Industry welcomes federal initiative to regulate lower phosphorus content of automatic dishwasher detergent in Canada

    OTTAWA, Feb. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Consumer Specialty Products
Association (CCSPA) said it supports Environment Minister John Baird's
announcement today concerning the Government of Canada's intent to regulate
the phosphorus content of household automatic dishwasher detergent,
manufactured for sale in Canada, to a maximum of 0.5 per cent by weight,
effective 2010.
    CCSPA's member companies initiated an industry-led program in September
2007 to significantly reduce the phosphorus content of household automatic
dishwasher detergent to a maximum of 0.5 per cent by weight. The Governments
of Manitoba and Quebec also announced late last year their intent to create
similar provincial phosphorus level limits.
    "We believe a national regulation will create a level playing field
across Canada for consumers and our industry," said Shannon Coombs, CCSPA
President, "and we welcome this opportunity to work with the federal
government to amend the federal Phosphorus Concentration Regulations under the
Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999."
    "Our member companies produce 86 per cent of all household automatic
dishwasher detergent sold in Canada," she said. "We are committed to finding
replacements that are as effective and have sound environmental profiles. A
2010 implementation date will provide us with the time to conduct the required
research to develop new formulations for these beneficial products."
    CCSPA was disappointed that the Minister did not indicate the
government's intention to provide an exemption for commercial and
institutional uses of automatic dishwasher detergents. "We will be working
with Minister Baird to ensure the federal regulations allow limited amounts of
phosphorus in these important uses as it is a vital ingredient to ensure the
health and safety of Canadians," Ms. Coombs said. Sanitation for dishes in
hospitals, nursing homes, schools and restaurants is a priority for CCSPA and
our members."
    Similar regulatory and legislative changes are underway in several U.S.
states for household automatic dishwasher detergent. "An integrated and
harmonized North American market is critical to ensure consumers continue to
have access to quality brands and products and that our industry remains
competitive globally," Ms. Coombs said.
    The scope of the government's announcement today to include general
purpose cleaners and laundry is not warranted. For nearly a decade, CCSPA
members companies have eliminated the phosphorus content in laundry detergents
due to the current federal regulation. CCSPA is willing to work with Minister
Baird on the government's scientific analysis regarding the inclusion of
general purpose cleaners in the proposed regulation.
    Ms. Coombs also noted that reducing the amount of phosphorus content in
automatic dishwasher detergent will not solve the "blue-green algae" problem
present in some Canadian waterways because automatic dishwasher detergent
accounts for only one per cent of all contributions. "CCSPA is hopeful that
future regulations set the stage to bring forward solutions regarding the main
sources of phosphorus contributions, including human sewage waste and
agricultural run-off."

    CCSPA is a national trade association representing Canada's consumer,
    industrial and institutional specialty products industry. Its mission is
    to enhance the ability of its 47 member companies to conduct business
    fairly, ethically and effectively by fostering industry cooperation,
    providing a national voice for communications and developing effective
    partnerships with governments, other stakeholders and the public.

For further information:

For further information: Shannon Coombs, CCSPA President, (613) 232-6616
ext. 18,

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