silver nitrate

silver nitrate

Inorganic compound (AgNO), 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.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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