MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: why are some chemicals kept in brown bottles?

Date: Fri Jul 1 13:00:16 2005
Posted By: Peter Fichte, Faculty, Chemistry, Coker College
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 1119618924.Ch

Dear lindapaul:

The simplest answer is that the brown color acts as a filter for light which might otherwise stimulate a chemical reaction causing the material being stored in the bottle to decompose, deteriorate, or change form by what is called an oxidation-reduction reaction.

Check out this website to see the types of "damage" that can be done by light:

Another interesting website shows the relationship between light and color changes in glass:

Finally, check out this website to see the relationship between light and photography:

Most sincerely,
Coker College
300 East College Avenue
Hartsville, South Carolina

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