The Dangers of Potassium Chloride Ice Melters

Many parents, pet owners and wildlife lovers wrongly assume that potassium chloride rock salt is the same stuff they put on their food, only in larger form. They conclude that if it is safe to eat, it must be safe to use on their sidewalks, steps and other icy surfaces – surfaces where children and animals might easily come in contact with and even ingest potassium chloride.

However, table salt is sodium chloride, NaCl, not potassium chloride, KCl. While the salt you season food with is safe in limited quantities, potassium chloride poses much higher health risks including death. There are other reasons not to use KCl as ice melt, and they are discussed below along with a safe, effective alternative ice melt: Safe Paw.

Potassium Chloride Health Risks

You might know that potassium chloride is available as a dietary supplement. But, does that make it safe? First, the supplement form is regulated for dose and for purity. Rock salt potassium chloride ice melt is not regulated for human consumption and often contains poisonous impurities.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is one of many health organization warning against exposure to potassium chloride.

The CDC lists health problems caused by casual contact with KCl:

  • Cough and sore throat caused by inhaling KCl dust (such as during handling or spreading)
  • Redness and eye pain (when eyes are rubbed with hands that have handled KCl or dust gets into the eyes while spreading)
  • Nausea, vomiting, weakness, convulsions caused by ingesting potassium chloride

Children and pets like the taste of salt, including KCl salt. When they ingest too much of it, serious health risks occur including stomach ulcers and internal bleeding.

The Mayo Clinic reports that potassium poisoning leads to hyperkalemia, a condition that results in diminished kidney function and cardiac failure when acute. In fact, did you know that potassium chloride is used in lethal injections to stop the heart?

Pets are susceptible to all these dangers and more common ones too. When they walk on KCl ice melt and other rock salt products, the skin on their paws can be irritated and even burned, resulting in a painful rash or blistering. If your dog is exposed to rock salt while on your daily walk around the neighborhood, rinse off its paws when you get home, and never let your dog stop to lick salt off the ground.

Safe Paw – A Safe and Effective Ice Melt

Pet owners and parents breathe a sigh of relief when they learn about Safe Paw ice melt. Not only is it safe for pets, people and the planet, it works at a lower temperature and melts ice more effective than rock salt like potassium chloride. This reduces the risk of dangerous slips and falls on icy surfaces, the main reason to use ice melt in the first place.

Safety First: Safe Paw is recognized as safe for people, pets and the planet, as these recommendations show:

Secure Footing Too: What good is ice melt if it doesn’t work? While KCl rock salt becomes ineffective in very cold temperatures, Safe Pet effectively melts ice at any temperature:

  • The outer layer liquefies when it contacts the ice, and this releases a proprietary, safe ice-melting formula that breaks up the slick surface of the ice
  • The inner core of amide, a safe and proven ice melter, can then penetrate deep into the ice to destroy its structure
  • The blend includes a safe level of glycol, a substance used in deicing products and to prevent freezing
  • When the ice is melted and the moisture evaporates, a coating of Safe Paw is left behind to prevent icy surfaces when the next storm comes

Safe Paw is the top-selling ice melt brand because of its prestigious awards and recommendations, and because it is recommended by pediatricians, veterinarians and animal hospitals, animal shelters and humane societies and wildlife experts.

Find a Safe Paw retailer today. There’s one in your neighborhood, and Safe Paw can be ordered online too. It’s the right choice for pets, kids and the planet!

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