Chemical Reactions That Change The World

What is aspirin?

Aspirin is the common name for acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) and belongs to a group of drugs called salicylate. It is a white, crystalline, weakly acidic substance.

Who created aspirin, when was it made and where was it created?

The aspirin we know was created in the late 1890s in the form of acetylsalicylic acid, when chemist Felix Hoffmann at Bayer{company} in Germany used it to lessen his father's rheumatism {disease marked by inflammation and pain in the joints, muscles, or fibrous tissue}. Aspirin has been manufactured and marketed since 1899. Aspirin’s popularity started declining after the development of paracetamol in 1956 and ibuprofen in 1962.

Impact On Society

Aspirin had a big impact on the world, especially in the medical world. Aspirin is the most multipurpose drug on the pharmacist's shelf because it gets rid of headaches and other minor illnesses. Truthfully, it can also prevent serious, life threatening illnesses such as heart attacks and strokes. In today's medical fields, aspirin is well known and used medicine in the world, even astronauts use it. It has last longer than all other drugs that were developed alongside it and every year more information is being found about aspirin that helps us cure more serious diseases like bowel cancer and others. On the contrary, aspirin has side effects, but so far, it is only minor effects, such as allergic reactions and a rare effect is mild bleeding from the lining of the stomach, but that is all.Aspirin has had a big impact in society in both ways. For example, people with cardiovascular diseases can use aspirin to cure or relieve their symptoms. Also, people with arthritis and injuries can relieve their pains with aspirin because it numbs the part of the brain that reacts to pain. Even though aspirin has a good impact in society, it also had a bad impact on society. Aspirin is a medical drug, meaning it affects the body and is meant to help people, but some people have abused it and have become addicted to it. This greatly impacts society with many more people becoming addicted to aspirin and some dying or getting seriously injured due to overdose.

Environmental risks and benefits

Environment risks

Through mass production, aspirin can cause environmental issues where the creation of millions of aspirin requires energy and releases pollution. About 100+ billion aspirin are made a year, proving how the amount of resources and trees cut to produce aspirin is vast.. Also an issue for some countries such as India is the price of the aspirin, where it is made expensive (in contrast to the level of poverty), and has many patients who are dependent on the medicine, unable to obtain it.

Environment benefits

An aspirin a day may do more than keep the doctor away. Using aspirin in the garden can have a beneficial effect on many of your plants it helps boost the plant’s immune system, just like it does for us.

Benefits and Risks to human health


  • Relieves pain, including headaches, muscle and joint aches
  • Reduces fever, inflammation, and swelling
  • Reduces severity of heart attacks
  • Migraine treatment
  • Improves circulation in the gums
  • Improving brain function
  • Reduces prostate cancer risk
  • Fights breast and colon cancer
  • Reduces heart attacks and strokes


  • Blood in stool or urine
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Sneezing and blurriness in the eye
  • Swelling of face and eyelids
  • Skin rash and itching
  • Loss of appetite

Chemical reaction: Word Equation, Skeleton Equation and type of Reaction

Word Equation: Salicylic acid + Acetic anhydride --> Acetylsalicylic acid + Acetic acid

Skeleton Equation: C7H6O3(s) + C4H6O3(l) --> C9H8O4(s) +C2H4O2(l)

Type of Reaction: Aspirin’s chemical reaction doesn’t fall under any of the five reactions because the reactants have an acid. The type of chemical reaction aspirin is called is esterification reaction

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Fun Facts About Aspirin:

Done By: Ankita Kapila