road salt

Rock salt is one practice of deicing winter roads

Road Salts and Deicers

Click here for resources on the human health, environmental, and financial costs associated with  Road Salts and for tips on how to reduce over-application of deicing agents.

About 40% of salt use in some areas of NY are from private users. In addition to being used on public roads, salt is also used on parking lots and internal roads of commercial and industrial establishments, schools, churches, apartment complexes, camp roads, or private driveways and drives. 

Adding too much salt to an icy surface is an unnecessary cost and can increase damage to concrete, metal, drinking water, vegetation, fish and wildlife, as well as air and water quality - which can impact human health.

Private contractors, those who hire private contractors, and individuals who apply their own de-icing/anti-icing products have an opportunity and responsibility to implement more sustainable practices that reduce the negative environmental, health, and financial impacts of over application or rock salt.

Be an informed consumer: chemical deicers and other marketed products

New products with progressive promises and appealing names are introduced every year. These products are usually either patented, proprietary mixtures of the same chemical deicers marked at a higher price. For more information regarding what chemicals to look for, search ‘Road Salts’ on

Many road salt alternatives have a relatively short history of use and/or research behind them, making it unclear what the potential long-term environmental and human health impacts they may have. Continuing research, scientific analysis, and encouraging consumer precaution are highly encouraged

Last updated March 16, 2021