A comparative study of de-icing salts (sodium chloride and calcium magnesium acetate) on the growth of some roadside plants of England

  • Khalid Farooq Akbar Department of Botany, Government College, Sahiwal, Pakistan
  • AD Headley Department of Environmental Science, University of Bradford, Bradford, BD7 1DP, England, UK
  • WHG Hale Department of Environmental Science, University of Bradford, Bradford, BD7 1DP, England, UK
  • Mohammad Athar Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, USA


A greenhouse study was conducted on four roadside plants (Festuca rubra, Lolium perenne, Plantago lanceolata and Trifolium repens) to determine the effect of two de-icing salts {Sodium Chloride (NaCl) and calcium magnesium acetate, (CMA)} on their growth. Plants were grown in pots and supplied with solution of different concentrations of both the de-icing salts. Dry weight of shoot was determined by harvesting the plants after 45 days. Visual ranking of the plants showed that CMA is less harmful to plants than NaCl. At lower concentrations, CMA had no effect or even had favourable effect on the growth of plants. At higher concentrations, CMA decreased shoot biomass less than that caused by NaCl. Shoot weight of L. perenne, F. rubra< and P. lanceolata watered by CMA was significantly (P<0.001) higher than those watered by NaCl. In another experiment, these plants were sprayed with same concentrations of de-icing salts using tap water as control. After 45 days, the effect of spraying on plant foliage was assessed by visual observation comparing with control plants. Spray with CMA showed no harmful effect on plants while spraying with NaCl showed various level of injury and damage in all the species. It was observed that CMA is less harmful to roadside plants than NaCl. However, its large-scale use is not possible due to its higher price. However, in environmentally sensitive areas, CMA can be used instead of NaCl.

Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management Vol. 10(1) 2006: 67-71

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2659-1502
print ISSN: 1119-8362