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Explain the benefits and disadvantages of using organic compounds in our society,...

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jasma82 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted May 7, 2013 at 11:52 PM via web

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Explain the benefits and disadvantages of using organic compounds in our society, including any hazards, risks, or disadvantages in the way they are used.

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ncchemist | eNotes Employee

Posted May 8, 2013 at 1:03 AM (Answer #1)

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Organic chemicals are incredibly widely used throughout many facets of human society.  As with most things, they have provided great benefit to society, but these benefits do often come with a price.  Benefits include such useful things as pharmaceuticals, building materials, fuels, and refrigeration.  The benefits of all of these things are obvious.  You probably utilize these things most everyday.  Modern pharmaceuticals have extended and improved countless lives across the planet.  But pharmaceuticals do have a risk of abuse, overuse (drug resistant strains of bacteria), and bioaccumulation in human tissue.  Fuels allow us to travel with relative convenience and ease, be it something as mundane as getting to work to something as exotic as traveling across the globe.  But fuels are highly flammable.  They can also cause serious environmental damage when released to the environment in large quantities (oil spills).  Refrigeration allows us to keep a variety of foods on hand and lets less food spoil and go to waste.  But the chlorofluorocarbons that make up old types of cooling fluids depleted ozone from the upper atmosphere, thus allowing harmful ultraviolet radiation to penetrate to the planet's surface.

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