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salts of nitrous acid, HNO2. Nitrites are colorless, crystalline compounds that are thermally less stable than nitrates. The nature of decomposition depends on the cation. For example, 2Ba(NO2)2 = BaO + Ba(NO3)2 + NO2 + ½N2, whereas 2AgNO2 = AgNO3 + Ag + NO.

Almost all nitrites are highly soluble in water (an exception is AgNO2). Nitrites may have both oxidizing and reducing properties.

Nitrites are obtained by the action of a mixture of NO and NO2 on oxides and hydroxides, by the reduction of nitrates, and by exchange reactions. They are used mainly in the production of azo dyes. (The most important nitrites are described in separate articles—see, for example, SODIUM NITRITE.)

References in periodicals archive ?
2005), and reduction of nitrates and nitrites by cultures similar to strain SG-01 was observed in the present study.
Development of estimates of dietary nitrates, nitrites, and nitrosamines for use with the Short Willett Food Frequency Questionnaire.
Along with antioxidants and other substances, the nitrates and nitrites found naturally in unprocessed fruits and vegetables form nitric oxide (NO).
In spite of the weak epidemiological evidence linking nitrites to cancer and the fact that 95 per cent of all the nitrite we ingest comes from bacterial conversion of nitrates naturally found in vegetables, many consumers have a lingering concern about eating nitrite-cured processed meats.
The higher levels of nitrate and nitrites from the market area seen in this study are an indication of the environmental burden of nitrate from the decaying matter and refuse dumps, which is a common feature of most cities in developing nations like Nigeria (Chukwuma, 1994).
Because nitrosamines produce biochemical changes within cells and tissues, it is conceivable that chronic exposure to low levels of nitrites and nitrosamines through processed foods, water, and fertilizers is responsible for the current epidemics of these diseases and the associated increasing mortality rates.
Most (83%) nitrite users reported they had gotten high while using nitrites, but only one in six (17%) nitrite users had used nitrites on five or more days.
Nitrite-oxidizing microbes convert nitrite back into nitrate, and they are the only natural source of nitrate to the oceans.
They suggest that carcinogens caused by cooking red meat at high temperatures or the nitrites in processed meats may explain the link.
By producing nitrates and nitrites directly, the vetch contributes usable nitrogen in a new way.
Users of amphetamines ("crystal"), hallucinogens, or inhaled nitrites ("poppers") had higher rates of HIV infection than non-users, (1) in an analysis of the Vaxgen trial data presented at the 11th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, February 8-11, 2004.
As an aphrodisiac, alkyl nitrites are particularly popular among the homosexual community.