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Salt Paper sample essay

In its mineral form sodium chloride, NaCl is known as common salt. It is important because it is essential to the health of human beings and of animals. For domestic use it is fined down to what is known as table-salt and small quantities of other chemicals are added to it to keep it free-flowing when in contact with the atmosphere.

Salt and potassium are combined to produce iodized salt, used when iodine is lacking in diet. It s absence causes goiter, the swelling of the thyroid gland.

Livestock as well as humans need salt, and this provided in the form of solid blocks, known as ‘salt-licks’.

Salt is also crucial to the food industry. It is used in meatpacking sausage-making and fish-curing both for seasoning and as a preservative. It is also used in the curing and preserving of hides and in the form of brine of brine for refrigeration purposes.

Salt is extensively used in the chemical industry; in the manufacture of baking soda, sodium bicarbonate; of caustic soda, sodium hydroxide; of hydrochloric acid, of chlorine etc. It is also used in soap-making, and in the manufacture of glaze and porcelain enamel. It also enters metallurgic processes as flux, a compound used to assist the fusing of metals.

Salt lowers the melting point of water, so in combination with grit, it is used for clearing roads of snow and ice. It is also used for water-softening by means of removing calcium and magnesium compounds from tap water. “Children who eat a lot of salty food also tend to down more sugary drinks –which, in turn, might be related to their risk of obesity, a new study suggests.

The findings raise the possibility that curbing kids’ salt intake could end up benefiting their waistlines, researchers report in the Dec. 10 online and January print issue of pediatrics.

The study, of nearly 4,300 Australian children and teens, found that the more salt kids ate each day, the more fluids they drank. The same was true when the researchers zeroed in on the nearly two-thirds of kids who drank sugary beverages: For every 390 milligrams (mg) of sodium they got each day, they averaged an extra 0.6 ounces of sugar-sweetened soda, juice or other drinks. Kids who had more than one sugary drink in a day were 26 percent more likely to be overweight or obese than their peers who avoided sweetened drinks. That connection, however, weakened once the researchers factored in exercise habits.

It’s not exactly surprising that kids with a taste for salty foods would also be fans of soda or other sugary drinks, according to Lana Shandon, an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

But it’s not clear that extra sodium actually made kids drink more sweetened beverages, she pointed out.

“These data don’t tell us anything about cause and effect,” Shandon said. “We don’t know that if we got kids to lower their sodium intake, they’d drink fewer sugar-sweetened beverages.”

Overall, 62 percent had had at least one sugar-sweetened drink. Those kids averaged over 2,500 mg of sodium a day, and just over 5 percent were obese; of their peers who steered clear of sugary drinks, just over 3 percent were obese, and the average sodium intake was a little less than 2,300 mg.

When the researchers looked at obesity risk, they found that kids who had at least one sugar-sweetened drink per day were 26 percent more likely to be overweight or obese. That was with factors like family income and overall calorie intake taken into account.

But then the researchers looked at a subgroup of kids who’d reported on their exercise habits. And once exercise was factored in, the obesity/sugary drink link was no longer statistically significant — which means it could have been a chance finding.

Still, the researchers noted, the findings suggest that keeping kids’ sodium intake down could end up having some impact on their weight.

Shandon was skeptical. “It’s a bit of stretch to say that,” she said. Kids who like their salty snacks may be reaching for those sweet drinks because they like the taste of sweet drinks, Shandon explained — and not because the sodium is making them do it.” News article from http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2012/12/10/could-kids-salt-intake-affect-their-weight .

“Most people are only too aware of the damage and corrosive effects of salt on automobiles. On heavily traveled highways from 40 to 80 tons of salt per lane mile per year may be applied. Landowners along these roads also are aware of the damage to plants that such salt can cause. Deicing salt is usually refined rock salt consisting of about 98.5 percent sodium chloride, 1.2 percent calcium sulfate, 0.1 percent magnesium chloride, and 0.2 percent rock. Calcium chloride is reported to be less toxic to plants but is seldom used because it is much more expensive than rock salt and more difficult to handle. When sprayed onto plants from passing cars and plows, salt may enter plant cells or the spaces between the cells directly. One result of this “salt application” is that buds and small twigs of some plant species lose cold hardiness and are more likely to be killed by freezing. Salt accumulation in the soil also may cause plant injury.

This frequently occurs when salt-laden snow is plowed off streets and sidewalks onto adjacent lawns. Anyone who has tried to get table salt out of a wet shaker knows how readily salt absorbs water. Rock salt exhibits the same property in the soil and absorbs much of the water that would normally be available to roots. Thus, even though soil moisture is plentiful, high amounts of salt can result in a drought-like environment for plants. When salt dissolves in water, sodium and chloride ions separate and may then harm the plants. Chloride ions are readily absorbed by the roots, transported to the leaves, and accumulate there to toxic levels. It is these toxic levels that cause the characteristic marginal leaf scorch. Measures to prevent or lessen injury from salt include using calcium chloride, where feasible, or using sand or cinders. Late season applications (after March 1) are most detrimental and should be avoided if possible since this is the time plants are coming out of dormancy and are most susceptible to injury.” http://www.uvm.edu/pss/ppp/articles/salt1.htm

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