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Why does cutting onions make you cry? Hard?

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According to www.chemistry.about.com : When you cut an onion, you break cells, releasing their contents. Amino acid sulfoxides form sulfenic acids. Enzymes that were kept separate now are free to mix with the sulfenic acids to produce propanethiol S-oxide, a volatile sulfur compound that wafts upward toward your eyes. This gas reacts with the water in your tears to form sulfuric acid. The sulfuric acid burns, stimulating your eyes to release more tears to wash the irritant away.

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So what would happen if I stuck my tongue out? :p
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Tears would roll onto it ?
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The same thing, except you would look really silly while you cry.
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The old advice was to hold a wooden match between your teeth while you cut the onion, with the match head sticking outside of your mouth. I've tried it, and I don't know if it really worked, or if the onions I was chopping weren't very strong.
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that was very start i understood most of it
-monica ;D
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It's been way too long since high school chem class, so I had to resort to looking it up, lol.
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Nice. At least you didn't just say: Check out such-n-suchasite.com for blah blah blah, like I would have!
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It is just as easy to click on the site, copy and paste, and voila! Instant info, lol!
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Yeah but you have to read what to copy/paste. ( :
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LOL... very true. Well, at least YOU don't do like some of the truly strange ones on here do and spout nonsense and throw in a link to make it look legit!
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You mean like the girl I reported for being off topic? I've seen worse.
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See my intrests and you MIGHT see my pet peeve. It may not have fit though. I'll see if I can do it now. ( :
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U mean my tongue would hurt and water too?
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supernatural2005

The fumes. Put it in the fridge over night to not cry while cutting it.

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No that won't work that's where we keep them all the time ?
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Wow really? Thanks!
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EyeWonder
Nope, didn't work. I just tearfully tried it
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the sulphur from the onion mixes with your eyes and makes a mild sulfuric acid

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one_life

the chemicals in it or something when you sniff it, it brings tears :'(

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When it comes to shedding tears, there are three different types. The first, known as basal tears, are the involuntary kind that provide lubrication needed for efficient eye function. The second, and perhaps the most recognizable type, are psychic tears. Fans of movies like Old Yeller or The Notebook are surely familiar with them. Unlike with basal tears, these are released when a stimulus invokes an emotional reaction like sadness. While the resulting waterworks can sometimes occur uncontrollably, it?s by no means involuntary.

The third and most important type when talking about onions, are known as reflex tears. As the name implies, these occur as a reflex to some external stimulus acting on the eye. Forms of stimuli range from being cut by a sharp object to inflammation in the presence of natural irritants like dust or pepper. With onions, it?s the naturally occurring sulfur compounds known as sulfides that are responsible for causing the characteristic reaction. The compound to blame? syn-propanethial S-oxide. Sulfides are converted to syn-propanethial S-oxide enzymes called allinases, which are released when the cells of the onion are damaged by the blade of your knife. This potent lachrymatory agent is then released as a gas and causes the stinging sensation many of you know all too well.

The tears that follow are released not because the pain is too much to handle, but because your body is attempting to dilute or wash away this onion-derived irritant. Keep in mind that not all onions are created equal. The sweet vidalia onion, for instance, contains low levels of sulfide and is known for its subtle, and some say sweet, onion taste. As expected, this translates to a weaker lachrymatory reaction.

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That is a very lengthy reply. Geezz
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I cry because it means I'm cooking instead of eating at a restaurant. ;(

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OMG!!! That's great!!!! :)
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That's soooo true!
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THAT WAS SO FUNNY!!!!!!!!! haha
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When you cut an onion, you break cells, releasing their contents. Amino acid sulfoxides form sulfenic acids. Enzymes that were kept separate now are free to mix with the sulfenic acids to produce propanethiol S-oxide, a volatile sulfur compound that wafts upward toward your eyes. This gas reacts with the water in your tears to form sulfuric acid. The sulfuric acid burns, stimulating your eyes to release more tears to wash the irritant away.
Cooking the onion inactivates the enzyme, so while the smell of cooked onions may be strong, it doesn't burn your eyes. Aside from wearing safety goggles or running a fan, you can keep from crying by refrigerating your onion before cutting it (slows reactions and changes the chemistry inside the onion) or by cutting the onion under water.

The sulfur-containing compounds also leave a characteristic odor on your fingers. You may be able to remove or reduce some of the smell by wiping your fingers on a stainless steel odor eater.

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The fumes from the onion triggers something in your eyes making them tear up. Your technically not crying.

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BRIELLELONG

because the smell is very strong.

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Unless you've avoided cooking, you've probably cut up an onion and experienced the burning and tearing you get from the vapors. When you cut an onion, you break cells, releasing their contents. Amino acid sulfoxides form sulfenic acids. Enzymes that were kept separate now are free to mix with the sulfenic acids to produce propanethiol S-oxide, a volatile sulfur compound that wafts upward toward your eyes. This gas reacts with the water in your tears to form sulfuric acid. The sulfuric acid burns, stimulating your eyes to release more tears to wash the irritant away.

Cooking the onion inactivates the enzyme, so while the smell of cooked onions may be strong, it doesn't burn your eyes. Aside from wearing safety goggles or running a fan, you can keep from crying by refrigerating your onion before cutting it (slows reactions and changes the chemistry inside the onion) or by cutting the onion under water.

The sulfur-containing compounds also leave a characteristic odor on your fingers. You may be able to remove or reduce some of the smell by wiping your fingers on a stainless steel odor eater.

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Cutting onions make you cry hard because it is cleaning out the toxins in your body!

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Oh yeah that's right!
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it never makes me cry lol maybe bacause i always eat them lol

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Hehe!
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lol
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love yr pic!!!!!!!!!!!
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Thanks!
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Did you know, that if you wear your contact lenses while cutting onions, you will not cry? 100% effective.

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Really? Next time I'll wear them thanks!
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its their defense mechanisum

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Ah u guys are funny!
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why
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It's just a bunch of people are answering funny is all sorry.
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oh thats every one acting dum on here and im the only oneusing logic
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hahaha
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haha what
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Use a really sharp knife. This lessens the burning because you are cutting the onions cleanly and fast!

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When i cut onions i cry because i get sad, i love onions and it makes me unhappy to se them get sliced.

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Oh that's great how do u come up with these answers?
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Interesting... btw, I was one of the ones who rated it good. You gave your opinion!
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great answer
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So funny!
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There is something in onions that is release into the air that irritates your eyes and makes it get teary to get the chemical out.

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Huh! Thank u!
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you dont cry ur eyes water and the fumes make it happen

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To simplify the sulphur in the onion is released, it hits the water in your eyes and turns into sulphuric acid.

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No wonder! It hurts!!!!
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the gases

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When the sulfur gets in your eyes, they burn so you generate tears to make the burn stop

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Eric Block, is referred on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onion) to report as onions are sliced, the cells are smashed, Damage of cells allows an enzymes called alliinases to release. this enzyme is responsible to break down amino acid sulfoxides to produce sulfenic acids especially sulfenic acid, 1-propenesulfenic acid. This sulfenic acid is rapidly rearranged by another enzyme, called the lachrymatory factor synthase to produce a volatile gas syn-propanethial-S-oxide which is onion lachrymatory factor.
Scott, Thomas has also been referred on the website to report that lachrymatory factor gas reaches to the eyes, where it activates sensory neurons, creating a stinging sensation. Tear glands produce tears to dilute and flush out lachrymatory factor gas.

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Cry "hard"? You mean as in bawling? That's pretty strange, fella. The fumes can irritate your eyes if you're close enough to the cutting action, causing a few involuntary tears to be shed. But unless you're terribly sad, I don't see why you'd be weeping while cutting onions.

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Haha! No no, I kinda meant like it hurt really bad and ur eyes really water so u can't see.
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EyeWonder

A gas mask with a mustard gas filter will keep the tears back. But the reason is what the folks above wrote

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EyeWonder
Oh, I forgot... You may feel sorry for the onion
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you can chew gum and it will help

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tht actually works
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Thats cool, i never knew that.
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The amino acid sulfoxides, is very hard on your eyes which makes your eyes water when cutting onions.
The amino acid is the only reason your eyes water, gum will not help maybe some sort of goggles will help though.
_Kalene Mia_

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When you cut an onion, you break cells, releasing their contents.Try chilling your onion before cutting it.

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Okay!
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Its something when you smell, so wearing goggles doesn't help much.

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