Harmful deicer promoted in local stores by false ads

Today I received an email advertising "Safe Step Sure Paws Ice Melt from Ace Hardware." The ad says... 

*Salt free 
*Safe for pets and skin, non- irritating 
*Safe on lawns, shrubs and vegetation 
*Safe for the environment."

Salt has killed the shrubs in Ace's own parking lot.

Every one of these statements is false.

The truth about this deicer

  • No Salt? It's about half common salt (sodium chloride) and half magnesium chloride. Both are considered salts.
  • Safe on plants? The two salts are known to degrade soil and kill many plants in your yard.  Just look at the sidewalks near shopping centers and schools (photo below).  You'll see a strip of dead grass on either side.
  • Safe for the environment?  Both contain chloride, which is increasing every year in our lakes and drinking water.  Chloride is known to be lethal to fish and the small things they eat--though some species are more sensitive than others.
  • Non-irritating?  The data sheet for this product says: " Caution. Eye and skin irritant." Symptoms may include redness, edema, drying, defatting, and cracking of the skin.  Symptoms of overexposure may be headache, dizziness, tiredness, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Safe for pets?  We've all seen our pets licking their feet after they come in from a walk.
The final insult

The third ingredient, glucopyranoside, may be present up to 1%.  This also may be an eye and skin irritant, and harmful to aquatic life.  "The toxicity of this substance has not been fully investigated."

Get free ice-melting instead
  • If you use a sharp snow shovel, and get most of the snow off as soon as it falls, the remainder will evaporate, and you won't get ice.
  • If ice does develop, use an ice chopper tool.
  • Or, use free sand supplied by the City around town in the blue barrels.  The sand contains 15% salt.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to comment on the article above, or on other watershed issues.