Every winter, councils grit our roads and pavements to keep the traffic moving safely. But a new study has revealed that the road salt they use can wash into ponds and have an alarming impact on the frogs that breed there. The research found that naturally occurring chemicals in the road salt have a ‘masculinising effect’,
altering tadpole biology and turning females into males in the early stages of development. Researchers from Yale University in Connecticut and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York say that where there was exposure to road salt, the number of females was reduced by 10 per cent, and female frogs were also found to produce fewer eggs and of a lower quality.