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April 19, 2011

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Now, industrial nitrites being sold as edible salt

THREE tons of industrial salt camouflaged as normal edible salt were confiscated yesterday in suburban Songjiang District before they could be dumped onto the market, local authorities said.

Officials said the imitation salt was first found in a grocery store in Qingpu District before they zeroed in on a warehouse in Zhuanqiao business zone of Songjiang.

However, some of the poisonous salt had already been sent to the market. Investigation was still ongoing.

Chen Daoding, official of the Shanghai salt bureau, said the real and fake salt could be distinguished from the package and urged residents to buy salt in big supermarkets or authorized places.

The price of industrial salt, which is mostly poisonous nitrites, is about 300 yuan (US$46) per ton while table salt is about 5 times more expensive.

Nitrites can cause chronic poisoning with symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, laxness and general weakness if about 0.2 to 0.5 grams are consumed.

Eating more than 3 grams of nitrites can be fatal.


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