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Lunar Caustic is an ancient name for Silver Nitrate. Early alchemists gave the name ‘lunar’ to the metal we know as Silver due to its properties which resembled those of the silvery moon. Lunar Caustic was discovered in the Middle Ages by a Dominican Friar and later a Bishop called Albertus Magnus. A scientisc, theologist, botanist, astrologist, astronomist and early chemist, Albertus Magnus wrote many volumes including ‘Metals and Materials’ and ‘The Secrets of Chemistry’.
In addition to being known as Lunar Caustic, Silver Nitrate was also known for many years as Nitric Acid Silver. Albertus Magnus dedicated many years of study and research into experiments with light-sensitive chemicals such as Silver Nitrate.
Silver Nitrate has the chemical formula of AgNO3 and is an inorganic compound of salt containing Silver. Readily soluble in water, it is most widely used to determine and measure the quantity of Chloride in a product, using Volhard’s titration method. This requires the scientist to observe the colour change and measure the precipitate in the solution.
Lunar Caustic is a corrosive and oxidising Substance which is Hazardous to the Environment. It has an EC Number 231-853-9 and a CAS Number 7761-88-8. Up to 1 December 2010, Silver Nitrate is classified under CHiP Regulations 'Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging) For Supply Regulations 2009. It is classified as:-
From 1 December 2010, Silver Nitrate is classified under CLP Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008. It is classified as:-
Both of these classifications must be shown on the SDS Data Sheet (Safety Data Sheet) until 1 June 2015, after which time only the CLP Regulations requirements need to be shown.
Lunar Caustic must be stored well away from organic compounds. Silver Nitrate hazards relate mostly to the blackening of skin if even a small quantity of the material comes into contact with skin. Longer exposure can cause the skin to burn and can cause serious eye damage. Lunar Caustic is destructive to the mucous membranes of the nasal passages and respiratory tract so adequate ventilation should always be used and the product should never be inhaled.
Lunar Caustic has a wide number of uses ranging from mirroring glass, a range of uses in photography, the recycling of water of space missions and coating catheters to prevent the risk of infection.
In ancient times, a solution of Silver Nitrate was put into the eyes of newborn babies as a preventative measure to protect them against their mother’s gonorrhoea which could cause blindness in infants. However, incorrect dosage also had its drawbacks and could even lead to blindness in babies, which is exactly what it was being used to protect against.
For further information on other aspects of Silver Nitrate, AgNO3, Lunar Caustic or Nitric Acid Silver, please refer to the relevant pages of this website.
http://www.silver-nitrate.co.uk/lunar-caustic | Saved Thursday, November 17th, 2011 - 11:35 AM