why does it sting so badly when smoke gets in our eyes?

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Offline Emilio Romero

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Hi, can anyone tell me why does it sting so badly when smoke gets in our eyes?
Thanks
emilio


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Ethos

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why does it sting so badly when smoke gets in our eyes?
« Reply #1 on: 26/02/2009 01:06:08 »
Have you ever got tobacco into a cut or abrasion? The nicotine in the tobacco plant is very irritating to the skin and also to the eye. Tobacco smoke carrys a substantial quanity of nicotine with it and consequently, will also irritate the eye.

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Offline Chemistry4me

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why does it sting so badly when smoke gets in our eyes?
« Reply #2 on: 26/02/2009 07:56:00 »
Is it the same as crying when chopping onions?

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Offline Chemistry4me

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why does it sting so badly when smoke gets in our eyes?
« Reply #3 on: 26/02/2009 08:15:59 »
I think it could be acrolein and/or formaldehyde which irritates the eyes, and/or some sulfur compound (if it is the same as the 'crying while chopping onions' effect).

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Offline Madidus_Scientia

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why does it sting so badly when smoke gets in our eyes?
« Reply #4 on: 26/02/2009 16:03:59 »
I reckon it's because smoke molecules are so small and there's so many of them, that every pain receptor that can be hit by a smoke particle does get hit.

That's just guessing though, I don't really know.