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Heavy water and plants

Beverly Erlebacher bae at cs.toronto.edu
Wed Sep 26 20:57:37 EST 2001

In article <8Lts7.1596$YH7.222234834 at newssvr17.news.prodigy.com>,
Cereoid* <cereoid at prodigy.net> wrote:
>That's right, "Heavy water" is the same stuff used in building atomic bombs.

It's used in many nuclear reactors that provide electrical power.

>Makes one wonder where Carsten Richter of Humboldt-University in Berlin
>got it and why he wants to play with it. The stuff is toxic and radioactive.

It's only toxic if you consume heavy water as a substantial fraction of 
your water intake.  This is probably one of the most expensive methods
available to poison yourself, as well as one of the most tedious.

Heavy water is used in chemistry as a label for some spectroscopic stuff,
but I can't remember the details.  Maybe somebody else can tell us.  You
can buy it from most lab chemical suppliers.

It's not radioactive, either.  You may be thinking of tritium, which is
widely used as a tracer in biology.

>Pity the poor impressionable athletes.
>You wouldn't catch me drinking peroxide.

I bet the snake-oil form is vastly more expensive than the stuff from the

Rinsing your mouth with water plus a bit of peroxide is supposed to be 
good for gum disease.  I think it's still used for thrush (trench mouth -
to get back to plants, people dig trenches when gardening sometimes....).

>There have been liquid plant foods sold that contain peroxide.

I suppose you could use it to disinfect seeds, or maybe to help break seed
dormancy by breaking down germination inhibitors.  It's more expensive and
not as strong as laudry bleach though.

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