What is Sodium Chlorite?
Sodium chlorite is a chemical compound composed of three elements: sodium (Na), chlorine (Cl) and oxygen (O) – denoted as NaClO2. In each molecule, one sodium atom and one chlorine atom combine with two oxygen atoms. Sodium chlorite was first used as an industrial chemical in the 1920’s, has several practical uses, is sold under many brand names and is an $18 million a year industry.
Uses of Sodium Chlorite:
Sodium chlorite is a powerful oxidizer. One of its most common uses is as a disinfectant or purification substance for both food and water. Poultry, meats, vegetables, fruits and seafood are washed or dipped by food processors in a solution of sodium chlorite because of its fungicidal properties. It is also used as a bleaching agent in the paper manufacturing industry as well as the electronic industry.
As an oxidizing agent, it is also used to help de-foul stinky things. It can be found in our municipal water supply, toothpastes and some mouthwashes. Some people even use a sodium chlorite solution to spray on dog feces left in their yard or other unwanted places.
Because of its anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, some say that careful mixed solutions of sodium chlorite can be effective in fighting many illnesses and ailments. The most controversial proponent of sodium chlorite is Jim Humble, the maker of the Miracle Mineral Solution (or MMS), made of 28% NaClO2. He claims that MMS works to cure everything from malaria and AIDS to hepatitis and cancer by ingesting his formula.
While claims like this are unlikely, research is being done to further understand any health benefits of sodium chlorite. Of note, the mixture used to wash foods kills harmful parasites and microbials without harming any healthy bacteria needed by our digestive system. This indicates that sodium chlorite is safe in low dosages and may be internally applicable in some cases.
Properties of Sodium Chlorite:
It is commercially available in two different forms: a dry flakey material or as a liquid solution. Liquid solutions of sodium chlorite are clear to slightly yellow in color, while white in solid form.
As a dry compound, sodium chlorite is a strong oxidizer and therefore promotes combustion in other materials. It is not, however, common for sodium chlorite to burn on its own. In liquid form it is not as dangerous but can still cause possible damage to skin or eyes.
Production of Sodium Chlorite:
The largest producer of sodium chlorite in North America is a corporation called OxyChem, or Occidental Chemical Corporation, based in Dallas Texas. This company has composed a 27 page handbook (click the link) addressing how to produce, transport and store sodium chlorite.
History of Sodium Chlorite:
Sodium chlorite was first discovered around 1785 when the Frenchman Bertholletas developed liquid bleaching agents based on sodium hypochlorite. It was introduced as an industrial chemical in the 1920s when E. Schmidt found that cellulosic fibers could be purified (or bleached) with chlorine dioxide without those fibers being appreciably damaged. Sodium chlorite remained a little known chemical until the 1970’s when Jim Humble claimed to have cured malaria with his MMS… which is as stupid as stupid gets. It’s lunatics like this that create problems for people that actually know the true value of sodium chlorite and it’s proper place as a supplement to one’s wellness.
More on Sodium Chlorite at Livestrong.