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认识您的居家清洁剂 – 磷酸盐 | Knowing Your Household Cleaner – Phosphates

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家用清洁产品中的磷酸盐

“无磷酸盐”可能是我去年在清洁产品上看到的最广泛使用的说法。但究竟什么是磷酸盐?它们为什么用于清洁产品?为什么这么多公司如此自豪地成为无磷?我们即将要发现……

什么是磷酸盐?

磷酸盐在商业和家用清洁产品中具有长期使用历史。自20世纪50年代以来,“三聚磷酸钠”被广泛的添加以改善洗洁剂的清洁能力。从60年代人们开始关注天然水源中磷酸盐的积累,并努力减少使用。差不多60年后,商店里的大多数清洁产品都被称为“无磷”。磷酸盐已被淘汰,或者是否已被更迫在眉睫的生态灾难(例如珊瑚礁的丧失,气候变化)所超越?

为什么磷酸盐会添加到清洁产品中?

磷酸盐主要用作洗衣或餐具清洁剂中的“助洗剂”(或“螯合剂”)。它们有助于软化硬水。他们通过防止自来水中的钙和镁离子与表面活性剂结合来完成的。这有两个主要好处:较少的“肥皂浮渣” – 水中的钙或镁与表面活性剂(“肥皂”)结合,形成不溶的“浮渣”。这可能会粘在衣服或头发上。磷酸盐与钙或镁结合,形成可洗去的可溶性分子。改善清洁功能 – 减少表面活性​​剂变成“肥皂浮渣”而流失,因此可以使用较少量(有利于有皮肤敏感的人),并且产品更有效地清洁。

磷酸盐有多危险?

从理论上讲,将磷酸盐添加到清洁产品中似乎是合乎逻辑的。于是被大量的使用的。在20世纪60年代,经过多年磷酸盐被人类冲洗到排水沟后,研究人员开始注意到天然水源的囤积以及与藻类过度繁殖的相关问题。这导致了大量针对风险性的调查:1.健康影响磷酸盐很难被人类吸收,所需的量是不可能导致有毒性。这些分子可能没有直接毒性,但它们会引起轻度刺激(尽管比洗洁剂中常见的其他分子少)。当首次观察到磷酸盐囤积时,人们担心长期对健康的影响 – 即使短期内没有直接毒性。动物在高剂量的研究表明磷酸盐长期可耐性良好。磷酸盐不被认为是有毒的,致癌的,致畸的(对未出生的婴儿有害)或致敏。2.环境影响磷酸盐的关键化学成分是与碳的结合(C-P)。这对生物降解具有抗性,因此分子在环境中持久残留。由于分子也是可溶性,它们在湖泊和河流中积累。水生动物对磷酸盐有良好的可耐性,就像人类一样。有害影响来自称为“优养化”的过程。这是过量营养导致藻类数量呈指数增长的原因。由此产生大量的藻类繁殖消耗了水生物氧气供应,从而大大改变了生态系统。最近的例子包括:

  • 澳大利亚墨尔本港菲利普湾(1987年)
  • 波罗的海(20世纪80年代 – 现在)
  • 缅因湾(2000年代 – 现在)
© Païvi Rosqvist/WWF-Finland

[注意:磷酸盐只会促进优养化,这包括农业肥料在内的许多因素都会引发作用。

磷酸盐合法与否?

尽管优养化对环境有害,但磷酸盐仍然存在于洗洁剂中。在西方国家,它们在家用产品中的使用已经从1950 – 60年代的高峰期大幅减少,但仍然允许在不同程度上:

  • 澳大利亚:是发达国家中立法最差。没有法律要求限制洗洁剂中的磷酸盐含量,或自愿性减少的。
  • 加拿大:2011年通过立法将洗洁剂中允许的磷酸盐含量降低至0.5%。工业洗洁剂未受影响,仍限于2.2%。
  • 欧盟:2012年之前,成员国设定了自己的限制。随着Reg259/2012的推出,欧盟成员国同意将洗洁剂中的磷酸盐限制在每循环0.5克。
  • 美国:17个州禁止在洗洁剂中使用磷酸盐,EPA设定了自愿性限制。实际上,这已禁止北美的磷酸盐洗洁剂。

如何避免磷酸盐?

在立法较弱的国家,避免使用磷酸盐洗洁剂的唯一方法是购买“无磷”洗洁剂。该条例不受监管,有赖于制造商测试其产品的污染物(只是’不添加磷酸盐’不等于洗洁剂’不含磷酸盐’)。

总结

磷酸盐被添加到清洁产品中,以帮助减少肥皂渣的形成。 它们不被认为对人类健康有害,但可以在湖泊和河流中囤积,造成毁灭性的藻类繁殖(“优养化”)。 美国拥有最强的磷酸盐监管,其他国家则在不同程度上限制其使用。 在大多数国家,唯一可靠地避免磷酸盐的方法是购买“无磷”洗涤剂。

资料来源: https://www.safehouseholdcleaning.com/phosphates-cleaning-products/

Phosphates in household cleaning products

“Phosphate free” is possibly the most widely used claim I’ve seen on cleaning products over the last year.

