Sometimes, I feel that we are shielded from the news of harmful ingredients in Australia. Not necessarily because the government doesn't want us to know how damaging things can be, but rather it could potentially cause disruption to our supply chain and with limited choices we have, we are kept in the dark...kind of like....won't you don't know won't harm you.
Nonylphenol ethoxylate is just one of the myriad of chemicals that is concerning me, and it's almost everywhere. From your dish detergent, stain removers, laundry detergents, soaps, pesticides, in plastics, varnishes....the list goes on.
But what is so harmful about this chemical compound? Well, apart from the environmental hazards there are extremely serious health concerns. The oestrogenic effects of this chemical may be responsible for a number of hormonal related diseases such as breast, ovarian, testicular cancers, early development in girls, female hormone dominance in boys, infertility in older women. Research has proven that the effects of NPE in our ocean. Where there are higher levels of NPE contamination, there are less male sea wildlife. There has been a significant increase in ‘abnormal’ trout being bred with both male and female reproductive organs. The ratio of male and female wildlife has drastically unbalanced in recent years. So much so that Canada and European countries have banned the use of NPE in any commercial products. This is great news for the Europeans, but what about the rest of the world?
Phosphates are the main cleaning ingredient in many detergents and household cleaners because they break down dirt particles and remove stains by softening the water and allowing suds to form, which enhances the cleaning power of the detergent. Some dishwasher tabs are more than 30 percent phosphates!
However, there are human health problems as well as major environmental hazards associated with phosphates. Phosphate residues on items that have been cleaned with phosphate-containing detergents have been known to cause nausea, diarrohea and skin irritation in the mildest form.
We need to be more conscious of the effects household chemicals are having on us. The sad news is, NPE is not listed on products as an ingredient, but you can guarantee it’s in most commercially available soapy products.
My pick for friendly detergents are: Seventh Generation, Envirocare and Abode which are all available in Australia.
I'm a lover of fine food, amazing cheese and sharing with people I love.