Classes of Chemicals Based on Uses
Chemicals can be classified based on their use, or hazardous nature;
a. Pharmaceutical / Cosmetics:
These are substances that have the power to heal certain diseases. They are substances used in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of disease and for restoring, correcting, or modifying organic functions.
Examples of pharmaceutical chemicals are as follows:
1. Bismuth Trioxocarbonate (IV) is used to cure stomach disorders.
2. Potassium bromide: used as a sedative.
3. Quinine: For treatment of malaria fever.
4. Mercury (I) Chloride: Used as a purgative.
5. Insulin: For treatment of diabetes.
6. Aspirin: Used as a pain reliever.
These are chemicals used in beauty products like soaps, creams, etc. examples are:
1. 10-hydroxy Decanoic Acid: Used as skin conditioning and occlusive agent.
2. Acetylated Castor Oil: Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics.
3. Hexanediol: A preservative used in cosmetics.
4. Lanolin: This is used in the skincare and cosmetics industry as an effective emollient. Commonly used in body creams and lotions to lock in much-needed moisture, and prevent water loss.
b. Nuclear Chemicals:
Nuclear chemicals are the chemicals that undergo nuclear reactions. A nuclear reaction is a reaction that affects the nucleus of an atom, like radioactivity. Many kinds of nuclear reactions occur in response to the absorption of particles, such as neutrons or protons. Examples of nuclear elements are: polonium, radium, thorium, helium, uranium, actinium, lithium, etc.
These are the chemicals used in agriculture, such as fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, or soil treatment that improves the production of crops. These are also chemicals used in animal husbandry, such as antibiotics and hormones.
Overuse of these chemicals has severe effects on the environment, which may lead to immediate and long-term effects. Investigating farmers’ awareness of agrochemical residue and behaviours, regarding the application is important.
d. Industrial Chemicals:
These are chemicals developed or manufactured for use in industrial operations, or research by industry, government, or academia.
Examples of such chemicals are as follows:
- Cyanogen chloride.
e. Laboratory Chemicals:
Laboratory chemicals are chemicals used in the laboratory. They are organic and inorganic chemicals used in the laboratory. Many of them are available in pure form, others are available as reagents.
Common reagents found in the laboratory are:
- Metal Oxides and Carbonates: Used in pottery.
- Organic Acids: Used for home brewing.
- Solvents and Acids: Used in cleaning materials.
- Chlorinating Agents such as Calcium Hypochlorite: Used in swimming pools and water purification.
- Photographic Chemicals: such as silver nitrate.