’ risk perception of household cleaning and washing products. (Risk analysis.) Wiley.
Freese, M., Sühring, R., Marohn, L., Pohlmann, J.-D., Wolschke, H., Byer, J. D., Alaee, M., … Hanel, R. (2017). Maternal transfer of dioxin-like compounds in artificially matured European eels. (Environmental pollution.)
Hadi Shamizadeh, Ramin Alinejad Shahabi, & Mehdi Arjmand. (January 01, 2018). Modeling the Chlorine Gas Dispersion in the Water Treatment Plant. Journal of Chemical Health Risks, 8.
Kang, K.-Y., Choi, K.-H., Choi, J. W., Ryu, Y. H., & Lee, J.-M. (2016). Dynamic response of structural models according to characteristics of gas explosion on topside platform. (Ocean engineering.)Xu, X., Wang, D., Li, C., Feng, H., & Wang, Z. (2017). Characterization of the reactivity and chlorinated products of carbazole during aqueous chlorination. (Environmental pollution.)
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