Role of Chemistry in Human Welfare
Chemistry is the science of matter and the changes it undergoes. The science of matter is also addressed by physics, but while physics takes a more general and fundamental approach, chemistry is more specialized, being concerned with the composition, behavior (or reaction), structure, and properties of matter, as well as the changes it undergoes during chemical reactions. It is a physical science which studies various substances, atoms, molecules, crystals and other aggregates of matter whether in isolation or combination, and which incorporates the concepts of energy and entropy in relation to the spontaneity of chemical processes.
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Disciplines within chemistry are traditionally grouped by the type of matter being studied or the kind of study. These include inorganic chemistry, the study ofinorganic matter; organic chemistry, the study of organic (carbon based) matter; biochemistry, the study of substances found in biological organisms;physical chemistry, the study of chemical processes using physical concepts such as thermodynamics and quantum mechanics; and analytical chemistry, the analysis of material samples to gain an understanding of their chemical composition and structure.
Many more specialized disciplines have emerged in recent years, e. g. neurochemistry the chemical study of the nervous system. 2011 was officially designated the “International Year of Chemistry” by the United Nations to commemorate the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to Mankind. I thought i would present my 1 Minute Take on the topic “Chemistry for Human Welfare. ” “It is impossible to deny that Chemistry has played a major part in determining the nature of the modern world. ” – Linus Pauling, Double Nobel Laureate.
Chemistry is the study of Matter itself. The strides taken by Humans in the two millennia have a close connection with every science, Chemistry included. Chemistry and human welfare are two interwoven aspects where both of them are complementary to each other. Since centuries chemists and scientists have been trying to make human life better by new researches in the field of chemistry. There is hardly any aspect of human life that has been left untouched by the progresses made in the field of chemistry.
Human health, agriculture, environment, metallurgy, energy, textiles, and many other aspects of humanity are in a constant state of change due to advancements made in the field of chemistry. To summarize a few Medicine Medicine is that aspect of science that concerns itself with the development and testing of new chemicals which will ease human pain and suffering. Ever since the first doctors extracted the first medicines from plants, chemistry has been regularly employed for the synthesis of new drugs and medicines for human welfare.
The design and synthesis of new molecules is as much a process of human creativity as is the composition of a poem or the production of a sculpture. The synthesis of life saving drugs and antibiotics like penicillin has been facilitated by newly developed chemical processes. Further this branch of chemistry is also used to treat serious illnesses like cancer. Agriculture Agricultural sector has been revolutionized by the synthesis of new fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides. Development of better yielding and disease resistant varieties of crops has been mainly due to the advancements in the field of biochemistry.
Environment A better understanding of our environment can only be achieved by understanding its various processes. The working of various natural chemicalsand their role in removing pollution is the major concern for protection of environment. Biochemistry It is the study of the chemicals, chemical reactions and chemical interactions that take place in living organisms. Biochemistry and organic chemistry are closely related, as in medicinal chemistry or neurochemistry. Biochemistry is also associated with molecular biology and genetics. Mettalurgy he art and science of processing ores to get metals. The practice of removing valuable metals from an ore and refining the extracted raw metals into a purer form is called mettalurgy. Manufacture of alloys for various industrial and general purposes is a rapidly growing aspect of chemistry. Daily life All through the day we are surrounded by hundreds of things that are in one way or another a product of chemical reactions. Soap, washing powder, preservatives, aerated drinks are all a result of many years of research that has been done in order to make our lives better. Chemistry and Energy Resources
The energy resources of the world are mainly petroleum, coal, wood, nuclear fuels. To conserve the fast depleting reserves of coal and petroleum, attempts are being made by chemists to utilize alternate energy fuels. Nuclear energy, solar energy, ocean energy (hydrogen from seawater), which may provide inexhaustible sources, are being studied under chemistry for future energy needs. Chemistry in Life Styles In every walk of life, chemistry has been the pioneer contributor towards enabling the comfort, convenience and pleasures of man. Chemistry has helped us in getting a number of amenities.
Some examples are: * Domestic requirements such as better fabrics, soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, dyes, oils, flavouring essences, paper etc. Air conditioning, refrigeration and domestic gadgets: To keep people cool and food fresh in all seasons, we make use of air conditioning. Chemical substances like liquid ammonia, liquid sulphur dioxide, CFC etc. , are used in these machines. All consumer electronic gadgets based on Printed Circuit Board technology (PCB’S) use specialized chemical coatings for their functioning. Dark Side of Chemistry Chemistry has also been misused by unscrupulous people, endangering the society.
It has given the menace of harmful drugs and their bulk processing, like LSD, cocaine, brown sugar, angel dust, etc. that cripple the society. Chemistry has also developed explosives such as TNT, RDX and other deadly chemical weapons of destruction – the atomic and hydrogen bombs. Terrorists and aggressive societies have used these with devastating effects. Although chemistry has brought innumerable changes in our life and made the world a better place to live in, still there are a number of problems and situations that have cropped up due to its indiscriminate and careless use.
With the progress of civilization, our demands on the existing natural resources has grown by leaps and bounds which has opened up a pandora’s box of problems mainly relating to the environment and human health. The therefore is to use this extremely delicate and sensitive branch of study for the benefit of human race. To site a few examples of the concerns related with the use of chemistry Enviornmental pollution Worldwide, about 400 million metric tons of hazardous wastes are generated each year. Hazardous wastes are generated by nearly every industry.
Agriculture produces such wastes as pesticides and herbicides and the materials used in their application. Household sources of hazardous wastes include toxic paints, flammable solvents, caustic cleaners, toxic batteries, pesticides, drugs, and mercury from broken fever thermometers. Medicine also makes use of significant amounts of radioactive isotopes for diagnosis and treatment, and these substances must be tracked and disposed of carefully. Agriculture Agriculture produces such wastes as pesticides and herbicides and the materials used in their application.
Fluoride wastes are by-products of phosphate fertilizer production. Even soluble nitrates from manure may dissolve into groundwater and contaminate drinking-water wells; high levels of nitrates may cause health problems. Nuclear Waste About 400 million metric tons of hazardous wastes are generated each year. The United States alone produces about 250 million metric tons—70 percent from the chemical industry. The use, storage, transportation, and disposal of these substances pose serious environmental and health risks.
Even brief exposure to some of these materials can cause cancer, birth defects, nervous system disorders, and death. The world’s worst nuclear reactor accident took place near Chernobyl’, Ukraine, in 1986 (see Chernobyl’ Accident). The accident killed at least 31 people, forced the evacuation and relocation of more than 200,000 more, and sent a plume of radioactive material into the atmosphere that contaminated areas as far away as Norway and the United Kingdom. Drugs Drug use for nonmedical purposes occurs throughout society.
Drug Dependence, psychological and sometimes physical state characterized by a compulsion to use a drug to experience psychological or physical effects. this often results in extreme physical, social and psychological diseases which affect not only the person concerened but the whole society. Chemical weapons Chemistry has also been used to produce chemical and nuclear weapons which have resulted in the loss of innumerable human lives. We still cannot forget Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Iraq and Iran. Chemically synthesized defoliants used during the Vietnam war had an adverse and irreparable effect on the ecosystem of that area.