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  1. Living Things (Habitat) | Week 1, 2 & 3
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  2. Living Things (Uniqueness of Man) | Week 4
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  3. Growth and Development | Week 5 & 6
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  4. Chemicals | Week 7 & 8
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  5. Work, Energy & Power | Week 9
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Lesson 4, Topic 3
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Classes of Chemicals Based on Hazardous Nature

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Highly Hazardous and Toxic Chemicals

Something that is hazardous is dangerous, especially to people’s health or safety. Toxic means poisonous or having the ability to release a poisonous substance, called a toxin, to the body. Chemicals are also based on their potency, and time of manifestation and they include;

1. Highly Hazardous and Toxic Chemicals:

These are substances classified as materials that are both toxic and reactive, and whose potential for human injury is high if released. Highly hazardous chemicals may cause cancer, birth defects, miscarriage, injury, and death from relatively small exposure;

Examples of highly hazardous chemicals are:

a. Ammonia compounds, for example, ammonium permanganate, and ammonium perchlorate.

b. Acetaldehyde.

c. Boron trichloride.

d. Boron trifluoride.

e. Bromine chloride.

f. Carbonyl fluoride.

g. Chlorine dioxide, etc.

2. Moderately Hazardous and Toxic:

These are similar to highly hazardous and toxic chemicals, but the effects are over a period of time or exposure to a high quantity of the substance. Their effects are not seen immediately but will eventually have devastating effects on the victim.

Examples of moderately hazardous and toxic chemicals are:

a. Tobacco.

b. Asbestos dust.

c. Exposure to radiation chemicals over a long period of time, or in large quantity, for example, the after-effects of dropping atomic bombs during the second world war.

d. Addictive drugs like cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, etc.

e. Chemicals that cause harm when not handled properly, for example, petrol, cooking gas, pesticides, insecticides, etc. Long-term exposure to fumes can cause suffocation and death.

3. Non-Hazardous and Non-Toxic Chemicals:

These are substances which are not harmful to the environment, such chemicals can be flushed through drainage. They include the food we eat, the water we drink, etc.

Examples of non-toxic chemicals are:

a. Baking soda is used to clean, deodorize, and soften water.

b. Borax – clean, disinfect, soften water, clean walls, and floors.

c. Lemon-effective against most household bacteria.

d. Washing soda – remove stains, softens water, etc.

e. Isopropyl alcohol – is an excellent disinfectant.

Other examples are sodium, salt, sodium alginate, amylase, alcohol dehydrogenates, calcium carbonate, egg alum, folic acid, etc.


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