Coimbatore

‘Chemicals in detergents polluting waterbodies’

Residents of the Nilgiris attending a workshop organised to create awareness about the alternatives to chemical detergents.

Residents of the Nilgiris attending a workshop organised to create awareness about the alternatives to chemical detergents.   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT_E_MAIL

Need to switch over to eco-friendly household detergents stressed

A workshop to sensitise people about how soaps and detergents used in households pollute water systems and impact the environment as well as human health was organised in Kotagiri on Saturday.

The workshop on “Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Soap and Detergents,” was organised by the Kotagiri Citizens’ Collective (KCC), a group of volunteers working on environmental and civic issues in Kotagiri town, and was attended by over 25 people from across the Nilgiris who were interested in learning how to use natural, non-polluting substances to keep households clean, and to also ensure that water from residential areas do not contribute to the pollution of rivers and water systems.

R. Sharada, Technical Coordinator for the Nilgiris Natural History Society, who was the key resource person at the workshop, lectured those attending about how soaps and synthetic chemicals used to keep households clean were impacting not just the environment, but also the health of the people using it.

Ms. Sharadha pointed out that many household cleaners and detergents contained phthalates, paraben, lead, triclosan and oxybenzone. Many of these chemicals impact our health, she explained, adding that it is known that phthalates disrupt the human endocrine system, while other chemicals such as parabens lead to hormonal imbalances. She also detailed various other compounds found in household detergents which lead to respiratory illnesses and affect the thyroid, while some are even known neurotoxins.

A member of the Kotagiri Citizens’ Collective speaking to The Hindu said that as an alternative, Ms. Sharada demonstrated how effective disinfectants can be made at home using bioenzymes, made from jaggery, fruit peels and water. She also detailed how soap nuts, shikakai, baking soda, lime, and other products produced by organisations promoting eco-friendly alternatives can be used by conscious shoppers.

A member of the KCC, which has been working on cleaning up wetlands in Kotagiri, said that embracing eco-friendly alternatives will ensure that water which gets used in households does not contribute to the pollution of rivers and streams, and could play a vital role in protecting the district’s ever-dwindling water resources.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 8:31:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/chemicals-in-detergents-polluting-waterbodies/article28236249.ece

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