This article caught my attention: Environmentalists: Hands Off My Dishes! She talks about the slow merge the dishwashing detergent companies are making to phosphate free detergents. Phosphates are what makes dishwashing detergent work!
I was curious about this story, and from what I found there are states that have banned (or limited) phosphates. So people basically end up smuggling in phosphate detergents so they can get clean dishes! Articles I found from states who adopted the ban even mention the phosphate free (or low%) are not as affective… sigh. The big-ban went into effect July 2010, but many states have been working on this for years. I am glad to still live in a free & clean state, but what happens in one state can easily happen in other.. so be aware!
So which states can you find unclean clothes & dirty dishes? (I have included a variety of links with each state, some are eco-freak sites, some are local media, some are blogs, etc)
- DC (also was not mentioned, in the Washington article & map, but they were mentioned in the MD article)
- Indiana: already eliminated phosphates in laundry detergent (over 35 years ago), then turned on dishes.
- New Hampshire
- New York (was not mentioned in the WA article & map, but they too are very much on board)
- Vermont (the home of phosphate free products, of course)
- Washington: 1994 the bans started, then they kept lowering the % permitted.
I know, what no California? I am shocked too! While the governor of CA vetoed the ban, some areas are doing it voluntarily ( Oakland.) I do really question the sanity of CA!
Washington’s information also included a map, but without explanation on what the colors mean.. There is also an article on USAToday about the 16 states that hopped on the BAN-wagon.
Hands Off My Dishes! As of July 2010, the nation’s detergent manufacturers, bowing to laws regulating phosphorus in 17 states, reconfigured the formula for all dishwashing soap to contain less than 0.5 percent phosphorus. It’s taken till now for most of us to notice, as we used up the old (the wonderful old) soap and unwittingly made the switch.
Eco-freaks, of course, have led to this problem.. Yet dishwashing detergent does not even measure up to being a fraction of the concern in rivers & streams.
Environmentalists do have a limited, tunnel-vision thought process. They eliminate what makes dishwashing detergents work.. people end up using more water & energy running their dishwashers more times to get their dishes clean. Or people end up hand washing which uses more water. Or.. they have to pre-wash before using the dishwasher. Either way.. more water ends up on the chopping block.
So where does the amount of phosphorous in rivers & streams come from, they should be looking at land run off.. from fertilizers etc. I wonder if they will end up discovering the corn crops used for ethanol additive to gas, are to blame?
Adirondack Almanack: The new law, which takes effect January 1, 2012, also prohibits the application of any fertilizer whatsoever within 20 feet of a water body. Fertilizers can be used within ten feet of water if a vegetative buffer has been established along a shore.
Fertilizers are also in the crosshairs too.. (plus nitrogen, pretty much anything your lawn needs.. I guess the alternative will be maybe dust to throw on your lawn?) Naturally all the fertilizer bans have exceptions, agriculture is exempt, golf courses are exempt, and home owners who can prove they need it. So basically that fraction of a percent who use it sparingly, that are not contributing to any issue, they are the ones who can not use it. Ok that makes tons of sense (banging my head now). Heartland makes my point even better, as they talk about the what, hows & whys this ban is more politics vs realistic as well how the data gathered is inaccurate.
The underground eco-correction of our lives has been gradually sneaking up on us. Don’t forget to stock up on flash lights & candles.. since soon we will also be stuck with CFL or led lights..
Hands Off My Dishes! Remember those compact fluorescent light bulbs that were supposed to save billions of kilowatts of energy? California was an early adopter and is spending $548 million over seven years to subsidize the sale of the bulbs (the rest of us will see incandescent bulbs disappear from shelves by 2014). But now it seems the CFL bulbs don’t last 9.4 years — more like 6.3. They don’t work well when they’re cold. They’re very expensive. They cast a garish light. And if they break, you have to don a Hazmat suit to dispose of them. Meanwhile, LED lights are coming on fast, making the whole CFL thing seem as fresh as pet rocks.
PS.. if you are looking for a good dishwashing detergent, that actually contains phosphates, in other words a dishwashing detergent that works.. go with Electrasol/Finish Powerball Tablets! They are the best, have the most phosphates I have seen in any detergent! And heck 16 states ban such a product, you know it is good!
Drugstore.com: Electrasol® tabs averages not more than 8.7% phosphorous by weight, in the form of phosphates, which is equivalent to 1.8 grams per tablet. Electrosol® Detergent Tablets are safe for septic systems.