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Since the beginning of time (or at least cars), the battle between Old Man Winter and drivers has been a hellish one. That dreadful trip out of the house on icy roads will make any driver nervous. Luckily, we’ve cleverly found a way to deal with our icy dilemma. A magical substance called salt.

Sure, this grainy substance has helped us venture out into the world during times of sleet, snow, and hail, but little of us have realized the vast environmental consequences that stream from using salt as a road de-icer. Luckily there are a few alternatives to help you protect the environment such as this Chloride Free de-icer. This is one solution that can help prevent any harm to your children, pets and plants. Keep on reading to find out more about how salt is impacting the world.

Our cities and towns use great amounts of salt on busy roads during the winter months because not only does it lowers the melting point of water, but it’s dirt-cheap. Ergo, slowly but surely, the environmental consequences of using all this salt has increased exponentially over the past years. As one could guess, continued use of salt can only create more environmental problems in the future.

Many already know the harmful effects that acid rain has on our structures and buildings. Yet many don’t know that basically the same salt found in acid rain causing the weather and decay of our structures and buildings is used in the salting process for our wintery roads. As you could guess, this has the same effect which acid rain has but at a lower level. Excess salt from the winter eats away at roads and sidewalks, creating another issue to be dealt with during the warmer months.

Scientists have found that when even tiny amounts of sodium chloride (AKA salt) seep into the ground, it changes its composition. Changes in soil chemistry affect vegetation growing in the area often by killing them off, as well as wildlife feeding off of the impacted vegetation. Not only does the salt get into our soils, but also it eventually trickles down into our ground water, lakes, and reservoirs. This has negative impacts on the aquatic life in these bodies of water as well as on the water which we use everyday (drinking as well as household and recreational water).

Many chemicals are regulated by the EPA but road salt is shockingly overlooked. With such a build up of salt during the winter months leaching into our water resources, it should be no surprise to hear that the water we believe to be safe and tasty may very well one day be full of salt. Already, some homeowners in areas where harsh winter months call for excessive road salting have found that appliances such as dishwashers have been tarnishing at faster rates because of the salt.

So here comes the big question of the day. Should we continue to risk things such as our drinking water to be able to get around on icy wintery days? There are plenty of alternatives to de-ice roads out there, but starting to use them is the hard part. More on this soon.