08/16/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Tara Monks // Tara Monks
Albany, NY – Stores in New York have 60 days to sell of inventories of dishwasher detergents that contain phosphorus, as a new law to improve water quality went into effect Saturday, August 14, 2010. The Journal News reported Governor David Paterson signed the new law last month.
The new law lowers allowable phosphorus contents in dishwasher detergent from 9 percent of weight to 0.5 percent. The law also targets lawn fertilizers; in 2012 fertilizer allowances will go from 3 percent phosphorus by weight to 0.67 percent.
Environmental officials applaud the new measures, explaining that phosphorus drains into lakes and rivers and create algae that turns the water green. Drinking water is degraded and fish are deprived of oxygen. Over 100 bodies of water in New York are considered impaired.
New York is the 17th state to enact phosphorus-restricting laws.
Dishwashing detergents produce between nine and 34 percent of the phosphorus found in municipal wastewater. Lawn fertilizers account for approximately 50 percent of phosphorus found in storm runoff.
The portion of the law that targets fertilizers prohibits the application of the chemicals between December 1 and April 1, or near surface water. Exceptions to the regulations include new lawns, or tests that show a lawn has too little phosphorus. Agricultural and garden fertilizer is not affected by the regulations.
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