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> Product Data > Urea Cares About Safety - Here's What You Need To Know About Urea
Urea is a chemical that you'll find in most fertilizer formulas. It is 46% nitrogen, which makes it desirable for use in fertilizers. But that same nitrogen is often a problem when used heavily in winter applications. Like any deicer used in excess, products with urea can burn vegetation and cause damage. Also called "carbamide," urea is often used in areas where chlorides cannot be tolerated at all, such as on elevated walkways and in airports. While it works extremely well as a fertilizer ingredient, it is only moderately effective as an ice melter. As the old saying goes, it's better than nothing - but not much better. Our experience is that urea provides as much traction from not melting as it does provide melting of snow and ice.

Potassium Chloride is lumped into the same category as urea because it, too, is a common fertilizer ingredient as a source of potassium. Potassium Chloride has a relatively high eutectic point, which makes it not particularly well suited for snow and ice control. Chemical deicers will help remove ice, but can also cause damage to the surrounding environment. Over application of chemical de-icers can shorten the life span of concrete surfaces, corrode metal railings, pollute streams and lakes through run-off water, damage soils, and stunt or kill plants adjacent to de-iced areas. Manual snow-removal followed by the application of an abrasive, such as damp sand or kitty litter to create traction, can keep sidewalks safe without the problems associated with deicers. Using deicers wisely, or replacing them with manual removal and abrasives, can minimize the potential for damage while keeping steps and sidewalks safe.

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