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Administrative data

biological effects monitoring
Adequacy of study:
other information
4 (not assignable)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
other: x

Data source

No information
Transport Canada (1992). Environmental impact from the use of sodium formate at Halifax International Airport. Volume I: Final Report. Prepared by Nolan Davis & Associates, Nov 1992.

Materials and methods

Test material

Constituent 1
Chemical structure
Reference substance name:
Sodium formate
EC Number:
EC Name:
Sodium formate
Cas Number:
Molecular formula:
sodium formate
Test material form:
solid: crystalline

Results and discussion

Any other information on results incl. tables

Memo: Use of sodium formate as de-icing agent on airports

Transport Canada conducted and environmental assessment to
compare the use of sodium formate (NaFo) with urea as a
runway anti-icer/deicer at the Halifax International
Airport. Over the winter of 1991-92, 16 tons of NaFo were
used on a taxiway with a unique drainage system so that
potential environmental effects of NaFo could be identified.
Urea was used on two runways and its effects wre compared
with those from NAFo.  Streams and groundwater were
monitored for several parameters with the following issues
of primary importance:
 * The effect on ground and surface water, especially oxygen
 * The effect on the microbial community
 * The effect on aquatic biota
 * The mobilization of metals
 * The effect on vegetation

The effects of sodium formate on surface vegetation growth
were also determined in a greenhouse study in which sodium
formate solution was applied bi-weekly to representative
plants at rates from 0.1 to 48 g/m² of soil. Biweekly 

concentrations at  and above 33 g/m² reduced plant biomass 

growth. These inhibitory  concentrations are, however, very 

high concentrations that would not be  encountered in this 

application of sodium formate.

Applicant's summary and conclusion

The conclusions drawn are: the use of sodium formate as a
de-icing agent applied during the winter of 1991-1992 at the Halifax International Airport, appears to have had no adverse effect on
(1) the in situ concentration of total heterotrophic bacteria, regardless whether these were eiether aerobic or anerobic and either psychrophilic or mesophilic bacteria;
(2) the in situ concentrations of fungi, regardless whether these fungi were either psychrophilic or mesophilic moulds;
(3) the soil respiration characteristics of the rate of
carbon dioxide evolved, the proportion of organic carbon
metabolized, or the temperature coefficient Q10;
4. vegetated soil when applied biweekly at concentrations of less than 2000 mg/l did not appear to inhibit vegetative plant growth.

Application of NaFo at greater concentrations,
specifically 3500 and 5000 mg NaFo/L did inhibit vegetative
plant growth appreciably (approximately 65 percent and 70
percent respectively).
5. When NaFo was applied in single applications, the
inhibition of surface vegetative growth was directly
proportional to the mass of NaFo applied. Application of 500
mg NaFo/kg, which is equivalent to 84.5 g/m2 , caused 50
percent inhibition. Concentrations of between 1000 and 3500
mg/kg (169 and 591.5 g/M2 respectively) caused approximately
75 percent inhibition and 5000 mg/kg (845 g/m2) caused
approximately 95 percent inhibition.
6. Results of the microbiological evaluation tests suggest
that, unusually high concentrations of NaFo that
are unlikely to be encountered during normal use as a
de?icing agent, NaFo causes no deleterious disruptions in
the in situ microbiological populations.

Results of the vegetative surface growth tests suggest that
when NaFo is applied in moderate concentrations over a
prolonged period of time at concentrations of less than 2000
mg NaFo/1, no deleterious disruptions in the plant life may
be expected. However, spills of solid NaFo on vegetated
surfaces should be avoided, as doses of as little as 1.69 g
NaFo/M2 may cause deleterious disruptions in the surface
plant growth.

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