Tag Archives: Athletics

Umbrellas Can’t Help You Here

In many activities such as gymnastics, climbing, and weight lifting, there are dangers present if something were to slip due to moisture buildup on the hands.  Measures need to be taken in order to avoid accidents.  This is why people that participate in those activities put what is known as chalk on their hands before they start.

The chalk that they use is magnesium carbonate (MgCO3).  MgCOis a white salt with a trigonal crystalline structure that has a variety of uses ranging from building material to laxative.  The reason why MgCO3 is used to keep hands dry is that hygroscopic.  A substance that is hygroscopic can attract water molecules to it, through either absorption or absorption, and suspend it within itself.  These substances will attract water from both the atmosphere and perspiration, therefore making sure that the athlete’s hands will stay dry.  Usually, the substance that is absorbing the water goes through some sort of physical change due to its increase in volume.  Thankfully, the amount of water MgCO absorbs absorbs when compared to its volume is minimal and it does not have a noticeable change.  In more extreme cases, hygroscopic substances may act like this:

Sports chalk plays an important role in keeping athletes safe.  It is important for some to use because it can possibly save their life.