Smart Talk About Road Salt

February 7, 2022, 9:45 AM - 10:00 AM EST
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Smart Talk About Road Salt

A large red vehicle spreads salt on a road surrounded by snowy fields.

When: Monday, February 7, 2022, broadcast live from 9:45–10 a.m ET; rebroadcast from 7–8 p.m.
Where: Live on WITF 89.5 FM Harrisburg.

Join the conversation as WITF Smart Talk host Scott LaMar talks with Senior Research Scientist John Jackson, Ph.D., about the trouble with road salt.

Slick roads in winter can be hazardous. Whenever the weather forecast calls for snow and ice, PennDot and local municipalities’ road crews go to work to treat roadways before a storm and then plow and  clear them afterwards. Road salt is one of their tools. It melts the snow and ice and helps to make the streets, roads and highways safer to drive on. Motorists almost take for granted that the roads will be cleared and salt will be used to help do it. PennDot applies some 800,000 tons of road salt each year. The hazy white streaks left on paved surfaces and even sidewalks and parking lots are a testament to the salt that was used. But road salt doesn’t just melt snow and ice. It creeps into the soil and can get into waterways and have a negative impact on aquatic life and plants. So says our guest on Monday’s Smart Talk, John Jackson, Senior Research Scientist at Stroud Water Research Center in Chester County.