12-2008 European Opinion on P-substitutes

The European Union’s official scientific committee SCHER has published a new Opinion on organic substances used as substitutes for STPP in laundry detergents.

SCHER considers that potential risks from the use of Polycarboxylates (PCAs) and phosphonates in P-free detergents cannot be excluded.

SCHER concludes that further information is needed on the impacts of polycarboxylates on the environment, in particular on toxicity to fish and to soil microbial functions. SCHER also suggests that exposure levels need to be confirmed.

SCHER confirms that polycarboxylates should be considered NOT READILY BIODEGRADABLE. For phosphonates, SCHER indicates that “the available information is not sufficient to exclude a potential risk at European level, in particular for terrestrial and aquatic organisms”.

SCHER Opinion “Anaerobic Degradation of Surfactants and Biodegradation of Non Surfactant Organic Ingredients” Opinion 17th November 2008: http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_risk/committees/04_scher/docs/scher_o_109.pdf 
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