The Salt Association has launched SaltAS, a quality assurance scheme for salt products, which aims to give confidence to specifiers and users that their salt supplies meet all relevant quality standards and conform to tender requirements.
Designed to cover every aspect of the entire salt supply chain from production to delivery, SaltAS will benefit everyone involved. Including SaltAS certification as a requirement in purchase and tender documentation will reduce the need for customers such as Local Authorities, Highways Agency Contractors and other users to provide more detailed specification and the need to carry out quality tests on their salt supplies. Equally, as far as salt hauliers contractors and storage facility operators are concerned, having SaltAS approval will recognise their quality systems, practices and disciplines and identify them as an integral part of the salt supply chain.
SaltAS has been developed in partnership with Kiwa PAI, part of the Kiwa Group, one of the UK’s leading independent testing, inspection and certification companies.
Peter Sherratt, Secretary of the Salt Association, which operates the scheme, says:
“UK salt producers supply 2-3 million tonnes of salt per year to industries ranging from food manufacturing and water softening to winter road maintenance. Anyone buying salt from a SaltAS certified supplier will have peace of mind knowing that their products meet the stringent demands of this scheme.”
Gary Neiles, UK Supply Chain Manager for Compass Minerals, owners of Salt Union, which has now been formally SaltAS accredited, said:
“SaltAS will become a recognised symbol of quality assurance for all salt products and will assure that all certified scheme members are working within a consistent, auditable framework which will raise standards across the whole industry.”
Lorraine Chambers the Agricultural Supplies Sector Manager at Kiwa PAI said she was delighted that Salt Union was now accredited to SaltAS and that the other companies in the Salt Association are currently being audited and will be accredited shortly.
Please see the SaltAS section of our website for further information regarding SaltAS and an application form or contact Sarah Easton at Kiwa PAI on 01423 878878 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rock salt has kept our road network moving in ice and snow for half a century, and its still by far the best option for de-icing highways.
Autumn is the season for speculation and big headlines regarding what the weather will do over the winter period. Tabloid front pages claim: “Worst winter for decades: Record-breaking snow predicted. Arctic conditions will grip the country.” We see similar headlines almost every year, but winter 2012/13, for example, ended up being only the 43rd coldest on record with an average temperature of 3.3C with flooding until the turn of the year. What the media often fail to explain is that, although previous records and long-term trends may suggest possible forecasts, there is absolutely no certainty about what weather the UK will see over the winter period.
The science simply does not exist to make detailed, long-term forecasts for temperature and snowfall. And while we have seen a return to more normal, cooler temperatures over recent winters, it is no indication of what we can expect this year or when we might see snow. Ultimately, it is perfectly possible that we will see the whole range of weather that we get in winter at some point, including snow and freezing temperatures, but also heavy rain, windy weather and mild conditions too. It’s a bit of a lottery really; hence just like a good boy scout one should always be prepared.
And so, thank goodness for rock salt; it’s kept our road network moving in ice and snow for half a century, and its still by far the best option for de-icing highways, which is why a major part of the salt industry is dedicated to the maintenance of roads and pavements. The UK uses thousands of tonnes of rock salt every year, capitalising not only on its antifreeze properties , but also its large granules, which can provide traction for vehicles’ tyres against existing ice. Of course, we still get caught out from time to time when the weather catches everyone by surprise, but if it were not for the mines and the salt supply chain things would be a whole lot worse. And yet, people still underestimate the importance and value of rock salt, while others arguably waste their time and money looking for alternatives.
Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with exploring options. People have tried everything from beet- juice, cheese brine, elephant dung and throwaway solubles from vodka manufacturing – but rock salt not only remains the most effective form of de-icing material, it is also non-toxic and residual salt is gradually diluted and disposed of through natural processes. Rock salt is also the most economical and risk reducing strategic resource in winter maintenance and the economic value of keeping roads open and relatively safe in icy conditions using rock salt is widely acknowledged. If roads are not cleared, the impact of accidents and increased fuel consumption are likely to be as significant environmentally as they are in economic terms, let alone the human cost.
A Norwegian task force looking at ways to minimize the environmental impact of keeping roads clear of snow & ice during the winter has positive news for the salt industry and environmental campaigners alike – gritting’s environmental impact is very small.
The Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) is the governmental body responsible for the operation of Norway’s road network. As part of its objectives to develop an eco-friendly transport system it is looking at ways to minimize the environmental damage of its road gritting activities.
To that end, a recent research programme called “Salt SMART” examined the ways roads could be kept open and traffic safety maintained even during the harshest winter months without damaging the environment. They began their investigation with a literature review, as well as conducting new studies, to establish the damage that can be caused by salt to surface water, ground water and surrounding vegetation.
Their findings were extremely positive. Although they concluded gritting may result in changes to plankton populations, current road salting practices have not caused changes to the riverbed fauna and fish seemed unaffected. They also found no clear evidence that the grass and small roadside plants were affected by salt or additives in the salt. In addition they concluded the negligible damage caused by salting could be reduced by watering plants in the spring.
