Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Deutrium Oxide

  1. Mar 19, 2004 #1
    I recently noticed this on one of my favorite sites (http://www.unitednuclear.com/supplies.htm)- They are selling heavy water to civilains-- is that stuff legal to buy, I thought it was heavily regulated?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 21, 2004 #2
    Wow that site is awsome!!! There are so many cool things on there. I dont know about heavy watter i agree with you i think there are some laws on civilians owning heavy watter. Maybe its only for things like scientists at schools or science teachers. But ya thanks for posting that site its awsome!!!
     
  4. Mar 31, 2004 #3

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Deuterium is a stable component of normal water. No reason to restrict its sale. Tritium (the other hydrogen isotope/ type of heavy water) on the other hand...no.
     
  5. Aug 23, 2004 #4
    dumb question: is deuterium oxide safe to drink?
     
  6. Aug 23, 2004 #5
    Yes, it is. Chemically it's identical to water and is not radioactive.
     
  7. Aug 24, 2004 #6
    Deuterium oxide is in fact very slightly toxic due to the fact that deuterium is not completely chemically identical to normal hydrogen. It tends to form slighly stronger covalent bonds than normal hydrogen, meaning that many reactions involving deuterium will take place slower than their normal hydrogen equivalents. This can have a detrimental effect on metabolic processes. That said, you'd have to drink a lot of D2O to be in any danger.
     
  8. Aug 24, 2004 #7
    I don't know about the legality of owning heavy water, but as its used quite a bit in science labs I wouldn't have thought there were that many restrictions. Export of D20 is restricted because of its potential use in nuclear programs.

    I've always assumed that the reactions in the body are delicately balanced, so D20 would be fairly toxic. However a google search brought up the following:
    http://ajplegacy.physiology.org/cgi/content/abstract/201/2/357
    suggesting that the toxic limit is higher than I thought.
     
  9. Aug 24, 2004 #8
    Well, you learn something new every day.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?