What makes up the ‘salt’ in salt water?

I am writing this as a very long overdue expansion to a post that I wrote November 25, 2008,  “What happens if I swallow salt water?“. The pertinent information lacking was the composition of the salt in salt water (my sincerest apologies).

The salt in salt water is:

  • 77.6% table salt;
  • 10.88% magnesium chloride;
  • 4.74% epson salts;
  • 3.60% calcium sulfates;
  • 2.47% potassium sulfates;
  • 0.34% lime; and
  • 0.51% trace minerals.

(Did you know that a lot of cities are now using a form of magnesium chloride on roadways instead of rock salt during icy conditions? It is not as toxic to nearby plants and waters.)

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