chemistry question #1878

Loubelle I. Depita, a 17 year old female from Koronadal City, South Cotabato, Philippines asks on January 28, 2004,


Why does Nitric Acid stain the human skin yellow?

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the answer

Barry Shell answered on January 28, 2004, A:

Nitric acid causes nitration of organic phenyl groups naturally present in skin proteins.  Nitrated phenyl groups tend to be yellow or brown in color.

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