De-icing agents

The provisions of Annex 2.7 aim to ensure that de-icing agents are handled in an environmental safe way without jeopardising road safety.

1. Main points

De-icing and thawing agents may only be supplied and used if they contain the following thawing substances:

  • Sodium chloride, calcium chloride or magnesium chloride
  • Urea
  • Biodegradable lower alcohols
  • Sodium and potassium salts (formic and acetic acids)
  • Molasses from sugar production that contain carbohydrates and are biodegradable, and equivalent products from other processes

The use of urea, biodegradable lower alcohols and acetates is only permitted at airports.

The use of formates is only permitted at airports and on footpaths that border on areas of greenery.

De-icing agents that contain molasses from sugar production that contain carbohydrates may only be used in the form of brine additives and as follows:

  • On motorways if the delivery of the brine takes place mechanically with the aid of the brine or pre-wetted salt technology and their dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is readily biodegradable, and if their mass content does not exceed 20 g/kg in the case of use of the brine technology and 10 g/kg of pre-wetted salt in the case of use of the pre-wetted salt technology
  • On other roads if the delivery of the brine takes place mechanically with the aid of the pre-wetted salt technology, and if the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is readily biodegradable and the mass content does not exceed 10 g/kg of pre-wetted salt

2. Exceptions

Upon request, the FOEN has the authority to permit users to apply de-icing agents containing substances other than those cited above for the purpose of carrying out suitability tests.

Exceptions can only be granted to users. Suppliers of de-icing agents and other parties who use thawing or de-icing agents within the scope of a mandate from a canton, municipality or company are, unlike the latter three entities, not classified as "users" in the legal sense.

The FOEN does not have the authority to permit substances that may only be used as de-icing agents at airports and on footpaths bordering on areas of greenery to also be used by way of exception on roads or in other areas of application for the purpose of carrying out suitability tests.

Further information

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Last modification 02.09.2019

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