When you think of chemistry, you probably think of a scientist working in a lab. But chemistry is all around you. Almost every product you use was produced by using the principles of chemistry. From your food to your shoes and even your shampoo, chemistry is a part of life.
- Soaps are made of molecules that break down (soluble) in fat and water. Old-fashioned soaps were made from animal fat and wood ash.
- The bread in your PBJ was made using a chemical reaction. When yeast combines with warmth (warm water) and food (sugar), it forms bubbles, which causes bread to rise.
- Your favorite running shoes are probably made of man-made materials – created in a lab.
- Toothpastes contain binders (thickeners), such as bentonite or carrageenan; abrasives, which remove stains and food, such as baking soda, silica, or even chalk. Toothpastes also contain flavorings, sweeteners, humectants, and fluoride.
- Markers are made from water and dyes.
Soluble: can dissolve
Chemical reaction: an action or process that occurs when two or more chemicals are combined
Man-made: Made by man; not found organically in nature
Q and A
Question: How can I find out how something was made or what ingredients it contains?
Answer: Foods, medicines, lotions, soaps, cleaners, and many other products include an ingredient panel on their
packaging. You can also find many articles or videos online about how specific products are made.
Question: How do I know if a product is safe?
Answer: Poisonous or dangerous products generally contain a warning label. Never eat, drink, or touch something if you’re not sure about its safety. Check with a grownup first.
Head over to Human Touch of Chemistry for chemistry experiment ideas.
Learn about many common products at Frostburg State University.