Dishwasher detergent phosphate ban

According to a press release from Seventh Generation, a voluntary ban on phosphates in dishwasher detergents will begin in the USA soon for members of the American Cleaning Institute, a trade body representing most of the nation’s detergent companies.
While phosphate use in laundry detergent has been banned for quite some time, dishwasher detergents can still legally contain it in many U.S. states.
Given the steady increase in the presence of dishwashers in homes and the fact that dishwasher detergent can contain up to 24% phosphate; this voluntary ban is an important step in greening the task of washing dishes.
Aside from a looming global shortage of phosphorous, dubbed “peak phosphorous“, a situation that has major implications for agriculture; phosphates discharged into aquatic environment boost the growth of algae. 
Some species of algae are toxic, but more importantly, algae blooms can rob the surrounding waters of oxygen, turning large areas into “dead zones” where few aquatic organisms can survive. 
According to Jon Scott, spokesperson for Clean Water Action, “Combined with previous legislative bans on phosphates in laundry detergent and 16 state bans of phosphates in dishwasher detergent, this change adds new momentum to U.S. water protection efforts by removing a significant source of phosphate pollution before it enters our water.”
Other major sources of phosphate pollution include agriculture, where fertilizer runoff is thought to be a major contributing factor to the massive dead zones that appear in the Gulf of Mexico each year.
Phosphate isn’t the only earth-damaging nasty in dishwashing detergent – learn more : dishwashing detergent’s environmental impact.
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