The Live for Tomorrow range of laundry detergents have specifically been formulated to be phosphate free.
Why were phosphates used?
Phosphates have been used in many cleaning products for a number of years as it helps to soften water and boosts cleaning power of the detergent.
Why phosphate free is important
Phosphates are derived from phosphorus (a nutrient vital to plant life), when excessive amounts of phosphates enter our waterways they cause a rapid build-up or “bloom” of algae which depletes oxygen from the water harming fish and other aquatic species. Phosphates allow algae in the water to grow faster than would naturally occur, turning clear lakes and rivers green and cloudy. This extra algal growth is not only unappealing to look at, but can also make the water smell bad and make it unsuitable for swimming. It can also make drinking water more expensive to filter and can spoil the taste or smell of the drinking water. In the long run, the excess algal growth can have devastating impacts on the health and age of a fresh water lake or river, causing eutrophication to speed up, where lakes and other water bodies fill in with dead algae and other organic matter and eventually turn into dry land.
Canada acts – but too little
To help control the amount of phosphates released into our lakes and rivers, the Canadian federal government has announced that all laundry and dishwasher detergents sold in Canada must limit phosphates to 0.5% by the year 2010. However, this proposal does not include:
- All products;
- Some household cleaning products (if warranted);
- Agricultural applications; and
- Commercial applications.
The Canadian federal authorities need to take more direct action and set the standard rather than taking a laissez-faire attitude.
Additional is available at Treehugger.com: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2008/02/15/qc-phosphates0215.html
Read the CBC coverage: