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The Truth About Deicing Chemicals: Is Calcium Chloride Safe?


As we navigate the icy trails of winter, the safety of our walkways becomes a primary concern. This is where deicing chemicals come in, granting us passage through frosty terrain. But amidst the relief these chemicals provide, have we ever stopped to ponder their safety and impact on the environment? One of the most prevalent of these chemicals is calcium chloride. In this piece, let’s unmask the truths about this icy adversary and determine how safe it really is.

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Is Calcium Chloride Safe: A Closer Look 

Comprising calcium and chlorine, calcium chloride is a compound that has earned quite a reputation in the world of deicers. Why? Its superpower lies in its ability to depress the freezing point of water, effectively sending ice and snow packing. It even works in conditions that would have other deicers shivering. But, does this deicing prowess come with a price?

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Demystifying Calcium Chloride: The Good, The Bad, The Necessary

  1. Ice’s Worst Nightmare: When it comes to clearing ice and snow, calcium chloride shines. Its exothermic nature means it generates heat during the process, facilitating the quick melting of ice. This feature makes it an MVP in battling severe winter conditions.
  2. Rust and Dust: Despite its benefits, calcium chloride is not without faults. It’s corrosive to some metals, and when it conspires with concrete over time, the results are less than pleasant. Its effects also ripple into the environment. Runoff carrying calcium chloride can increase the salinity of nearby water bodies, posing a threat to aquatic life. This makes responsible use and disposal a must.
  3. Skin Deep: While generally safe when used as intended, calcium chloride can play the irritant. Contact with skin and eyes can be unpleasant, while accidental ingestion can turn your stomach. Therefore, it’s crucial to follow safety guidelines, don protective gear when handling, and keep it out of reach of curious children and pets.

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The Balancing Act: Safe Usage Of Calcium Chloride

Treading the thin ice between effective deicing and safety might seem daunting, but by following a few precautions, it becomes a cinch:

  • Choose a non-toxic, non-corrosive ice melt that retains the effectiveness of calcium chloride and comes with zero side effect. Yes, we’re talking about Safe Paw. Safe Paw is a patented dual-effect compound. The liquid component starts melting ice instantly while breaking its surface tension. This allows the crystal core to quickly penetrate and destabilize the ice and speed up the melting process. All this while Safe Paw proprietary traction agent provides slip protection. 
  • Suit up with protective gear, such as gloves and goggles, before handling.
  • Apply conservatively to reduce potential environmental damage.
  • Store away from moisture and incompatible substances, in a cool, dry haven.
  • Dispose of unused ice melt responsibly, according to local regulations.

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Conclusion: Deicing Responsibly

Yes, calcium chloride is an option in battling icy obstacles, but it demands respectful and responsible usage. By understanding its strengths and potential weaknesses, we can make more informed choices. Ensuring the safety of our walkways doesn’t have to come at the expense of our environment.

Gaia Enterprises Inc. delivers 100% pet-safe and environmentally friendly winter products. Safe Paw, our flagship product, is the #1 selling pet-safe ice melt that does not harm pets, safe if ingested, and safe on all types of concrete.


FAQ 1: Can Calcium Chloride Wreak Havoc On Concrete? 

Indeed, it can. Calcium chloride can speed up the deterioration of concrete, particularly when used in high concentrations or over time. Moderation and protective measures for concrete surfaces are key.

FAQ 2: Is Calcium Chloride A Danger To Pets And Plants? 

Ingesting it can potentially harm pets and plants, so it’s best to keep Fido and your flora away from treated areas. If this poses a challenge, consider pet-friendly deicing alternatives like Safe Paw.

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