Chemicals in Everyday Life

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Synthetic Materials
 Synthetic is a term used to describe materials that are
man made, or do not naturally occur in nature. There
are many materials that we use in our day to day lives
that are synthetic. Some examples of synthetic
materials are: alloys, plastics, composites etc.
Synthetic vs. Natural Materials
 Before synthetic materials, people needed to use
natural materials to meet their needs. Materials such
as wool, cotton, fur and wood are examples of natural
materials. The downside of using natural materials is
that they often have a few properties that people do
not like.
Ex. That sword is strong, but it is just too heavy to use.
Ex. That cotton is warm, but it is not water proof.
Benefits of Synthetic Materials
The use of chemistry to create synthetic materials has
allowed us to create materials that have the positive
characteristics of natural materials without the
negative characteristics.
Ex. This alloy sword is strong and light.
Ex. This polyester jacket is waterproof, but light.
Safety Concerns
 Creating synthetic materials can be very beneficial,
but some chemical reactions can also be very
dangerous. Before trying to create new alloys, plastics
or composites, scientists also must consider that some
chemical reactions are also very dangerous. Before
using any chemical, WHMIS labels must be viewed
and MSDS sheets should be read for safe handling
procedures, safety equipment information, reactivity
data and flammability data etc.