Sodium is found throughout the earth's surface, notably in the form of chloride. It is the seventh most abundant element, representing 2.83% of the weight of the earth's crust.
Sodium is one of the most electropositive elements in the periodic table. It is thus a powerful reducing agent, making it extremely reactive with the majority of current chemical products.
Thus, it is difficult to handle :
- violent reaction with water, releasing hydrogen,
- oxidation, even combustion, with oxygen in the air.
Particular storage, transport and handling precautions must be observed. Even when these conditions are respected, sodium remains a dangerous product. It should only be used by trained and competent personnel.