Chapter 16 Chorocarbon Compounds

When chlorocarbon compounds are brought up as a topic, the usual reaction would be a one of perplexity. However, if you bring up CFC’s, one is bound to induce some sort of debate on certain controversial topics such as global warming. What most people are not knowledgeable about is the fact that these two seemingly contrasting words relate to the same concepts though chlorocarbon compounds refers to a broader range of topics. Like many others, CFC’s are classified as a chlorocarbon compound i.e. it is an organic compound containing at least one chlorine atom within its structure. The reason CFC’s were both beneficial and negatively consequential, again akin to many other cholorocarbon compounds, were due to their chemical properties; they were light and porous polymers and virtually reacted with nothing. Other chlorocarbon compounds include PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl), DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane), and chloroform. PCB’s were compounds which contained chlorine atoms that substituted the hydrogen atoms on the biphenyl molecule and were flexibility-enhancing agents, DDT, an insecticide, is comprised of the addition of chlorine atoms on a diphenylethane molecule, and chloroform’s simple structure consisted of three chlorine atoms and a hydrogen atom connected to a carbon atom in the center and was an anesthetic.
Historically, these compounds were responsible for many of the things we experience today. For instance, chlorocarbons were used for a variety of products due to their chemical properties including but not limited to its unreactivity with most other molecules and compounds in nature. Because of this, spontaneous combustion and other hazards could be disregarded. Their use ranged from hair sprays to aerosols to air conditioners. PCBs could be utilized to form electric insulators and carbonless copying paper because of their lack of flammability. As a result of their flexibility-enhancing properties, they were also used for wrapping in the food industry. As for DDT, many chemists and ecologists consider it to virtually be the molecule which rid the world of the dreaded disease known as malaria in the more developed cities. DDT worked like an insecticide; it interfered with a nerve controlling process in insects. Because it had no toxicity towards humans, we had labeled the molecule as harmless. Chloroform was an optimal aesthetic molecule. Though there were already other anesthetics in existence, chloroform was much more desired; its better smell and efficiency had allowed it to do so. This is all fine and dandy, but once we look at the big picture, these molecules’ positive contributions were not their only historical significance. Many of these compounds were harmful to either the environment or us. CFCs were especially harmful because of its effect on the depletion of the ozone layer, which by the way, is currently keeping us from dying from the ultraviolet rays from the sun. DDTs disrupted the natural ecosystem whenever they seeped into the environment through rivers, the soil itself, and even the food chain.
In my opinion, the effects of these organic compounds are still present globally in our world today. Like the authors had explained, many CFC hairsprays and broken down air conditioners carrying CFCs cover our entire world with even more CFCs every day. What the authors say makes sense; it is entirely possible for some people to be ignoring the law and continue using the CFCs (that’s right they’ve actually enacted a law forbidding the use of these compounds which once brought about miracles), and their reasoning about abandoned DDT and CFC products continuing to pollute the environment today is also entirely plausible.

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Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Chapter 16 Chorocarbon Compounds

  1. hestonf03

    Your analysis and summary of Chlorocarbon Compound’s was put in a well organized, coherent manner that was simple to understand, yet captured the ideas that were essential to understand this molecule.

  2. Very cool explaination of Chlorocarbon compuonds. I love the use the big words such as perplexity. I never thought about it that way. thanks for the insight into the mind of fluffy monster.

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