Pollutant Information: Sodium 

About Sodium

Category: Heavy metals and base cations

Base cations such as sodium are important in the environment because deposition has an impact upon surface pH, causing an increase in alkalinity, thereby buffering or neutralizing the effects of acidity generated by sulphur and nitrogen. It is for this reason these emissions are of interest, rather than their negative impacts upon human health or ecosystems.

Construction generated 35% of UK emissions in 2021, iron and steel production was responsible for 26% of total emissions in that year, while domestic, industrial and power station use of coal contributed 11%. Domestic combustion of wood also contributed to 5% to the total emissions in 2021. Overall, sodium emissions have decreased by 79% since 1990.

» View and Download Sodium emission summary data

Time series graph