PDA

View Full Version : When phosphates are outlawed, only outlaws will have phosphates.


Don
03-29-2009, 04:34 AM
How long before the drug cartels realize they've got a new source of revenue (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h5LoYHymG_TJcf7aX3AvXutsKWJwD976J3IG0)?

The quest for squeaky-clean dishes has turned some law-abiding people in Spokane into dishwater-detergent smugglers. They are bringing Cascade or Electrasol in from out of state because the eco-friendly varieties required under Washington state law don't work as well.

There's solid reasoning behind the smuggling, however.

Many people were shocked to find that products like Seventh Generation, Ecover and Trader Joe's left their dishes encrusted with food, smeared with grease and too gross to use without rewashing them by hand. The culprit was hard water, which is mineral-rich and resistant to soap.
The illegal dishwasher soap market is going to be even more lucrative before long.

The ban will be expanded statewide in July 2010, the same time similar laws take effect in several other states.

Now why not apply the following rationale to the War on Drugs?

(In truth, the ban applies to the sale of phosphate detergent — not its use or possession — so Marcotte is not in any legal trouble.)

Rampant lawlessness may be coming to your town soon.

Among other states that have banned or are banning phosphates in dishwasher detergent are Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan, Vermont, Minnesota, Illinois, Massachusetts and New York. A bill on Capitol Hill would impose a nationwide ban.

But at least one person has spotted the law of unintended consequences lurking in the bushes, as it always does when government acts.

For his part, Beck has taken to washing his dishes on his machine's pots-and-pans cycle, which takes longer and uses five gallons more water. Beck wonders if that isn't as tough on the environment as phosphates.

"How much is this really costing us?" Beck said. "Aren't we transferring the environmental consequences to something else?"

Shouldn't that question be answered before instituting this on a national level, now that a trial period is discovering real problems with the legislation?

It's also interesting to see people more upset that they can't pick a dishwashing detergent than about not being able to pick their child's school, which raises a whole different philosophical level of questions.

So should the ban proceed without further investigation of those unintended consequences? If it comes down to it, will you be one of those outlaws? Just what are clean dishes worth to you?

Bird of Prey
03-29-2009, 05:16 AM
LOL!! I voted.

sulong
03-29-2009, 05:23 AM
The illegal dishwasher market is going to be even more lucrative before long.

Blah. I've been trying to trade my legal dish-washer in for an illegal one for years now. but she just won't leave.
I even tried to change my dish washer into a snow-blower once, but she tried to hit me with the shovel instead.

Let the people in Spokane wash dishes by hand if they don't like the new rules.

BenPanced
03-29-2009, 06:27 AM
Blah. I've been trying to trade my legal dish-washer in for an illegal one for years now. but she just won't leave.
I even tried to change my dish washer into a snow-blower once, but she tried to hit me with the shovel instead.

Let the people in Spokane wash dishes by hand if they don't like the new rules.
Can I get an "amen" in here? I've always thought dishwashers to be an extravagant waste.

C.bronco
03-29-2009, 06:31 AM
Excess of phosphates in my hometown lake led to an epidemic of Eurasian Water Mifoil. I spent a summer wading through that and algae because my BF convinced me it would be fun, and the Bio. teacher at our high school gave us a cookoout/pool party at the end of the summer for our efforts. We spent most of the time trying to get the boat repaired, but it was a learning experience nonetheless.

Ah! Milfoil! :D

blacbird
03-29-2009, 07:48 AM
Does everybody here realize that their bones and teeth are made of . . . calcium phosphate?

caw

billythrilly7th
03-29-2009, 12:30 PM
"I don't believe in phosphate. I just believe in me."
John Lennon

Unique
03-29-2009, 02:10 PM
Phosphate doesn't need to be in everything. It should be kept in the products that require it, taken out of the products that don't require it, and used sparingly and with some common sense in the rest.

I was surprised to find phosphates in some clothes soap once - I must have moved from a place where it was no longer allowed.

It does some nasty things to the environment as C.bronco has attested.
Algae bloom, et. al.

I voted 'new sideline' with friends. Bioremediation would be my career choice if I could find a school that actually taught the subject.
Heads Up, people. Help me out w/that, please!

Dommo
03-29-2009, 11:21 PM
Meh, phosphates aren't usually that big of a deal in municipal water systems, as they're taken care of at the waste water treatment plant(I'd know I worked in one for a summer). The problem, as well as most problems like this, stem from the use of septic tanks. This is because no additional chemicals are added to neutralize excess phosphate, and basically the way they end up working as far as chemicals go is simply diluting them over a big area. This is OK if you've got a few houses per given amount of area, but as soon as subdivisions start popping up, then the ability for chemicals to be diluted goes away, and all sorts of problems pop up.

In fact the plant that I worked in, was constructed solely because too many people using septic tanks, built too close together near a chain of small lakes. Essentially they didn't have a large enough drainage field, and contaminated both the lakes and their own ground water. Then proceeded to bitch as they were forced to hook up to a municipal water treatment system, as it cost them A LOT of money(Like 5-10k per house).

Moral of the story. If you're using a septic tank, and you start to see houses popping up left and right of you, you'd best prepare your wallet as it'll likely be just a matter of time before you'll be forced to hook up to a sewer.

Unique
03-30-2009, 12:13 AM
Moral of the story. If you're using a septic tank, and you start to see houses popping up left and right of you, you'd best prepare your wallet as it'll likely be just a matter of time before you'll be forced to hook up to a sewer.
That's what I'm afraid of. :( One new subdivision already changed the course of an underground stream and now our pond has one less spring feeding it.

I have the tap - but I want to keep my well. I think it's time to move....