Farewell to phosphorus

phosphorus pollution

I was super delighted to read from Kemikaalicoctail (in Finnish only..sorry) that Finland will be banning the use of phosphorus in 2012!! Hurray! The most important commercial use of phosphorus-based chemicals is the production of fertilizers. But phosphorus is something that is present in almost all household cleaning chemicals and people wash and flush down tons of it with water when cleaning their homes. If you don´t know what it is or what it does, here´s the fact pack:

"Phosphorus is a nutrient essential to both plant and animal life. Aquatic plants, by a magnitude of thousands, require less phosphorus than terrestrial plants to grow. Excess amounts of phosphorus and nitrogen cause rapid growth of phytoplankton, or algae, creating dense populations, or blooms. These blooms become so dense that they reduce the amount of sunlight available to submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV). Without sufficient light, plants cannot photosynthesize and produce the food they need to survive. The loss of sunlight can kill aquatic grasses. Algae may also grow directly on the surface of SAV. Unconsumed algae will ultimately sink and be decomposed by bacteria in a process that depletes bottom waters of oxygen. Like humans, most aquatic species require oxygen. When oxygen in deep water is depleted, fish and other species will die unless they move to other areas of suitable habitat. To summarize, phosphorus pollution accelerates a process called eutrophication, which is essentially the process of a lake’s biological death due to depleted bioavailable oxygen." (Source SERC)

In short too much nutrients chokes marine and freshwater ecosystems.

Noora is a Finnish blogger who writes about the chemicals we use daily, in food, make-up and washing products. I have learned so many things by reading her blog. From Noora´s post on phosphorus: "According to the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Comissions report by giving up phosphorus in our household chemicals would reduce the phosphorus emissions by 3000–9000 tons yearly! This would be nearly one quarter of all the manmade phosphorus pouring into Baltic Sea. So this is not small quantities we´re talking about. WWF marine biologist Sampsa Vilhunen says that "By banning the use of phosphorus in household chemicals would be one of the easiest and money saving actions we could do to help stop polluting Baltic Sea. Swhiching into more ecological household chemicals would have minimal cost but the benefits to the sea would be significant." (source:WWF)"

ecover product range

This is the main reason why I´m using only Ecover in my home.
They have all the same products than other household cleaning manufacturers (laundry, dishes, cleaning..) but I can be sure that me keeping my house clean does not effect nature negatively. They are 100% biodegradable and not tested on animals. I´ve used them now for over almost two years. I actually feel they smell better than the regular cleaning products and they do not dry out my hands or cause irritation. Also if you prefer buying organic cotton clothes and other ecological materials, don´t you think they should also be washes ecologically?! When I started using Ecover, one could not find it in very many stores, but now you can find it in almost any supermarket in Helsinki area. If you don´t have it in your supermarket, ask them to order it. That´s how I got it to my local store. It is a bit more expencive than regular detergents, but I figured that as a working, responsible adult I have to afford it. Ruohonjuuri (our local eco market) sells also refills so you can take the old bottles to the store with you, refill them and pay less than with the bottles. Less waste!

So I urge all my readers to seek more ecological ways to clean your homes. Let´s kiss phosphorus goodbye in 2010 (better than 2012) and help our seas get better. We need them. And, no. This is not a paid post...

*edit* I just thought of this...
Ecover product package would make a killer eco-housewarming-present!!!

Outi Les Pyy

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5 comments:

  1. Hienoa että kirjoitat tällaisista aiheista! Kannattaa muuten kokeilla pesupähkinöitä pyykinpesussa, toimii ainakin mulla.

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  2. I adore Ecover - Their limescale remover for the shower is the best thing ever, and my Mother is also very impressed and I bet she's seen more than her fair share of products that don't actually work! Great way to get people to make a start looking after our surroundings

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  3. "So I urge all my readers to seek more ecological ways to clean your homes. Let´s kiss phosphorus goodbye in 2012 and help our seas get better. We need them."

    Painovirhe? Sopisiko paremmin: Let's kiss phosporus goodbye in 2010... Kun kuitenkin tässä mainostat noita tuotteita, joissa sitä ei ole, ja niitä on saatavilla jo nyt. Eli jos mieluummin kannustettaisiin ihmisiä noitten pariin nytihanheti eikä vasta kahden vuoden päästä kun on pakko ;)

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  4. Nunu, You´re so right! :D Let´s edit the post a bit...

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  5. Kempparin postauksen kommenttiosiossa puitiin muuten Ecoveriakin. Kannattaa käydä tsekkamassa, hyviä kommentteja oli muutenkin paljon.

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