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Sci/230

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Submitted By elice
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Hello everyone!
I hope you all enjoyed the beautiful weekend! Here’s what I’m thinking! The United States Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, defines a toxic chemical as any substance which may be harmful to the environment or hazardous to your health if inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin. (PubChem) This sounds pretty brutal does it not? I was having a conversation over the weekend with a new friend, enjoying small talk and getting to know one another better. Questions came up such as, “What is your family like?” and “What do you do for a living?” He proceeded to tell me about his wife, children, and his career as a chemical technician at a local chemical plant somewhat close to home. I found this extremely interesting and proceeded to ask him further questions about his job descriptions and responsibilities. Matt is his name and the chemicals he works with on a daily basis are no joke. One in particular is sulfuric acid.
Sulfuric acid is one of the most important compounds made by the chemical industry. It is used to make, literally, hundreds of compounds needed by almost every industry. The manufacture of sulfuric acid is broke down into four stages of production; extraction of sulfur, conversion of sulfur to sulfur dioxide, conversion of sulfur dioxide into sulfur trioxide, and conversion of sulfur trioxide into sulfuric acid. The pure substance is obtained as an oily, viscous, colorless liquid by addition of sufficient SO3 to react with the remaining H2O.
This is the toxin my dear friend Matt deals with every single day. He described sulfuric acid as a clear, potent liquid that is extremely concentrated. He held up his hand, measured approximately two inches, and stated, “This small amount would kill everyone in the building if it were dropped on the ground.” It happened at Matt’s plant only three short years ago. A large…...

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