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Phosphate Laundry Detergents - Worldwide Janitor

Savogran 10622 Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) 4.5lbs

$15.95


This is a top of the line all-in-one powdered laundry detergent

But P&G already stopped using phosphates in laundry detergent sold across the US in the early 1990s as part of a voluntary commitment from the American Cleaning Institute, an industry group of which the company is a member. It also removed phosphates from its detergents sold in the Europe several years ago.

But P&G already stopped using phosphates in laundry detergent sold across the US in the early 1990s as part of a voluntary commitment from the American Cleaning Institute, an industry group of which the company is a member. It also removed phosphates from its detergents sold in the Europe several years ago.

HISTORICAL PERSPECITVE OF THE PHOSPHATE DETERGENT CONFLICT

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    In any case, the upshot has been that about half the states in the USA, and much of Europe, have limited or banned the use of phosphates in laundry detergents. In the US at least, however, in most areas phosphates are still allowed in laundry detergents for institutional or commercial laundries - a testiment to the clear cleaning value that complex phosphates add to the laundry process. And of course phosphates are still allowed in dishwasher detergents throughout the USA, another recognition that their function is difficult to replace with other compounds. In Europe and increasingly in the USA, compounds such as zeolites (aluminum silicates) and phosphonates (a form of phosphate not thought to aid algae growth) are being used as subsitutes for complex phosphates in laundry detergents. However many powdered detergents simply use sodium carbonate as the main builder, with some sodium silicate to help protect washer parts, and some modified paper pulp, known as CMC or carboxymethylcellulose, to help prevent the redeposition of soil back onto fabrics. Also, more sophisticated laundry detergents have newer and patented chemicals to help address the functions once served by complex phosphates. Some of these newer chemicals are much more toxic than the phosphates they replace, and in one case, an attempted subsititution resulted in holes being eaten in some fabrics!

    Now, the situation is more complex, if you will, that a simple link between phosphates in laundry detergents and eutrophication. That's because phosphates are also an essential nutrient for humans, and a large part of the phosphates that enter the waste stream are from human bodily functions. Additionally, phosphates are still allowed in dishwasher detergents, and overfertilizing of gardens, lawns, and agricultural fields can add more to the fresh water ecosystem. There is also some opinion that focusing solely on phosphates as a solution to pollution ignores the deleterious effects of high amounts of nitrogen and other contaminants in waste waters. Additionally, tertiary sewage treatment plants can remove phosphates from waste waters, and the recovered phosphates can be used in animal feeds or as fertilizers.