IMVS Division of Pathology
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Woodville Road, Woodville, South Australia 5011
Did you know that using tap water to dilute nitric acid may cause the solution to explode because of contaminants in the water?
There is such a report in the literature. Only distilled or deionised water should be used to dilute nitric acid. In fact there are many substances incompatible with nitric acid so great care is required when handling it. It is used in a method to demonstrate mitochondria and it can be used for decalcification of bone but the demonstration of mitochondria is rarely called for and there are better decalcifying agents than those which use nitric acid. But it is also used in Perneyi's fluid which we discussed in Problem 3 and it is useful when used for that application.
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© Roy C. Ellis 2002