Formic acid: Caution - Danger!
- Formic acid: Caution - Danger!
- role in the body
For more than 600 years ago naturalists know that ants produce caustic liquid.In 1671, the English naturalist John Ray described this substance.To do this, he gathered a lot of dead ants and prepared their essence.The acid which are found in this essence, later called formic acid (systematic name it - methane acid).
The origins and sources
first synthesized formic acid could the French chemist Joseph Gay-Lussac, used as a raw material prussic acid.In 1855, another French chemist Marcellin Berthelot, developed a synthesis from carbon monoxide (CO), and today for the formic acid is used similar technology.
Formic acid is present in the nettles, and it is responsible for the burning sensation that occurs when contact with this plant.It is also used as a chemical remedy some insects, such as bees and ants.When the body is reduced ant poison gland, formic acid, which is stored in it, and hits the sting jets thrown out (in some individuals - for a distance of one meter!).Because formic acid pH of 2-3 units attacking insects take flight or die.
Formic acid - a colorless liquid that smokes a little in the air.It is a byproduct of the production of acetic acid, but now it is made in other ways, as the production increases the need for it.
use of formic acid
Formic acid is used mainly in the manufacture of animal feed in Europe, as well as a preservative and antibacterial agent.For example, it sprayed hay and silage to stop or slow down the decomposition process.Thus, this feed can be used to feed livestock throughout the winter.
in the production of poultry formic acid is used to kill a variety of bacteria, particularly salmonella Salmonella: unknown facts .It is also used in beekeeping as a fumigant to kill the tick, which is put in the hive.By the way, some birds are placed between their feathers of live ants to get rid of mites that parasitize the skin of birds.It is also used for dyeing textiles and leather for the manufacture of salts of metals such as nickel, cadmium and potassium, in a solvent in the manufacture of toilet water, in the production of lacquers, glass and plasticizers for vinyl resins.Formic acid is used as a preservative in the manufacture of food for humans.
danger of formic acid depends on its concentration.In high concentrations it is very corrosive, has a strong smell, come from her pair inhale that could be dangerous.After contact with skin it leaves burns and blisters;can seriously damage your eyes, mucous membrane of the mouth, throat and respiratory tract.Ingestion of concentrated formic acid in the digestive tract formed ulcers, pain in the abdomen and nausea Nausea - there may be problems with the nervous system .Leaving the formic acid can cause serious damage to the liver and kidneys.
Scientists believe that the formic acid played an important role in the origin of life on earth.In 1970 it was first detected in interstellar space, it is also found in meteorites that fell to the ground.Formic acid is relatively simple in structure and can participate in the formation of more complex molecules of amino acids and nucleic acids, which are in living organisms.Amino acids are the sort of "building blocks" of proteins, nucleic acid molecules - "building blocks" of DNA and RNA.