Finally, in an attempt to further their knowledge of the performance of salt and the characteristics of salt additives, the NPRA team conducted a further literature review. Based on the latest research on their respective environmental impact and effect on the roads, NPRA found no reason to recommend the use of salt additives or chemical alternative to salt.
So while they continue to look at ways to further improve efficiencies, the results of Salt SMART are good new for the industry and better news for the environment.
With summer soon to be just a distant memory and winter fast approaching, preparations are being put into place to ensure adequate salt stock supplies for winter road maintenance. Recently Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport Norman Baker said: “The Department for Transport will continue to maintain a substantial national strategic salt reserve and have a robust distribution process in place, if this salt of last resort needs to be allocated.”
From the above and the findings of a recent salt audit undertaken by the Department it suggests that local highway authorities are prepared for wintery weather. Earlier this year road de-icing supplies held up well after a weekend of severe weather, marking a difference to 2010 and 2011 when heavy snow generated unparalleled demand for salt supplies. It seems though that this year the authorities will be repeating the same performance of maintaining our roads in wintery conditions that we saw early on in the year.
Authorities have already placed orders with salt supplies and have received stock, suggesting that the country is in a much better position than a few years ago when demand soared during record winters. Salt stock levels will be monitored on a monthly basis by the Department of Transport and the Highways Agency and the DfT will work closely with the Met Office to have the best advice available to prepare for severe winter weather.
Salt Association Secretary, Peter Sherratt commented “With the cost of delayed journeys due to snow to businesses and individuals estimated to be around £280m a day in England alone last year, it is essential that everything is done to keep our roads operating as efficiently and safely as possible this winter. ”
Skimmed milk could by a key ingredient for athletes to replace vital water and salts lost from the body during exercise.
According to leading nutritionist Lewis James skimmed milk could be much more effective than sports drinks to re hydrate the body because the milk contains a higher level of sodium or salt content than on specialist sports drinks despite them containing electrolytes.
It is a fact that when people exercise and sweat they lose essential waters and nutrients from the body, so replacing them after exercise is essential for the body to function. When a person sweats they lose water from the blood, which is used to transport oxygen through the body. If the water is lost then the blood becomes thicker and is unable to transport the oxygen through this channel. This causes the body to dehydrate.
In recent years five runners have lost their lives because of this condition and did not properly replace essential salts after exercise.
By replacing lost salts after exercise this will ensure that the water is kept in the blood and the body can function at its best.
According to a recent research project carried out by the Cochrane Collaboration, who are an international organisation that undertakes systematic reviews of evidence, has a story published on the NHS website that states that salt could actually do more good than harm.
The original story published on the Daily Express website suggests that salt in the diet can lessen our chances of suffering heart disease and strokes.
The study does not suggest that eating high levels of salt is good for us but simply that not getting enough could be just as bad, if not worse.
The research found that in white people with a normal blood pressure level, a low salt diet slightly reduced blood pressure and led to a small increase in substances such as cholesterol.
The research involved a systematic review of meta-analysis on 167 participants, where the effect of sodium intake on blood pressure, lipids and certain chemicals were recorded. Comparisons were taken between those with a low salt intake and those eating a higher amount of salt over a short period of time.
To read more about this article visit the NHS Website.
Founded in 1874 by John Craig Peacock, Peacock started out as a shipping company agent in the heart of Glasgow and is now one of the largest food salt suppliers worldwide. Peacocks has a quayside facility for discharging ships of salt, on-site packaging facilities and bespoke mixing.
Winter salt spreader technology for seasonal maintenance is also a specialism for Peacock from road salt gritters to hand spreaders including all the latest GPS technology important for monitoring highway de-icing.
No matter what type of salt you need, whatever the application, Peacock Salt is there to help you get the best from our products. Please visit http://www.peacocksalt.com/index.aspx for more information.
In its Kilroot Mine near Carrickfergus, Irish Salt Mining and Exploration (ISME) has been providing de-icing rock salt since 1965. Using groundbreaking technology the rock salt is produced by room and pillar dry mining with all processes carried out on site.
For more than 40 years Irish Salt Mining & Exploration has been at the heart of road safety, providing the best quality rock salt to keep our roads ice-free. On average approximately half a million tonnes of rock salt is produced and supplied throughout Ireland and the UK by their sales division, Salt Sales Company.
For more information visit www.irishsaltmining.com/home.htm
INEOS Enterprises are the UK’s largest manufacturer of vacuum salt products used for industrial and domestic applications.
Based in Runcorn, Cheshire, INEOS Enterprises supply a full range of quality salt products for many industries including food and drink, water-softening, animal nutrition, industrial, chemicals and manufacturing and de-icing.
INEOS are committed to providing first class products and service with all products being assured under the ISO9001 Quality Management Systems standard , whilst food products are certified to the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety.
For more information visit http://www.ineos.com/businesses/ineos-enterprises/businesses/ineos-salt