Topic: Neutralization Reaction
How to treat a bee sting?
Hey. Hold On.
Don’t go near that honeycomb.
Please listen to me.
It is quite dangerous.
Fine. Go ahead.
See, I told you.
Ok. Now, don’t worry.
Put this baking soda solution on the bee stung area.
You got some relief, right?
Do you know why you got relief?
This happened because a neutralization reaction took place when we applied baking soda on the stung area.
The venom of a honey bee contains formic acid.
When it stings us, it injects that acid into our skin.
Formic acid causes immense pain and irritation.
However, when we apply baking soda solution, which is a mild base, on the stung area, it neutralizes the formic acid and cancels its effect.
As a result, the sensation of pain and irritation decreases and we get some relief.
Such a reaction between an acid and a base is called neutralization.
In neutralization, both acidic and basic solutions neutralize the effect of each other and the nature of both acids and bases gets destroyed.
Hey, Wait. What are you doing?
Don’t tease that insect.
It is not a honey bee.
It looks similar to a honey bee but it is a bit longer.
It is called a wasp.
At least this time listen to me.
Ok. Don’t listen and bear the consequences.
Applying the baking soda is not going to help.
See, nothing is happening.
I will tell you what to do.
Pour this vinegar on the stung area, you will get some relief.
Why do you think the baking soda solution did not help in this case?
Earlier, in case of the honey bee, we learnt that its venom is acidic.
Hence, baking soda, being a basic solution helped to neutralize the effect
Now, in case of a wasp, the nature of its venom is basic.
When it stings us, it injects that venom into our skin.
This venom causes us pain and itching.
Now, baking soda is also a basic solution.
Hence, it will not provide any sort of relief.
However, when we pour vinegar, which is a mild acid, on the stung area, the acid, that is, vinegar and the base, that is, the wasp’s venom get neutralized.
As a result, the sensation of pain and itching decreases and we feel better.
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