Since we see a lot of postings on social media and a lot of news reports about harmful chemicals, we tend to think about all chemicals as bad, but this is based on a misunderstanding about what chemicals are. Chemicals are actually just substances that can't be broken down into parts without breaking their chemical bonds. They can be natural or synthetic. So whether you clean your home with citrus or with glass cleaner, you're using a chemical. Here are two other chemical applications we need in our lives that we're not typically aware of.

Have you ever used manure to help your veggie garden or flower bed thrive? Well, then you've used a biosolids application to give your plants the chemicals they need to grow better. When you use biosolids, you add important organic matter, bacteria, and nitrogen to the soil, which makes it more fertile. Cow manure is commonly used in biosolids applications, but any kind of manure will improve the soil: horse, chicken, sheep, even human. The reason sewage is not used more often as manure, despite being readily available, is that like pig manure, it smells unpleasant when spread on top of soil, so it must be knifed into the soil, which is a more labor intensive process.

Adding chemicals to water is a sore spot for many people, who no longer trust tap water because of the chemicals, such as fluoride, that governments add to groundwater to make it safe to drink. However, without the addition of chemicals, water reservoirs would become home to harmful bacterial. Water is also modified chemically when it's used in machinery. Water treatment chemicals are also added to industrial water supplies, because without them, dissolved solids within the water (such as salt and lime) can crystallize and foul the boiler's workings. Boiler chemicals also prevent the formation of rust, which can shorten the life of the boiler. Boilers aren't just used in factories, either. Some of us have boilers in our home heating systems, though the boiler may not heat the water all the way to the boiling point. Some of us may also use a high efficiency boiler in our home since they are more earth friendly and economical in the long run.

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