Some of the major suppliers of sodium bentonite include Bentonite Direct, Sturgis and Wyo-Ben. Bentonite Direct describes sodium bentonite as having "1,000 uses," and in fact this versatile material is useful for a wide variety of industrial and personal health purposes.
In industry, sodium bentonite is valued for its absorbency. When wet, it swells to 15 to 18 times its dry size, and when it dries, it forms a strong waterproof and chemical-proof seal. These features make the material an environmentally friendly sealant for leaky ponds, landfills, dams, toxic waste disposal sites, abandoned wells, and porous soils. It is widely used in cat litter boxes, and it has long been used to waterproof the basements of homes.
Medicinal uses are also attributed to sodium bentonite. It has been used to treat constipation symptoms such as bloating and gas, purify the body of toxins and support the immune system.
While another attractive feature of the material is that it is very inexpensive, industrial sodium bentonite distributor Sturgis Materials cautions that not all bentonites are the same. "Cheaper is Not better," warns Sturgis, explaining that bentonites are mined clays that inevitably have other materials mixed in with them. Thorough processing of the clay to remove extraneous materials is important for the effectiveness of the final product.