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Tox Town - Environmental health concerns and toxic chemicals where you live, work, and play
Rural and Unpaved Roadsen español

Why are rural and unpaved roads a concern?

Unpaved rural roads are a source of water and air pollution. If rural roads are unpaved, loose soil can be carried away from the roadway by water, wind, traffic, or snowmelt, causing soil erosion. More erosion can occur if there is a large amount of water runoff or if the road soil is poorly compacted. Most of the eroded soil ends up in streams and rivers, where it can collect and cause flooding, destroy aquatic habitat, and harm water quality. Unpaved roads in forests are also a major source of erosion from forested lands.

As traffic travels on unpaved roads, it grinds up the road’s dirt surface and creates coarse particulate matter and dust emissions. In rural agricultural areas, heavy agricultural equipment not only emits particulate matter when it is used on the farm, but also grinds up the soil surface of unpaved roads, causing more particulate matter pollution.

Safety concerns for drivers on rural roads include slippery surfaces, soft shoulders, no center line markings, and narrow road surfaces.

Web Links from MedlinePlus (National Library of Medicine)
Air Pollution
Motor Vehicle Safety

More Links
Rural Roads (Environmental Protection Agency)
Rural Roads and Safe Roads (Farm Safety 4 Just Kids)
Traffic Accidents and Rural Populations. PubMed/MEDLINE - Journal articles (National Library of Medicine)

Chemicals and Unpaved Roads
Are these chemicals in MY environment?
Particulate Matter

Last Updated: October 28, 2008

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