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Understanding Sodium Nitrite, its Uses and Associated Hazards

By Royceintl Subscribe to RSS | April 5th 2012 | Views:
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Have you ever been to a meat shop, if you did, you must have seen meat laced with white colour stuff looks like crushed ice that is called Sodium Nitrite? The chemical formula of this fixative and preservative is NaNO2 and is a yellowish colour crystalline power, soluble in water.

Definition of the sodium nitrite-

“Sodium nitrite is the inorganic compound with the chemical formula NaNO2. It is a white to slight yellowish crystalline powder that is very soluble in water and is hygroscopic. It is a useful precursor to a variety of organic compounds, such as pharmaceuticals, dyes, and pesticides, but it is probably best known as a food additive to prevent botulism.” (Source: wikipedia.org)

Here, most of the people also confuse sodium with salt, but in real, they are different. To be clearer, when we talk about salt, it is actually sodium, but on other side, sodium is not a salt.

Any Difference between sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite -

Both the chemicals share the inheritance as they both comes from the same family. The humankind is using these chemicals from ages but nitrites are excessively easier to work with as compared to nitrates. The other difference between these two chemicals is their uses that are discussed below.

What are the uses of Sodium Nitrite?

Unlikely, sodium nitrate, which is used to make explosives, glass and fertilizers, sodium nitrite is used for meat preservation. If you ever tried Ham, you must have seen the pink coloration and sometime distinctive taste, this is what caused by this particular chemical. Besides meat preservation, this chemical is also used in

dyes manufacturing

paint pigments

dye and printing inks

photography

corrosion inhibitor

laboratory reagent

metal coating

rubber manufacturing chemicals

Hazards involved in its uses are -

In United States of America, this particular chemical is produced within prescribed limits, which are as low as they can be. The medical researches done for this particular topic have evidences that imbalance intake of sodium nitrite can adversely affect the haemoglobin by reducing blood ability to carry oxygen. There are evidences that excessive use of this chemical can even lead to cancer as well.

Royceintl - About Author:
To know more about sodium nitrite and its industrial and residential uses, please refer the website http://www.royceintl.com.

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