How Do Pain-Killers Affect Plant Growth?

Humans contaminate soil both intentionally and accidentally all the time. Chemicals from things like pharmaceutical drugs, fertilizer, gasoline, and pesticides leak into the soil, even affecting the health of plants and animals. Our hypothesis is that if we water our tomato plants with 3 tablets of Tylenol dissolved in water, then the plants will grow faster and taller than the control plants because Acetaminophen has Salicylic Acid in it, which helps the plant by acting as a stimulant that allows the plant to indicate if it is being damaged, as well as playing a vital role in the growth and development of a plant. Even though Midol has the same amount of Acetaminophen in it as Tylenol, it also has caffeine which can damage plant cells. According to our research, the Advil, which contains ibuprofen, will delay plant and root growth. We chose this experiment because we wanted to find out exactly how the chemicals in pharmaceutical drugs affect plant growth and overall health. In our experiment, we want to find out how assorted brands of pain relievers affect the growth of plants. We dissolved the same amount of each brand of pain killer into plastic jugs full of water and are watering our plants with their respective type of water every other day. The pain killers we used were Advil, Midol, and Tylenol because these are commonly used pain relievers in an average household. We used twelve tomato plants, making sure to keep our plants in the same environment and giving them the same amount of water. After growing our tomato plants for 21 days (about 3 weeks) we saw some positive and negative results. Our Midol and Tylenol plants grew slightly less than our control plants and the Advil plants completely died. We have come to find that the Advil plants had died because of the active ingredients which include ibuprofen, diphenhydramine, and citrate. After research, we noticed a pattern in the studies showing that the ibuprofen slows the growth rate in the roots of the plants. We also found that diphenhydramine has a side effect of poor coordination of the cells which usually causes drowsiness in a human being, but we believe that because of this poor coordination the plants could not take in the proper nutrients needed by not being able to photosynthesize properly leading it to its death. Citrate acid also tends to burn roots that absorb it or water with it infused in it. We tend to believe that the Tylenol and Midol survived longer and grew more because they have acetaminophen which holds salic acid which plays an important part in the growth of plants. It is a plant hormone that acts as a stimulant of the cell to help withstand environmental stress conditions, called abiotic and biotic stress.

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