: News

Filed Under:

Road Salt Concerns Some Environmental Experts

Play associated audio

By Kavitha Cardoza

Road salt is good news for drivers because it means less icy roads. But some environmental experts are concerned about the effects that salt will have on our waterways. Road salt is mainly sodium chloride.

"But it also contains some impurities such as trace metals, it can contain anti-caking agents such as sodium nitro ferro cyanide," says Dr. Sujay Kaushal.

Kaushal is with the University of Maryland's Center for Environmental Science. He says when the snow melts, these chemicals trickle into storm drains and eventually end up in streams. Such increased levels of salt can harm aquatic life and surrounding vegetation as well as corrode plumbing infrastructure. And Kaushal says it eventually affects our drinking water.

"In Baltimore, we've seen a four fold increase in the chloride concentration over a 20-year period and so if the salinization keeps continuing at this current rate, it could pose a problem in the future," he says.

Kaushal says removing salt from drinking water is an expensive and difficult process.

Since Friday, D.C. has used more than 11,000 tons of road salt, Virginia has used at least 27,000 tons and Maryland just characterizes the amount used as, "a lot".

NPR

In Iran, A Poet's 700-Year-Old Verses Still Set Hearts Aflame

The 14th century Persian poet Hafez remains venerated in Iran, even though he wrote of wine, romance and other topics not necessarily welcome in today's Islamic Republic.
NPR

Buy Crop Insurance, Double Your Money

The nation's crop insurance program is really a lottery, says one economist. And it's rigged so that farmers win. In fact, farmers typically get back double the money they pay for premiums.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - February 12, 2016

D.C. Council Member Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) joins Kojo and Tom Sherwood to chat about her upcoming fight for re-election.

NPR

Do You Like Me? Swiping Leads To Spike In Online Dating For Young Adults

A study by the Pew Research Center finds the use of online dating sites has mushroomed in the past few years, particularly among 18- to 24-year-olds.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.