5 lesser-known facts about rock salt

Published : 15/12/2020 - Categories : Default

As most of you will already know, rock salt – otherwise known as halite – is a substance that can be used to melt snow and ice during the colder months, and in turn prevent slips, trips and falls from happening on roads, pathways and around properties. 

1. Rock salt comes from all kinds of exotic locations – including the UK! 

Rock salt is found all over the world, with the largest producers being China and the United States. As a mineral made from sodium chloride, it is comprised of evaporated seawater found in dried-up lakes, bays, and estuaries across the globe. 

2. It would cost the economy more not to use rock salt 

In the UK alone, £150,000,000 is spent salting roads up and down the country every single year. This may seem like a shocking amount, but if it wasn’t routinely applied to our infrastructure, it would cost the economy a whopping £2 billion in damage caused by otherwise preventable incidents.

3. It plays a vital role in reducing accidents

Road conditions in the UK are a major cause of collisions. Black ice is a particularly formidable foe and can cause drivers to lose control when steering – but by working to dissolve some of the dangerously slippery surface, rock salt can help to reduce traffic accidents by 88% and injuries by 85%. 

Over 19 million tonnes of salt are deposited on our roads each year.

4. It is derived from rock salt mines 

Did you know that some rock salt tunnels are 140 miles long? To put this stat into perspective, this is the same distance as London to Brussels! Salt is derived from these mines by electric-driven machines which scrape out the salt (a much safer method of extracting it than by hand), leaving ‘pillar’ type’ structures to support the roof.

Some of the largest rock salt mines in the world include the Sifto Salt Mines in Ontario, Khewra Salt Mines in Pakistan, Atacama Salt Flat in Chile, Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland, and Palibelo Village in Indonesia. 

5. It can be dangerous for pets

If you’re planning on purchasing rock salt to grit your patios and garden areas, do be aware that it is believed to be a danger to pets. It has been suggested by experts that grit can burn the bottom of your furry friend’s paws in the same way as hot pavements during the summer months. A spokesperson from the RSPCA warned pet owners to protect their animals from grit: “We urge pet owners to be cautious when grit is being spread on roads, as rock salt can be toxic to dogs and cats if they lick it from their paws or fur.

“This is because ingestion can cause a high blood sodium concentration which can cause thirst, vomiting and lethargy, and in severe cases, kidney damage.

“The best thing to do is to thoroughly wipe your pet’s feet, fur, and tummy after they have been outside”.

Order your rock salt today

It’s always interesting to know where our popular landscaping products come from – but our job at Milestone is to make sure our customers have access to quality rock salt and other deicing products all year round, especially when demand for this material is high. Buy rock salt directly from our website or contact us for more information or to place a larger order! 

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