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Road Salt

By Alicia, Isha, Mashaal, and Shivangi

Shivangi Chaudhary

on 24 October 2012

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Transcript of Road Salt

By Alicia, Isha, Mashaal, and Shivangi Road Salt What is Road Salt? Sodium Chloride (ionic compound of Na & Cl)
Used as a de-icing chemical during winter for road maintenance
Made of crushed rock salt from underground mines
Is brownish or white in colour and looks like gravel How Does it Work? Salt lowers freezing point of water
Allows it to melt faster
Melts snow/ice and forms brine
Keeps the freezing temperature low Benefits of Using Road Salt Maintains roads by melting/preventing ice and snow
Reduces traffic accidents
85% reduction in traffic accidents and 88.3% less injury causing accidents (Marquette University) Other Benefits Use less fuel for cars
Less travel time
Avoid fatalities and injury
Less likely vehicle damage Road salt helps melt ice/snow to maintain road safety, but also has advantages and downsides Risks of Using Road Salt Road salt (sodium chloride) is considered to be toxic in large amounts
Corrode automobiles and metal structures formation of rust iron (III) oxide (Fe2O3)
Contains sodium ferrocyanide (anti-caking agent) breaks up into cyanide ions Who Do They Harm? Bodies of water and groundwater:
Run off into surface water or absorbed into the ground through soil
Creates an imbalance of minerals in the water
Sodium ferrocyanide enters bodies of water and kills organisms
Freshwater organisms and plants cannot adapt to saline conditions

Absorbed into the ground
Causes an imbalance of minerals in the soil
Negatively affects crops and growing conditions
Contributes to erosion

Plants affected by direct contaminated water run-off, air, and soil
Damages sensitive crops such as in orchards Who Do They Harm? Animals:
Negatively impacts freshwater organisms with increased salinity
Sodium ferrocyanide enters bodies of water and kills organisms
Sodium deficient animals ex. moose travel long distances to ingest road salts vehicle accidents
Birds confuse salt for mineral grit leads to salt toxicosis

Improper salt storage, soil, and highway run-off enters drinking water reservoirs
Water tastes different
Leads to increased blood pressure (hypertension)
Corrodes cars and metal structures (indirect risk) What Are Some Alternatives? Sand:
Provides traction
Doesn’t harm the environment
Absorbs sunlight (low albedo heat melts the snow/ice)

Natural volcanic minerals
Provides traction

Calcium Magnesium Acetate:
Relatively harmless to plants and animals
Less corrosive than road salt
Less effective that salt in colder conditions
Expensive ($500 - $700/ton vs. road salt $30/ton)

Potassium Acetate:
Salt free chemical alternative
Low corrosion
High performance
Minimal environmental effects Reducing Usage So how can we reduce our road salt usage? Shovel snow earlier and more often only use a little bit of road salt to melt thin layers of ice and prevent them
Use salt in smaller amounts only where needed
Avoid de-icers with urea expensive, don’t work as well, nitrogen-based “winter fertilizers”
Look at labels before buying road salt buy more environmentally safe Danielle, G. (2009, February 03). Benefits of eco friendly road salt and deicer [Web log message]. Retrieved from

Salt intstitute.org. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.saltinstitute.org/Uses-benefits/Winter-road-safety/Benefits-of-road-salt

(2001). Retrieved from Environment Canada website: http://www.ec.gc.ca/nopp/roadsalt/reports/en/rms.cfm

Trb.org. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/sr/sr235/099-112.pdf
Green venture. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://water.greenventure.ca/road-salts-alternatives

(2007). Retrieved from Environment Canada website: http://www.ec.gc.ca/nopp/roadsalt/en/index.cfm

Where does road salt come from? . (2009, February 05). . Retrieved from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7871816.stm

Howstuffworks. (2009, April 2). Retrieved from http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/climate-weather/atmospheric/road-salt.htm

Winter road maintenance activities and the use of road salts in canada: A compendium of costs and benefits indicators.. (2006, May 26). Retrieved from http://www.ec.gc.ca/nopp/roadsalt/reports/en/winter.cfm

Earth Innovations Inc. (2008). Eco traction. Retrieved from http://www.ecotraction.com/

Keating, J. K. (2001). Environmental impacts of road salt and alternatives in the new york city watershed. Retrieved from http://www.newyorkwater.org/downloadedArticles/ENVIRONMENTANIMPACT.cfm References
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