What is the one innocuous product sitting innocently in our home, which is environmentally toxic and harmful to health? It is our synthetic detergent powder, which the Ministry of Environment & Forests has labelled as a "Red" industry -highly polluting in the manufacture and during end use!
Recently, many urban lakes in Bangalore, Hyderabad and other crowded urban cities have begun to foam and produce 6 feet high lather. This is due to unregulated dumping of household waste water which is chock full of detergent, dishwash and floor cleaner residue containing strong foaming agents. This is highly toxic to aquatic life and also kills our supply of fresh water.
How toxic is the use of synthetic detergent? Read on for more.
The Detergent allergy syndrome
Does your skin or your loved one’s skin often feel itchy, look reddish or inflammed or develops a stinging sensation every time it comes in contact with your detergent, dishwash or sometimes freshly laundered clothes?
You may experiencing the unfortunately common “detergent allergy syndrome” which is an allergic skin reaction to the some of the chemicals in your detergent. Detergents may contain dozens of potential allergy inducing ingredients. The American dermatology association states that the fragrances, dyes, and preservatives in detergents provoke most of the allergic reactions to detergents. Other allergenic ingredients include ammonia, petroleum distillates, polymers and other synthetic surfactants.
Some of the other more common detergent based allergies reported include allergic conjunctivitis. Here you may develop red, itchy and stinging eyes apart from dermatitis on skin. The University of Maryland Medical Center also reports delayed allergic reactions from optical brighteners. These reactions develop when the skin receives sunlight exposure after contact with the ingredient. This may set off more severe rash symptoms, including painful hives or blisters. Fluid-filled blisters eventually drain, sometimes breaking the skin and then crusting over.
Dangers of enzymes in your synthetic detergent
Sodium Carbonate, Sodium silicate and enzymes are common components of a synthetic detergent. When handled separately, all 3 can cause skin irritation and could be hazardous when inhaled or ingested. Both Sodium carbonate and Sodium Silicate can damage the respiratory tract if inhaled. Symptoms include a sore throat, coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. To avoid these symptoms, it you are supposed to use synthetic detergents only in a well ventilated area!
If ingested both Sodium silicate and Sodium carbonate can cause digestive symptoms like nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting. They are also severe eye irritants causing extreme harm if they accidentally fall into your eye or are squirted in (which may happen accidentally with liquid detergents).
Phosphates in Detergents and Dishwash products – unregulated and a severe environmental hazard in India
Super Tri ploy phosphate (STPP) is a common builder used in detergents and dishwash products. This chemical is added to increase the foam in these synthetic cleaning products especially when the products are used in hard water. STPP is a strong environmental hazard and has been banned in many countries like the US and Canada for its ability to generate intense foam and to increase algal bloom in fresh water bodies.
When STPP and phosphate containing detergents and dishwash products reach fresh water bodies, the phosphates in the cleaning product acts as a strong nutrient to algae. As the algae bloom in the water, they deplete the oxygen content of water, killing all aquatic life in the water and rendering the water unfit for drinking or further consumption. This nutrient loading process leading to algal bloom is called eutrophication and this has a severe impact on the availability of drinking water. For this reason, many countries have banned the use of phosphates in cleaning products. Unfortunately, this is still not the case in India. So detergent brands which are formulated without phosphates in countries like the U.S, use extensive amounts of phosphates in Indian formulations as no law yet exists to control this. So every time you buy a synthetic detergent, you are severely impacting the availability of fresh water in our country!
Surfactants in cleaning products: toxic to aquatic life
STPP and Phosphates indirectly kill aquatic life by allowing algae to bloom quickly and cut off oxygen supply. The surfactants in synthetic detergents and dishwash products are extremely toxic to aquatic life. They are persistent long after their use, and when they do break down, they generate extremely toxic by products in water. In fresh water, the surfactants form synthetic cleaning products actually break down the protective layer of mucosa that fish generate. They can disrupt the endocrine systems of fish and other aquatic animals, decrease the breeding rate of aquatic organisms and ensure by their presence, that these animals absorb more pesticides, phenols and other water pollutants.
The Krya solution: truly green laundry detergents based completely on Ayurvedic herbs
Ayurveda and Siddha document many plant surfactants that have been used for doing the laundry from time immemorial. Besides being foaming cleansers, these herbs are also considered "Mangalya" (prana positive aura)., "Twachya" (good for skin) and therefore good for use among very small infants, sensitive individuals, etc.
The Krya range of truly green detergents are safe, non-toxic, completely free from synthetics, are compostable, and biodegradable. All our laundry detergents conserve water - grey water from your machine can be safely discarded into the rainwater harvesting system or directly into your garden (un scented products), thus conserving water.
The products are safe to use around infants, respiratory allergies and patients and the elderly. They help conserve fabric texture and preserve colour. We have lots of laundry options listed below. If you have any doubts o which one to choose, please call our Customer service team (0-75500-89090) or email us.