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What really happens chemically when we do not take our bath.

It is known that lack of bathing causes an offensive odour but do we really know the substance we are inhaling? Do we even know the source and cause of the smell. Today we will see what really is the chemical process behind it.

The Human skin is made up of small particles called Elements. Examples of such elements are Calcium, Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen and other trace elements. By natural selection process, Hydrogen and Nitrogen will always combine anywhere they find themselves to form a compound called Ammonia. It can therefore be said that our skin is a underlying bedding of ammonia.

When we sweat, an element called Chlorine is released from the body. This chlorine react with the ammonia of the skin according to the equation below:

As you can see, the process produces another compound called ammonium chloride which is a sticky solids with a pungent smell. The Ammonium Chloride if not removed can undergo a secondary reaction which may lead to pigmentation of melanin and residual smell.

Also from the reaction, a second molecule is produced called Nitrogen gas. Nitrogen gas will undergo a secondary reaction as shown below

This produces another compound called Nitrogen dioxide. This gas has a worse odour than the Ammonium Chloride and it can diffuse farer because it is a gas.

The Nitrogen dioxide if not also properly treated can combine with atmospheric vapour to form an acid called trioxonitrate(v) acid which can cause skin irritation.

It should be noted that due to the increased activities of the endocrine systems in females, they produces more sweat and thus, are liable to produce more pungent smell. So they are advised to bath more regularly.


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Calcium Hydrogen Nitrogen


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