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Why do onions make you cry? (How Stuff Works)
"Whenever George Washington felt a telltale tickle in his throat or sniffle sneaking up, he tucked in to a particularly pungent bedtime snack: an onion."
Why does chopping an onion make you cry? (loc.gov)
"Onions produce the chemical irritant known as syn-propanethial-S-oxide. It stimulates the eyes' lachrymal glands so they release tears. Scientists used to blame the enzyme allinase for the instability of substances in a cut onion. Recent studies from Japan, however, proved that lachrymatory-factor synthase, (a previously undiscovered enzyme) is the culprit (Imani et al, 2002)."