CHM110H5 Study Guide - Quiz Guide: Ph Meter, Mississauga, Food Technology

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School
Department
Course
Professor
Assignment 2
November 1, 2014
University of Toronto Mississauga
3359 Mississauga Road
Mississauga, ON L5L 1C6
Dear Dr. Mullin:
I am a first year Life Science student pursuing a career in the medical field that is concerned about the equipment
used in the laboratories. While attending the chemistry labs, I have noticed the electronic devices that measure the
acidity and alkalinity of liquids1, called pH meters, are not functioning as they should. These instruments are
connected to an electronic meter that displays a number corresponding to the strength of the substance measured.
This causes the students and instructors to obtain inaccurate pH meter readings from the device.
If these pH meters are not working as they should could pose a potential danger to students in the laboratory,
products may become damaged, research done will not be accurate, people may be misled, and efforts to improve
conditions may be put to waste.
Students measure a variety of substances using pH meters. If they identify a substance as not acidic with a faulty
pH meter, while it actually is acidic, they can expose acid to themselves and others if they chose to use it as a
cleaner or mix it in with another product. This could cause detrimental effects if an acidic solution gets in contact
with eyes or skin. A student may also believe they are safe to drink a substance if the pH meter reads a neutral
measurement, neither acidic nor basic. This may cause serious health effects if they drank an acid or base.
Explosions in the laboratory may be a result of mixing something thought to be basic, but actually acidic with
another substance that cannot handle that substance as a reactant. Products may also become damaged if an acidic
solution is poured into a machine that cannot withstand acidity. This could lead to having to pay a lot of money to
replace damaged equipment. Small changes in pH, the numerical measure of acidity or alkalinity, corresponds to
large changes in concentrations of substances3, which affects the strength of the substance, and therefore could be
very dangerous.
It is very important for students doing experiments and research projects to have accurate and reliable pH readings.
These students may publish their findings and share it with the general public. If their experiments are based on
faulty pH readings, the person that performed the experiment will have false knowledge and the general public who
read their research paper could be misled into believing in statements that are not true. This could lead to people
causing harm to their bodies if a research paper promoted a diet suggesting to ingest something thought to be
helpful but actually harmful.
Accurate pH measurement is important in many fields, such as biology, medicine, food technology, drinking water
treatment, agriculture, as well as water and sewage treatment2. Therefore it is important for undergraduate students
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Document Summary

I am a first year life science student pursuing a career in the medical field that is concerned about the equipment used in the laboratories. While attending the chemistry labs, i have noticed the electronic devices that measure the acidity and alkalinity of liquids1, called ph meters, are not functioning as they should. These instruments are connected to an electronic meter that displays a number corresponding to the strength of the substance measured. This causes the students and instructors to obtain inaccurate ph meter readings from the device. Students measure a variety of substances using ph meters. This could cause detrimental effects if an acidic solution gets in contact with eyes or skin. A student may also believe they are safe to drink a substance if the ph meter reads a neutral measurement, neither acidic nor basic. This may cause serious health effects if they drank an acid or base.

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