Organic Compounds & Their Effects on Society



Internal Systems
Matter & Bonding
Chemical Reactions
Solutions & Stability
Gases & Atmosphere
Hydrocarbons & Energy
Forces & Motion
Work, Energy & Power
Waves & Sound
Light & Geometric Optics
Electricity & Magnetism
Return to Biology 11 Home
Return to Chemistry 11 Home
Return to Physics 11 Home


Organic Compounds & Their Effects on Society


September 2001

Wednesday, August 1, 2001 6:49 PM ET

Flight Attendant Sues United

By ANDREW BUCHANAN, Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO (AP) - Flight attendants are being sickened by exposure to pesticides that are sprayed on airplanes serving Australia and New Zealand, a lawsuit filed against United Airlines claims.

United flight attendants are exposed to pesticides sprayed in the cabins of 747-400 airplanes, according to the lawsuit filed by flight attendant Susan Matthews, who says she developed a rash from head to toe after a trip to Australia.

(Source :

This is just one of many current news stories featuring organic compounds and their effect on the environment. In the past year, there have been articles in the news regarding the effect of pesticides on frog populations; the potential of Teflon to be an environmental hazard when it breaks down; the ability of hormone-like chemicals to affect bodily functions; and the development of new designer solvents called ionic liquids to replace hazardous organic solvents

Organic chemicals are found in most of our household products from detergents and cleaners to cosmetics and medicines. They are used in the pesticides that we spray on our lawn and gardens and in the paints that we spray on our houses. We need them in the medicines we use to fight disease and in the sprays used to reduce the threat of West Nile virus. Organic compounds play a major role in our lives, but we are now finding that these benefits to not come without cost to the environment and our health.


pesticides affect male fertility
chlordane still found in foods may cause nervous and digestive disorders
use of chemicals and pesticides seen as a major environmental threat
pesticides linked to frog decline
living near pesticide may boost fetal deaths due to birth defects
food additives in candy
teflon potential environmental hazard
hormone like chemicals can affect bodily functions
lung ailments associated with latex, cleaning products, polyurethane
bisphenol A associated with early onset of puberty
plastic chemicals could cause weight and reproductive problems
ionic liquids could replace organic solvents
flight attendants sickened by exposure to pesticides sprayed during flights


Suggested Graphics or Photos: samples of products containing organic chemicals, frogs, frying pans, mosquitoes

Organic Compounds  Menu
Achievement Task

Chemicals in our environment often have side effects we don't anticipate


Frogs and other moist-skinned amphibians are good early indicators of environmental health. Go to Frogwatch to find out more details.

Radar Provides New Means To Detect, Disable Buried Land Mines




Last Modified 11/04/2001