Use of road salt has been found to reduce the traffic clashes by around 85%. So we know its importat to use salt to reduce the ice on road to help traffic flows but we cannot ignore the damages road salt is doing to our environment. The salt we use on road is not pure as our table salt and huge quantities of it is going to our water bodies like lakes, rivers and damaging the aquatic life.Aside from various metals and minerals, these often include chemical additives like sodium ferrocyanide, an anti-caking agent, that are washed into lakes, rivers and streams by rain and snowmelt. And even pure salt isn't exactly eco-friendly, since it raises the salinity of local water supplies, potentially making them toxic to native wildlife.
Considering all this, local governments should look at alternative ways to de-ice the roads which would also reduce the harm being done to the environment which will effect as one day or the other.One of them is use of sand.Sand doesn't melt ice, but it's widely used alongside salt and other de-icers on roads, parking lots and sidewalks to create traction. The main benefit of using sand is its cost, which is lower than all major de-icing chemicals, including salt.
Other is use of Calcium magnesium acetate.Calcium magnesium acetate is the "best thing going from an environmental standpoint," and while it's not entirely neutral toward wildlife, it is often heralded as one of the most eco-friendly de-icers available. It has a low toxicity to plants and microbes, giving it an environmental edge over salt, and it's also less corrosive to steel.
Calcium chloride has several advantages over salt — it also works by reducing the freezing point of water, but it's effective all the way down to -25 degrees Fahrenheit, while salt only works to about 15 degrees. Calcium chloride is also less harmful to plants and soil than sodium chloride is, but there is some evidence it may damage roadside evergreen trees.
Certain carbohydrate-based liquids have been found to block ice formation, namely two agricultural byproducts: the leftover mash from alcohol distilleries and beet juice.
So this way government can look at the alternatives available and save the environment from getting damaged by the road salt.
I think we should have the right to use salt on icy roads for population safety, maybe put less for environmental factor. But salt is found everywhere in nature, the fact that we add a little more shouldn't be a big game changer in salt ratio in our surrounding environment.
The main reason we throw salt on icy roads is to try to lower the number of accidents the icy roads cause. Salt lowers the freezing point of water from 32 degrees to about 20, helping prevent icing of roads which in turns causes alot of accidents, crashes, or just nuisances. Unless we first come up with another alternative to salt... I believe using nothing instead of salt would lead to a significant rise of accidents.
Public safety is of paramount importance. The removal of salt could impair a community for an extended period of time in a severe storm. It is possible that some steps can be taken, one increasingly common is a sand/salt mix. Removing salt altogether does not seem to be feasible right now, however. Protecting the environment is important but there are times where there are immediate needs that could have real life consequences. A slick road can be deadly.