The chlorite ion
An ion is an atom or molecule in which the total number of electrons is not equal to the total number of protons, giving it a net positive or negative electrical charge. The name was given by physicist Michael Faraday for the substances that allow a current to pass between electrodes in a...

 is ClO2. A chlorite (compound) is a compound that contains this group,
with chlorine
Chlorine is the chemical element with atomic number 17 and symbol Cl. It is the second lightest halogen, found in the periodic table in group 17. The element forms diatomic molecules under standard conditions, called dichlorine...

 in oxidation state
Oxidation state
In chemistry, the oxidation state is an indicator of the degree of oxidation of an atom in a chemical compound. The formal oxidation state is the hypothetical charge that an atom would have if all bonds to atoms of different elements were 100% ionic. Oxidation states are typically represented by...

 +3. Chlorites are also known as salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

s of chlorous acid
Chlorous acid
Chlorous acid is an inorganic compound with the formula HClO2. It is a weak acid. Chlorine has oxidation state +3 in this acid. The pure substance is unstable, disproportionating to hypochlorous acid and chloric acid :Although the acid is difficult to obtain in pure substance, the conjugate base,...

Chlorine can assume oxidation states of −1, +1, +3, +5, or +7 within the corresponding anions Cl, ClO, ClO2, ClO3, or ClO4, known commonly and respectively as chloride, hypochlorite, chlorite, chlorate, and perchlorate.