But what exactly are phosphates? Why are they used in cleaning products? And why are so many companies so proud to be phosphate free?

We’re about to find out…

What are phosphates?

Phosphates have a long history of use in both commercial and household cleaning products. Since the 1950s, ‘sodium tripolyphosphate’ has widely been added to improve the cleaning power of detergents. Concerns were first raised about the accumulation of phosphates in natural water sources in the 60s, and efforts made to reduce their use [1].

Almost 60 years later, most cleaning products in stores are branded ‘phosphate-free’. Have phosphates been eliminated, or has the issue just been surpassed by more imminent ecological disasters (e.g. loss of coral reefs, climate change)?

Why are phosphates added to cleaning products?

Phosphates are primarily used as ‘builders’ (or ‘chelating agents’) in laundry or dishwashing detergents. They help to soften hard water. They do this by preventing calcium and magnesium ions in tap water from binding with surfactants [2]. This has two main benefits:

Less ‘soap scum’ – Calcium or magnesium in water bind to surfactants (‘soap’), forming an insoluble ‘scum’. This can stick to clothes or hair. Phosphates bind to calcium or magnesium, forming a soluble molecule that just washes away.

Improved cleaning – Less surfactant is lost as ‘soap scum’, so smaller quantities can be used (useful for those with sensitive skin) and the product cleans more efficiently.

How dangerous are phosphates?

In theory, it seems logical to add phosphates to cleaning products. So, they were – in huge quantities. In the 1960s, after years of phosphates washing down peoples drains, researchers started to notice accumulation in natural water sources and a correlation with excessive algae blooms.

This led to numerous investigations into the risks:

1. Health Effects
Phosphates are poorly absorbed by humans, and the quantities needed to cause toxicity border on impossible [3]. The molecules may not be directly toxic, but they can cause mild irritation (although less than other molecules commonly found in detergents).When phosphate accumulation was first observed, there was concern about the long-term effects on health – even if not directly toxic in the short-term. High-dose animal studies showed phosphates are well-tolerated in the long-term. Phosphates are not considered toxic, carcinogenic, teratogenic (harmful to unborn infants), or sensitizing [4].

2. Environmental Effects
The key chemistry of phosphates is the bond with carbon (C–P). This is resistant to biodegradation, and so the molecules persist in the environment. As the molecules are also soluble, they accumulate in lakes and rivers [5].Phosphates are well-tolerated by aquatic animals, much like humans. The harmful effects arise from a process known as ‘eutrophication’. This is where excessive nutrients lead to an exponential increase in algae population. The resulting algal blooms deplete aquatic oxygen supply, dramatically altering the ecosystem [6].

Recent examples include:

  • Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne, Australia (1987)
  • Baltic Sea (1980s – current)
  • Gulf of Maine (2000s – current)
© Païvi Rosqvist/WWF-Finland

[Note: Phosphates are only contributory to eutrophication, and many factors including agricultural fertilizers play a role.]

Are phosphates even legal?

Despite the harmful effects of eutrophication on the environment, phosphates are still found in detergents. In Western countries their use in household products has substantially reduced from a peak in the 1950-60s but are still permitted to varying degrees [7, 8]:

  • Australia: Has the weakest legislation among developed countries. There is no legal requirement to limit phosphate content in detergents, and reduction is voluntary.
  • Canada: In 2011 passed legislation reducing permitted phosphate content in detergents to 0.5%. Industrial detergents were not affected, still limited to 2.2%.
  • EU: Prior to 2012, member states set their own limits. With the introduction of Reg. 259/2012, EU members agreed to limit detergent phosphate to 0.5 g per cycle.
  • US: 17 states have banned the use of phosphate in detergents, and the EPA sets voluntary limits. In effect, this has banned phosphate detergents in North America.

How to avoid phosphates?

The only way to avoid phosphate detergents in countries with weaker legislation is to buy ‘phosphate-free’ detergents. This term is not regulated and relies on manufacturers testing their products for contaminants (just ‘not adding phosphate’ does not make a detergent ‘phosphate-free’).

In Summary

Phosphates are added to cleaning products to help reduce the formation of soap scum. They are not considered harmful to human health, but can accumulate in lakes and rivers, causing devastating algal bloom (‘eutrophication’). The US has the strongest phosphate regulation, with other countries limiting their use to varying degrees. In most countries, the only way to reliably avoid phosphates is to buy ‘phosphate-free’ detergents.

Source: https://www.safehouseholdcleaning.com/phosphates-cleaning-products/

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