Silver

They, we did it! (they = team GB), two Golds in the bag yesterday and the tension of the whole nation is now beginning to ease. I would like to think my inspirational blog post helped!

While I was on a roll, I thought I would carry on with the them of medals in the olympics, so today, my focuss is on Silver (please don’t read this team GB, read yesterdays post on Gold instead!

Silver, Ag, atomic number 47, relative atomic mass 107.87. A soft shiny silvery metal that has the best electrical conductivity of all of the metals. Used in jewelry, coins, table ware, dentistry and photographic films, electrical wires and catalysts.

It is also used medically as it has a toxic effect on bactria, viruses, algae and fungi – similar to the toxicity of other heavy metals (such as lead).

This has led to some novel applications to the use of silver and over the last few years here seems to have been a renewed interest in this application (you can even buy socks impregnated with silver to eliminate bad feet odour) but this property has been known for Milena. The Phoenicians stored wine in silver bottles to prevent spoiling. At the turn of the 20th century, people would put silver coins in their milk to prevent it spoiling and silver impregnated bandages were used before the discovery of antibiotics.

These uses of silver rely on the fact that silver (appears) harmless to us humans. Silver salts however, are harmful, possibly carcinogenic so the way that it is used needs to be carefully monitored and controlled.

I wonder how many Olympic athletes are using silver without actually realising?! :mrgreen:

 

 

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