Living in Long Island, New York, I have seen my share of hard winters. The endless shoveling and clearing off the car is almost a staple routine. My mom has a really bad ankle and is always TERRIFIED of slipping on the ice. Recently my parents have resorted to the rock salt. But there have been so many claims of it being unsafe. I have my doubts and concerns about it, but first of all how does it even work? My hypothesis suggests that ice melt is highly dangerous to our health, if touched or even ingested.
According to an article I found here, when you add the salt substance it will cause the temperature to drop. If you were to sprinkle salt on your drive way, sidewalk, or road, this should lower the freezing point which would overall dissolve the ice into liquid water. The salt will cause the ice to melt for this reason.
(picture found here)
Now that we understand a little bit of the science… is it safe? After looking at an article found here, the ice melting chemicals usually contain a number of different things within it in order for it to be able to do its job. Usually, It contains rock salt, potassium, calcium chloride,urea, and magnesium chloride. Now, what we are all wondering is how dangerous is this combination. Basically, if touched by the skin (or paws for our furry friends), you may find some rash or dryness in the area. This is not too serious, but I could see how this could bother our pets. Poison control seems to receive a ton of calls each winter season due to young children accidentally ingesting the ice melt. Basically what happens here is the child might experience some sort of intestinal discomfort but it doesn’t seem life threatening. A remedy poison control recommends is to wipe out your mouth, and drink a glass of milk. I think the media suggests severe damages and repercussions that make the market for “safe” or “pet friendly” ice melt so popular
After reading an article I found that…
It basically suggests that it is highly unlikely for your pet to eat enough of this salt that they would die or even get sick. It is crazy to me how much press this topic seems to get when in reality these scenarios are highly unlikely. The bottom line is, we know chemicals are harmful to our health and shouldn’t be played with, but if an accident were to occur the effects would NOT be detrimental to us or or pets.
(Picture found here)