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Letter: Treating roads with brine can cause long-term health problems
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A city of Gainesville truck spreads sand and gravel along Shallowford Road Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. - photo by Scott Rogers

Since the 1940s, the roads in the winter area of our great nation have been treated with a salty brine to make them safer for driving. At first, only rock salt was used and the result was not too effective because the granules would bounce off the road and become useless. So a chloride brine was used and later magnesium brine was added to make it more effective. When it rains, the brine washes off the road and into the local streams endangering the wildlife. The brine stays in the dirt for a very long time.

I was raised in the north woods of Michigan and I know the danger of chloride brine. The county used to pile it openly by the school bus garage in our small hometown which was on the hill above a row of homes, the pile of chloride washed into the ground and polluted all the wells on the street below, giving cancer to all who lived there. 

My mother and my half sister were two of the victims who died because of this ignorance or just not knowing how dangerous this road treatment can be. 

The combination of sodium chloride and magnesium chloride will corrode stainless steel. And you worry about global warming!

Roger Keebaugh

Gainesville

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