Household chemicals in water ways.
If you look on the back of your household cleaners, you’ll probably see a symbol. Have you ever thought whether we should be putting these chemicals down our drains? It must be ok or they wouldn’t sell it, right?
Link to hazard symbols
Even after passing through water treatment plants, small quantities of chemical compounds from cleaning products can find their way into rivers, ponds and lakes and have adverse effects on aquatic life. Phosphates in laundry and dishwasher detergent have a fertilising effect, triggering the widespread growth of algae that saps away the water’s oxygen, reducing biodiversity.
Soap added to water allows other pollutants in water bodies to be absorbed more easily by plants and animals. Many other compounds can be toxic to wildlife, or affect growth and reproduction, for instance by mimicking the effects of hormones in mammals and fish.
By Alexandra Franklin-Cheung of BBC Science Focus
During heavy rain, untreated sewage can enter rivers and the sea from storm drains. This has become increasingly common: www.theguardian.com
Sewage wastewater discharges by water companies into rivers account for damage to 36% of waterways: www.theguardian.com
Soap and water is just as effective as antibacterial cleaning products: www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au
Most cleaning tasks can be completed with a few environmentally friendly ingredients – bicarbonate of soda, vinegar, citric acid, soda crystals and liquid soap. Dri-pak who produce these ingredients have many cleaning tips on their website: https://www.dri-pak.co.uk/
One tip I like which saves transporting bulky goods and unnecessary packaging is to dilute citric acid and use in place of vinegar in cleaning tasks:
www.dri-pak.co.uk/ making a white vinegar substitute
Dri-pak products can be found in Home Hardware.