- In temperate urbanized areas where road salting is used for winter road maintenance, the level of chloride in surface waters has been increasing. While a number of studies have shown that the early-life stages of freshwater mussels are particularly sensitive to salt; few studies have examined the toxicity of salt-impacted winter road runoff to the early-life stages of freshwater mussels to confirm that chloride is the driver of toxicity in this mixture. This study examines the acute toxicity of field-collected winter road runoff to the glochidia of wavy-rayed lampmussels (Lampsilis fasciola) (48 h exposure) and newly released juvenile fatmucket mussels (Lampsilis siliquoidea) (<1 week old; 96 h exposure) under different water hardness. The chronic toxicity (28 d) to older juvenile L. siliquoidea (7-12 months old) was also investigated. The 48-h EC50 and 96-h LC50 for L. fasciola glochidia and L. siliquoidea juveniles exposed to different dilutions of road run-off created with moderately hard synthetic water (∼80 mg CaCO3/L) were 1177 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1011-1344 mg Cl-/L) and 2276 mg Cl-/L (95% CI: 1698-2854 mg Cl-/L), respectively. These effect concentrations correspond with the toxicity of chloride reported in other studies, indicating that chloride is likely the driver of toxicity in salt-impacted road-runoff, with other contaminants (e.g., metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) playing a de minimis role. Toxicity data from the current study and literature and concentrations of chloride in the surface waters of Ontario were used to conduct a probabilistic risk assessment of chloride to early-life stage freshwater mussels. The assessment indicated that chronic exposure to elevated chloride levels could pose a risk to freshwater mussels; further investigation is warranted to ensure that the most sensitive organisms are protected.