Why There's Antifreeze in your Toothpaste

Why There's Antifreeze in your Toothpaste

The Chemistry of Household Ingredients

eBook - 2007
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A Selection of the Scientific American Book Club explaining why antifreeze is a component of toothpaste and how salt works in shampoo, this fascinating handbook delves into the chemistry of everyday household products. Decoding more than 150 cryptic ingredients, the guide explains each component's structural formula, offers synonymous names, and describes its common uses. This informative resource can serve curious readers as a basic primer to commercial chemistry or as an indexed reference for specific compounds found on a product label. Grouped according to type, these chemical descriptions will dissolve common misunderstandings and help make consumers more product savvy.
Publisher: Made available through hoopla, 2007.
[United States] : Chicago Review Press, 2007.
Characteristics: data file
1 online resource
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital

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Chrislafave
May 31, 2016

I love this book. It's apparent that the other two commenters didn't read this book, perhaps skimming through enough to feel they should grace us with their wisdom. Commenter pridi_o would be delighted to learn that the book does describe, in detail, why antifreeze is added to toothpaste. This book is like mind candy for the nerd in all of us. I jump around in it according to what I'm curious about. But it is definitely not just a chemistry reference. It opens the reader's eyes to exactly why each chemical is used, introducing us to such concepts as buffering and "sequestration agents". It allows readers to get as nerdy as they want because it explains many chemical applications in physical terms. For instance, when describing the UV-absorbing properties of a molecule, it explains how its "resonant bonds", being of comparable length to the wavelengths of UV light, are able to absorb its energy. New avenues of exploration are opened up when the book describes the various frequency bands of UV light and what, physically, bond resonance is.

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pridi_o
Sep 18, 2013

well, it is a very poor book :) if you are a chemist, then the book is too basic; if you are a lay person, then it's above your head. in any scenario, it does not answer the question, why there is an antifreeze in a toothpaste and, the most important, whether it is good for us or not. not a single mentioning of toxicology data... waste of time.

For some reason I was expecting this to be story-oriented, which I would have found much more interesting.

This is more a dictionary; if you have an ingredient you want to know about, you can look it up here. The entry you find will probably be an interesting read, but IMHO it's hard to go through cover-to-cover.

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