Why Do Onions Make You Cry?

This week Reactions takes science into the kitchen. We’re looking at the chemistry behind why onion chopping makes you cry. We get to the bottom of this teary phenomenon and reveal exactly what chemical mechanisms trigger it. The video also features a few chemistry-backed tips you can try at home to stop the tears before they start.

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Quirky Little Character – AM
Quirky Ukulele – AM

Sean Parsons
Elaine Seward

Adam Dylewski

Executive Producer:
Adam Dylewski

Scientific consultants:
Robert McGorrin, Ph.D.
Sophia Cai


Ever wonder why dogs sniff each others’ butts? Or how Adderall works? Or whether it’s OK to pee in the pool? We’ve got you covered: Reactions a web series about the chemistry that surrounds you every day.

Reactions is produced by the American Chemical Society.

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