Halite, our kitchen salt, is extremely relevant to the human kind since the beginning of the civilization.
In Ancient History, salt was considered the ‘fifth element’, as essential as fire, earth, water and air. Halite comes from the Greek Halos, meaning salt, but Romans named it Salus. The term ‘salary’ is originated from Imperial Rome, when payments were performed with valuable salt portions, and not in currency.
Besides the universal culinary use, salt is a significant raw material in chemical industry to product sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), chlorine, hydrochloric acid, plastics, including PVC, and other products. It is also used extensively in its natural state, in fertilizers, to tan leather, for feeding supplementation in cattle raising, food conservation and ice handling in cold climate countries, as it decreases the snow melting temperature, and thus, speeds up road and public space defrosting.
Source: MM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal -