In 2004, when our founder Mark Watson's 8-year old Cocker Spaniel "Grover"
died suddenly from lymphoma cancer, he was heartbroken and saddened.
Shortly thereafter when his neighbours 2-year old Labrador Retriever and a
third neighbour's dog (an
11 year-old mixed breed) also suddenly succumbed to cancer, he became alarmed and committed to finding out more.
After discussing the string of pet deaths with his vet, he was referred to a
veterinarian oncologist who suggested that the Lymphoma may have been
triggered by a toxin in the environment. The oncologist mentioned that such
diagnoses were on the increase and suggested that the cause could be linked
to the toxins contained in the ice melting chemicals that were inadvertently
licked from the paws of dogs after winter walks.
After some vigilant research Mark discovered that the rock salt used by his
municipality on roads, was not the same as the salt served at the dinner
table. Not only does un-purified rock salt contain traces of toxic heavy metals
such as mercury and lead, but it is also frequently mixed with an anti-caking agent called ferrocyanide.
Apparently most municipalities in North America use ferrocyanide as an anti-
caking agent to facilitate the spreading of rock salt and to prevent clumping.
These ice melter toxins are known to irritate dogs who lick their paws after
winter walks and ingest them in unhealthy quantities.
“The sudden deaths of my dog
and two others on my street
began my dedicated search for a
safer and natural alternative to
preventing slips and falls on icy
surfaces. There needed to be an
option for consumers that would
not be so deadly to our pets or
destructive to our homes.
Today, I am proud to bring you EcoTraction, a cost effective, all natural
volcanic mineral that provides incredible traction on ice and snow, and is
proven safest for pets, plants and property. Have a fun and safe winter!”
“After meeting Mark in 2005 and
hearing his tragic story, I too became
impassioned to find a natural
alternative to ice melters that was
both safe and effective. Our search
yielded this unique green-coloured
food-safe mineral that we found
provides incredible traction on ice and snow, and its natural properties
allow it to actually benefit our environment regardless of where it ends up.
Hands-down the greenest solution to preventing winter slips and falls,
EcoTraction provides total peace-of-mind and I am proud to stand behind it.
As both a dog owner and green activist, I hope my work through Earth
Innovations can raise public awareness of the dangers to dogs from toxic ice
melters, as well as help create sustainable winter traction strategies for
homeowners and cities alike, in particular eliminating road salt use
in environmentally-sensitive areas. Thank you for joining me this winter in
keeping our environment cleaner, our sidewalks safer, and our dogs happier.
Thanks for going green."
Marc Appleby, Co-Founder
The Top Six Problems with Deicing Salts & Ice Melters
Recent research estimates that every ton of road salt can cause between
$500 and $2,000 in downstream damages to infrastructure, vehicles,
property and the environment. Yet in Canada alone, we continue to dump
annually over 5 million tons of salt and ice melters on our sidewalks and
roads, and the United States uses a staggering 15 million tons. Some of the
major problems caused by road salt and chemical ice melters are as follows:
When salt & ice melters dissolve into ice and snow, they usually end up
draining their dangerous toxins into soils, ponds and lakes, and city sewer
systems. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences have
concluded that road salt contaminates drinking water supplies,
“…if salinity were to continue to increase at its present rate… many surface
waters in the northeastern United States would not be potable for human
consumption and would become toxic to freshwater life within the next
Salt can damage concrete and corrode metals. The National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) states that,
“A number of factors contribute to bridge corrosion. One of the most common
is the use of deicing salts on roads and bridges... The salts cause corrosion of
the steel reinforcing bars and other steel components supporting the bridge.
This form of corrosion is the main cause of concrete bridge deterioration.”