Ottawa, Ontario (PRWEB) February 8, 2008
An Ottawa man who lost his dog to cancer is warning dog owners about the toxic dangers of road salt.
Mark Watson, a former IT professional, says that his dog Grover and two other dogs on his street suddenly died of cancer in 2004 likely because of exposure to road salt.
Explaining why road salt can be dangerous to dogs, Watson says: “Upon returning home from their walks, my dog Grover and my neighbours’ dogs would ingest this toxic substance by licking their paws.”
A veterinary oncologist suggested to Watson that a toxin in the environment, such as road salt, was likely responsible for the dogs’ cancers because she had seen similar symptoms in several other cases.
Watson’s full story can be heard through a 7 minute You Tube video: http://ecotraction.wordpress.com/
Watson will also be sharing his story at the Green Living Show in Vancouver at BC Place February 29 to March 2, and in Toronto at Exhibition Place April 25-27.
Road salt was declared “toxic” in an extensive 2001 assessment report done by Health Canada and Environment Canada. Their conclusion: we must reduce our use of the pollutant. See full report: http://www.roadsaltistoxic.com
In early 2006, the Sierra Legal Defense Fund and RiverSides Stewardship Alliance initiated a campaign to legislate the reduction of road salt use in Ontario.
“A Low-Salt Diet for Ontario’s Roads and Rivers highlights current regulatory inconsistencies with respect to the use of road salts for winter road maintenance in Ontario,” says the report summary. “Road salts have been determined to be an environmentally toxic substance under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA). Despite the finding that road salts are environmentally toxic, there are no mandatory requirements for managing road salts storage, application or snow disposal in Ontario.”
Read the full campaign report: http://riversides.org/index.php?cat=3&page1=8&page2=10&page3=&page4=
In December 2007, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty stated that he agreed with the province’s independent Environment Commissioner Gord Miller who strongly recommended taking further action to reduce the use of toxic road salt in Ontario. See: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2007/12/05/road-salt.html
As per the 2001 Environment Canada report which declared road salt “toxic,” about 4.9 million tons of road salt is released every year on our streets and may poison some birds while being detrimental to wildlife and their habitat.
Veterinarians have also raised red flags about the dangers of road salt to animals. CBC News quotes Dr. Michael Bratt of the Granville Island Pet Hospital as saying that road salt can make animals sick. He says that when ingested by our pets, the ice melters “can upset animals’ digestive systems, causing vomiting and diarrhea.” CBC News article: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2006/11/28/bc-salt-pets.html
CBC also reports that the University of Victoria published an initial study in 2000 that found links between “road salt” and “cancer.” Acknowledging the study, the Canadian Cancer Society later stated that we shouldn’t yet make final conclusions until further medical and scientific research is done. Read CBC article: http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/1999/12/30/salt991230.html
Today, University of Victoria Prof. Harold Foster stands by the initial study and continues to state that we are spreading toxic road salt on our streets at our peril. He hopes to see further studies done.
Foster explains that ferrocyanide is often used in road salt as an anti-caking agent to prevent the salt from clumping-up. He says that the problem with ferrocyanide is that it breaks down and generates hydrogen cyanide, a substance also present in cigarette smoke that can facilitate the action of carcinogens. See: http://www.elements.nb.ca/theme/transportation/salt/salt.htm
After losing his dog Grover to cancer, Watson searched the globe for natural alternatives to toxic road salts and ice melters.
“My searches took me further and further around the world and eventually I came across a green volcanic mineral that has amazing traction properties and is 100% safe for pets, property and the environment,” explains Watson.
His discovery, along with his drive to offer dog owners a safe alternative to toxic road salts, compelled him to launch a new product in 2005: “EcoTraction.”
To watch a 1 minute video of Watson explaining why his innovative product provides several times better traction than sand, visit: http://www.ecotractionvideo.com
He says that his product is not only safe but he claims that it even helps to absorb toxins and heavy metals from the environment. “Some municipalities use this mineral to filter their drinking water as well as to clean up chemical spills,” says Watson.
He explains that in the Spring and Summer, EcoTraction becomes a mineral nutrient for the lawn and garden instead of destroying vegetation like road salt does. He also says that it is used by organic farmers as a natural soil amendment and as a safe food additive for cattle and chicken.
Marc Appleby is the President of Earth Innovations Inc. under which he and Watson, CEO, manufacture and distribute EcoTraction. Quoting research by Debi Andrus, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business, Appleby says that an estimated 29 per cent of Canadian households own a dog. To read about Andrus’ research, visit: http://tinyurl.com/ysodqf
“Millions of dog owners are concerned about their pets’ health and EcoTraction is the safest and most effective solution to address their needs,” says Appleby.