Researchers in Dubuque Found That De-Icing Products can Contaminates Waterways


Via Flickr

Maxwell Bernstein | March 17, 2021

Dr. Adam Hoffman, an environmental chemistry professor at The University of Dubuque, is involved with two research projects that found some Iowa waterways were contaminated from excessive use of de-icing products, according to KCRG.

One of Hoffman’s projects involves monitoring the water quality of different spots in Dubuque County quarterly for different chemicals including sodium chloride. In a study, staff members from the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium placed mussels in different spots and measured the survivorship characteristics of the muscles. Hoffman and these researchers found that waterways closer to sidewalks and roads had higher chloride levels which could pose a threat to aquatic life over long periods of time.

To reduce this contamination, people can replace salt with sand or use de-icing products and salt moderately, according to John Klosterman, Dubuque’s public works director, and Hoffman.  

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