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Sodium Carbonate

Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)

What is it?

Sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) is the sodium salt of carbonic acid. Sodium carbonate is also known as sal soda, washing soda, soda ash and soda crystals. It exists as a white powder, absorbs moisture from the air, and forms a strong alkaline aqueous solution. Sodium carbonate is commonly used as a water softener and is used to make glass. Sodium carbonate can exist in nature from the ashes of certain plants, and also can be derived synthetically in the lab from sodium chloride (salt) and limestone via the well-known Solvay process. Sodium carbonate is commonly used in chemical reactions in the pharmaceutical industry as part of acid-base reactions. Sodium carbonate may also be found in toothpastes as an abrasive, in water softeners used for laundry, in automatic dishwasher soaps, and some bubble bath solutions.[1][2][3]

[1] Drugs.com Sodium carbonate. Accessed March 2, 2015 at http://www.drugs.com/dict/sodium-carbonate.html

[2] Medline Plus. Sodium carbonate poisoning. Accessed March 2, 2015 at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002486.htm

[3] The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. Accessed March 2, 2015 at http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/science/sodium-carbonate.html#ixzz3THgDLzvu

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