The stuff that is in those little packets that come in new shoes, hard drives, and other computer equipment with "Do Not Eat" and "Throw Away Immediately" plastered all over the packet. Silica takes in moisture from the air. Once heat or vacuum is applied to it, though, the moisture leaves, making silica reusable. Besides keeping moisture away from shoes and hard drives, it is also used in preserving roses and other flowers.

If you wonder why you shouldn't eat silica, put the following 2 true statements together:
1) Silica absorbs water
2) The human body is made up of primarily water

Anthrax can be combined with silica to dry the anthrax spores out, making them linger in the air longer. This was what was done for the anthrax mailings to CBS, NBC, Congress, etc.

Sil"i*ca (?), n. [NL., from L. silex, silics, a flint.] Chem.

Silicon dioxide, SiO. It constitutes ordinary quartz (also opal and tridymite), and is artifically prepared as a very fine, white, tasteless, inodorous powder.


© Webster 1913.

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