Q.: What's this we hear about calcium magnesium acetate as a deicer that doesn't corrode steel? Is somebody making it, and if so where do we get it?

A.: It's an experimental product whose manufacture is still being developed and would be pretty expensive if made in the small quantities and by the methods used so far--perhaps 18 to 19 cents a pound exclusive of distribution costs. It is reported to be noncorrosive to steel, and it's made by reacting dolomite (mainly a mixture of calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate) with acetic acid. The Federal Highways Administration, the Michigan Department of Transportation and others are taking an active interest in the manufacture of the product and in studying how well it performs as a deicer. Only experimental quantities have been made so far. We hope to keep you posted about any new developments.