A colourless efflorescent solid, Na2S2O3, soluble in water but insoluble in ethanol, commonly encountered as the pentahydrate (monoclinic; r.d. 1.73; m.p. 42°C), which loses water at 100°C to give the anhydrous form (r.d. 1.66). It is prepared by the reaction of sulphur dioxide with a suspension of sulphur in boiling sodium hydroxide solution. Aqueous solutions of sodium thiosulphate are readily oxidized in the presence of air to sodium tetrathionate and sodium sulphate. The reaction with dilute acids gives sulphur and sulphur dioxide. It is used in the photographic industry and in analytical chemistry.