1 Chemical Reactions in Society - Paragraph C: Why Bases Likely Cause Pesticides to Break Down K. Zuber April 24, 2020 Jeslyn Wang Chemical Reactions in Society - Paragraph C: Why Bases Likely Cause Pesticides to Break Down 2 Produce pesticides are often hydrocarbon molecules mainly composed of carbon atoms, that have the highest bonding capacity in the centre, and hydrogen atoms on the outside. In water, bases, such as sodium bicarbonate, dissociate and release negative hydroxide ions that destroy hydrocarbons by pulling at the outer hydrogen atoms; destroying the molecule. Hydroxide ions only attract hydrogen atoms with full or partial positive charges but in non-polar covalent hydrocarbons, electrons are shared equally, so hydrogen is typically neutrally charged. However, randomly placed negative electrons can create positive and negative areas of the molecule, occasionally giving the hydrogen atoms a charge. Hydrogen atoms may also become charged when the presence of the negative hydroxide ion pushes electrons away, giving the hydrogen a positive charge.