Book: A is for Arsenic
My name is Carina Whelan, and I am a first year in Analytical Chemistry at TU Dublin. I choose this degree because I always had an interest in science, and I knew that I wanted to work in a scientific field someday. Chemistry is all around us and I wanted to learn more about it. The chemistry topic I choose was the poison nicotine. I wanted to give the audience an understanding of nicotine. Most people are aware of nicotine as it is very commonly found in cigarettes, and we see it in or everyday lives. Since most people have somewhat an understanding of nicotine, I wanted to give the reader an in depth description of since smoking is still common today. I also wanted to give people a better comprehension of nicotine as it could become useful in the future.
Another thing I found interesting about nicotine is that it can enter a person’s system through skin contact and can cause green tobacco sickness. A chemical structure shows a series of atoms bonded together that form the compound. A compound is a substance made up of molecules that consist of atoms of two or more chemical elements. I used MolView (https://molview.org/) to draw the chemical structure and molecular model of nicotine.
Activated charcoal is used to treat people who have been poisoned as the activated charcoal binds to the poison and inactivates the poison, it also prevents the poison from spreading throughout the body.
‘A is for Arsenic’, by Kathryn Harkup, inspired my exhibit by teaching me about poisons. I found nicotine the most interesting because I was unaware of how nicotine affects the human brain and body. I liked how the book outlined the stories of an Agatha Christie and then gave a description of the poison and its symptoms, effects and how it kills.
I did an infographic because I wanted to portray nicotine in an informative way and hopefully in a way that is understandable. Doing this infographic on nicotine has opened my eyes as I didn’t see nicotine as a poison, just an addiction. However now I see nicotine in a new light. A good quote from the book that drew me into reading it is ‘poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or remedy’. The impression I got from this quote is everything has the potential to be a poison, but it depends on how much of it we are exposed to, as too much exposure to something could cause harmful side-effects no matter how good we think it is for us.