Concerned with chemicals used to clean Hoboken sidewalks
Hoboken resident Kevin (and others) have expressed concern about what agents are being used to “beautify” the city.
“I live on the 200 block of Washington Street. Every morning (7:15) when I walk my dog I see a staff member at Arthur’s scrubbing the sidewalk with a chemical. The substance produces white bubbles and they use it on the Washington and 3rd Street sidewalks. When I try to walk through this area the man instructs me not to let my dog walk in it because “it’s acid.” After scrubbing he then sprays the sidewalk down with a hose and the water runs into the nearest drain inlet.
I think (though I’m not sure) that Hoboken’s inlets go to local waterways. This doesn’t seem like a safe practice. If it’s dangerous for my dogs feet to touch this stuff, then it’s probably not a good thing to be putting into the Hudson.
I wonder if anyone has ever looked into this substance and what the health and environmental effects are. I have also seen an employee at Cucharamama using the same chemical once. Could this be safe?”
Hydrochloric Acid good for the environment?
Kevin followed up a few days later and said:
“I snapped this picture this morning (see above). You can see the white foam running over the curb. I didn’t get a chance to ask the guy what he substance is. I did some research online. It is most likely Muriatic Acid. This used to be a very common agent for cleaning sidewalks in the past. Muriatic Acid is just another term for Hydrocloric Acid.
I learned quite a bit here: naturalhandyman.com/iip/infxtra/infmur.html.
It’s considered one of the most dangerous chemicals available to consumers over the counter. If it is indeed Muriatic Acid it should not be put in the drain. Not only does it have environmental effects but it’s terrible for plumbing and erodes pipes and dissolves solder. It seems Hoboken has enough water main breaks without people dumping eroding chemicals into the pipes.”
How do you feel about these chemicals? Are clean sidewalks a must, regardless of how?