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Mag is bad

Dear Editor,

I just wanted to add my two cents’ worth to the debate over “magnesium chloride” use on our roads. I think Mag is bad! Here are some of my reasons:

1. I work in the auto industry and we are noticing corrosion items we haven’t seen before in this part of the country. Aluminum alloy wheels are showing signs of spotting-they’ve always been care-free; the same with chrome bumpers and other body trim showing spotting and rust. Tire shops have told me that previous telltale signs of alignments now call for an underwash to make sure it’s not the “Mag.” I asked a service advisor about a customers new car’s ABS light being on – he said get an underwash and see if that fixes it.



2. It makes nighttime driving more dangerous by coating the headlights and reducing visibility.

3. It makes driving more dangerous because it becomes difficult to clear your windshield to see effectively when “Mag” is sprayed up by other vehicles.



4. I’ve come around curves and thought I was about to hit ice, due to the reflection on the road, but it turned out to be “Mag” reflecting light.

5. I’ve noticed how “Mag” gets applied, before a storm ever arrives, in preparation of it. However many times the storm doesn’t arrive. I wonder if the cost estimates include this waste?

6. I am wary of the “studies” that suggest “Mag” is no more harmful to our environment. Are these studies comparing ounce to ounce or taking into account the amount of “Mag” we are using including the amount sprayed before storms that fail to materialize?

These are some concerns that come to mind. I also feel that we are trying to create an environment making our roads capable of handling speed in excess of what weather conditions dictate. We must slow down whether you have four-wheel drive or not and drive according to weather conditions. Trying to make our roads accommodate people who fail to use common sense is wrong.

I’m sure there are places where magnesium chloride is appropriate – i.e., elevated spans and bridges, tunnel approaches and exits, extremely dangerous stretches of road, etc. But I feel that to use mag chloride as a new “fix-all” for all of our roads is a mistake.

Ed Rosenberg

Glenwood Springs


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