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Is it harmful to the environment to use deicing salt or rock sal?

Is it harmful to the environment to use deicing salt or rock sal?

Salt is applied to snow that falls on the US pavement.

The tradition After World War II, the state highway authorities became involved in the creation of the first state highway authority., and was later picked up by homeowners and municipal plow truck drivers. Americans now use 25 million tons of salt every yearAfter a blizzard, or deep freeze, it is necessary to deice streets and sidewalks. But are we spreading it properly?

Most store-bought deicing salts, or rock salts, are made from sodium chloride. It might seem harmless since humans consume it every day, but it can build up in soil and water over time and cause damage to the environment. The Chlorides can increase the demand for heavy metals like LeadTo leach into groundwater, rivers and other water sources Xianming ShiWashington State University Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Salt seeps into aquifers and wells. Making our drinking water more salin. over decades.

Some states, such as Rhode Island, have attempted to address the issue. Mixing sand with salt, or pre-treating highways in advance of a snowstorm. Shi has collaborated with Alaskan authorities Consider alternative brining options. He and his lab created a new 2019 model. A mixture of discarded grape, apple and cherry skins.When mixed with rock salt, it binds to ice. Although it doesn’t eliminate the need for chlorides, it can reduce it by up to 30%. Their green chemical is Now being licensed for mass productionA company in Massachusetts.

[Related: Human activities are making freshwater sources saltier]

The eco-friendly options available to the average person at home are limited. Shi says that organic deicers are available that are not chloride-free but are much more expensive than the ones you would normally buy. There’s also an important drawback. Mixtures that contain nitrogen or sugar for chlorides like The ones made with beet juiceThey can also have a toxic effect on water. Hypoxic conditions that cause harm to fish and insects.

Shis advice? Be smart and sparing with rock salt usage. He says that homeowners are often not well-informed about their practices. They apply far too much [deicer].

Salt should dissolve the bonds between the ice crystals and pavement, making it easier to shovel, plow or use a snow blower. People throw a lot of sodium chloride on frozen areas, when they only need a thin layer or liquid brine. Shi explains that salt particles may be visible on your sidewalk or driveway. He also A saline pretreatment is an optionReduce the use of other chemicals by up to five to sevenfold

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People who have a stream or other body of water on their property need to take extra care. Do not treat areas around it. Be aware of nearby surfaces that could cause runoff. Shi states that you can directly impact the environment in a positive or negative way. Reduce salt consumption can prevent corrosion of infrastructure and cars. Puppy paws.

These are not long-term solutions, but they’re what we have at the moment. Take a look at the trend [of chlorides in water]Shi said that it was almost impossible to reverse the trend. Our grandkids could eventually be consuming saltwater in 50 years.

It’s not only the responsibility of state transport departments. He said that it is not just the responsibility of state transportation departments.

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