Urea (also called carbamide) is a chemical that you will find in most fertilizer formulas and “pet-friendly” de-icers.
It is 46% nitrogen.
But that same nitrogen is often a problem when used heavily in winter applications as it can burn turf and shrubs with over application.
Like any deicer used in excess (except EcoGrit Concentrate), products with urea can burn vegetation and cause damage.
Urea pollution can trigger ocean algae to produce a deadly toxin called domoic acid, scientists have discovered.
The research may help explain several mass animal deaths, including a historic bird stranding event thought to have inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s horror film The Birds.
While it works extremely well as a fertilizer ingredient, it is only moderately effective as an ice melter.
As the old saying goes, as an ice melt chemical it’s better than nothing – but not by much.