Spokane county Washington will be forced to comply with an early ban on phosphates in dish soap starting on July first, while the rest of the state will become subject to the law in 2010. After a massive algae bloom in lake Spokane in 1989, the state adopted similar restrictions for laundry detergents which improved, but did not solve the algae problem. Algae blooms deplete water of oxygen and kill fish and other aquatic creatures. Palmolive’s new Eco liquid detergent is the first of the major brands to comply with the upcoming ban and will now feature prominently on store shelves where the number of available dish soaps has shrank from nearly forty, to five. The other brands which comply with the ban, like Ecover and Seventh Generation, have been phosphate free since their inception. The company expects its market share in the county to go from 3% to nearly 90% once the ban takes effect. The cost for the product is fifty cents to one dollar higher than equivalent phosphate laden brands, but this price gap is expected to narrow as production scales up. For those worried about the quality of the new product, a 2005 Consumer Reports study on dishwasher detergents placed Trader Joe’s detergent #2 and several other phosphate free brands received an excellent rating from reviewers as well.

Comments are closed.