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Toxicological Effects of Chloride Based Deicers in the Natural Environment – Pre Award

Project #: 4W4504
Start Date: 06/01/2013
End Date: 02/01/2014
Status: Completed

Maintenance agencies are responsible for providing a high level of services (LOS) on winter roadways, improving safety and mobility in a cost-effective manner, and minimizing corrosion and other adverse effects to the environment. Many transportation agencies apply deicing materials to the road before or after snowfall to improve safety and mobility. However, these products become part of the snowmelt runoff; therefore, agencies need comprehensive information about the impact of these products in order to make informed decisions.

The most commonly used deicer products are chloride-based. Previous research has established the chemical composition of these materials, as well as their chemical and biological properties. However, limited information is available regarding the aquatic toxicity of these materials. In addition, the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) has identified a need for further characterization and monitoring of snowmelt runoff, focused on the impacts of deicers.


The objective of this project was to conduct a literature review on chloride-based deicer toxicity to the environment, create guidelines on effective practices and standards, and draft a scope of work for laboratory and field testing.


  • Xianming Shi
    Xianming Shi
  • Laura Fay
    Laura Fay