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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In solid silver nitrate, the silver ions are three-coordinated in a trigonal planar arrangement.
Treatment of silver nitrate with base gives silver oxide:
Similarly, this reaction is used in analytical chemistry to confirm the presence of chloride, bromide, or iodide ions can be tested by adding silver nitrate solution. Samples are typically acidifed with dilute nitric acid to remove interfering ions, e.g. carbonate ions and sulfide ions. This step avoids confusion of silver sulfide or silver carbonate precipitates with that of silver halides. The color of precipitate varies with the halide: white (silver chloride), pale yellow/cream (silver bromide), yellow (silver iodide). AgBr and especially AgI photo-decompose to the metal, as evidence by a grayish color on exposed samples.
The Canadian physician C. A. Douglas Ringrose researched the use of silver nitrate for sterilization procedures on women. A specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology, Ringrose believed that the corrosive properties of silver nitrate could be used to block and corrode the fallopian tubes, in a process that he called "office tubal sterilization". The technique was ineffective; in fact at least two women underwent abortions. Ringrose was sued for malpractice, although these suits were unsuccessful.
As with all silver salts, silver nitrate is toxic and corrosive. Brief exposure to the chemical will not produce immediate or even any side effects other than the purple skin stains, but with more exposure, side effects will become more noticeable. It is also very poisonous and can cause burns. Long-term exposure can cause permanent blue-grey staining of eyes, mouth, throat and skin, (argyria) and may cause eye damage. Short contact can lead to deposition of black silver stains on the skin. Besides being very destructive of mucous membranes, it is a skin and eye irritant.
Celling agents, silver nitrate, and sequestrene iron influence adventitious shoot and callus formation from Rubus leaves
Jan 01, 2002; GELLING AGENTS, SILVER NITRATE, AND SEQUESTRENE IRON INFLUENCE ADVENTITIOUS SHOOT AND CALLUS FORMATION FROM RUBUS LEAVES* SUMMARY...