This chemical is a mixture of 50% water and 50% sodium chloride. In this condition the material is stable, but it is still highly toxic to humans. In its solid form, this chemical is an odorless, white crystalline material. The more common name for this material is lye or caustic soda. Many different industries utilize sodium hydroxide in various processes. Some particular examples include the production of soaps, dyes, petroleum products, and paper. It helps to break down materials and catalyze chemical reactions. Due to its caustic nature, lye is also remarkable as a cleaning agent. Gloves and goggles should be worn when handling this substance. It can cause severe chemical burns if it comes into direct contact with the skin or eye membranes. Sodium hydroxide can also absorb water and CO2 from the air, so it must be stored in an airtight container.