Q:

What are mothballs made of?

A:

Quick Answer

Mothballs are made of naphthalene or para-dichlorobenzene, two pesticides that transform straight from a solid to a gas. Because of its flammable nature, naphthalene is a less common component of modern mothball production. The chemicals in mothballs repel insects and are often used in areas where clothing is stored.

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Full Answer

Fumes from mothballs can be harmful to humans. Clothing that has been sealed in a bag with mothballs should be aired out before wearing. Contact with the eyes or the skin can cause irritation and burning. Long-term exposure to mothball fumes can cause damage to the eyes, breathing difficulty, weakness and fatigue.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some homemade snake repellents?

    A:

    Snake repellents can be made at home with basic household ingredients such as oils and cayenne pepper as well as moth balls and sulfur powder. Some repellents, such as those made of peppers and spices, work best when sprayed directly onto snake skins. Others, like moth balls, require strategic placement in areas frequented by snakes; snakes will ingest these items and eventually perish from poisoning.

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  • Q:

    Does putting mothballs in the gas tank improve a car's performance?

    A:

    Putting mothballs in the gas tank does not improve a car's performance. That was not always the case, though. Gasoline used to have such a low octane rating that adding napthalene, which was the active ingredient in old mothballs, did in fact increase the octane rating.

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  • Q:

    Can a solid turn into a gas?

    A:

    A solid can turn directly into a gas through a process called sublimation. In this instance, the solid vaporizes without going through the intermediary liquid stage. For example, in the water cycle, this would involve snow or ice turning directly into water vapor without going through the melting process. The opposite process, in which vapor changes into ice, is known as deposition.

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  • Q:

    What is the term for gas changing to a solid?

    A:

    When a gas changes to a solid, the process is known as deposition. Deposition is one of several phase changes, which are the acts of matter going from one state to another.

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