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Sunday, 23 December 2012


Both natural and synthetic pigments usually possess highly complex molecules, the colour property often being due to only a part of the molecule. Bleaches usually attack only that small part, yielding another substance similar in chemical structure but colourless. 

Sunlight is the oldest known bleaching agent. The ancient Hebrews and Egyptians dipped their fabrics in water and set them out in the sun to bleach.

During the time of King Louis XIV and Queen Elizabeth I, people bleached their hair with lye (sodium hydroxide). Understandably, that caused their hair to fall out, so wigs started appearing.

Bleaching powder was introduced in 1799 by the Scottish chemist Charles Tennant. It was easier and safer to use on fabrics than the chlorine gas it replaced.

Household bleach is the recommended chemical to decontaminate people exposed to the anthrax virus, by the U.S. F.D.A.


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