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Green Chemistry: Saving the World Through Chemistry


This article was posted by Sue White in 2013 to the ABC Environment (Australia) Website (White, 2013). The main topic of the article is the need for chemists across the world to enhance the adoption of green chemistry as a viable countermeasure toward eliminating chemical disasters in the world. White (2013) started by highlighting the Bhopal disaster in India, which was a result of toxic gases being released from a pesticide plant. The Bhopal disaster led to the death of thousands of people in the area before it could be contained. Green chemistry aims at reducing air pollution in chemical processes and limiting the toxicity of the by-products of various indispensable processes. For instance, green chemistry is geared toward eliminating cases of products derived from chemical processes causing illnesses. Many products have been associated with the development of cancer in human beings because of the toxicity of the molecules used to develop them; hence, green science compels chemists to design safer approaches in the production of commodities for human consumption. One of the examples of green chemistry provided in the article includes the production of paint from vegetable oil. This approach promises to reduce the toxic byproducts from the process of making paint through petrochemicals. Green chemistry promises a safer future for the global society, but it calls for chemists across the world to be highly innovative.

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The traditional approach to the production of consumption products through chemistry has led to an increase in pollutants in the air, especially as the demand for the associated products is concerned. The adverse effects of the increase in toxic emissions to the atmosphere include faster rates of global warming, an increase in cases of cancer and respiratory diseases, and toxic chemicals in rainfall (White, 2013). Green chemistry promises to eliminate the high rates of air and water pollution, and it will promote better health for people. It is a plausible concept because it will also eliminate the hazards associated with the mass manufacturing of various products. Chemists in the future will enjoy conducting safer experiments in the laboratories if there will be more discoveries toward the same. It is essential for governments to fund studies that aim at enhancing knowledge in green science.

Tying the Article with Class Concepts

There are many warnings and hazards pinned in chemistry laboratories to caution chemists against toxic molecules and other risks in the lab. Lab safety in chemistry is one of the topics that were covered in this course, and it is apparent that most of the hazards are tied to the chemical substances used in the contemporary science world (White, 2013). Most of the experiments in the lab were associated with the emission of toxic pollutants, and some lab experiments had to be conducted in extremely controlled environments. Following this observation, it is apparent that chemists need to start developing safer ways to produce commodities. Not only is a greener approach going to lower the hazards associated with chemical processes in the laboratory, but it will also make the mass production of commodities safer for the society. Chemists should develop mechanisms to produce the same products with a minimal number of toxic byproducts. When looking at the idea of producing paint and the related products from vegetable oil, it is apparent that thinking beyond the obvious parameters of chemistry will help chemists to come up with greener methods of manufacturing different products.


White, S. (2013). Saving The World Through Chemistry. Web.

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