Popular Science

Road salt is actually pretty terrible for the planet

Could beets be the solution?

truck salting road

Road salt saves lives but can harm aquatic wildlife.

(Scott L/flickr), CC BY-SA

Marshes, streams and lakes lie alongside many of the roads and highways that zigzag across North America. Plants and animals inhabit these water bodies and can be exposed to many of the substances we put on those roads, including road salt.

Rock salt helps keep roads safe when winter storms hit, reducing winter road accidents. But it can also have serious, negative effects on aquatic ecosystems.

At high concentrations, salt can be fatal to some aquatic animals. Salt can also change the way.

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