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What are some uses for potassium chloride?

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Quick Answer

Some uses for potassium chloride are to reverse low blood potassium levels and as a fertilizer. It is also a substitute for sodium chloride in water-softening systems and for people who are concerned about their intake of sodium.

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Full Answer

Potassium chloride is used to create metal potassium and potassium hydroxide in the creation of feedstock and is also used as a de-icer. Though it doesn't melt ice or snow as well as calcium chloride, it is considered safer for pets and vegetation. It is also an ingredient in bottled water and is used in processed foods, again to reduce the amount of sodium.

Potassium chloride is also used in lethal injections, because it causes cardiac arrest when a certain dosage is injected into a vein. The compound is used in cosmetics, such as eye makeup, and also found in bath products, hair care products and products that promote personal hygiene. This is because potassium chloride thickens the water component of these products.

The compound is also used as a flux for welding aluminum and is a useful source of beta radiation for fine-tuning equipment that monitors radiation. This works because normal amounts of potassium chloride emit the radioactive isotope potassium 40.

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