From: Dartmouth College
Published July 12, 2017 04:54 PM

Dartmouth Study: Highway Salt Is Polluting Our Lakes

Salt can be good, and it can also be bad. Sprinkled on food, it makes things tastier, but it may also raise your blood pressure. Spread on winter roads, it can make driving safer, but the melting runoff contaminates nearby lakes and ponds.

In a study that gathered data from hundreds of lakes in the Northeast and the Midwest, a Dartmouth researcher and colleagues have found dramatic evidence of highway salt’s impact.

PhD student Flora Krivak-Tetley is co-author of a paper published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences that documents the impact of road salt—predominantly sodium chloride—on Northeastern and Midwestern lakes. Of the 371 lakes analyzed, “44 percent were found to have undergone long-term salinization,” the authors write.

Krivak-Tetley says the increasing concentration of salt in lakes and ponds is generally acknowledged as a growing problem. However, she says, “this is the first paper to say so and back it up with long-term data.”

Continue reading at Dartmouth College

Photo: Dartmouth PhD student Flora Krivak-Tetley wades through an aquatic environment that is in jeopardy. (Photo courtesy of Flora Krivak-Tetley)

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