silver nitrate

Chem., Pharm.
a white, crystalline, water-soluble, bitter, corrosive, poisonous powder, AgNO3, produced by the reaction of silver and dilute nitric acid: used chiefly in the manufacture of photographic emulsions and mirrors, as a laboratory reagent, and in medicine as an antiseptic, astringent, and in the routine prophylaxis of ophthalmia neonatorum.
[1880-85]

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Inorganic compound (AgNO3), colourless, transparent crystals with a bitter, caustic, metallic taste.

The most important silver compound, it is used to prepare other silver salts, to silver mirrors, and as a reagent in analysis. It is very soluble in water; dilute solutions are effective against gonococcal bacteria and may be applied to newborns' eyes to prevent blindness from gonorrhea. Ingesting silver nitrate causes violent abdominal pain and gastroenteritis.

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      caustic chemical reagent and compound, important as an antiseptic, in the industrial preparation of other silver salts, and as a reagent in analytical chemistry. Its chemical formula is AgNO3. Applied to the skin and mucous membranes, silver nitrate is used either in stick form as lunar caustic (or caustic pencil) or in solutions of 0.01 percent to 10 percent silver nitrate in water. The stick is used for removing warts and granulation tissue and for cauterizing wounds and ulcerations. Very dilute solutions are astringent and mildly antiseptic. A 1 percent or 2 percent solution is effective against gonococcal bacteria and may be applied to the eyes of newborn infants to ensure against blindness from gonorrhea.

      Pure silver nitrate is an intermediate in the preparation of other silver salts, including the colloidal silver compounds used in medicine and the silver halides incorporated into photographic emulsions.

      In analytical chemistry, aqueous solutions of silver nitrate are used in the volumetric determination of halides, cyanides, and thiocyanates, as well as for the detection of reducing agents and of the cations of various acids that form insoluble silver salts.

      Silver nitrate is made in large quantities by dissolving silver in nitric acid. It crystallizes in transparent plates that melt at 212° C (414° F). The solubility at 20° C (68° F) is 222 grams per 100 grams of water. It is moderately soluble in methyl and ethyl alcohols and to a lesser extent in various other organic solvents. When heated to about 320° C (608° F), silver nitrate loses oxygen and forms silver nitrite. At a red heat, silver is formed.

      Ingestion of silver nitrate causes violent abdominal pains, vomiting, and diarrhea, with the development of gastroenteritis. Treatment includes oral administration of common salt solutions, milk (or white of egg and water), and soap in water to protect the mucous membranes of the esophagus and stomach and precipitate the poisonous free silver ions as silver chloride.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Silver nitrate — Silver nitrate …   Wikipedia

  • silver nitrate — Nitrate Ni trate, n. [Cf. F. nitrate.] (Chem.) A salt of nitric acid. [1913 Webster] {Nitrate of silver}, a white crystalline salt ({AgNO3}), used in photography and as a cauterizing agent; called also {lunar caustic}, and more commonly called… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • silver nitrate — n. a colorless, crystalline salt, AgNO3, prepared by dissolving silver in dilute nitric acid and used in silver plating and photography, as an antiseptic, etc …   English World dictionary

  • silver nitrate — n an irritant compound AgNO3 that in contact with organic matter turns black and is used as a chemical reagent, in photography, and in medicine esp. as an antiseptic and caustic * * * a salt of silver with astringent, caustic, and disinfectant… …   Medical dictionary

  • silver nitrate — sidabro nitratas statusas T sritis chemija formulė AgNO₃ atitikmenys: angl. silver nitrate rus. серебра нитрат; серебро азотнокислое ryšiai: sinonimas – sidabro trioksonitratas …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • silver nitrate — noun a nitrate used in making photographic emulsions; also used in medicine as a cautery and as a topical antibacterial agent • Hypernyms: ↑nitrate, ↑caustic • Hyponyms: ↑lunar caustic • Substance Holonyms: ↑emulsion, ↑photographic emul …   Useful english dictionary

  • silver nitrate — noun The silver salt of nitric acid, AgNO; it is sensitive to light and is used in the preparation of silver halides for photography; it is used in laboratories as a reagent to test for chloride …   Wiktionary

  • silver nitrate — a salt of silver with astringent, caustic, and disinfectant properties. Available as a stick, it is used to destroy warts. Application discolours the skin bluish black. Trade names: AVOCA …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • silver nitrate — /sɪlvə ˈnaɪtreɪt/ (say silvuh nuytrayt) noun a salt, AgNO3, obtained by treating silver with nitric acid, and appearing in commerce as colourless crystals or white fused or moulded masses …   Australian English dictionary

  • silver nitrate — noun Date: 1869 an irritant compound AgNO3 that in contact with organic matter turns black and is used as a chemical reagent, in photography, and in medicine especially as an antiseptic and caustic …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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