In North Carolina, the Department of Transportation spreads, on average, 256,249,901 pounds of salt on state-managed roads each year.
UNC Asheville biologist James Petranka decided to investigate what this seasonal onslaught means for our native amphibians. Because amphibians breathe through their skin and are highly susceptible to environmental contaminants, Petranka wondered if flushes of road salts to their breeding ponds kill them.
The salt, he learned, didn't kill the amphibians outright, though it does harm their growth as juveniles. Perhaps more alarming, he found the road salt is causing problems in the food web. ...Read the full article