Road Salt Concerns Some Environmental Experts | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: 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

Should Ray Rice Get A Second Chance? 'Maybe,' Parcells Says

In part two of David Greene's conversation with Bill Parcells, the legendary football coach discusses how he dealt with players' drug use, and redemption for the former Baltimore Raven running back.
NPR

Food Industry Drags Its Heels On Recyclable And Compostable Packaging

A new report from two environmental groups reviewed the recyclability and compostability of packaging from 47 food companies. It found few examples of companies that have prioritized waste reduction.
NPR

Former Democratic Sen. Jim Webb Explores Presidential Bid

In considering whether to launch a presidential campaign, former Senator Jim Webb of Virginia tells Steve Inskeep his big challenge would be raising money to promote his ideas.
NPR

Media Outlets Partner With Snapchat To Appeal To Younger Users

As people disappear from the audiences of conventional news organizations, 11 media outlets have partnered with Snapchat in the U.S. to offer its younger users easily digested fare within the app.

Leave a Comment

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