Dishwashing detergent manufacturers are visiting states to try to keep them from banning phosphorous in their products. Lester Graham reports phosphorous is polluting some waterways:
Dishwashing detergent manufacturers are visiting states to try to keep them from banning phosphorus in their products. Lester Graham reports phosphorus is polluting some waterways:
Too much of the nutrient phosphorus means too much algae growth. When the vegetation dies, it sinks, rots, and robs the water of oxygen, causing a dead zone. It was a common problem until phosphorus was banned in laundry detergent in the 1970s. Phosphates are still allowed in dishwashing detergent.
Steve Lentsch is with the company Ecolab. It’s the world’s largest dishwashing detergent manufacturer, supplying hospitals, schools and restaurants that use commercial dishwashers.
“And phosphorus is an essential ingredient to the dishwash detergents to ensure that the dishware becomes sanitary, and clean, of course.”
Ecolab, Proctor and Gamble, and other detergent makers say without phosphates, people won’t be satisfied with the results. But environmentalists say increased use of dishwashers is contributing to an increased occurrence of dead zones in lakes and estuaries.
For the Environment Report, this is Lester Graham.