Thursday, May 18, 2006

Once upon a time in Atenco, Mexico...

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Ever wondered about chromium?

The roman god Janus had two faces, not to say that they ment to be two personalities but only to face different directions. He was the god of doors and gates.

The element chromium (Cr) has two well know faces... but two "personalities":

Chromium (III)

"Chromium (III) is an essential nutrient that helps the body use sugar, protein, and fat. Cr (III) is a very stable oxidation state for chromium. In this state, the chrome is labile and kinetically very slow to react or form complexes. It is not a strong oxidiser and the human's natural body acidity is enough for the chrome to keep to this Cr (III) state. (reference)"

Chromium (VI)

"Breathing high levels of chromium (VI) can cause irritation to the nose, such as runny nose, nosebleeds, and ulcers and holes in the nasal septum. Ingesting large amounts of chromium (VI) can cause stomach upsets and ulcers, convulsions, kidney and liver damage, and even death."

"The main reason why Cr (VI) is so toxic is that one of the reduction products of Cr (VI) is Cr (V). Chrome (V) is a known carcinogen and will lodge in any tissue to form cancerous growths. There are reports that chromium (V) is also a factor leading to premature senility in parts of Russia."

"In the body, the acidity and action of enzymes on Cr (VI) will promote the formation in small quantities of Cr (V). However, as the size of this is normally too large to be adopted by a tissue, the Cr (V) will pass out. The only place where the Cr (V) is likely to lodge is in some of the fine capillaries in either the kidneys, intestines or lungs."

"One of the most well known cases of how Cr (VI) impacts the human body is depicted in the movie blockbuster Erin Brockovich. This true story involved a controversial lawsuit against the world’s largest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) as a direct result of a massive communications effort mounted by Ms Erin Brockovich."

How likely is chromium to cause cancer?

"Several studies have shown that chromium (VI) compounds can increase the risk of lung cancer. Animal studies have also shown an increased risk of cancer. The World Health Organization (WHO) has determined that chromium (VI) is a human carcinogen. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that certain chromium (VI) compounds are known to cause cancer in humans. The EPA has determined that chromium (VI) in air is a human carcinogen."

Source: Corrosion Doctors

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


I also have to admit that this is the best moment of my life because I have had the privilege to experience, to think and do as freely as I never was able to.

And I am very grateful for that.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Holy crap!

I am passing for the worst moment of my thesis writing up. I have more than 60% but the rest of it is being a hard one. I wanted to hand in a complete draft to my supervisor at the end of April and guess what?

The reason for the delay is the usual one in my life :-) My stubbornness in not finishing this PhD if it is not with the satisfaction of having completed some “tasks”. You will see, I am more curious than a cat and this life offers me a load of pretty questions, interesting facts and things to do. Science, my work, is just another part of my life that offers endless questions. Yes, I have learned that I cannot have all the answers…but I am very tempted to…ha, ha!!

How can I solve this problem? I know how. It’s easy. I just have to remember… Time is finite!... and the moon is waiting for me.

As said:

"We choose to go to the Moon! We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and our skills ... we do not know what benefits await us ... [but] space is there and we are going to climb it." JFK, 1962

Where are we going today....? Find your place using this interactive map

  • Muttart Conservatory
  • International Airport
  • Princess Theatre
  • Garneau Theatre
  • Citadel
  • Whyte Ave.

Search the blogsphere (results below)

Search Results