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Salt applied to roadways as a wintertime deicer has been shown to make significant contributions to increased salinity in freshwater streams in the United States, Europe and elsewhere. New research suggests that saltier water also liberates toxic metals and harmful nitrogen-containing compounds from streambeds and soils, creating dangerous "chemical cocktails" that can be more damaging than individual pollutants alone. CREDIT Joseph Galella/University of Maryland

Saltier waterways are creating dangerous ‘chemical cocktails’

A cocktail of chemicals from many human activities is making U.S. rivers saltier and more alkaline across the nation. Surprisingly, road salt in winter is...