Study: Road deicing chemicals can be corrosive - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Study: Road deicing chemicals can be corrosive

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Now that temperatures in the Valley are predicted to rise above freezing, you may be thinking about washing several weeks of road deicing chemicals from your car, truck or S-U-V.

The International Carwash Association is reminding motorists that the use of wintertime deicing chemicals can cause serious damage, particularly to the exposed underbody of vehicles.

Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommended that owners of most vehicles wash the underside of their vehicles to remove corrosive salt in order to prevent brake-line failures.

“Keeping roads clear of ice and snow is obviously an important part of safe winter driving, but so is protecting your vehicle,” said ICA CEO Eric Wulf. “Brake lines and other mechanical systems can become degraded, or even fail, due to exposure to roadway deicing chemicals. Those same chemicals can also cause rust to eat through the vehicle’s body – making regular car washing a wise investment in safety and the value of your vehicle.”

Research has determined that nearly every chemical used to de-ice roadways has some corrosive effect, whether those chemicals are chloride-based, acetates or carbohydrates.

Brines can be especially dangerous to a vehicle, as they are commonly used to make salts “stickier” to roadways – resulting in even more opportunity for corrosive chemicals to damage cars.

Roadway chemicals, while a safety necessity, can also cause pollution, particularly in the form of runoff to streams and waterways.

Professional car washes must comply with federal and state regulations governing water discharge, meaning water used in the wash processes is cleaned prior to being returned to the environment.  

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