Chemical Effects Of Formaldehyde

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enter the house and allow the stale air to exit. The effects of VOCs can also be lowered by minimalizing exposure to these compounds. An example of a VOC is methanol, a substance which is toxic if ingested because it metabolises to form Formaldehyde (CH_2 O). Methanol (CH_3 OH) is most commonly found in products such as cigarettes as well as in foods or drinks containing aspartame, an artificial sweetener. Formaldehyde is another toxic VOC which can cause the development of cancer. Formaldehyde is formed through the two following equations below.
CH_3 OH+1/2 O_2→CH_2 O+H_2 O
CH_3 OH→CH_2 O+H_2
The first reaction shows an oxidation reaction where methanol reacts with oxygen to form formaldehyde and water while the second equation is a dehydrogenation
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Although the burning of natural gas is not 100% efficient and therefore carbon monoxide will always be produced, it is not dangerous as long as the furnace which produces the toxic gas, is ventilated properly to release the carbon monoxide produced. Carbon monoxide is dangerous as it binds to haemoglobin more easily than oxygen and this can cause oxygen to be moved from red blood cells which can cause the victim to experience suffocation. Too much exposure to carbon monoxide can cause carbon monoxide poisoning which creates effects such as headaches, dizziness, nausea and fatigue (UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, 2017).The level of carbon monoxide in indoor spaces can be detected and tested through a carbon monoxide detector which allows the user to learn whether there are unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide present. The levels of carbon monoxide can also be decreased by ensuring that older furnaces are functioning correctly and experience complete combustion when burning methane. Like VOCS, levels of carbon monoxide can be decreased by opening windows which will let fresh air enter the house and allow the stale air to exit.
Focus Questions How do the chemical properties of radon gas allow it to pollute indoor air?
Originally, radon gas is formed during the radioactive decay chain of uranium 238, an isotope of uranium that is naturally found in the rocks and soil. The radioactive decay chain in which uranium 238 decays to form radon 222 is shown below in Figure 2. Figure 2: Uranium 238 radioactive decay chain and half-life (Source: (NEW MEXICO BUREAU OF GEOLOGY & MINERAL RESOURCES,

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