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Salt (Sodium Chloride)

Why does rock salt kill?

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May 31, 2007 1:31PM

Unless you drop a 50-pound of salt from the roof onto someone's head, rock salt is harmless. In other words, rock salt doesn't kill people; only people kill people. However, if you are talking about fish and plants, well, that's another story. In New York City, great quantities of rock salt -- mostly imported from Jamaica (the country; not the section of Queens) -- is used to de-ice city streets. When the ice and snow melt, runoff flows into storm sewers and is carried out to the surrounding waterways. This can over-salinate the already brackish waters of the lower Hudson and East rivers, wreaking havoc on their ecosystems. Also, too much salt in soil can render it barren.