Eutrophication and its relationship to the detergent industry is analyzed. The role of phosphorus in accelerated or “cultural” eutrophication is discussed and the different uses of phosphorus by all industry are presented. The detergent industry is broken into its different sectors of marketing, and the distinction is made between household laundry detergent products and that of the specialty detergent and sanitizer products. Application of specialty detergents and sanitizers is discussed and their role in maintaining public health and safety standards is related. Remedial steps being taken to reduce “cultural” eutrophication are discussed and a request is stated that, if legislative or judicial actions are deemed necessary in the problem of “cultural” eutrophication, reasonable thought be given to the effect those actions may have in the critical area of product application of the specialty detergents and sanitizers.

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Author notes

1Presented at the 58th Annual Meeting of the International Association of Milk, Food, and Environmental Sanitarians, Inc., San Diego, California, August 17–21, 1971.