Why are the higher alkanes more toxic?

Answer 1

It relates to their increasing affinity for accumulation in body fats.

Since the human body is mostly made of water and higher alkanes are more hydrophobic than lower ones, when consumed, they tend to be preferentially stored in our bodies' fat cells. Hydrophobic (polar) substances can be filtered out by our kidneys and eliminated in urine, but non-polar hydrophobic impurities cannot be removed from fat; instead, they simply accumulate until they reach a point where toxicity becomes a problem.

Although toxicity specifically refers to the capacity to harm organisms, it should be noted that lower alkanes, like ethane, may still be dangerous in that you can asphyxiate if concentrations are very high. You can asphyxiate in water (drowing), but that does not imply that water is toxic.

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Answer 2

Higher alkanes are more toxic because they are less soluble in water, leading to greater accumulation in biological tissues. Additionally, they have longer carbon chains, which can disrupt cell membranes and interfere with cellular processes more severely compared to shorter-chain alkanes.

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Answer from HIX Tutor

When evaluating a one-sided limit, you need to be careful when a quantity is approaching zero since its sign is different depending on which way it is approaching zero from. Let us look at some examples.

When evaluating a one-sided limit, you need to be careful when a quantity is approaching zero since its sign is different depending on which way it is approaching zero from. Let us look at some examples.

When evaluating a one-sided limit, you need to be careful when a quantity is approaching zero since its sign is different depending on which way it is approaching zero from. Let us look at some examples.

When evaluating a one-sided limit, you need to be careful when a quantity is approaching zero since its sign is different depending on which way it is approaching zero from. Let us look at some examples.

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