Determining the Toxicity of Deicing Materials

Testing ToxicityProblem

The winter maintenance community has information on the relative corrosive properties of deicing chemicals, liquid and solid, in use throughout North America (MgCl2, NaCl, “beet juice” etc.). However, there is little information available regarding the toxicity of these various compounds, especially to the aquatic environment.


This project evaluated the toxicity of deicing chemicals in the following base chemical categories: Magnesium Chloride, Calcium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Acetate and Glycerol. As a result, the researchers were able to develop a ranking of the chemicals according to toxicity.


A final report and a concise summary of the toxicity rankings that helps winter highway maintenance managers consider both expected levels of service and potential harm to the environment when selecting a deicer to use.

See the final presentation webinar below.