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Inorganic compound of sodium and chlorine, a salt in which ionic bonds hold the two components in the familiar white crystals. Salt is essential to health as a source of sodium; blood and all other physiological fluids are dilute salt solutions. One of the most widely employed materials of the chemical industry, it is used in manufacturing chlorine, caustic soda, sodium carbonate, bicarbonate of soda, soap, and chlorine bleach, as well as in ceramic glazes, metallurgy, food preservation, curing of hides, road de-icing, water softening, photography, and many consumer products, including mineral waters, mouthwashes, and table salt itself. It is mined, extracted from seawater, and obtained from dry salt lakes called pans. See alsohalite.
Variants of SODIUM CHLORIDE
sodium chloride or table salt
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on sodium chloride, visit Britannica.com.