As what we thought and what we are aware of salts and sodium are the same, but chemically, both actually are different substances. Though sodium can be found in salt doesn’t mean salt is sodium or sodium is salt.
Somewhat related to chemistry, however, there is a big difference between the two elements. Sodium as a chemical element is very reactive especially when combined with water causes ignition; thus, must be stored in a place where no moisture can be found. Different in nature, though, both can be an essential element of life.
Where Can Salts and Sodium be Found and How It Helps Our Daily Lives
Salts and sodium have almost the same use not just at home but in certain industries as well, such as the hospital settings, mining industry, and paper and textile manufacturing. Salts and sodium are also one of the natural elements of water, both can be found in seawater, springs, lakes, waterfalls, and oceans.
Already present in any forms of water, therefore to conclude, salts and sodium in drinking water can also be found. Straight from the spring, lakes, and dams, water goes through the water sanitation treatment and with poorly operating systems, though filtered and chlorinated (chlorine is also derived from salts and sodium as well), salts and sodium were partially removed from the water.
There are many uses for salts and sodium, we all know that salt can be used anywhere may it be at home and certain industries such as agriculture, paper making, industrial chemicals and many more. At home, salt is mainly used as an additive to food that we cook and gives it a delightful taste however you can never add pure sodium in food. It will have a different taste and a different reaction. In papermaking and textiles industry, salt is also used to make caustic soda and chlorine.
Caustic soda is used to process wood fibers while chlorine is used to bleach the pulp. In the agricultural settings though, like humans, salt is also a nutritional element for livestock to essentially keep them healthy and disease free. Sodium is also used in mining, water treatment, paper making, textile manufacturing, and most importantly in the hospital and pharmaceutical industry, for a lot of medications and intravenous solutions were derived from sodium.
Also, sodium is used to make titanium, sodium hydride, sodium peroxide, sodium amide, and sodium cyanide. Sodium peroxide is used to bleach wood fiber to make paper and textiles, and when mixed with water produces sodium hydroxide that is used to make sodium salts, detergents, synthesize organic matters and also aids in regulating the acidity and alkalinity of water.
With correct dosing and mixture with water, sodium peroxide also produces hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is used as an oxidizer, bleaching agent and wound disinfectant as well. Sodium also produces sodium amide which is usually found in liquid ammonia solution and as well as produce sodium cyanide which is used to extract gold and other metals in the mining industry.
How can salt and sodium affect our health?
To function effectively in our daily lives, there should be a balance. Not just at home, at work or leisure, there should also be balance in our health and nutrition. Certain changes in our body can alter not just our health but also affect our surrounding. When it comes to sodium in the body, there should also be equilibrium. Certain diseases can occur when there is a decrease or increase of sodium in the body.
Little do we know, there is the presence of salts and sodium in drinking water that is enough to help regulate the body’s daily sodium need. The ideal sodium level that is needed by the body is between 136-140mml/L. Though vital as they are, salts and sodium can be detrimental to health too for certain level changes can lead to certain diseases namely hypernatremia and hyponatremia.
The increase sodium level in the body is medically called Hypernatremia and is caused by dehydration or by not drinking enough water to dilute the sodium in our body or sometimes caused by certain medicines and diseases or can also be caused by high levels of a specific hormone called aldosterone, an anti-diuretic hormone.
Decreased in sodium level can be the effect of burns, excessive sweating, poor nutrition or drinking too much water and sometimes caused by certain diseases as well. To make sure that we balance the sodium level in our body we should make sure that we include this is our daily diet.
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