Chemistry in Everyday Life

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Chemistry in Everyday Life Notes

Class 12 is a crucial stage in every student's life as he or she needs to appear for the boards and the marks obtained in every subject will affect their overall score. As students are ready to appear in a variety of entrance examinations including IIT, Medical Entrance Exams, NEET, to name a few, they should get their grasp in every subject. In this article, we will discuss Chemistry in Everyday Life class 12 chapter of NCERT. Students can get a good understanding of the topic as well as some notes for the same.


Importance of Chemistry in Everyday Life

Chemistry is the study of materials and the generation of new materials for the betterment of humanity. The importance of Chemistry in daily life can be explained with the help of these following points mentioned here:


  • Chemistry in Medicines

Most of the diseases can be cured with the help of medicines which are defined as the chemical substances that have natural or synthetic origin. Medicines are also referred to as drugs, however, both have a slight difference. A medicine cures a disease with negligible toxicity and is safe to use and there’s no addiction for the user whereas a drug cures the disease but may have addiction and serious side effects.

Analgesics, antacids, antihistamines, tranquilizers, antimicrobials, antibiotics, antiseptics, disinfectants, oral contraceptives and other pills are some of the examples of drugs.


How Do Medicines or Drugs Work?

Medicines/Drugs are chemical agents and affect human metabolism thereby providing cure from any ailment or sickness. However, these should not be consumed in higher doses than the recommended one by a doctor as it may have a poisonous effect. Biological macromolecules called target molecules here, like proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic interact with the drugs. Drugs are designed in such a manner that these interact specifically with a particular target preventing it from affecting other targets. It helps in minimising the side effects of the drug.


  • Food Additives

Various chemicals are added to the food for improving the quality, taste, appearance, colour, odour and also the nutritive value; these are termed as food additives. Some of these food additives include flavors, sweeteners, food colours, fat emulsifiers and stabilizers.


  • Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners like saccharin, aspartame and alitame are some of the important artificial sweeteners which help in avoiding problems related to natural sweeteners like sucrose and fructose. Saccharin is o-sulfobenzoimido, and the most popular artificial sweetening agent; it is insoluble in water. Aspartame can be used in soft drinks and cold foods and it decomposes at baking or cooking temperatures. Another similar to it is alitame but the latter is more stable than the former.


  • Food Preservatives

Food preservatives are the chemical substances which protect the food against spoiling from yeasts, bacteria and moulds. Some of the common examples of food preservatives are sodium metabisulphite, sodium benzoate, sorbic acids and its salts and epoxides. Food preservatives are often used in soft drinks, pickles, squashes, jams, cheese, bakery products, etc.


  • Cleaning Agents

Cleaning Agents are the natural or synthetic agents used for cleaning processes i.e. removing dust and dirt. It acts by concentrating on the surfaces to form films and reducing the surface tension of the solution and thus making it easier to remove dirt and dust by emulsification. This is the surface active agent acting on dust or dirt. 


1. Soaps

Sodium or Potassium salts of higher fatty acids like palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid and lauric acid are called soaps. Soaps are formed by heating fat/oil with Sodium Hydroxide solution in the presence of heat and this reaction is known as saponification. There are varieties of soaps available in the market namely toilet soaps, transparent soaps, floating soaps, medicated soaps, shaving soaps and laundry soaps. These differ in composition, preparation method and properties. 


2. Synthetic Detergents

These are also known as soaps less soap that are cleansing agents with all the properties of soap present in these but actually do not contain any soap. These are called synthetic detergents due to the presence of synthetic substances in them. Detergents are Ammonia and sulphate salts of long chain hydrocarbons that consist of 12 to 18 carbon atoms. Detergents are three types, namely, anionic detergents, cationic detergents and non-ionic detergents. Liquid dishwashing belongs to the non-ionic detergents category.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Name Some Different Types of Drugs Helpful for Humans?

Multitudinous drugs are available for the betterment of human health and it includes antiseptics, analgesics, antibiotics, disinfectants, antacids, tranquilizers, etc. One of the major contributions in checking the population explosion is that of antifertility drugs and these have become prominent in human lives.

2. What is the Importance of Food Additives?

To make the food attractive, nutritious and palatable, preservatives such as flavours, antioxidants, edible colours, sweeteners and nutritional supplements are added. Preservatives also help in preventing food spoilage because of microbial growth. People who are diabetic and need to avoid taking sucrose use artificial sweeteners for taste.

3. Explain the Mechanism of Cleansing Action of Soaps and Detergents.

Soaps and detergents, being sodium or potassium salts of long chain fatty acids, have a hydrophobic as well as hydrophilic parts. The part that sticks to water is the hydrophilic part while washing and on the other hand, the hydrophobic part clings to the dust particles. When we wash away with water, the dirt or dust washes with the soap molecules.

4. Do Cosmetics Contain Chemicals?

Yes, cosmetics do contain chemicals namely emulsifier, thickeners, preservatives, emollient, glimmer and shiners. Examples include potassium cetyl sulfate, cetyl alcohol, benzyl alcohol, glycerine and bismuth oxychloride, respectively.