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WASHINGTON, April 25, 2019 — Skunks are nocturnal animals that prefer to keep to themselves. However, when they sense danger, this lurking purveyor of biochemical warfare unleashes its primary defense mechanism: a nasty-smelling spray. Similar to tear gas, the scent is so strong it can can cause your eyes to start dripping and make you nauseous. This week on Reactions, get ready for some stinky chemistry as we take a closer look at the compounds that give skunk spray its distinctively horrendous odor:
The American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, is a not-for-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.